Are you one of those dog owners who like to share your food with your furry friend? Have you ever wondered if potato skins are safe for your dog to eat?
While potatoes are generally considered a healthy food for dogs, the same cannot be said for the skins.
In fact, feeding your dog potato skins can lead to a range of health issues, including gastrointestinal problems and even poisoning in severe cases.
As a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of what foods can cause harm to your dog and take the necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety.
Find out whether potatoes and potato skins are safe for dogs to eat, how to spot the signs of dog potato poisoning, and how to serve potatoes to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?
No, dogs cannot eat potato skins.
While cooked potatoes are safe for your dog, potato skins are extremely unsafe for two reasons.
- Potato skins contain oxalates which are compounds that can affect their kidneys and digestive system.
Like the peels, green-looking potatoes also have these oxalates, and as a result, also are unsafe for dogs.
Raw potatoes, on the whole, are often thought of as being toxic for dogs.
- Potato skins can also cause heart arrhythmia.
This is a condition that is characterized by issues with a dog’s heartbeat. Specifically beating especially slowly, especially rapidly, or even skipping some beats.
Obviously, potato skins are not good for dogs, so …
What Happens if a Dog Eats Potato Skins?
If your dog gets their paws on some potato skins and eats them, they may experience harmful signs of toxicity, like:
- loose and runny stools
Other types of potatoes that you should prevent your dog from eating are French fries, potato chips, and mashed potatoes with too much sour cream, milk, and butter.
These dairy products can cause skin problems, diarrhea, and bloating in dogs.
As for potato chips, we know these aren’t good, even for humans. Potato chips offer dogs zero nutritional value, they contain plenty of trans-fat and some have high amounts of sugar.
Now you know that your dog can’t eat raw potato skin, but what if it is cooked?
Can Dogs Eat Baked Potato Skins?
No, dogs can’t eat baked potato skins. Or cooked potato peels of any kind.
While baked potatoes may seem like a healthier alternative to other forms of potatoes, it’s still not advisable to give baked potato skins to your furry friend.
As previously mentioned, potato skins contain oxalates that can be harmful to dogs, and baked potato skins are no exception.
It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving baked potato skins to your dog.
So don’t give your dog raw or cooked potato skin at all. Dog’s also shouldn’t eat skin on fries, chips, or any other types of potato.
Instead, stick to dog-friendly foods and treats that are specifically designed for your furry friend’s dietary needs to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
Is Potato Safe for Dogs?
Yes, potatoes are safe for dogs to eat, provided they are peeled and cooked. But do not give them too much.
Your dog does not need carbs to live, but they are a good source of energy. And they are a key ingredient in many dog foods and kibble products.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates so many commercial dog foods include these ingredients.
A little cooked potato is okay for your dog, but too much can cause constipation. Sweet potatoes are much healthier.
They have a lower glycemic index, are rich in antioxidants, and they don’t contain a large amount of sugar so will not affect your dog’s sugar levels as much.
Potatoes can also be safe as long as you don’t serve them with additives like butter, cheese, oil, or a lot of salt. Those added flavors we include for ourselves aren’t ideal for dogs.
However, raw potato and potato plants should be avoided because they contain solanine, which can be toxic to dogs. It is also present in tomatoes and eggplants.
This video shows an explanation of the safety of feeding your dog some potatoes.
How to Feed Your Dog Potatoes
The best way to serve potatoes for your dog is to cook, bake, steam, or mash them plain. Here are some other ideas:
- Mix meatloaf muffins with ground beef or turkey, egg, and shredded carrot for special occasions like your furry friend’s birthday. Then, bake in a muffin tin and top with mashed potatoes. My dogs love these, and I make it for them for Christmas and other special occasions.
- Cut thick slices of potato and make shapes using bone-shaped cookie cutters. Bake them until soft in the middle and use as treats or toppers for your dog’s regular dinner.
- Next time you make mashed potatoes, whip up a separate bowl for your pup, leaving out any added flavorings. Just toss in boiled potatoes and a scoop of plain Greek yogurt, mash them together.
- Add cooked potatoes to dog-friendly veggies like carrots and sweet peas. You can even mash boiled potatoes and add some dog food in, if you want to give them something new to try. I do this every now and then when I have more time in my schedule. It’s quick and easy to do.
- Try some potato-flavored dog snacks instead! SmartBones Sweet Potato Dog Bone is easy to digest and is rich in vitamins and minerals. We also recommend Nummy Tum Tum Pure Sweet Potato for dogs. They use safety standards and processing techniques to produce a naturally sweet, wholly nutritious pure sweet potato puree for your pup’s dining and snacking pleasure.
Potato Skin Alternatives for Dogs
Since you now know that dogs can’t eat potato peels, either raw or cooked, you probably need some alternatives.
You can try some of these healthy snacks to give your dog instead of potato skin.
- Carrot sticks – Carrots are a great source of vitamin A and fiber, and are low in calories. Plus, they are crunchy and satisfying for dogs to chew on.
- Apple slices – Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core before offering them to your dog.
- Sweet potato chews – Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and potassium. You can slice them into thin rounds or strips and bake them in the oven for a tasty, chewy treat.
- Green beans – Green beans are a low-calorie, high-fiber snack that can help your dog feel full without packing on the pounds.
- Pumpkin – Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a great source of fiber and can help regulate digestion. It also has a delicious taste that many dogs enjoy.
Remember to always supervise your dog while they are eating, and avoid offering any foods that may be harmful to their health.
Best Potato-Flavored Treats
If you want to give your dogs something potato flavored, you can try peeled, plain cooked potatoes.
Or, you can try some of these potato-flavored treats:
- SmartBones Sweet Potato Dog Bone is easy to digest and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Nummy Tum Tum Pure Sweet Potato Supplements is made from organic sweet potatoes that are locally grown in the USA. It’s healthy, organic and support healthy tummies for your fur babies.
- Evanger’s Grain-Free Sweet Potato for Dogs & Cats is another great option. It’s made from fresh ingredients and is free from soy, corn, wheat, artificial ingredients, preservatives, harmful additives or by-products.
Learn about these tasty dog food for picky eaters.
What Is Solanine Poisoning in Dogs?
Potato poisoning in dogs happens when they consume too much solanine, a glycoalkaloid naturally produced in green or raw potatoes, potato skins, and the foliage from the potato plant.
Solanine is a toxic substance found in certain plants like potatoes and tomatoes, and it can cause all sorts of issues for our furry friends.
Potatoes that have turned green or sprouted can contain higher levels of solanine. Avoid feeding your dog any green parts of the potato plant, including the leaves, stems, and sprouts, too.
Potatoes may be deemed healthy, but it is best not to feed any part of a raw potato or potato skins to your dog because of the toxins.
These toxins can make humans sick as well, but it would take a lot more potatoes than we would eat to cause even mild symptoms.
However, it is best not to eat potatoes that have green skin or are growing sprouts whether they are cooked or not, and definitely never feed them to your dog.
Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of solanine poisoning in dogs.
Signs of Potato Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of poisoning depend on how much solanine was in the potato or potato skins, as well as your dog’s size and health.
The most common signs are:
- burning of the throat
- cardiac dysrhythmia
- dilated pupils
- excessive drooling
- gastrointestinal symptoms
- heart problems
These symptoms are a result of the interruption of the chemical acetylcholine, which is important in transmitting nerve impulses.
This chemical is also reported to cause cell membrane damage, which can irritate the nervous system and intestinal tract.
What to Do if You Notice Signs of Potato Poisoning in Dogs?
If you notice signs of potato poisoning in your dog, it’s important to take action immediately. Follow these steps so you can get help for your furbaby as soon as possible:
- Contact your veterinarian: Call your veterinarian and explain the situation. They may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination or provide guidance on what to do next. Your vet will ask what your dog ate, how much, and how long ago it happened. A comprehensive physical exam will be suggested, as well as other tests like blood count, chemical panel, blood gas, and more.
- Monitor your dog’s symptoms: Keep a close eye on your dog’s symptoms and report any changes to your veterinarian. This can help them determine the best course of treatment.
- Provide supportive care: Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your veterinarian may recommend providing supportive care such as IV fluids, medication to control vomiting or diarrhea, or other treatments to help your dog recover.
- Prevent further exposure: Remove any remaining potato skins or other toxic foods from your dog’s reach to prevent further exposure.
- Follow your veterinarian’s instructions: It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully to ensure your dog receives the best possible care and recovers fully.
Don’t feed potato skins to your dog.
A small serving of cooked potatoes is acceptable, but if you’re still worried, try potato-flavored dog snacks instead.
Find out more about giving your dog human foods everyday.