Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?
Yes! In fact, on our Ultimate List of Vegetables Dogs Can Eat, sweet potatoes landed in our top four favorite vegetables for dogs.
Why? Sweet potatoes are a superfood! Feeding dogs sweet potatoes provides them with HUGE health benefits by protecting their skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles.
Sweet potatoes are a common ingredient in commercial dog foods, so it is important look beyond the question ‘can dogs eat sweet potatoes?’ and understand their role in your dog’s health.
Read to the end for our simple sweet potato jerky dog treats recipe!
What are the benefits of feeding dogs sweet potatoes?
- Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are rich in phytonutrients!
- Orange sweet potatoes contain beta carotene (a carotenoid) and purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins (a flavonoid).
- Because of these phytonutrients, sweet potatoes help to protect dogs’ cells from free radical damage and support healthy eyes, heart, skin, and immune system.
- Additional benefits from anthocyanins include anti-diabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-obesity, and disease prevention properties.
- Sweet potatoes are a great source of many vitamins, including vitamin C!
- Like humans, dogs benefit from vitamin C because it is so effective at blocking free radicals, reducing inflammation, and supporting disease and illness resistance.
- Other abundant vitamins in sweet potatoes include vitamin A and B6, manganese, potassium, pantothenic acid, copper, and niacin.
- Each of these vitamins will maintain your dog’s overall health, boost energy levels, and contribute to their disease-fighting ability!
- Sweet potatoes are high in fiber!
- Digestive problems are not uncommon in dogs. When these problems arise, dietary fiber aids their digestive process by absorbing water and helping food and waste to pass.
- Beyond its essential role in digestion, fiber reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer.
- Fiber lowers cholesterol levels and controls blood sugar levels, both of which are associated with maintaining a healthy weight.
All in all, feeding dogs sweet potato will help them live long, healthy lives!
What kind of sweet potato should you look for?
The answer to the question ‘can dogs eat sweet potatoes?’ is a definite yes, but not all sweet potatoes are the same. Buying organic ensures that the sweet potatoes are not contaminated with pesticides.
In response to the question, “What is a Superfood?” Superfood Hunter Darin Olien explained, “…all real, whole, organic traditional food is – to some degree – a superfood.” The key, he points out, is that ingredients are most nutritious when they’re used in their pure form: organic and minimally processed.
Conventional/non-organic sweet potatoes are treated with chlorpropham, a sprouting inhibitor that has recently been banned in the European Union due to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) linking chlorpropham to increased health risks.
Chlorpropham is a relentless substance, capable of contaminating other products or seeping into the walls and floors of the products’ storeroom. For this reason, it is much safer to buy organic than to simply wash conventional sweet potatoes.
Important to keep in mind:
- Moderation is crucial when feeding dogs sweet potatoes. Giving dogs too much of a carbohydrate or too much fiber will negate all of the benefits of adding this vegetable into their diet.
- Dogs that are overweight or diabetic should only consume small amounts of sweet potato because it could cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
- Keep it simple when feeding dogs sweet potatoes! Don’t add seasonings or butter because these will upset your dog’s stomach.
- Do not feed your dog a raw sweet potato. Not only is it a choking hazard because it is tough to chew, but it is also difficult to digest and will upset dogs’ stomachs.
- Sweet potatoes and white potatoes should not be used interchangeably. The green parts of potatoes may contain solanine, a compound that can be toxic to dogs and result in gastrointestinal distress. Sweet potatoes do not contain this substance and are much more nutrient-dense with more well-identified, proven health benefits.
What are the best ways to share sweet potatoes with your dog?
Now that we’ve answered, can dogs eat sweet potatoes, let’s take a look at how dogs can eat sweet potatoes.
To feed dogs plain sweet potato, remove the skin, boil or bake it, and cut into small, bite-sized pieces before serving. This will make sure that it is soft and easily digestible.
A few tablespoons of plain mashed sweet potato can also be added to dog food.
Our founder’s recipe for Sweet Potato Jerky Dog Treats is a homemade dog chew that can help soothe teething puppies’ gums and nourish dogs of all sizes!
We’re working on a recipe that combines the benefits of sweet potatoes and oats.– Coming soon to the blog!