Dogs love to get people food, even though not all foods are good for them. As a pet owner, you probably indulge your dog with a few snacks and table scraps on an occasional basis, but you should know that some foods can become regular additions to your pet’s diet. You can introduce vegetables like sweet potatoes for a diet richer in fibers and vitamins.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Dogs can safely eat cooked potatoes (never feed your dog raw potatoes). However, these vegetables are rich in carbs which means they are not recommended for overweight dogs. You also need to feed small quantities of potatoes since your dog is already getting the carbs they need from their kibbles. And, keep in mind, french fries are boiled in oil and drenched in salt, both you should avoid for your dog.
Your dog can also safely eat sweet potatoes and yams. These edible roots are distant cousins of the potato but have different nutritional benefits for humans and animals. The vegetables sold in the U.S. as yams are actually a variety of sweet potato. The flesh is typically white while the vegetables sold as sweet potatoes have pink or orange flesh.
In case you are wondering about the difference, watch this video by Vox that clears up how Americans ended up calling sweet potatoes yams in the first place:
Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? The answer is yes. Sweet potatoes, the sweet potato variety sold as yams in the U.S. and the vegetables sold as yams outside of the U.S. are safe for dogs.
Why Are Sweet Potatoes A Healthier Option?
Potatoes and sweet potatoes typically have the same number of calories. The carb content is also similar, which is why you should feed these vegetables to your dog in moderation.
The main difference is that sweet potatoes have more fibers, more Vitamin C, and more Vitamin A. Potatoes contain fibers and Vitamin C but have virtually no Vitamin A.
Are sweet potatoes good for dogs? The answer is yes, but again, you need to offer this vegetable in moderation. Fibers are good for digestion, Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and Vitamin A is good for your dog’s eyes, skin, and coat. Sweet potatoes also contain Vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and iron.
Sweet potatoes and yams are some of the best vegetables you could feed your dog because they are easier to digest compared to potatoes.
How To Feed Vegetables To Your Dog
Vegetables should be an addition to your pet’s diet. They fall in the treats and snacks category that shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Remember that your dog needs to mostly eat proteins from animal origin and everything else should be a supplement.
Your dog can safely eat most vegetables as long as they are cooked or baked. Raw vegetables aren’t dangerous, but they can be difficult to digest.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams can be a good source of vitamins for your dog but there are a few things to keep in mind when offering these vegetables:
- These vegetables have a high carb content and aren’t healthy snacks for an overweight dog.
- Offer small portions because of the high carb content.
- Can dogs eat French fries? The answer is no. Fried foods are not a healthy snack and French fries typically have a high sodium content.
- Loaded potatoes and other dishes with toppings rich in fat aren’t a healthy snack for your dog.
- You can boil, bake or steam vegetables for your dog but don’t add any salt.
Learn To Make Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Homemade dog treats are a healthy alternative to store-bought snacks because they don’t contain any preservatives. Baking for your dog is fun and it gives you the possibility to control the ingredients used to make your dog’s favorite snacks. Here is how you can introduce sweet potatoes in your dog’s diet.
Pureed Sweet Potatoes
Pureed sweet potatoes can replace peanut butter if you need to reduce fat in your dog’s diet. You can place a small quantity or pureed sweet potatoes inside of a hollow bone or toy and let your dog lick it.
Pureed sweet potatoes is also great for a dog who won’t eat because of an upset stomach or for hiding your dog’s medication. And the frozen puree is a fun and refreshing treat you can offer your dog in the summertime.
You can either purchase sweet potato baby food and offer it as a treat or make your own pureed sweet potatoes with a blender.
Sweet Potato Fries For Dogs
These sweet potato dog treats are fun to make and will soon become your dog’s favorite reward. Don’t hesitate to make a large batch since this recipe is great for humans too. This is what you will need:
- Sweet potatoes.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil per sweet potato. Coconut oil is good for your dog’s immune system. Other cooking oils aren’t a healthy choice if you are cooking for your pet.
- Spices. Turmeric and cinnamon are safe for dogs. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and would be a good choice for a dog with arthritis.
Cut the sweet potatoes into skinny sticks. Cut the sticks in half if you have a small dog. Place the fries on a baking sheet and coat them with the coconut oil and the spices.
Bake the fries for 15 minutes at 350°F. Flip them over and bake the other side for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Note that using spices is optional. Your dog will love the fries just as much!
Sweet Potato Chews
Turning sweet potatoes into chews is a good alternative to rawhide toys and bones. You won’t have to worry about mouth injuries or intestinal blockage, and these would be a lot easier to chew for a puppy or a senior dog.
The only ingredient you need is sweet potatoes. The trick is to cut them in slices. The slices shouldn’t be thinner than ¼ inch.
Bake the sweet potato slices at 250°F for three hours. The chews will have a soft and chewy consistency, but you can bake them for another 30 minutes if you want crunchy treats. Flip the sweet potato slices every 30 minutes or so.
Use different spices and herbs to make these sweet potato chews more interesting and add variety to your dog’s diet. You can safely use cinnamon, turmeric, oregano, parsley or basil. Never use onions or garlic when cooking for your dog. If you have a doubt about an herb or spice, look it up to make sure it is safe to use.
Baked Sweet Potato Dog Treats
You can use sweet potato as one of the main ingredients for homemade dog biscuits. Here are a few simple recipes to get you started, but don’t hesitate to add your dog’s favorite ingredients to create a unique recipe.
Sweet Potato And Applesauce Treats
This is what you will need to make these tasty dog biscuits:
- 2 sweet potatoes.
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce.
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole wheat flour.
Boil the sweet potatoes for 12 minutes before mashing them with a fork. Add the flour, applesauce, and the eggs. You will obtain a dough that you can roll with a rolling pin.
Try to get a thickness of about ½ inch before cutting the biscuits with cookie cutters. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can use small glasses to make round shapes or just cut thin strips with a knife.
Bake the treats at 350°F. You will get soft and chewy treats if you bake them for 35 minutes and will get crunchy treats that will keep for longer if you bake them for 45 minutes.
Sweet Potato And Oats Dog Biscuits
Oats are a good source of fibers and antioxidants for your dog. These are the ingredients you will need for these sweet potato and oats biscuits:
- 1 cup mashes sweet potatoes (you should only need one large sweet potato).
- 1 cup oats.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour.
- 1 cup warm water.
Mix the mashed sweet potato with the oats, flour, and the water. Let the dough sit for ten minutes before kneading it. Roll it, use a cookie cutter to form the treats and bake them between 30 and 35 minutes at 350°F.
Sweet Potato Banana Dog Treats
Bananas add a delicious flavor to these dog biscuits and are rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins. These are the ingredients you will need to make sweet potato banana dog treats:
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour.
- ¼ cup oats.
- banana, 1.
- sweet potato, 1.
- egg, 1
Boil the sweet potato for 12 minutes or bake it for 45 minutes. Mash the sweet potato and the banana together. Add the flour, oats, and egg and stir until you obtain a dough.
Roll the dough until you get a thickness of about ¼ inch. Cut the biscuits and bake them for 45 minutes at 300°F.
Frozen Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Frozen treats are the perfect way to help your dog beat the heat on a hot summer day. You can freeze pureed sweet potatoes or freeze sweet potato baby food in an ice cube tray for some fun bite-sized treats.
You can also make these treats more interesting by adding any of these ingredients:
- Unsweetened applesauce.
- Pumpkin puree.
- Plain yogurt.
- A mashed banana.
- Meat baby food.
- Beef or chicken broth.
- Peanut butter.
- Leftover meat as long as there is no fat or bones.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy addition to your pooch’s diet as long as you offer this treat in moderation. Try some of these recipes to make treats rich in fibers and vitamins and maybe replace some of the store-bought snacks your dog loves.