Last Updated on May 28, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
Who doesn’t love a bit of mashed potato? If you don’t think potatoes are the kings of the food world, you’re wrong, but that’s a whole other topic. Whether you love them or hate them, you might want to share them with your pup. But can your dog actually enjoy a bit of mash?
Dogs can eat mashed potatoes. In fact, they are a pretty healthy treat. However, you should make sure they have absolutely no seasonings or toppings, and they are not a great choice for diabetic dogs due to their high natural sugar content.
Want to learn more about the relationship between dogs and mash? We have everything you need below, so keep on scrolling!
Benefits and Risks of Sharing Potatoes with Your Dog
As with any food, there are benefits and risks of sharing potatoes with your dog. They might be an affordable and easy to prepare treat, but not every dog is able to eat them.
Potatoes are free from gluten and grains, which fantastic if you are keeping your dog away from these ingredients due to an intolerance. They are a great source of carbs, keeping your dog’s belly full after meals.
They are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium. These are fantastic for supporting their immune system, nervous system, and ensuring proper nutrient absorption. They are also a good source of calcium for strong bones.
The antioxidants found in potatoes are also excellent at neutralising the free radicals that damage healthy cells in the body. They are even thought to suppress cancer and other chronic diseases, making them highly beneficial.
However, there are some risks that come with potatoes for dogs. One of them is that potatoes have quite a high natural sugar content, which can lead to a sugar spike in diabetic dogs. As a result, it is not recommended that they eat potatoes at all.
Raw white potatoes contain a high concentration of solanine, a toxin that is found in plants that are in the nightshade family. It can be highly toxic to dogs which is why potatoes should always be peeled and cooked before serving.
Thankfully, solanine poisoning is rare as a very large quantity has to be eaten in order for your dog to get sick. However, you should watch out for these symptoms if you are concerned:
- Gastrointestinal upset (including vomiting and diarrhoea)
Since potatoes are incredibly high in carbohydrates, they should be fed in moderation to keep your dog’s weight down. The excess sugar from the carbs will cause weight gain if your dog eats potatoes regularly and without an active lifestyle.
Seasoning and extras should always be AVOIDED on potatoes, especially things like gravy which almost always contain onions or garlic. Salt can cause dehydration and is generally unhealthy for your dog to eat, while any dairy included will likely cause an upset stomach.
Garlic and chives are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs as they can cause fatal anaemia to occur. Even pepper should be avoided as it can cause upset stomachs, a burning sensation in the stomach, as well as trouble breathing if enough of it is eaten.
Tips for Feeding Your Dog Mashed Potatoes
Once you have cooked the potatoes, make sure you do not add any seasonings. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s important to reiterate. Mash it up so that it’s nice and smooth, although they don’t mind it chunky, and then leave it to cool.
It should be served as a little topping on their regular food, making it a special treat for them to enjoy. It is vital to remember that treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s diet every day. This includes tasty little snacks like mashed potato.
Can dogs eat plain instant mashed potatoes?
You shouldn’t give your dog instant mashed potato. Even if it says it is plain, it normally has some form of seasoning in it. Some even include chives or garlic, both of which are toxic and potentially fatal for dogs.
Can dogs eat mashed potatoes with butter?
Not really, dogs should not eat mashed potatoes with butter. For starters, it is incredibly fatty, but many dogs are also lactose intolerant which could lead to some unpleasant stomach upsets later on. It is best to give them mashed potato with absolutely no extras.
There you have it, mash is good but as long as it’s completely plain. It’s always nice to be able to share something from the dinner table with your dog – I know it’s one of my favourite sneaky habits! Just be cautious and always talk to your vet first if you feel concerned.
If you enjoyed this chapter in our canine care guide series, why not check out the rest of our articles? We offer expert insights into every aspect of the life of a dog owner. From health and diet to behaviour and grooming, we have it all right here for you to enjoy.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.