Icon Nutrition Outline Food

Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? Raw Potatoes, Cooked Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, French Fries & More


Last Updated: March 18, 2024 | 7 min read | 3 Comments

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

Dog sniffing freshly harvested and washed potatoes on female hands.

Potatoes are an American staple that people eat in various ways. We all know that potatoes are okay for humans, but are potatoes okay for dogs? Before you let your dog enjoy a potato snack, learn more about what can happen when dogs eat potatoes.

Can Dogs Have Potatoes?

 If you are wondering, “Are potatoes good for dogs?” or “Are potatoes bad for dogs?” the answer is yes and no. Potatoes contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison that can be toxic to dogs if they consume large amounts. Raw potatoes contain higher amounts of solanine than cooked potatoes, so some forms of potatoes are okay, and others are not. Ideally, plain, cooked potatoes are best for your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?

Raw potatoes have the highest levels of solanine, making them the most likely form of potatoes to make your pup sick. They’re also hard to chew and can cause intestinal blockages.

Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?

Ideally, your dog should not eat potato skins. The skins contain oxalates, an acid found in plants that can be harmful in high doses. The skins are also a bit hard to chew and hard to digest. For these reasons, you should not give them to your dog.

What The Veterinarian Says About Dogs Eating Potatoes

I asked Dr. Hannah Godfrey BVetMed MRCVS about dogs eating potatoes. Here’s what she shared.

Dogs can eat cooked potatoes safely as long as they’re cooled after cooking. In fact, dog food containing potatoes can be a good option for dogs with allergies if they’ve not had potatoes before. This is because dogs can’t be allergic to something they’ve never eaten before, so choosing a dog food with a novel protein and carbohydrate source, for example, fish and potato, can work well to reduce food allergy symptoms. I’ve seen a few dogs with food allergies whose symptoms have improved on this type of exclusion diet, but it’s important that your dog doesn’t have any other food, even human food or treats,” explains Dr. Godfrey.

She continues, “It’s important not to give your dogs unripe or green potatoes, as these contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs. I’ve never known a dog to be fed a green potato, but I know of dogs who’ve dug up growing potato plants in the garden – so make sure you keep your dog out of your veggie patch! Raw potatoes aren’t a good idea either, as they can cause choking.”

“Thankfully, the only injury or illness I’ve known caused by a cooked potato is when the potato was too hot and caused irritation to the dog’s mouth and esophagus, so make sure you wait a while after cooking before offering them and keep your dog out of the kitchen while you’re cooking,” adds Dr. Godfrey.

Nutritional Benefits Of Potatoes For Dogs

Potatoes have some nutritional benefits for dogs and are often used in dry and wet dog foods. Potatoes contain dietary fiber, vitamins like B6 and C, antioxidants, and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These help support bone and joint health. Potatoes also offer carbohydrates, which convert to energy for your pup.

Potatoes have a high glycemic index, meaning they can cause sugar levels to rise quickly. This can be a problem for diabetic and overweight dogs.

Even though unseasoned potatoes are safe for dogs in moderation, your pup will surely encounter unexpected dangers throughout its life. Signing up for pet insurance can reduce the financial burden so you can focus on your dog’s health in an emergency.

Solanine Poisoning

Solanine can be toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities. It is present in green potatoes, so you should always avoid giving these to your pup. Solanine poisoning can cause pain and gastrointestinal distress. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, stomach cramping, headache, dizziness, burning in the throat, and even cardiac dysrhythmia. Severe cases can involve fever, jaundice, dilated pupils, hallucinations, paralysis, hypothermia, and even death in extreme cases.

Your pup will need prompt veterinary treatment if you suspect they ate green or raw potatoes. In some cases, your vet may need to induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal to absorb the toxin, and give IV fluids. Your vet may also offer oxygen therapy. Solanine can be found in other vegetables and plants. Nightshade plants are among those to watch out for. These include tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to solanine. Boiling potatoes does not reduce the solanine levels. According to the Encyclopedia of Food Safety, they must be fried for this to happen. Be sure to cut all the green parts off your potatoes before cooking and serving to your pup.

Are Potatoes Toxic To Dogs?

Because of the solanine in potatoes, they can potentially be toxic to dogs. However, since your pup would need to eat large amounts of solanine for actual toxicity, that’s unlikely. If your dog ingests a raw potato with the highest levels of solanine, they’ll end up with an upset stomach, including possible nausea, diarrhea, gas, and vomiting.

Are Dogs Allergic To Potatoes?

Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies, including potatoes. If your dog’s body believes a specific food is harmful, it can create an immune response that can appear like some of the following symptoms.

  1. Chronic diarrhea
  2. Chronic ear inflammation
  3. Chronic gas
  4. Hives
  5. Itching
  6. Nausea
  7. Obsessive licking
  8. Paw biting
  9. Poor coat quality
  10. Skin rash
  11. Vomiting

If you suspect a food allergy, you’ll need to think about allergy testing to determine if potatoes are the cause.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense root vegetables that contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. So, can dogs have sweet potatoes, and are sweet potatoes good for dogs? Sweet potatoes don’t have solanine in them, and since they are full of vitamins, they are okay for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?

You should never give your pup a raw sweet potato. Raw sweet potatoes, like raw potatoes, are difficult to chew and can get stuck in the intestinal tract, causing a blockage.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato Skins?

Potato skins of all kinds are hard to chew and digest. It’s always better to remove the skins before giving a dog any kind of potato.

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Dehydrated sweet potato dog treats.

There are lots of sweet potato dog treats on the market. We recommend these dehydrated sweet potato dog treats and sweet potato chews for dogs if you want an easy way to give your pup all the nutrients in a sweet potato.

Sweet Potato For Diarrhea

Did you know you could give your dog sweet potato for diarrhea? One cup of cooked sweet potato has six grams of fiber, and adding a bit of extra fiber to your dog’s regular diet can help with occasional constipation and diarrhea. Always check with your vet before you add something new to your pup’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

Puppy sniffing a bowl of french fries.

While dogs can eat fries, most french fries are bad for dogs. The only way you should give your dog french fries is if they are made from scratch, baked instead of fried in oil, and without salt or seasoning.

You may also be wondering if dogs can eat sweet potato fries. Again, they can, but it’s best if they are made from scratch, not fried in oil, and have no salt or seasoning on them.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some other frequently asked questions you may be pondering when it comes to dogs eating potatoes. If I missed yours, let me know in the comments.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Potatoes?

Cooked plain potatoes are better for dogs because cooking reduces solanine levels, so they won’t make your pup sick. Stay away from sour cream, too, as most pups have trouble digesting high amounts of lactose.

Can Dogs Eat Boiled Potatoes?

Boiled potatoes are an excellent choice if you are looking for a safe way to give your pup potatoes. But be sure to remove the skins and leave off the seasoning.

Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, dogs can have mashed potatoes. Are mashed potatoes good for dogs? Not if they have seasoning, butter, milk, sour cream, cheese, or potato skins. If you aren’t going to make a special batch without all the extra stuff for your pup, they are not the best choice.

Can Dogs Eat Chips?

Ideally, your pup should not eat potato chips. Because of the high salt content of most potato chips, they can make your dog sick. It doesn’t help if the chips are fried oil and have artificial flavors too.

Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns?

Hashbrowns aren’t the best choice to feed your pup. Unless you’ve made them from scratch, hashbrowns have preservatives and are cooked in oil, making your dog’s tummy sick.

Can Dogs Eat Baked Potatoes?

Baked potatoes have less solanine than raw potatoes, so they probably won’t make your dog sick to his stomach. But be aware that you will still want to remove the skin, which can be hard to chew and digest. Your pup can’t have any of those tasty toppings either: plain baked potato is best.

Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots?

Tater tots are not a good choice for dogs to eat because, unless you have made them from scratch, they’re made with preservatives and can be fried in fatty oils and covered with salt. Tater tots can make your dog feel sick or cause health issues.

Can Dogs Eat Red Potatoes?

Red potatoes are a safe treat for dogs as long as the skin has not turned green. Green skin indicates solanine in the red potato, which could make your pup sick.

How Do I Make Sweet Potato Dog Treats? (VIDEO)

If you are wondering how to cook sweet potatoes for dogs, we have the video for you. You can easily make sweet potato dog treats at home. In this three-minute video from the Rachael Ray Show, Allison Fogerty shows you how to make grain-free, healthy, homemade sweet potato dog treats.

What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Potatoes are only one of many human foods you may have thought of sharing with your furry friend. Our experts can help you determine what you can and can’t give your dog with our articles about what dogs can and can’t eat and what dogs can drink. We also review the best dog treats so you can feel good about the treats you give your pup.

Healthy Dog Food Means A Healthy & Happy Pup

Healthy, high-quality dog food is key to your dog’s overall health and well-being. Human foods are not a substitute for dog food formulated to your pup’s needs. Look for recipes developed for your dog’s size and life stage. If your pup has a sensitive stomach, look for limited-ingredient recipes or those made with novel proteins like Chippin, cricket-based dog food.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Danielle has had a special bond with dogs since she was a young child. She has over 30 years of pet care experience. Danielle has worked as a professional researcher for many years and spends countless hours researching the latest science and data-backed research on pet care, health, nutrition, and training developments. Danielle has tested and researched over 100 dog food brands and counting with the enthusiastic help of her two dogs, Daisy and Falkor. She works with a professional and experienced team to bring our readers the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top