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Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?

Written by FOTP Team

Last updated

chopped up sweet potato

Dogs love getting their noses into human food.  But some of it can be dangerously toxic.  Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?  The short answer is yes, usually.  Sweet potatoes offer loads of nutritional benefits to your pup!  But (like any food) some dogs will experience a reaction.  So, next time you’re tempted to share your sweet potato with your four-legged friend, proceed with caution. 

Potatoes (from the deadly nightshade family) are toxic for dogs.  But the SWEET potato is a different vegetable – and one that your dog will probably love.  This tuber is high in fiber and antioxidants.  And, once cooked, it’s safe for most dogs – just start with a small quantity. 

Despite the sweet taste, sweet potato is actually low in carbohydrate and high in fiber (which is good for digestion).  It’s loaded with vitamins that can benefit humans and pups.

  • Vitamin A:  This promotes a shiny coat and strong muscles, and it’s an essential part of your dog’s diet.
  • Vitamin B:  This family of vitamins has many purposes and promotes a healthy metabolism, balanced skin, and effective digestion.  
  • Vitamin C: Famous for supporting the immune system, Vitamin C can help your dog to fight infections.  
  • Beta-carotene: Also an important player in the immune system, beta-carotene helps your dog to produce antibodies. 
  • Potassium:  Essential for almost every living creature, potassium supports healthy nerves and movement.  
  • Anthocyanin: Studies (like this one from 2017) have shown that this antioxidant, found in sweet potatoes, is a cancer-fighter.  

When introducing any new ingredient to your dog’s bowl... it’s important to start small.  Sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A, and too much can cause an excess that’s difficult for your dog to deal with.  Just 0.5-1oz (depending on the size of your dog) is a good portion to start. 

Ready to give it a try?  Raw sweet potato has a texture that is difficult to break down and can cause choking.   So we recommend using cooked sweet potato.  Steam it over a pan of hot water (this retains more of the good stuff than simmering).  

Remember that it’s a form of carbohydrate, which shouldn’t form the bulk of your dog’s diet.  Protein and fat are crucial for your dog, who needs to build muscle and energy. 

PS: Don’t add any other stuff to the bowl at the same time – that way you can monitor any changes in your dog.  

Loaded with fiber, sweet potato is used as a natural remedy for digestive upset.  If your dog has constipation or diarrhoea, try some sweet potato!  

Because it’s low-carb and high-fiber, sweet potato is a popular addition to commercial dog food.  Your dog might already be eating some sweet potato in his kibble.

If introducing a totally new food, you should always proceed with caution.  Just like humans, dogs can have unexpected food allergies. So watch out for symptoms after feeding sweet potato to your dog.

Dogs CAN eat vegetarian diets – provided they get enough protein, but it’s a tricky diet to get right.   What’s more, recent research has suggested a link between peas and legumes (a key source of vegan protein) and a serious heart condition in dogs.  

This recent study highlighted the possibility that low-taurine diets are contributing to cardiac conditions, especially in Golden Retrievers, a breed which does not have a history of heart problems.  

So if you are making your dog’s food, it is incredibly important to maintain a healthy balance, and think about adding some of the vitamins that might be deficient in vegan food.  There’s more information about pet food regulations – including choosing a complete food – on the FDA website.   

If you’ve been considering adding sweet potato or other vegetables to your dog’s diet, have you thought about adding a supplement that blends several benefits together?

The One is flavoured to taste like broth, so it’s easy to feed – dogs lap it up.  It can be sprinkled over their dinner bowl to boost vitamins and nutrients.

Along with Chrondoitin (an anti-inflammatory) and Green Tea (an antioxidant), Taurine is one of the ingredients in our bestselling supplement. Taurine is key for promoting healthy heart function.  It’s especially important for dogs who get some or all of their protein from vegan sources.