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Can dogs eat yams?

Written by Ella White

Updated

Yams

Can dogs eat yams? 

When it comes to fruit and veg it can be hard to know which are good for dogs and which aren’t. We know they’re pretty much all healthy for us as humans but some innocent-seeming foods, like grapes, are actually toxic to dogs. So if you’ve been wondering, can dogs have yams? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. 

Are yams good for dogs?

Dogs can eat yam, but only when it’s cooked. Like sweet potatoes, they contain toxins that are eliminated from the vegetable when cooked, but can cause issues with their kidneys, digestive system, and nervous system. 

However, thanks to their nutrient-rich composition they also contain a wide range of health benefits when served to dogs in moderation.

  • Vitamin A supports healthy eyes, skin, fur, and tissue growth
  • Vitamin B6 regulate blood sugar levels and promotes healthy red blood cell function 
  • Calcium keeps bones and teeth strong
  • Iron is great for energy levels, and supports healthy blood cells
  • Fiber is an essential nutrient for keeping digestive functions healthy
  • Potassium promotes healthy kidney function
  • Zinc is important for the healthy function of the immune system and thyroid

Yam is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy snack for dogs. However, their high carbohydrate and sugar levels mean they should be reserved as a treat and not fed to dogs as a main component of their diet.

How to feed yam to dogs

As we already mentioned, yam must be cooked before it’s fed to dogs. Steaming, boiling, or roasting are the best options but it’s important to ensure that no seasoning is added. Garlic and onion are poisonous to dogs, while salt, chili, and other spices can be bad for their long term health.

A tablespoon or so of plain, cooked yam is enough for your dog to reap the health benefits without eating too much and succumbing to the negative side effects of sugar and carbohydrates. It’s been stated by the FDA that too much yam can cause heart disease in some dogs. Similarly, too much dietary fiber can cause digestive issues.

What’s the difference between yam and sweet potato?

Yam and sweet potato are different vegetables – although it’s worth also noting that sweet potatoes are not the same as white potatoes which are part of the nightshade family and therefore toxic to dogs.

In the Western world, sweet potatoes are more common than yams. However when it comes to feeding them to dogs, the rules are generally similar for both vegetables. Yams are usually rougher and darker than sweet potatoes, and taste less sweet. However they both range from white to red in color which makes it tricky to tell them apart.

If you’re looking for a healthy way to incorporate the benefits of yams into your dog's diet, Front of the Pack’s air-dried food could be the solution. It’s made with a range of pure and healthy ingredients, including organic sweet potatoes, that give your pet everything they need to live a happy life. Rich in nutrients and made only with ingredients you’d eat yourself, you can count on it to keep your dog’s taste buds and belly happy, so you won’t need to stress about feeding them human food.