Sweet potatoes are an excellent side for any meal. From baked sweet potatoes drizzled with butter and cinnamon to sweet potato fries as a healthy alternative, this food item is a great addition to your pantry.
If you enjoy sharing table scraps with your pup or like to make homemade dog food or treats, you’ve likely wondered whether your dog can enjoy this treat, too.
There are some human foods dogs shouldn’t eat, but there are many foods that are great for dogs. Navigating which foods are best for your furry friend can be a challenge, which is why we made this helpful guide.
Sweet potatoes offer many nutritional benefits for humans, but can our dogs share in this sweet, starchy treat? Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? This guide breaks down what you should know.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? The answer is yes. Dogs can enjoy sweet potatoes in their diet as long as they’re given in moderation. There are some starchy foods like potatoes, legume seeds, peas, and lentils that can result in serious health conditions, so moderation is key.
Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs and how you can incorporate this ingredient safely.
Nutritional Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
Sweet potatoes offer many nutritional benefits for dogs, which make them a popular ingredient in dog foods, treats, and more. Here are some of the reasons sweet potatoes are good for your pup.
Low in Fat
One of the benefits of sweet potatoes is that they’re low in fat. This makes it the perfect ingredient to offer a starchy texture to dog food without increasing your dog’s fat intake. Too much fat in your pup’s diet can lead to obesity and weight problems.
Rich in Vitamins
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent whole food rich in different types of vitamins, like vitamins
A, B6, C, and potassium.
A, B6, C, and potassium.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for your dog’s skin health, coat health, muscle health, and nerve function. It’s also important for fetal development and cellular function. Found in foods like carrots and sweet potatoes, vitamin A is an excellent nutrient for dogs.
Vitamin B6: Also known as thiamine, vitamin B6 is essential for nervous system function, regulating hormone production and activity, supporting immune system health and reponse, activating genes, and glucose generation. It’s also critical for niacin synthesis and red blood cell function.
Vitamin C: Immune health is important for dogs just like it is for humans, so vitamin C is one of the most essential nutrients to include in your pup’s diet. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to fight free radicals and combat oxidative stress. It also promotes brain function and a range of other health benefits. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C.
Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that’s essential for your pup. This nutrient promotes heart function and the electrical charges responsible for helping the nerves and muscles work. Without it, your dog may be weak, fatigued, lose weight, and lose their appetite. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium for our furry friends.
Rich in Minerals
Sweet potatoes are also rich in a variety of minerals. Here are some of the top minerals found in sweet potatoes.
- Calcium: Sweet potatoes are packed with calcium, which is critical for your dog’s ability to maintain healthy bones, proper growth and development, and support overall health. Much calcium is found in dairy products, but since dairy can cause digestive issues in dogs, sweet potatoes are an excellent alternative source of this mineral.
Iron: You can also find iron packed in sweet potatoes. Iron is essential for healthy red blood cells, metabolic function, transporting oxygen, and producing energy.
Great Source of Fiber
When it comes to fiber, your dog needs lots of it. Fiber is what helps the digestive process move along. Fiber supports gut health, the good kind of gut bacteria, and intestinal movement. It’s also necessary for preventing the growth of bad bacteria that can build up in the colon and digestive tract over time.
Fiber is also essential for keeping your dog at a healthy weight, supporting proper blood glucose levels, and much more. Many fibers are found in whole grains, but sweet potatoes are a grain-free source of fiber for your pup. If your dog is sensitive to grains, this is an excellent food to consider.
Things To Keep in Mind When Giving Your Pup Sweet Potatoes
While there are many benefits to giving your dog sweet potatoes or including this ingredient in their diet, there are also a few things to keep in mind.
Moderation is Key
Moderation is a critical practice to use when giving your dog sweet potatoes. Certain foods like lentils, legume seeds, peas, and potatoes can lead to a serious condition known as canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, when given in excess.
This disease can have serious health effects on the heart’s function, size, and ability to work properly. Sweet potatoes are an excellent nutritional food source for dogs, but limiting your dog’s intake of potatoes is essential for keeping them healthy.
Skip the Seasonings
Maybe you like your sweet potatoes with a size of cinnamon, or maybe you prefer a sweet and salty take on this snack. When preparing sweet potatoes for your pup, skip the seasonings.
Seasonings like butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar can do more harm than good for your dog’s health. Not only can too much sodium lead to an imbalance in nutrition, but certain spices like onions, garlic, and chives can be toxic for dogs.
Whether you’re making homemade dog food, dog treats, or sharing some potatoes straight from your plate, it’s best to serve them plain.
Limit Sweet Potatoes if Your Dog is Diabetic
If your dog is diabetic or has issues with their blood sugar, it may be a good idea to limit their intake of sweet potatoes.
Why? Sweet potatoes have a higher glycemic index than other types of potatoes and other carbohydrates. In other words, eating foods with sweet potatoes can cause your dog’s blood sugar to spike after ingestion.
This may not be a concern for some dogs, but if your pup has diabetes or issues with blood sugar, it could pose some risks.
If your dog is diabetic, there are other foods that offer the same nutritional benefits as sweet potato. Chia seeds, for instance, offer an excellent source of fiber, iron, and potassium, while helping to regulate your pup’s blood sugar levels rather than increase them.
How To Give Sweet Potatoes to Your Dog
Here at Sundays, our dog food is curated with ingredients that are clean, complete, balanced, and packed with nutrition in every bite. Sweet potatoes are a great food for some dogs, but our formula is sweet potato-free so as to support every dog’s needs.
With foods like pumpkin, flaxseed, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and other whole foods, our formula offers the same nutrients without the high glycemic index and risk for DCM. Learn more about our dog food formula here.