Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? A Guide to Feeding Spuds to Your Pup


We all love to share tasty treats with our furry friends, and potatoes are a classic comfort food that often graces our plates. But can our canine companions safely enjoy potatoes, too? The answer is a qualified yes—with some important caveats.

Let’s dig into the details of feeding potatoes to dogs.

Are Potatoes Safe for Dogs

The good news is that potatoes are not toxic to dogs. They are actually included as an ingredient in many commercial dog foods. However, the way the potatoes are prepared makes a big difference in terms of safety and nutritional value for your pup.

Raw potatoes and potato plants belong to the nightshade family and contain a toxic compound known as solanine. While it would take a large amount of raw potato to cause serious harm, it’s still best to keep your furry friend away from uncooked spuds and potato plants in the garden.

adult golden retriever close up photography

Symptoms of solanine toxicity include severe gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion. Call your vet if you suspect your dog has eaten raw potatoes and is having these symptoms.

Cooked potatoes, on the other hand, are generally safe for dogs as long as they are served plain without added butter, salt, cheese, or other fatty or salty toppings. Too much salt and fat is unhealthy for dogs. Potato skins are also best removed, as they are difficult for dogs to digest and high in oxalates which could potentially cause kidney problems in very large amounts.

person peeling a potato with a knife

The Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs

Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and contain some fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, they are not a necessary part of a balanced canine diet. In fact, eating too many potatoes can lead to constipation and weight gain in dogs due to the high carb content. Potatoes should only be given occasionally as a treat and should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s daily food intake.

woman holding paw of dog 1

If you do feed your dog potatoes, consider healthier preparations like boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes without the fatty add-ons. You can mix in some goat milk (without sugar), plain Greek yogurt, or other dog-friendly veggies like carrots or peas for a special homemade treat. Just remember to follow the 10% rule – treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. A golfball-sized plain potato with the skin removed contains about 130 calories.

photo of person holding potatoes

Are Sweet Potatoes Safe for Dogs

Sweet potatoes are generally touted as a healthier alternative to white potatoes for dogs. They are higher in vitamins, and many dogs enjoy the sweet taste. Unlike white potatoes, sweet potatoes do not contain solanine so there is no risk if your dog happens to nibble on a raw sweet potato. However, they are still best served cooked and with the skin removed for optimal digestion. 

slice sweet potato

As with white potatoes, moderation is key. Too many sweet potatoes can still lead to constipation, and they are meant to be an occasional treat, not a diet staple. The bulk of your dog’s nutrition should come from balanced dog food.

5 Creative Potato Treat Recipes

Want to whip up a special potato treat for your pup? Here are a few fun ideas:

– Make a separate bowl of plain mashed potatoes for your dog and mix in a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. No butter, salt, or milk!

mashed potato in a clear glass mini bowl

-Use a lick mat or dog puzzle toy to serve mashed potatoes as an engaging and mentally stimulating treat. Spread a thin layer of mashed potatoes (plain or mixed with a bit of dog-friendly veggies) on the mat, or fill the puzzle toy with the mixture. This interactive serving method not only provides a tasty treat but also helps to keep your dog occupied and mentally enriched during treat time. It’s a great way to slow down fast eaters, too!

a dog eating on a bowl

– Bake thick slices of potato in fun shapes using bone-shaped cookie cutters. Serve soft as a special treat or meal topper. 

– Create “pupcakes” in a muffin tin using a meatloaf mix with potato frosting. Decorate with dog-safe toppings like peas, carrots, or mashed pumpkin.

– Steam and mash potatoes with cooked carrots, sweet peas, or green beans for a comforting mix-in.

portrait of a black and white boston terrier

Safe Human Foods for Dogs

While potatoes can be a tasty and safe treat for your pet when prepared properly, there are many other human foods that can provide a healthy snack option for your pup. Next time you’re looking to reward your good boy, consider these nutritious and delicious alternatives:

dog sitting on a bar stool

  1. Apples (without seeds or core): Crisp and juicy, apples are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, promoting your dog’s overall health.
  2. Bananas: Rich in potassium and vitamins, bananas make a sweet and healthy treat that most dogs love.
  3. Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, blueberries can support your dog’s immune system and overall health.
  4. Carrots: Crunchy and fiber-rich carrots are a great low-calorie snack that can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and promote good digestion.
  5. Cucumbers: Low in calories and high in water content, crunchy cucumbers can serve as a refreshing and hydrating snack for dogs.
  6. Green Beans: With low calories and high fiber content, green beans are an excellent addition to your dog’s diet and can help keep them feeling full and satisfied.
  7. Peaches (without pits): Fresh, ripe peaches offer a good source of vitamins and fiber, but always remember to remove the pit before feeding to avoid any choking hazards.
  8. Plain, Low-Fat Yogurt: Rich in probiotics, a small amount of plain, low-fat yogurt can support your dog’s digestive health.
  9. Watermelon (seedless): This sweet, hydrating fruit is low in calories and can be a refreshing summer treat for your pup.
  10. Zucchini: This low-calorie squash is rich in fiber and vitamins, making it a healthy treat option.
dog eating a carrot

As with any new food, it’s always best to introduce these snacks gradually and in moderation to avoid any digestive upset. If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or health, always consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance.


  1. Can dogs eat chips?

As tempting as it might be to share a handful of chips with your furry friend, it’s best to resist the urge. Chips are generally high in salt and fat, which can upset your dog’s digestive system and lead to more serious health issues if consumed regularly.

Moreover, some chips may contain additional ingredients like onion or garlic powder, which can be toxic to dogs. It’s safer to opt for healthier, dog-friendly treat alternatives and save the chips for human snacking only.

2. Are potato skins safe for dogs?

While potato flesh is safe for dogs when cooked, potato skins are best avoided. The skins are more difficult for dogs to digest and contain oxalates, which can be harmful in large quantities.

Although a nibble of potato skin likely won’t cause any major issues, it’s best to err on the side of caution and peel the potatoes before sharing them with your pup. This is especially important if your dog has a sensitive stomach or existing kidney problems, as the oxalates can exacerbate these issues. When in doubt, keep the skins out of your dog’s dish and stick to feeding peeled, cooked potatoes in moderation.

Final Words

Just remember, while potatoes can be a fun and tasty treat, they should be served in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Consult with your vet if you have any concerns about adding potatoes to your dog’s menu. And always serve them cooked and plain for maximum safety and health benefits. With these guidelines in mind, your spud-loving pup can safely savor an occasional tater treat!


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.