Can Dogs Have Sweet Potatoes? Best Fed In Moderation

Have you ever wondered, ‘Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?’

Weird thing to worry about, I know. But perhaps not so weird if you’re a dog owner who loves their pets very much. Just like we do here at the Can Dogs Eat GUIDE Blog.

Which is why, today we’ve combined a list of factors while considering the all-important question of ‘Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?’

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: The Short Answer

Yes.

Dogs can very well have this nutritional meal.

In fact, fed the right way and it is one of the best non- meat diets you can give to your furry friend!

HOWEVER…

The amount you give them must be controlled. And that is true for pretty much all non- meat diets, not just sweet potatoes.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: Controlled amount???

This bit can sometimes be very frustrating for many dog owners to hear.

The question often being,

“Well, if I can give it to them, then why do I have to be so controlled about it.

I mean, my dog can digest this food group, right?

And she loves it!

So why not give it to her AS MUCH AS she likes?”

Sadly, this cannot happen.

We understand the frustration you may have when your pet looks at you with such earnest eyes, wanting more.

But sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates. And being a responsible pet owner, you must therefore limit the amount given to her.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: 3 Reasons Too Much Starch Is Bad for Dogs

sweet potatoes

One of the reasons why this diet needs to be rationed is because sweet potatoes are high in starch. And starch, eventually gets converted to reducible sugars once inside the body.

Which is why, taking excess sweet potatoes comes with certain health drawbacks. Three of these are as follows:

  1. High Glycemic Load
  2. Breeding Ground for Bacteria
  3. Obesity

High Glycemic Load

A glycemic index indicates how fast a certain food can raise blood sugar levels. The glycemic load is obtained by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate present in a serving of that food.

Long story short, a food group with a high glycemic index is typically, not suggested for eating in bulk amounts.

Why?

Well because a sudden spike in glucose levels can be very bad for your dog and might land them to the vet’s emergency section.

To put things in perspective, the GI of sweet potatoes is around 54, which is HIGH.

Therefore, a lot of sweet potatoes being given to your pet, especially all at once, will be bad for them.

When served in moderation, however, they can act as a good side dish or supplementary diet.

Breeding Ground for Bacteria

Any imbalance in dietary habits is always bad for a pet.

However, when it comes to carbohydrate rich foods, harmful bacteria present in the body are actually fed by the carbs, thus leading to a yeast infection in dogs.

Scary right?

Unfortunately, while it may be only scary for us. It can lead to a lot of pain when viewed from a dog’s perspective. And who would want that?

So, to know whether your dog has taken in a lot of carbs and has developed any health problems, we suggest monitoring them closely after meals.

Signs of a yeast infection after having carb-rich diets, for example, could include the following:

  • Ear infections
  • Itching
  • Licking paws
  • Black skin
  • Hair loss
  • Rust coloration around genitals
  • Diarrhea
  • Developing bad smell (seborrhea)

If your dog shows any of these signs, we Highly recommend seeing a veterinarian immediately! 

The sooner this yeast infection is dealt with, the better. Oh and please avoid using home remedies on your dog. We know that there are plenty out there.

But trust me, a visit to the vet once might save you a lot more trouble than experimenting with home remedies might land you in.

Obesity

Last but not the least, obesity is the obvious problem here.

Even if your dog does not develop yeast infections, they could still run the risk of obesity if rich carb diets like sweet potatoes are given to them on a regular basis.

Remember, dogs are primarily carnivores. They’re meant to have lean meats. And not high fat or carb diets.

So, CAN DOGS EAT SWEET POTATOES?

Yes. But be sure to ration the amount!

What does that mean?

It’s simple. Offer them cooked, cubed sweet potatoes from time to time, but do not make it their primary food source. The primary source should always instead consist of lean meats. 

 

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: Beneficial Nutrients

happy dogs

The flip side to discussing the potential side effects something may have if given in excess is that people often choose to abandon the food group altogether.

We suggest you don’t do this.

After all, sweet potatoes are a whole food group and they do come with a variety of nutritional benefits.

Some of these are as follows:

  • Good amount of dietary fiber which keeps the digestive system happy
  • Rich in minerals like iron, calcium and potassium which are excellent for bone growth and development
  • A range of vitamins such as Vitamin A, B and C, which help in strengthening the immune system, provide antioxidants and supports red blood cell functionality

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: How to feed them

One thing you must remember, is that while raw sweet potatoes aren’t exactly toxic, they can lead to a belly ache since these are after all difficult to digest.

So, with that in mind, make sure to feed them cooked, or baked sweet potatoes twice or thrice a week. And never more than twenty percent of their body weight.

BUT

Don’t add any salt or seasoning.

If you’ve read some of our other articles, you’ll know just how harmful salt and seasoning can be for a dog.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: Recipe Guide

To make things easier for you, here is a recipe we’ve put together for you to follow the next time you decide to treat your dog with this wonderful side dish!

Ingredients

  • Water-6 cups
  • Chopped Sweet potatoes- 3
  • Lentils- 1 cup
  • Dry Brown Rice- ½ cup
  • Quinoa- ½ cup
  • Apple Cider Vinegar- ½ tsp.
  • Cranberry Extract- few capsules
  • Peanut butter- ½ tbsp.

 

Recipe

Allow the water to boil in a deep pan. Next, add in the sweet potatoes, lentils, dry brown rice and quinoa. Let the ingredients boil for about twenty minutes on medium heat.

Then, lower the heat to a minimum and allow the ingredients to simmer for about ten minutes.

Finally, turn off the heat and add in the cranberry extract capsules, peanut butter and apple cider vinegar and give the dish a good mix.

Allow it to cool and feed!

Video Guide

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes: Fun Facts About Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene
  • Roots of sweet potato tubers are harvested about 90 to 120 days after transplanting
  • February is National Sweet Potato Month!

 

FAQs

Can dogs eat sweet potato raw?

Yes. But the best way to feed is by cooking or baking

Are sweet potatoes safe for dogs?

Yes. And very nutritional!

Can dogs eat sweet potatoes and get Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

In excess, perhaps. However, there is no strong link with the disease and sweet potatoes so far.

Can dogs eat sweet potatoes if they’re steamed?

Yes.

Can dogs eat sweet potatoes as fries?

No. This would mean frying them and using oil. So avoid that. But feel free to make baked veggie cuts!

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