People often ask the question, “Can dogs eat mashed potatoes?”
Occasional treats of mashed potatoes are fine unless your dog suffers certain pre-existing conditions. Potatoes are filled with vitamins and minerals that the dog can utilize. Anything added from milk to butter or other ingredients can be harmful to the dog, so precautions apply.
There are several reasons why dog owners would be asking this question, and few would ask out of wanting to make the dog healthier.
We’ll talk about this more in-depth later in the article.
Surprisingly, according to AKC, there are many brands of dog food that contain vegetables such as potatoes as the main ingredient.
Note: This article takes into account that your dog is not suffering from allergies to vegetables or any other pre-existing conditions such as diabetes.
Though potatoes might already be present in your dog’s diet, precautions need following, and some knowledge on the subject will save you from causing any damage to your pet.
You will get this knowledge throughout this article, but first, let’s catch a glimpse of what the FDA has to say about a study conducted about dogs and certain vegetables.
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DCM- Be Careful
Studies conducted by the FDA back in 2018, have shown that many of the foods which contain staple ingredients of certain vegetables such as potatoes, lentils, other seed types, and peas, may cause a condition in some dogs called DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy).
DCM is a heart condition, which enlarges the heart and reduces the heart’s pumping function. The result of this condition is eventual heart failure.
Yes, this is scary information, but hold on a second. Within the documentation of this FDA study, it is made known that the cause of DCM remains unclear. Still, they’ve notice differences with dogs that have been fed the same foods for months or years.
The point is, different dog foods are healthier than others for your dog- this isn’t news. But what needs to be taken from this study concerning the object of this article is that mashed potatoes should not be a long-term diet for any dog.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes from the Dinner Table?
Yes, indeed, dogs can eat mashed potatoes, but it probably shouldn’t be off of your plate or from the dinner table. It’s better if there are few or no peels (or skins) mixed in, and that there isn’t anything else in the mix.
Milk, butter, salt, or any other common things that we’d include to make it a tastier dish for ourselves, won’t be healthy for the dog.
This is particularly true if spices have been introduced, such as garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and other things that one may sprinkle into a batch of mashed.
In other words, our mashed potatoes might not be the best idea for your dog. The potato isn’t the problem, but our effort to make it more palatable for ourselves becomes the problem.
If you’re going to feed your dog mashed potatoes, make it just for him/her. Anyone who has cooked mashed knows that it is a regular thing to add milk and butter (at the least) when making mashed for dinner.
The less dairy and fats you include in the mashed potatoes, the better for the dog (and yourself for that matter). If you want to feed some to your dog, it would be much healthier if you just set some aside for the dog before adding any of these other ingredients.
When Should You Feed the Dog Mashed Potatoes?
When it comes to feeding your dog mashed potatoes, there isn’t a circumstance that dictates whether or not you should do it.
Feeding it to your dog every once in a while as a treat is fine. Every day isn’t going to help your dog out much, especially if there is an idea of replacing normal dog food with mashed.
Just because they’ll eat it and be satisfied, doesn’t mean that the good healthy parts of the potato are outweighing what the dog will rapidly be lacking in its diet.
Yes, dogs are omnivores, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be fine just eating one area of food group. They’re omnivores and gain from all of the different things that they’ll eat- particularly from meaty proteins.
So, if you just put your dog on a mashed potato diet, they will quickly suffer a lack of all the other nutrients that they’d be gaining from other food groups. This is why dog foods add a host of different ingredients to give dogs a well-rounded, nutritious diet- at least they’re supposed to.
As was alluded to in the introduction of this article, certain circumstances tend to make people explore options regarding food for their dog, which has nothing to do with boosting the dog’s health.
Among these circumstances is people’s finance. Sometimes, dog food runs low at inopportune times. You’re surrounded by people’s food but have run low on dog food, and you won’t be able to buy more till a check comes in, or you can’t get out for some reason for a day or two.
If you need to mix in some potatoes to help stretch what’s left of the dog food until you can buy more, it works fine, and the dog will be alright.
A potato only diet for a day or two wouldn’t be good for the dog, but if you can mix it in with more dog-healthy foods until you can pick up what you need, it will fill the dog up without any problems.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potatoes?
Yes, they can and will, but they never should. This is a problem with dogs- most of them will eat just about anything. Dogs neither know nor care whether or not something is good for them. If they like the smell of it, they’ll take a bite. If they like the taste, they’ll eat more.
Solanine in Raw Potatoes
Uncooked potatoes are not good for your dog. They contain a chemical called solanine, which can be toxic to some dogs. It is best not to gamble whether or not your dog is one of those types of dogs that are affected.
Most of this chemical is found within the peel, and the rest within the potato itself. Most of this is greatly reduced when boiled. Even still, there is a questionable amount that remains in the peel that could be harmful to your dog.
As stated above, the less peel in the mashed potatoes, the better for your dog. Solanine is also abundant in potato plant foliage- which is something to be careful of if you have any growing in your garden.
This isn’t to say that if your dog was naughty and got into a bag of potatoes, that they’re going to be ill or die. Chances are they’ll be fine initially, but you should avoid the issue whenever possible.
Can Dogs Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes?
If the only ingredient involved in within the package of instant mashed potatoes is only potato flakes, and nothing more, then it will be fine. Otherwise, if it has a bunch of other ingredients pumped into it, then no.
If you have found a brand that consists of only flakes with no additives, ignore the instructions, and only use water to re-hydrate the potatoes. Often, you’ll see to add salt or milk and butter- these should be ignored if you are preparing it for your dog.
The moral of all of the information included in this article is that moderation and preparation are the two key factors that need to be considered relating to feeding your dog potatoes.
If you have to, well, it’s better than nothing so long as it’s peeled and boiled to a mashable state. It’s fine to give mashed potatoes to your dog every once in a while, but it’s best to avoid giving it off of your plate.
Handle it as a treat, and if it’s a treat, then it’s not a replacement for dog-purposed foods, just like our treats don’t replace the importance of a proper meal.
You’ll find Dog Nutrition Questions in the links below: