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HOME QUESTIONS Nutrition Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots?

Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots?

With most people knowing that it isn’t terrible to give their dogs mashed potatoes, a new question may pop into mind.

Can dogs eat tater tots too? They’re potatoes, and they’re cooked, so there shouldn’t be an issue, right?

So, can dogs eat tater tots? Unfortunately, not. There’s nothing good about feeding your dog tater tots. In fact, it could be full of toxins that can harm your dog, depending on its breed. Unless you’ve made them from scratch using no added ingredients, and baked them, you shouldn’t feed tater tots to dogs.

Throughout this article, we’ll be going deeper into this topic, and will discuss solid reasons that tater tots are nothing but a bad idea for your dog.

You may not want to hear it, but they aren’t all that good for you either, depending on how they’re cooked.

Often, things that aren’t good for us can wind up being much worse for your dog. Also, things that are good for us can be just as dangerous for the dog.

Good on you for looking into what tater tots will do, and you should always do your research before giving any pet (be it a dog or a cat) human food.

Resist Temptation to Feed your Dog Bad Foods

French bulldog looking and thinking of eating tater tots

It isn’t always easy to resist the temptation to slip the dog some human food- especially when they’re gawking at you with their puppy-dog eyes. I’m sure as a dog owner, you’ve been there.

They’ve got power, strength, claws, and jaws, but their greatest weapon against humans is their big begging eyes.

Have you ever given food from your plate to your dog just because of how they were looking at you? Or maybe they started to wine a little, trying to guilt-trip you into sharing your food?

An Easy Solution to Remove Guilt

dog waiting for a meal image on white background

What you need to remember while in the heat of a massive doggie guilt-trip, is that you don’t want to harm your dog.

If you understand that the food you’re eating isn’t necessarily good for your dog, and can actually be harmful, you’ll be less likely to succumb to their whiles.

Caring about your dog never includes giving them what they want all the time. A toddler might want to drink a dangerous chemical, would you feed it to them? No, then why is the response different with your dog?

Think of the health of your dog, and your dog will be better for it- despite its best efforts to convince you otherwise!

Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots if they are Homemade?

homemade tater tots

If you are, for some reason, bent on feeding your dog tater tots, homemade with a minimal recipe is the only way to get around the dangers involved.

A non-dangerous recipe would consist of peeled potatoes, a little unflavored and unsweetened gelatin, and a little flour or corn starch and some water. Also, you’d want to bake them rather than fry them, to keep the oils out of your dog’s system.

In my opinion, it’s a lot of work just to give a treat to your dog that has no real nutritional value at all.

Plus, you don’t want your dog to eat a lot of potatoes anyhow. For some sound reasoning behind that, check out our page that talks about feeding your dog mashed potatoes.

If you’re interested in taking that much time and effort to make your dog some treats, there are hundreds of dog-healthy treat recipes out there that can be found with a quick google search.

Store-Bought or Restaurant Tater Tots

restaurant-made tater tots on white background

Frozen tater tots are often filled with a variety of different spices to enhance their flavor, or preservatives to make them last a little longer on the shelf.

Unless the only ingredient listed on the package is potatoes, and nothing more, then err on the side of caution and keep it from your dog.

The same rule applies if you get them from a fast food joint or a proper restaurant. Your side of tater tots isn’t going to come with the list of ingredients. Having no real way to know what’s in them, just don’t give them to your dog. It’s that simple.

Any combination (Most likely not all at the same time) of the following ingredients outside of potatoes that are commonly found are:

  • Salt- Too much salt in a dog’s diet can lead to sodium ion poisoning. This can potentially cause damage to the kidneys, cause comas, and other damaging effects to your dog.
  • Parsley- Though parsley can be good for a dog, it can be dangerous to dogs with a kidney problem.
  • Onion Powder- A dog can be poisoning itself by consuming a quantity of onion powder– even if it’s just once!
  • Black Pepper- Very small amounts of black pepper are safe for dogs. Much more than that, they get an upset stomach.
  • Garlic Powder- Garlic can kill red blood cells in a dog, which leads to anemia. Though some tout that garlic is good for flea control, it’s nearly impossible to create such a small dosage of it where it wouldn’t be harmful to the dog, only in a lab is it ever done properly.
  • Oregano- Like black pepper, very small amounts are alright for the dog, but too much will make it ill.
  • Dill- In many ways, dill is good food for your dog in proper moderation. The definition of moderation shifts up and down, depending on the weight of your dog.
  • Italian Seasoning- There’s a good chance that any brand’s idea of Italian seasoning will be different from one another. Most of it could be fine, or even healthy. But mixed in might be seasoning that could be harmful to a dog.
  • Chili Powder- Chili powder is often a cocktail of powders, including onion and garlic powder. It isn’t good at all for the dog.

To us, the idea of having various combinations of the listed ingredients packed into our tater tots seems delicious. And it should! It’s people food!

 tater tots in a basket

Have you ever eaten a potato without anything to enhance its flavor? Like no butter, salt, or other things that breathe a little life into an otherwise bland vegetable? If you do and you like it, well, hats off to you because I can’t do it.

And evidently millions of other folks can’t do it either, because potatoes, regardless of the form, are often seasoned in one way or another. As we’ve discussed, these seasonings are not safe at all for your dog.

Out of all the recipes I went over to compile the list above (and there were many), there were two ingredients that populated nearly every one- onion powder and garlic powder.

Either one or the other was present. And as far as the compiled list goes, these are the two most damaging to your dog.

Conclusion

owner feeding his labrador retriver with collar in the lounge room

You may say, “Well, my dog has had tater tots before, and nothing ever became of it!”

Are you sure?

How do you know?

If you’re shortening the life of your dog due to feeding it things that are not good for it, it doesn’t mean that they’ll show signs and symptoms immediately.

Yes, there’s a good chance that if your dog wound up with a couple due to a catastrophic dinner table accident, and it was there to be the vacuum cleaner, that it was probably just fine.

But there is no reason at all whatsoever to voluntarily give your dog something to eat that could be filled with toxins.

I hope that this article has convinced you of this, and might prevent you from causing unwarranted damage to your pet.

You’ll find Dog Nutrition Questions in the links below: