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Sweet potatoes are not just used for baking mouthwatering deserts anymore. These delicious vegetables are becoming a treat that benefit dogs. Sweet potatoes come in orange, purple, and white with each offering powerful cancer-fighting compounds and nutrients.
This blog “digs into” sweet potatoes for dogs, are they good or bad, the benefits and side effects, types of prepared sweet potatoes, and how to make sweet potatoes for your dogs.
ARE SWEET POTATOES GOOD OR BAD FOR DOGS?
Sweet potatoes can be good and bad for dogs. Getting the most out of sweet potatoes for your dog revolve around preparation and amount fed. The good aspect for dogs is the number of compounds and nutrients sweet potatoes possess. The bad aspects of feeding your dog sweet potatoes are potential diarrhea and vomiting episodes. The beneficial compounds found in sweet potatoes that are proven to improve overall health are:
• Anthocyanin- the pigments that give red, purple, and blue plants their rich color. In addition to acting as antioxidants and fighting free radicals, anthocyanin may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
• Carotenoids- produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits. Carotenoids are beneficial antioxidants that can protect you from disease and enhance your immune systems.
THE BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF SWEET POTATOES FOR DOGS
Benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs include:
- Dietary Fiber -Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which leads to a feeling of fullness in dogs. Obese dogs may benefit from a higher fiber diet that can lower heart disease and prevent some cancers.
- Digestion- In digestion sweet potatoes may alleviate constipation, diarrhea, and encourage regular, healthy bowel movements.
- Healthy Microbiome - The Microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms thousands of different species. The fiber makes it to the colon, where it encourages healthy composition of gut microbiota.
- Potassium - Potassium supports the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles.
- Vision - Sweet potatoes are loaded with Beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid and antioxidant that promotes night vision and overall good eyesight.
- Cancer Risk - Lab studies have shown carotenoids function as antioxidants and aid in controlling cell growth, which could mean they help reduce cancer risk.
- Liver - Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory nutrient. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body, directly in the liver.
- Kidney - Vitamins and minerals contained in sweet potatoes may help the balance of sodium in the body and reduce its effects on the kidneys.
- Diabetes- Sweet potatoes contain estrogen named adiponectin which can control dog’s insulin metabolism.
Every dog is different when it comes to allergic reactions and the side effects of eating certain foods. The most important aspect of sweet potato consumption for dogs, is diabetes.
If you own a diabetic dog, be aware that sweet potatoes release sugars that may be harmful to diabetic dogs. However, some dogs simply have food allergies to potatoes in general. If your dog does have food allergy issues these may be some of the reactions, you can expect.
Allergic Reactions and Side Effects of Sweet Potatoes
- Bald Spots
- Chewing Paws
- Diabetic Emergencies
- Difficulty Walking
- Ear Infections
- Excessive Farting
- Face Rubbing
- Inflamed Feet
- Obsessive Licking
- Skin Infections
CAN DOGS EAT SWEET POTATOES PREPARED ANY WAY?
Dogs can eat sweet potatoes in a variety of ways. Some cooking methods are better than others regarding digestion, but it is most important to understand the negative effect uncooked sweet potatoes has on dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?
According to the American Kennel Club, dog owners should never feed their pets raw sweet potatoes. Raw sweet potatoes are hard to chew and digest.
Unchewed food can cause intestinal blockages. Some dogs are known to consume food like a vacuum. Feeding raw sweet potatoes to a dog who eats this way puts the pet at even more risk.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can have baked sweet potatoes. According to the USDA, one medium-sized baked sweet potato provides 142 calories, 3.2g of protein, 32.7g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat of dog safe nutrients. Baked sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Can Dogs Eat Boiled Sweet Potatoes?
Dogs can eat boiled sweet potatoes. The benefit of boiling or generally cooking a potato for a dog is the dog is not going directly to the “doggie supermarket” in the ground. Thus, avoiding bacteria that may be present in soil or in vegetable gardens.
Additionally, the sweet potatoes will be easy to digest because they are soft and manageable compared to a problematic raw sweet potato.
Can Dogs Eat Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes?
Most dehydrated veggies are safe to eat for dogs, including dehydrated sweet potatoes. Several dog treats on the market use dehydrated vegetables and they still pack the nutritional power a baked or boiled sweet potatoes yields.
There are some dehydrated veggies that are not good for dogs, and we would be remiss to not list them here: avocado, chives, eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Sweet Potatoes?
Dogs can eat mashed sweet potatoes. In some cases, mashing sweet potatoes benefits older dogs who can not chew good. This allows the nutrients to interact with the body, as the digestion process is simpler when food is mashed. Just think of baby food and how it is mashed for easy chewing and digestion.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATOES FOR DOGS
We have already discussed several ways to prepare sweet potatoes for dogs including baking, boiling, dehydrating, and mashing. More importantly, when you do cook sweet potatoes for dogs you should remove the skin as it makes it harder for dogs to digest.
Dehydration is a great option and one of the most popular ways to get your dog sweet potatoes. Dehydrated sweet potatoes make a great substitute for rawhide chews and do not cause blockage or discomfort. Unfortunately, not all dog owners have a food dehydrator or the knowledge on dehydrating in general.
We offer a variety of chews for dogs if you are short on time and cannot prepare them on your own. We produce calming CBD chews for dogs, dog CBD joint chews, and CBD skin and coat chews each with sweet potatoes on the ingredient list.
If you want to pack some more punch in your dog treats, take a look at our CBD treats for dogs which only contain two ingredients. These treats come in three great flavors for dogs, Grass-Fed Beef Liver, Wild Caught Salmon, or Sweet potato. The treats range from 240 mg to 9600 mg.
If you decide to cook sweet potatoes for a dog at home, you can boil or steam them and then mash them. It is crucial that no spices are added to the sweet potatoes as they may have a negative effect on your pet. The mashed sweet potatoes are added to the dog’s normal food in small amounts to avoid any diarrhea or vomiting episodes. Then you can fully control the amount you add to a dog’s normal diet and watch as this super food improves your dog’s life. Remember to always consult your veterinarian before supplementing your dog’s diet.