Can dogs eat sweet potato fries?

Perhaps you love sweet potato fries, and want ot know if you can share them with your pooch. Perhaps you are looking for a healthy snack for your dog, as an addition to their standard diet. 

This leaves you wondering, can your dog eat sweet potato fries? 

Can dogs eat sweet potato fries?

I love sweet potato fries. In addition to tasting great and satisfying my fry craving, they are also healthier than regular French fries.

You probably know that not everything that’s good for you is good for your dog. Grapes are a great example. They are wonderful for humans, but toxic to dogs.

Where do sweet potato fries fall on the spectrum?  The simple answer is, it depends on how they are prepared.

All Potatoes are Not Created Equal

White potatoes pose a health hazard to your dog that you may not be aware of. They are safe when cooked, but they are toxic to your pooch when raw. 

This is because they are a member of the nightshade family. They contain solanine. We can process solanine and clear it from the body, but dogs don’t have this ability. Other nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, also contain solanine. 

When the potatoes are cooked, it greatly reduces the solanine content. 

Sweet potatoes are technically not potatoes. They have no relation to white potatoes, despite their similarities. Sweet potatoes are part of the morning glory family. 

Sweet potatoes have a higher vitamin and fiber content than white potatoes, making them a healthier choice than their white counterpart. 

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato For Dogs

Sweet potatoes have lots of benefits for your pooch. It turns out, they are more than a tasty treat, they are also great for your dog’s health. 

Fiber 

One of the great things about sweet potato for dogs is its fiber content. In fact, sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of dietary fiber.  Fiber can help ease constipation or diarrhea, and it’s great for the digestive system. 

It can help dogs lose weight, because it makes them feel full for longer. If your dog is overweight, consider adding sweet potato to their diet. Studies have shown that a high fiber diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers in dogs. 

Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are beneficial to dogs, just as they are to humans. They scavenge damaging free radicals from the body, They also reduce chronic inflammation. 

Inflammation plays a role in allergies and arthritis. Antioxidants have been shown to help relieve these conditions in dogs and humans. 

Vitamins 

Vitamins are important for your pooch, and sweet potatoes contain lots of them. The most prominent vitamins in sweet potato include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B 6. 

Vitamin C is essential for healthy immune function and many processes within the body. Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, is what gives sweet potato their signature orange color. It is important for vision. 

Vitamin B 6 supports red blood cell production and is important for the immune system. It is also beneficial for glucose regulation, making it particularly important for dogs with diabetes. 

Minerals 

Sweet potato also contains minerals your dog needs. These include calcium, potassium, and iron.

Calcium is important for bone and tooth health. Potassium is important for digestion, kidney function, and heart health. Iron supports hemoglobin and red blood cell production. 

Sweet Potato Fry Fat Content

So, sweet potatoes are good for your dog. This means sweet potato fries are as well, right? Not necessarily. 

Fries are typically fried. When any food is fried, it greatly increases its fat content. Of course, this is what makes it so appealing for humans and dogs. 

However, the fat isn’t good for your pooch. The biggest concerns with a high fat diet are pancreatitis and obesity. Over half of the dogs in America are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to an increased risk of many health conditions, including arthritis and diabetes. 

Of course, a serving of sweet potato fries won’t make your dog obese. If they are consistently eating a high fat diet or too many calories, however, they are at a risk of obesity. 

Pancreatitis is the other issue with high fat foods. The pancreas is responsible for releasing digestive enzymes. When high fat or high sugar foods are consumed, it can cause inflammation in the pancreas. 

This causes the enzymes to activate early. The pancreas and surrounding organs can be damaged. 

The symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Your pooch may also have fever and lethargy. During an attack of pancreatitis, dogs often develop a praying position. They will raise their rear end while lowering their front paws and head to the floor. 

Salt Toxicity 

Fried food, including sweet potato fries, can contain a lot of salt. Your dog needs salt in their diet, just as you do. However, they need a much lower salt intake than humans, because they don’t sweat the same way we do. 

Too much salt can cause high blood pressure and swelling. If your dog ingests a toxic amount of salt, symptoms become more serious. These include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. They may also experience lethargy and incoordination.

Too much salt will lead your dog to drink excessively, and have excessive urination as well. In severe cases, your pooch may experience tremors, seizures, coma, and even death.

It’s highly unlikely that your dog will experience these symptoms from eating a serving of sweet potato fries. However, they may get more salt than they need, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health concerns. 

How Should Sweet Potato Fries be Prepared? 

The good news is, sweet potato fries aren’t off the table for your pooch if you are willing to make them yourself. This eliminates concerns about a high fat or salt content. 

Making sweet potato fries for your pooch is actually simple. You can peel the potatoes. It’s not required, but the peeling is hard for dogs to digest. 

Then, slice it into fry pieces. Next, bake it in the oven. You’ll need to bake them at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

You can even share them with your pooch, although they may be a bit bland for your taste without oil and seasonings. 

Sweet Potato Fries Alternatives 

One way to serve sweet potatoes other than sweet potato fries is to cut them into cubes. You can then boil or bake them. Use these as a healthy treat or training tool. 

You can also use sweet potatoes to make chews. These are similar to rawhide chews, and are a healthy alternative. 

You can make them by baking or dehydrating slices of sweet potato. The chewy stiff texture will keep your pooch happily chewing while enjoying  healthy snack. 

What happens if a dog eats sweet potato fries?

If your dog eats sweet potato fries, it’s unlikely that they will experience any issues. However, there are some things to look out for. 

Full Happy Pooch 

The most common effect of a dog eating sweet potato fries is simply a full and happy pooch. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about. 

If your pooch ate homemade sweet potato fries, this is the most likely scenario. 

Pancreatitis 

If your dog develops pancreatitis due to sweet potato fries, they will experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They may also have fever and severe abdominal pain. 

Mild Stomach Upset 

Mild stomach upset can occur when your dog eats something they are unaccustomed to. This isn’t a sign of toxicity or danger. Dogs just have a sensitive digestive tract, despite their ability to eat things that would make us ill. 

They have a delicate balance of good bacteria in their gut. They also have the ability to adjust their digestion based on their diet. However, it takes time for your dog to adjust to a new food. 

What to do if my dog eats sweet potato fries?

In most cases, there’s nothing you need to do if your dog eats sweet potato fries. However, some dogs can experience digestive upset. 

Monitor Your Pooch 

Anytime you feed your dog a new food, it’s important to monitor them. Sweet potatoes are unlikely to cause allergies in dogs, but processed fries may contain additives that can be bad for your pooch. 

Monitoring them will let you know if they have any stomach issues after eating sweet potato. It’s best to start with a small amount of sweet potato, and increase the amount with subsequent feedings. 

Mild Stomach Upset

You can treat mild stomach upset at home. One way to help your pooch feel better is to give them famotide. Famotide is an antacid designed for humans, but it’s also safe for dogs.

You can give your dog .5 mg per pound of body weight. You can repeat the dose every 12 hours. 

Pepto can also be helpful. You can give your dog 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Don’t exceed 4 teaspoons for dogs weighing more than 40 pounds. 

You can repeat the dosage in 6 to 8 hours. 

Pancreatitis 

If your dog develops pancreatitis, you’ll need to visit the vet. Pancreatitis requires veterinary treatment. Your vet will probably recommend a diet low in fat and sugar to prevent flare ups. 

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis will go away. Chronic pancreatitis can become a life-long condition.