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Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

A dog looking at a sweet potato in his bowl

Opinions differ on sweet potatoes, but the simple answer is, “Yes, dogs can eat sweet potatoes!” Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients necessary for maintaining your dog’s health, and most dogs just love them… But your dog still needs a balanced diet. Too much sweet potato can cause digestive problems. Here is what you need to know about your favorite dog and sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams–Is There Really a Difference?

Although the names are often used interchangeably, sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing. And yes, there is a difference. Sweet potatoes are slightly more nutritious than yams, and they have a smaller amount of carbs. 

Most grocery stores carry sweet potatoes, not yams. How can you tell the difference? Sweet potatoes have smoother skin. They’re also more moist when cooked and better for your dog.

Are Sweet Potatoes Good for Your Dog’s Health?

While your dog can’t eat sweet potatoes alone for every meal, adding a little sweet potato to their daily diet can add flavor and fun to their meals. Sweet potatoes can be part of a healthy dog diet and can improve your dog’s health in a number of ways.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Most studies have shown that an addition of sweet potatoes to your forever friend’s food bowl can help maintain healthy bodies and minds. Sweet potatoes will help their:

      • Heart
      • Digestive tract
      • Vision
      • Bones
      • Skin
      • Coat
      • Nervous system
      • Muscles
      • Immune system
      • Reduce some forms of cancer

There are many great health benefits that help keep your dog happy and healthy.

What do Sweet Potatoes Provide?

They provide your dog with:

      • Antioxidants
      • Fiber
      • Beta-carotene

All while being low in fat and having a low glycemic indexThey also can provide your dog with the following vitamins and minerals:

      • Vitamin A
      • Vitamin B6
      • Vitamin C
      • Calcium
      • Iron
      • Manganese
      • Potassium
      • Phosphorus

So, are they good for your dog? They sure are. Sweet potatoes are a nice addition to a healthy canine diet!

Preparing Sweet Potatoes for Your Doggo

sliced sweet potato

As you get ready to start adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet, here are a few things to remember.

Always Cooked–Never Raw

While they might be healthy, make sure that you cook the sweet potatoes before you give them to your furry friend. Raw sweet potatoes can cause intestinal blockage and gas in your dog’s digestive tract.

You can bake, boil or steam them, but never add butter, sugar or salt–that can add extra calories without adding any extra nutrition.

Skip the Sweet Potato Peels

Sweet potato skins do not have any nutritional value, so there is no reason to add them to your dog’s food bowl. Not only won’t they help maintain your dog’s health, they are hard for your dog to digest and can actually cause problems with their digestive tract.

Start Small and Keep It Small

Sweet potatoes, like most fruits and veggies, should be a small addition to your dog's diet. You should start with a small amount to make sure that your dog isn’t allergic–just a teaspoon or two. If you notice that your dog develops a rash or starts to itch, it might be because they are allergic to sweet potatoes, and you should discontinue adding them and consult your vet.

Most dogs should only get 2 to 4 tablespoons of sweet potatoes per day. That is enough to give them the nutrients that they need without disrupting their normal diet.

Sweet Potatoes Make a Great Topper

If your dog is a little fussy and not eating their kibble like they should, try adding a little sweet potato. Diced, mashed or pureed–more than likely your dog will love it, and this should encourage them to eat their regular food.

You can also add them, along with other fruit and veggies, to your doggo’s food bowl. Remember, variety is the spice of life, and the more varied their diet, the more varied the micronutrients they will get.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Sweet Potatoes?

Yes, dogs can eat dried sweet potatoes. Dried sweet potatoes make a good and healthy chew. 

Some dogs love them, others might not, but you won’t know until you give it a try. When you are picking them up at the store or ordering them online, make sure that they were grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and that no preservatives have been added during processing.

How to Make Dried Sweet Potatoes for Your Dog

If you want to make them yourself, it isn’t too difficult. Just slice them, then put them in the oven on low heat so they dry instead of cooking or you can use a food dehydrator. If your dog decides they are delicious, you have a new, inexpensive, and healthy treat for them.

Can Dogs Have Sweet Potato Allergies?

Once you start feeding your dog sweet potatoes, you need to watch for allergic reactions. Not many dogs are allergic to sweet potatoes but if you notice that your dog develops a rash, is itching more than previously or has difficulty breathing, stop feeding them sweet potatoes and consult your vet.

Sweet Potato Is a Sweet Ingredient for Your Dog

Sweet potato in a dog bowl with a paw next to it.

Sweet potatoes are healthy and dogs love them. They’re packed full of nutrients and offer a depth of flavor not found in every dog food. If you’re wondering if your dog should try sweet potatoes or dry food with sweet potatoes baked in, the answer is yes! Let your best friend dig into this tasty root.