Many dogs are downright obsessed with human food. But not everything is tolerated by the four-legged friends. In this post we explain if and when potatoes are good for dogs.

Never feed uncooked potatoes

First things first: Potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum ) should never be fed raw, only cooked. Raw tubers contain solanine, a chemical compound that is also mildly toxic to humans and causes symptoms of poisoning in dogs. As a rule, your dog will not become ill immediately from a small, uncooked potato – in this case the dose actually makes the poison. However, even slightly larger quantities inevitably lead to problems. To avoid this, pay attention to these tips when preparing the tubers:

  • do not give raw potato pieces
  • do not feed them potato skins (not even boiled ones!)
  • Always cut out green areas (high solanine content)
  • Boil the potato tubers well
  • should no longer be raw on the inside

Boiled potatoes are an important source of carbohydrates for dogs, and the healthy tubers also provide many valuable vitamins and minerals.

Note: The types of potatoes you offer your dog are up to you and your four-legged friend’s taste. However, floury varieties contain more starch and can cause problems for sensitive stomachs.

Signs of solanine poisoning

If your dog has eaten raw potato pieces (e.g. because he stole some from you when you were peeling them for lunch), you should observe the animal closely in the following hours. Does it show one or more of these symptoms:

  • diarrhea
  • irritated mucosa
  • cramps
  • or paralysis

then you should contact a veterinarian or an animal hospital immediately. However, these signs often only appear after eating large amounts. How and whether the contained solanine is toxic for the dog also depends on the size of the animal and its constitution. You usually don’t have to worry about a small potato or even just a piece.

How much to feed potatoes?

Boiled potato pieces are actually healthy for the dog as part of a BARF diet or as a light diet for gastrointestinal complaints. A dog weighing around ten kilograms can eat up to 80 grams of it a day, a larger animal correspondingly more. However, do not feed the nightshade every day, but vary the recipes – otherwise the animal may soon refuse the food.

Tip: You can also feed your dog soft-boiled white rice instead. This is completely unproblematic and a good source of carbohydrates.

Be careful with potato flakes

Many dog ​​owners swear by potato flakes, such as those found in instant mashed potatoes, because they are guaranteed to be free of toxins. Basically, you can give your dog these, but only in small amounts: The problem here is not the solanine, but the potassium it contains. Potato flakes contain a lot of potassium, which in high doses initially acts as a diuretic, but also slows down your dog’s heartbeat. If your dog seems exhausted after eating potato flakes, you should take him to the vet. In the worst case, cardiac arrest could even occur.

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