Are Sweet Potatoes Bad for Dogs?
Dogs are our beloved best friends and we’d never intentionally feed them something that could be harmful. When it comes to ingredients, you may be wondering whether sweet potatoes are bad or good for your pup. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.
What are the Advantages?
Many people believe sweet potatoes are a natural ingredient and therefore must contain health benefits.
Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, which can help promote healthy skin, a shiny coat, and clearer eyes. Vitamin A is also essential to proper muscle and nerve function and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) requires dog food to contain 5,000 IU per kilogram of dog food.
Other key nutrients are found in sweet potatoes, including Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.
Minerals are also essential for pets, and sweet potatoes are a rich source of potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium helps with nerve, heart, brain, and muscle function while manganese produces energy and aids with metabolism. Magnesium is directly related to muscle health and is required by your dog to stay healthy and be active.
Foods that are high in fiber, such as sweet potatoes, contribute to digestive health for ourselves and our furry friends. Additionally, sweet potatoes have very little fat and dogs love them, which can make them a great addition to your dog’s diet.
What are the Disadvantages?
While many people find that giving their dogs sweet potatoes is fine, there may be a greater impact than we realize. In one study, women were fed one serving of sweet potatoes at every meal for two weeks. In the end, their blood estrogen levels were raised 27%. This is concerning because excessive estrogen can create hormone imbalances, disrupt endocrine systems, and drastically affect overall health and well-being. If this is how sweet potatoes can affect us as humans, imagine what it could be doing to your precious pup.
Skins and Vines
While the main part of the sweet potato has many benefits for dogs, the skin and vine could potentially present problems. Skin that carries mold is extremely toxic to your pup and it should be avoided at all costs. Additionally, some dogs can find the skins difficult to digest, which could potentially lead to other issues.
If you grow your own sweet potatoes in a home garden, the plant’s vines are extremely poisonous for dogs. If your dog has ingested a sweet potato vine, they are at risk of vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and more.
Sweet potatoes eaten raw will cause your dog to have trouble digesting the vegetable’s protein. If you are intent on feeding your sweet potatoes to your dog, take the extra time to properly prepare the vegetables, whether they are going to be cooked or dehydrated.
All types of potatoes have a high starch content, which can lead to weight gain if your dog constantly eats foods containing regular or sweet potatoes. Weight gain in dogs can cause significant problems, including lower mobility and a heavy strain on the heart.
Sweet potatoes in dog food have been linked to some allergies, including excessive itching. The sugar in sweet potatoes can create a build-up of yeast, leading to ear infections, itching, and more.
While sweet potatoes themselves don’t cause Fanconi Syndrome — a disorder in which the proximal renal tubules of the kidney do not properly reabsorb electrolytes and nutrients back into the body, but instead “spill” them in the urine — dog treats made with sweet potatoes can cause similar symptoms. If affected, you will notice your dog drinking urinating excessively. These types of treats have been linked to many illnesses and at least 1,000 deaths in dogs, so it is best to completely avoid dog food or treats that contain sweet potatoes.
Dog Foods Without Sweet Potatoes
If you are looking for sweet potato-free dog food, you’ve come to the right place. At Flourish Pet Products, we have created dog food that is free from peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes to give your dog the best possible diet. When we first developed our food, it was in response to our own dogs having poor overall growth development and general health. When you feed your dogs Flourish pet food, you can trust that they are getting all of the good things they need without any of the ingredients that can cause additional problems.
Whether you are looking for dog food or dog treats, Flourish Pet Products has a complete range.
So, Are Sweet Potatoes Good for Dogs?
In general, sweet potatoes can have many health benefits for our four-legged friends. However, there are many issues that sweet potatoes can cause for your pups and the best course of action is to just avoid them when possible. If you want to give your dog healthy, nutritional food that won’t cause additional issues, Flourish is the food you can trust.