Sweet potatoes are loved by humans and pets alike. They’re yummy and packed with nutrients! These vegetables feature a high amount of fiber, which is great for promoting gut health in your pooch.
Packed with vitamins like B6, A, and C, these vegetables are nutritious and low-fat while remaining delicious. These vegetables can be used to calm diarrhea and promote healthy digestion. Best of all, these are veggies you likely already have in your pantry – and can prepare in a multitude of ways for a dog!
Are Sweet Potatoes Safe for Dogs?
It’s always responsible for a pet owner to make sure that a new treat is safe for your pet before you serve it to them. Dogs’ bodies are quite different from ours; what is safe for us might not be for them!
Thankfully, sweet potatoes are safe to feed your pup. Sweet potatoes are a whole food. They are much less likely to produce an immune reaction or GI symptoms in your dog. Plus, these potatoes have nutrients that can help your dog stay healthy!
However, if your dog is diabetic or overweight, exercise caution when feeding sweet potatoes. These potatoes have a high glycemic index (high sugar) which makes them super sweet, but also, not ideal for a pooch who needs low sugar consumption.
You should feed sweet potatoes in moderation, as a treat or a thin topping on a bowl of food. However, sweet potatoes are a much healthier alternative to some of the pre-made dog treats out there!
How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Your Dog
Ready to get in the kitchen? There are many ways to prepare sweet potatoes – you can mash them up or bake them into a hard treat. However, there are some important guidelines to follow when preparing a sweet potato for a dog.
When preparing a sweet potato to feed your dog, do the following:
- Make sure it’s cooked. Raw sweet potatoes are difficult to chew and can cause stomach upset!
- Skin the sweet potato. Sweet potato skin is hard to chew and digest.
- Make sure it’s cooked until soft. A soft consistency makes choking less likely, especially in dogs who tend to eat quickly.
- After you’ve cooked it to a safe consistency and removed the skin, you can practically do anything with these potatoes!
How Much Sweet Potato Can a Dog Eat?
Generally, sweet potatoes should be looked at as a treat. Sweet potatoes are a carbohydrate that dogs need, but they should not be a central part of their diet. Dogs need healthy, animal-based protein most; sweet potato should never be a substitute for a protein-rich meal.
These potatoes offer a delicious taste and tons of vitamins! One is vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for a dog in small quantities. However, too much vitamin A can cause bone fragility and muscle weakness. This is why moderation is so important!
Any time you introduce a new food, talk to your vet first. The vet will likely give you tips on how much should be fed, or if there are any reasons you shouldn’t feed sweet potatoes to your dogs, such as diabetes or obesity. Dog nutrition varies based on the individual dog and its needs.
In general, less is more when it comes to treats like sweet potatoes.
Fun Recipe Ideas
Sweet potatoes are versatile – there are a bunch of ways they can be prepared! When preparing these for a dog, think about how you intend to use them. For example, if you intend to use sweet potatoes as a reward during training time, you likely want to bake them into a crunchy treat.
Below you’ll find some quick and easy recipes for preparing sweet potatoes for your pooch!
Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats
These treats are small and easy to offer as a reward during training or walks. They also take only one ingredient: sweet potatoes! You can easily make these treats with the kitchenware you already have around your home.
Ingredients for sweet potato dog treats:
- 2 fresh, medium-sized sweet potatoes
- Potato peeler
- Baking tray
How to make sweet potato dog treats:
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly then peel them using a potato peeler. Be sure all skin is removed.
- Slice the sweet potatoes. You should not cube them, but rather thinly slice them for easy snacking and a crunchy finish. You can slice them longitude-wise or lengthwise. Whichever direction you decide to slice, make sure each is only ¼ to 1/8 of an inch thick. The thinner the slice, the crunchier the treat!
- Place on a baking sheet. Take the peeled and sliced potatoes and place them on the sheet. Lay them out over the baking sheet (if they don’t fit, you can use two baking sheets). Do not add any oil, butter, cooking spray, or spices – these need to be kept as natural as possible for your pup.
- Bake time! Heat the oven to 200-250° Fahrenheit and cook for 2-3 hours, rotating occasionally. When these treats are ready, they will be crispy – not burnt.
Violà! Once you remove your baking sheet and let the sweet potato snacks cool, you have a batch of delicious dog treats for a fraction of what you would have paid at the store.
Homemade Sweet Potato Mash
Your dog will go wild for some mashed sweet potatoes! This recipe can be used on top of kibble in a thin layer to entice a picky eater to eat its kibble. Or give it to your dog as an occasional standalone treat! Either way, dogs will love the sweet and creamy deliciousness this recipe offers.
Ingredients for sweet potato mash:
- Two fresh, medium-sized sweet potatoes
- Potato masher
- Potato peeler
How to make sweet potato mash for your dog:
- Thoroughly wash the potatoes. Then, peel them using the potato peeler. Be sure all skin is completely removed.
- Once peeled, give them once more rinse. Using the knife, cut the potatoes into cubes.
- Once cubed, bring a pot of water to a boil. The water should be enough to cover all potatoes completely. Once the water comes to a boil, throw the cubed potatoes in.
- Reduce to a medium-low heat setting and allow the potatoes to simmer for about 30 minutes. To check if they are done, pierce one of the cubes with a fork. If the fork easily goes through the cube, they are ready!
- Once boiled, pour the potatoes and hot water into a strainer. Allow to cool for a short period and shake off as much excess water as possible.
- Then, in a bowl or pot, take the potato masher and mash the cubes. This is a fun workout! Continue mashing until the potatoes have reached a smooth consistency.
- Cool and serve. Once mashed up, allow the potatoes to cool off.
Serve the mashed sweet potatoes to your pup and watch their happy tail wag!
Sweet potatoes are versatile, safe for dogs, and contain lots of healthy nutrients, too. Always consult with your vet before feeding new foods, especially if your dog has preexisting health issues or dietary restrictions. There are plenty of ways to safely prepare sweet potatoes. These delicious treats are sure to be appreciated by your pup (and you’ll appreciate how easy they are to make)!