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Our pets sure know how to get us to give them treats. And while their adorable looks can be hard to resist, it is essential to note that not all human diets are suitable for these furry balls of cuteness.
As much as you always want their bowls to be stacked with food, you should pay more attention to the content of what you serve them. Today, many human foods could pass as healthy dog meals. One of those foods is potatoes.
Potatoes are starchy root-grown vegetables that are packed with nutrients. These round edible tubers contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and solanine. They are also endowed with water, carbohydrate, anti-oxidants, proteins, and fat and are a good source of fiber.
Since potatoes are highly nutritious to humans, it is easy to assume that they would be a good fit for your dogs. However, this is not always the case. This article sheds light on the health benefits of potatoes, their effects on your dog’s health, and the safest ways to incorporate potatoes into your dog’s diet.
What Do Dogs Eat?
Dogs are majorly carnivores and naturally feed on raw meat and bones. However, this is insufficient to provide them with all the necessary nutrients. For this reason, fruits, vegetables, grains, and even carbohydrates have been introduced to their diet over the years to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Over the years, human food has been introduced to their diets as these munchkins know how to put on their cutest looks when asking for some of your food. Admittedly, it’s almost impossible to resist these balls of cuteness.
However, you have to be adamant for their sake. This is because not all human food is suitable for dogs. While they might be able to eat certain human foods, how these meals are prepared, and the ingredients added to them matter greatly.
Basic Requirements for a Dog’s Healthy Diet
Since our canine friends are the best companions, we want to include them in almost every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, we even want to share food with them. However, we must establish that the human diet is significantly different from a dog’s suitable diet.
From meat to fruits, vegetables, grains, and sometimes even your pillow or paper, these adorable tail-waggers would gobble up anything that comes their way. However, it is our responsibility as pet owners to keep them from harm and protect them. We can do this by ensuring they get the right amount of nutrients.
Perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when getting dog food is the freshness and nutritional value of the purchased food. Dog foods with shorter shelf lives typically translate to food fresher foods with more nutritional content and lesser preservatives.
A nutritionally balanced dog diet contains these six major ingredients: carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, fat, vitamins, and water. Be sure to consider the composition of these ingredients the next time you go shopping for dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?
Yes, dogs can undoubtedly eat mashed potatoes. However, they can only eat mashed potatoes that were cooked plain and without cooking oil, salt, butter, or additional spices.
It might seem sad that they miss out on the unique, delicious taste of seasoned mashed potatoes, but it’s for their good. Trust me; you don’t want to compromise your dog’s health just to indulge them.
Health Benefits of Potatoes to Dogs
Let’s delve right into the nutritional benefits of potatoes since your curiosity about them led you here. Potatoes are a great fit for occasional treats and should not be given to dogs too often. When administered correctly, potatoes can be nutritious for our adorable tail-waggers.
Sweet potatoes are low in calories and also contain fiber which helps in bowel movement. They are equally rich in beta-carotene, which contributes to vision and growth. Potatoes also promote eye and heart health when served in the right quantities.
Raw potatoes are an absolute no for your dogs as they harm them. This is because potatoes have high amounts of solanine in their skin, roots, and stems. Cooking potatoes, however, drastically reduces the solanine to safe eating levels.
The downside to feeding your dogs potatoes is that they contain carbohydrates that are unsuitable for dogs with diabetes. Keep in mind that the contents of your dog’s diet affect its overall health and longevity.
The Right Way to Feed Your Dog Potatoes
Potatoes can be very healthy and nutritious for your dog – when you feed it the right way. An excellent way to include potatoes in your dog’s diet would be to mix a few pieces of potato with healthy fruits and vegetables. This would serve as a quick, healthy snack for your dog.
A simple healthy snack recipe involving potatoes would involve mixing small potato cubes with broccoli and green beans. For a colorful, healthier dish, you could also include strawberries or blueberries in their mashed potatoes.