Any pet parent knows that dogs will sometimes eat literally anything. We've all woken up to a trash bin strewn across the kitchen floor, leftovers devoured, or even socks and shoes torn to shreds. But just because a dog will eat anything in front of its face, does it mean that it should eat it?
If you have a dog, you most likely consider it part of the family. Millions of pets have their own Instagram accounts, clothing lines, and food preferences. You wouldn't feed your child, your significant other, or your best friend just any food, so why do the same to your dog?
If you're wondering what kind of foods are safe for your dog, you aren't alone. There are plenty of us who have been kept awake at night wondering about things like "Can dogs eat sweet potato?" or "Does my dog know I'm thinking about its diet right now?"
If you're wondering about the first question, you're in luck. We've already done the research. Read on for everything you need to know about feeding your dog sweet potato, along with other tips for taking care of your furry friend.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato?
The short, easy answer is yes. Sweet potatoes are not only delicious and healthy for humans, but your canine companion can benefit from them as well!
If that's all you came for, congrats! Start shopping for your healthy dog food - with sweet potato - without worry! If you want to learn more about the nutritional benefits and the best way to feed your dog sweet potato, keep reading.
Benefits of Sweet Potato For Dogs
Sweet potatoes aren't just delicious and easy to eat, they also provide a wide variety of health benefits for your dog. From digestive health to vitamin content, we'll go over why the simple sweet potato is so great.
Sweet potato is one of the best sources of fiber amongst vegetables, and probably the highest of the vegetables your dog will actually want to eat (avocados and artichokes don't seem like the most appealing treats for your dog, but who knows?). A single cup of cooked sweet potato contains nearly 6 grams of fiber.
Fiber is great for your dog's digestive health. It will help promote regular, healthy bowel movements, and adding a little extra to their diet can help alleviate constipation and diarrhea.
Beta-Carotene is what gives sweet potatoes their unique color, but does a lot more than just make the food look pretty. Beta-Carotene is an antioxidant that helps protect against heart disease and can reduce the risks of certain types of cancer. It also converts to vitamin A in your dog's body.
Vitamin A is essential for a dog's vision, growth, muscle strength, and skin health. If your dog is experiencing night blindness, poor skin quality, abnormal reproductive development, or poor bone development, it may be a sign of serious Vitamin A deficiency, and sweet potatoes (along with other treatments or diets) could help with these issues.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in other vitamins that can help a dog's overall health, including vitamins B6 and C. Just like in humans, vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system.
These vitamins not only help your dog stay healthy, but they can also recover faster from injuries or illnesses.
These sweet potatoes just keep on getting better. In addition to being full of vitamins, they also contain calcium, potassium, and iron. Each of these minerals contributes to the overall well being of your dog in its own way.
Potassium helps to maintain a correct fluid balance in your dog's body, as well as preserving nerve transmissions and muscle function.
Calcium helps to keep a dog's teeth and bones strong and healthy. It also assists with proper cytoplasmic function and metabolic activity.
Give me that sweet potato!
The Best Ways to Feed Your Dog Sweet Potatoes
Now that you know how much of a nutritional boost sweet potatoes can be for your furry friend, it's time to start incorporating it into their diet. But how? You can't just throw a sweet potato across the yard like a chew toy and expect the dog to hunt it down and eat it. Luckily we have some tips for you on how to get your dog to love this sweet treat.
Preparing the Sweet Potato
No matter how you decide to serve sweet potato to your dog, it should be prepared in a certain way.
First, steam or boil the sweet potato. You should never feed a potato to your dog raw, as they are difficult to digest and could potentially cause intestinal blockage. We've all seen our dogs scarf something down without chewing, and so making sure that potato is soft will avoid any complications with your dog's stomach.
After it's cooked, make sure you skin the sweet potato before serving it. The skin of the potato makes it more difficult for your dog to digest and adds little to no nutritional value. Also, don't add any seasoning or spices to the potato. Your dog isn't looking for a gourmet sweet potato, and you never know how they'll react to certain seasonings.
Mix in a Small Amount With Their Food
The best way to feed your dog sweet potato is to simply mix it in with their regularly scheduled meals. Somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, depending on the size of the dog, will add the necessary nutrients and a nice little taste boost to dinner.
Add it to a Treat
Even though sweet potato is delicious and a lot of dogs like it, every dog has its own preferences. If your dog doesn't enjoy the taste of the sweet potato, try sneaking a little bit onto a treat!
If you're rewarding your dog with one of its favorite treats, the dog is less likely to care about other flavors. Where it can be easy to eat around the sweet potato in a meal, with a treat it's all or nothing, and your dog will usually go with all.
Buy Dog Food That Already Contains Sweet Potato
The simplest way to add sweet potato to your dog's diet is to simply buy dog food that already contains sweet potato. Luckily we have you covered on that one. Wild Earth dog food contains a ton of healthy, natural ingredients all with their own unique benefits for your dog, and sweet potato is one of those ingredients.
Other Things to Know About Feeding Your Dog Sweet Potato
While the sweet potato is overall a great addition to your dog's diet, it's important to consider everything before changing their diet.
Start small. You never know how your dog is going to react to new food, no matter what it is. If you're adding sweet potato to their diet, start with a small amount, around a teaspoon. After that increase the amount a little, but no more than a tablespoon. Too much of a good thing is sometimes a bad thing, and that can apply to fiber and vitamins.
Consult Your Vet. It's not always necessary, but if you're considering significant dietary changes for your dog always consult your vet first. They might be aware of something specific to your breed that you didn't know, or simply have suggestions for what changes are best for your dog.
Other Ways to Help Your Dog Live It's Best Life
So now you can rest easy now that the question "can dogs eat sweet potato?" has been answered. Give your dog that sweet treat but in moderation.
Dietary changes aren't the only ways you can improve the health of your dog. From getting the proper exercise to making sure they're in a loving environment, there's a lot that goes into a dog's health, just like a person.
If you're looking to improve your best friend's quality of life, you're at the right place. Not only do we provide you with the best food for your dog, we also have a ton of advice for other aspects of owning a dog.
Whether you're interested in taking your dog on a trip, starting it with agility training, or wondering what essential oils are safe for your dog, we have the advice you need. Keep reading, and enjoy everything about your furry friend!
We are Wild Earth
Thank you for stopping by! We're Wild Earth, a dog nutrition company that makes dog food and treats that contain zero animal ingredients. We make a high protein, high fiber dog food that has everything your dog needs and nothing they don't. Dogs love the taste and you can rest easy knowing you are giving the healthiest, cleanest food on the market. We also have treats that come in peanut butter, banana & cinnamon, and strawberry & beet.