Mashed potatoes always make a grand appearance at almost every meal, spanning breakfast through dinner.
It’s a meal that plays an integral part all year round as it’s incredibly filling and delicious.
As a dog parent, you might wonder if you can offer your pup a small scoop of mashed potatoes at the next family dinner.
Is mashed potatoes good for dogs?
Yes. You can offer your dog mashed potatoes in moderation, of course, without the toxic ingredients like butter, milk, salt, onions, garlic, and seasonings.
These ingredients may not be compatible with dogs and may cause mild to severe symptoms, including upset stomach, diabetes, and pancreatitis.
This article will discuss the benefits of feeding your dog mashed potatoes.
It will also explain what happens when your dog eats mashed potatoes.
Health benefits of mashed potatoes for dogs
Potatoes, including mashed potatoes, are loaded with essential nutrients that can benefit your dog’s overall health.
For your pup to experience maximum benefits, mashed potatoes should be plain and unseasoned.
Some of these benefits include:
- Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is crucial in helping the body utilize amino acids and generate new proteins. It is also responsible for glucose generation, red blood cells and nervous system function
- Vitamin C – Mashed potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C which plays a vital role in keeping your dog’s immune system strong, allowing him to fight diseases
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A plays a significant role in supporting healthy eyes(including night vision) and skin, immune function, and the formation of organs and structures in growing animals (morphogenesis)
- Antioxidants – Mashed potatoes are rich in antioxidants that help protect your dog from environmental toxins, reduce the proliferation of free radicals in his body, boost immunity, and fight against the effects of cognitive aging
- Magnesium – Magnesium helps your pup produce energy at the cellular level. It also helps relax your dog’s body internally by helping digestion and urinary processes more
- Potassium – Potassium aids in the function of electrical charges in the heart, muscles, and nerves. It also works together with calcium and phosphorus to promote healthy bones and teeth
- Iron – Iron helps carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout the body so your dog’s cells can produce energy
- Calcium – Calcium aids in the growth of healthy bone and teeth maintenance, proper muscle building and function, a strong heart, and a healthy nervous system
- Fiber – Fiber aids digestion by increasing bulk and absorbing water, allowing bowel regularity. This helps produce firm, formed stool
Are mashed potatoes bad for dogs?
While mashed potatoes without toxic ingredients such as salt, milk, butter, chives, onion and garlic, and other seasonings can be safe for your dog to eat, there are certain drawbacks that make them unsafe for dogs.
One of the biggest downsides is that potatoes are a food source rich in carbohydrates.
Offering your dog mashed potatoes will not only make your dog fat, but they may also make him ill.
This is because mashed potatoes can cause blood glucose levels to spike, leading to insulin resistance.
Mashed potatoes are more energy-packed as carbohydrates convert to sugar in the digestive system providing energy.
While this may be good for healthy and active dogs, it can be risky for dogs with diabetes.
This is because diabetic dogs cannot process large amounts of carbs in their diet, and offering them mashed potatoes could worsen their condition.
When preparing mashed potatoes, always ensure you keep the raw potatoes away from your dog’s reach and safely dispose of the peels.
This is because potatoes are part of the nightshade plant family, containing solanine, an extremely toxic compound to dogs.
Raw potatoes, including the peels, have a high amount of solanine which may cause solanine toxicity in dogs.
Some of the signs include:
- Abdominal pain
- Intermittent vomiting
- Severe diarrhea
If your dog presents some or all of these symptoms, rush him to the vet immediately as he may require urgent vet care.
What happens if my dog eats mashed potatoes?
If your dog overindulged in mashed potatoes, it will be worth contacting your vet for advice.
Large quantities of mashed potatoes can cause stomach upset, leading to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
For dogs with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, too much mashed potatoes can worsen their condition further as they may increase insulin dosing and cause glucose to spike.
However, if your dog accidentally took a small glob of mashed potatoes, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm as your dog may feel better within a day or two.
Some mashed potatoes recipes include toxic ingredients such as garlic, onion, spices, salt, butter, chives, and milk, which may cause severe health issues if your dog ingests copious amounts regularly.
Some health issues your dog may experience include obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, salt toxicity, and stomach upset.
Your dog may also be lactose intolerant and unable to properly digest the butter and milk, resulting in indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Consult your vet immediately if you notice any signs of your dog falling ill after ingesting mashed potatoes.
Can dogs eat mashed potatoes and butter?
Yes, dogs can eat a tiny scoop of mashed potatoes and butter without any seasoning.
Plain mashed potatoes and butter may not be entirely toxic to dogs, just not in large quantities.
The only caveat is that butter is very salty and fatty, which can be highly toxic to dogs, especially with pre-existing conditions like pancreatitis.
In some cases, pancreatitis can be fatal.
Butter also has a high caloric density, contributing significantly to weight gain and obesity.
Serve it as a tiny snack, not a complete meal, for your dog to avoid health complications.
Can dogs eat frozen mashed potatoes?
Yes. You can feed your dog frozen mashed potatoes once it’s cooked but not in their frozen state.
However, most brands may include ingredients like salt, milk, and pepper, which can harm dogs, especially in large amounts.
While these ingredients may not be immediately toxic for dogs, they do not favor well with them and should only be offered in moderation, occasionally.
Every dog has a different nutritional check box to tick, depending on its needs.
However, occasionally allowing your furry friend to eat a tablespoon or two of mashed potatoes without the extras like butter, garlic, onions, and salt is acceptable.
Before offering your dog mashed potatoes, consult your vet on the way forward to avoid causing any health issues.