As far as savoury snacks go, few prove more popular than potato chips, also known as crisps.
With so many flavours to choose from, not to mention package sizes, cuts of the chips themselves and even kinds that you can dip into special sauces, these goodies aren’t going to fade in popularity any time soon.
But what about tossing a few your pet’s way? Can dogs eat crisps? Can dogs eat potato chips? Read on to find out the best advice on keeping your pet healthy and happy.
Are potato chips good for dogs?
It’s no secret that a good number of what we as human beings love to eat simply isn’t any good for dogs, and vice versa.
That’s often true even in fruits and vegetables, from which we derive huge amounts of nourishment, yet dogs find far more difficult to eat in the same quantities as their human masters without experiencing remarkable discomfort.
Yet dogs are able to eat potatoes, under the right circumstances, and even get a little goodness from doing so. So what about if dogs eat potato chips?
Unfortunately, dogs don’t get any nutritional value from eating chips in any way. To make matters worse, the same fatty, oily and salty risks potato chips bring to us are even more severe a risk in dogs.
That’s because dogs have much more sensitive digestive systems than human beings, even if they often seem far more robust than ours sometimes too.
Put simply, dogs and human beings were designed to eat very different kinds of things, and that means our sensitivities don’t always align.
Yet those foods that dogs are sensitive to, they often prove very sensitive to indeed – so be careful.
Much of this comes not from potato chips themselves, but how they are prepared, cooked, served and flavoured.
In terms of how appealing chips are to dogs, you’ll find your pet is always drawn to a rustling bag or a big bowl of potato chips.
The aromas of the flavourings and other powders chips get covered in during the manufacturing process do plenty to entice us, so think how the highly sensitive sense of smell that dogs have must react!
Dogs also love the crunchy, satisfying texture of potato chips, so getting them to eat one is never a tough sell. Indeed, as we are discovering throughout this guide, the question may instead be how to stop dogs eating potato chips – they really don’t come too recommended.
Dangers of potato chips for dogs
Potato chips, crisps, tortilla chips – whatever you call them, and however they’re made, chances are the manufacturers have done plenty to these delicious crunchy snacks to make them just as satisfying as they are.
Unfortunately, these same additives and means of cooking are often why potato chips are bad for dogs, and certainly not recommended as a regular part of his or her diet.
One of the biggest problems to discuss here, and one that crops up no matter the kind of potato chips you have chosen or what flavour they are, is the problem of salt.
While salt crops up in so very much of what people eat, and has been a staple component of balancing flavour and adding a certain something to so very many of our dishes, it’s simply not recommended for dogs at all.
And of course, potato chips are simply covered in the stuff. Top canine experts recommend that only 200 milligrams of salt per day are the limits placed on your dog – anything more than that, and he or she runs the very real risk of salt or sodium poisoning.
Even before just grisly side effects enter play, there’s also the question of dehydration to contend with – dogs are very dried out by just a little salt consumption, and it can mess with their ability to urinate and slake their thirst with regular amounts of water too.
There’s also quite the risk of poisoning to deal with in dogs from certain flavours of potato chips.
Even if you avoid the most obvious flavours most likely to feature onions and garlic as ingredients, these two related and pungent creations feature in all kinds of chips of every taste imaginable.
And as you may already know, even garlic powder and onion powder, as would be used for potato chip flavourings, are incredibly toxic to dogs.
A less severe, but no less problematic, issue that arises from dogs eat potato chips is the potential for weight gain.
The fat and oils in potato chips aren’t processed altogether well by canine digestive systems at all, and it can take a surprisingly small amount of potato chips or other fatty foods to really bulk up a pooch beyond his or her means.
Dogs with weight problems are often sluggish, easily tired and downright unhappy – they don’t know how to handle all those extra pounds, and nature designed them to be slender and sprightly creatures.
Your dog doesn’t always understand how his or her health afflictions hold him or her back, and can become frustrated as a consequence.
How many potato chips can a dog eat daily?
Ideally, you’re not looking to feed potato chips to your dog at all, and certainly don’t have any reason to think that a meal for your dog should feature chips as a base ingredient or the core component of a dinner.
Although complications with flavours and salts can ensue, in the most technical terms it’d be acceptable to let your dog crunch perhaps a potato chip or two per day, but ultimately even this is better avoided if at all possible.
We completely understand how big puppy eyes can guilt trip even the best of us into moments of weakness, but we all have a responsibility to help our dogs lead long, happy, healthy lives.
Should the occasional chip fall from your hand to the ground to be snapped up to your dog, or if the children give your pooch a fistful of chips every other weekend to chow down on, there’ll be little to worry about.
If your dog shows any signs of bad health though, make sure chips are one of the first things to cut out of their diet, and consider informing your vet.
What to do if your dog eats potato chips
Whether your pup has sent the bowl of potato chips flying from the armrest of the sofa, or has just got their snout into a big grab bag of chips and is crunching up a storm, it can be deeply worrying to dog owners who know the health risks to come across their beloved animal chowing down on potato chips unexpectedly.
Your first course of action is to identify the kind of potato chips your dog is eating.
Even those flavours that seem to have no such additives run a serious risk of having onion and garlic content of some kind, and these are toxic to your dog
. Even what seems like quite a small dose can cause issues for your dog, so if your pet shows signs of dizziness, confusion, stomach cramps or worse, contact your vet immediately.
Hot spicy flavours of potato chips also cause remarkably discomfort to your dog during digestion, and you may find that he or she coughs these kinds of chips up sooner rather than later.
However, as we have been discussing, it’s the salt and sodium content of potato chips that’s often the biggest problem for your dog.
Even with the long term risk of sodium poisoning and other nasty complications aside, salt dehydrates your dog, and imbalances them within in some strange ways that could make them seem almost endlessly thirst for a few days while their systems rebalance themselves.
Thanks to their strong flavours and scents, potato chips are extremely appealing to dogs, and even the most well behaved such pet will make a beeline for any spilled chips or those handed over to them by someone who likely means well, but doesn’t know the risks.
Do what you can to make sure that your pet knows that potato chips are the rarest of treats, and preferably avoided, to really minimise the risks.
Delicious, crunchy and always moreish, potato chips are a movie time companion or low key social snack around a table for all of us.
Unfortunately, it’s not always a good idea to include dogs in that equation though.
Despite there being no immediate harm to dogs eating one or two chips, providing there is no garlic or onion content on them, there are enough health risks to dogs eating chips that they prove really difficult to recommend as anything other than super occasional snacks for your pooch.
Salt will dehydrate your dog, spices will upset their tummy, and oils and fats will pile on the pet’s pounds before you know it. It”s best not to risk any long term harm to your pet.