Most dogs will eat just about anything. And most of the time, they don’t bother waiting around for permission when some yummy food has been left unattended in their vicinity. So, as a dog owner, you have probably found your dog eating a potato chip or two that the kids have dropped on the ground or that were left behind on the table. But should dogs eat potato chips? This is a question every pet parent should ask themselves. The answer is that dogs shouldn’t indulge in potato chips like humans do. Read on to learn more about why you should keep potato chips away from your pooch.
Why are Potato Chips So Bad for Dogs?
The biggest reason dogs should not eat potato chips is due to the salt content. Sure, dogs need a little salt in their diet to maintain their good health. Most potato chips are loaded with salt to make them delicious and addicting so you don’t want to stop after eating just one or two. But that salt could mean serious trouble for your dog if it gets into the chip bag.
Too much salt intake could lead to problems like diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even death in the most serious of cases. Dogs get plenty of salt in their diets if they’re eating high-quality food, so any potato chips you give your pup could tip the scales toward the danger zone of salt intake.
Another reason potato chips aren’t a great snack option for your dog is that they are typically fried in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which isn’t particularly healthy. Dogs need healthy fats to thrive, but they don’t need processed fats that are found in potato chips. In fact, eating too much fat can result in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems for your dog as he ages.
Then there is the fact that many types of potato chips are flavored with spices, herbs, and even artificial flavors that could irritate your dog’s digestive system. Some spices and herbs such as onion, garlic, and chives in your potato chips could even be poisonous to your pooch.
What are the Alternatives to Potato Chips?
The potato part of your favorite snacking chips wouldn’t be a problem for your dog. They provide extra vitamins and minerals that will help round our pooch’s diet out over time. You can steam, bake, or mash potatoes for your dog to enjoy while you’re munching on your potato chips.
Another safe alternative to potato chips is air-popped popcorn without salt or butter. Your dog will benefit from the fiber, iron, and B-vitamins that popcorn has to offer, and won’t feel left out while your family is enjoying a bag of potato chips together.
You can even make your own potato chips at home to share with your pooch. Just wash and slice some potatoes, toss the potatoes in just a tablespoon of oil, then bake the slices at 325 degrees until they crisp up. You can feed some of the homemade chips to your dog plain and toss the rest in salt and other spices for your human family members to enjoy.
Our Final Thoughts
If your dog eats a potato chip or two, there really isn’t anything to worry about. But you should keep an eye out for signs of an upset belly, diarrhea, and nausea for a while afterward. If you do notice any signs of distress, contact your local animal poison center for guidance. But generally, dogs can handle an occasional chip without experiencing any detrimental side effects. It’s always best to simply keep the potato chips away from your pup and offer them something else that’s tasty and appropriate to snack on instead.
How do you feel about feeding potato chips to your dog? We would love to hear your opinion and advice! So, please feel free to leave us a comment below.
Featured Image: Public Domain Pictures
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.