Just like people, dogs can eat potato skins. They are not poisonous, and a little bit will not cause a significant adverse reaction in your canine. In general, you should not be worried in the least if your dog swiped some potato skins from the counter.
However, that does not mean you should feed your dog all your potato scraps. While your dog isn’t going to be harmed from eating a little bit, they should not make up the bulk of your dog’s diet or even be used as treats. This is largely because of their macronutrient content.
The Nutritional Content of Potato Skins
As you might guess, potatoes are mostly made out of carbohydrates. They contain quite a lot of carbohydrates, as they are a starchy veggie. This is fine for humans. However, it is not necessarily the best for our furry friends.
Dogs have evolved to digest grains and starches due to their close contact with people. But they still require a high amount of fat and protein to thrive. Studies have shown that dogs choose a diet high in fat and protein when given complete control of their diet. Usually, animals are very good at choosing a diet that helps them thrive, so we can safely assume that this shows their perfect diet.
The problem is that potatoes are not high in fat or protein. Instead, they are almost entirely carbohydrates. This does not match what our dogs need to thrive, which is why potatoes should not make up a large portion of their diet.
Potato skins do contain a few vitamins and minerals. However, all of these nutrients can be found in other foods that aren’t so high in carbs. For example, potato skins contain a surprising amount of iron, but meat will always be a better source.
Potatoes and Dilute Cardiomyopathy
While a few potato skins will not hurt your puppy, there is some evidence that potatoes can cause serious problems when eaten in large amounts.
The FDA is currently investigating a potential link between certain dog foods and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a deadly heart condition. While the investigation is still underway, the preliminary findings show that dog foods containing high amounts of potatoes, peas, and lentils are more likely to cause these heart conditions.
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This is likely related to taurine, which is a nutrient used by your heart. There is some speculation that something in potatoes, peas, and lentils may affect the body’s ability to use taurine, but nothing is known for sure yet.
In the meantime, we recommend limiting the potatoes your dog eats. Them eating a few scraps off the floor is no big deal, but you probably shouldn’t serve them a bowl of potato skins every day.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Potato Skins?
Once again, one raw potato skin is not going to hurt your dog. However, raw potatoes contain solanine, which is a poison. Potato skins do not contain very much, so your dog will likely be fine unless they are minimal and eat a lot. This is the same poison that is found in Nightshade plants, which potatoes are related to.
The solanine is only found in the green parts of the plant. If a potato skin has some green on the underside, it likely contains higher concentrations of solanine. Of course, since potatoes overall don’t contain much solanine, even the green parts aren’t going to contain that much.
While you do not need to rush your dog to the vet over potential solanine poisoning if they eat a bit of raw potato, you should likely cook any potato skins you’re planning on feeding your puppy.
Be Careful with Seasonings
While potato skins are not harmful by themselves, they may be seasoned with ingredients that are not good for our canines. For example, you need to be careful with things like onions and garlic, as both can be poisonous to dogs.
You should also watch salt, especially if your dog is smaller. What is a little bit of salt for us can be a lot of salt for small dogs. This can throw off their sodium intake and can cause health problems in the long-term.
Can Dogs Eat Potato Skins?
If your dog pulled some potato skins off the counter, don’t worry about it. A little bit is not going to hurt them, even if they were raw. You may want to watch your canine for intestinal discomfort, as this can be common when eating any new food. However, there is no reason to rush them to the vet.
With that said, we don’t recommend feeding your dog potato skins. They do not fit into a dog’s preferred diet and may cause problems when eaten in bulk. You should not feed your dog potatoes as part of their regular diet.
Featured Image Credit: kalhh, Pixabay