Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?

Potatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. These vitamins and minerals promote your dog’s immune system, nervous system, helps to absorb other nutrients, and more. It sounds like an excellent food to share with your pup, right?  But let’s try to dig deeper.

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What happens if dogs eat mashed potatoes?

Dogs are not made to eat carbs, but more and more commercial dog food recipes today include significant amounts of carbs, including potatoes. And as practice shows, dogs can tolerate small quantities of extra carbs without severe reactions.

So you won’t see anything strange going on with your canine after eating a tiny serving of mashed potatoes. As long as it doesn’t contain “bad” ingredients, such as increased amounts of salt, pepper, butter, garlic, etc. As long as your dog doesn’t have any allergic reactions to this vegetable.

Can dogs have mashed potatoes?

Yes, they can. Technically. But keep a few significant cautions in mind. Mashed potatoes are not terrible for dogs, but they are not necessarily good for them either.

This dish doesn’t give many extra nutrients to your dog. And your pup is probably much better off eating his typical dog food diet (including potato as an ingredient if your pet like it) or a vet-approved raw meat diet.

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Are mashed potatoes bad for dogs?

While it’s not necessarily bad for pets, you still have to watch out for some of the dish’s components. You should certainly not allow your dog to eat mashed potatoes if it contains sour cream, milk or any other dairy.

Unfortunately, this will pretty much rule out most of the mashed potatoes recipes that we human are enjoying.

The same goes for the instant variation of the dish. It contains some components that are not safe or even poisonous to your pet and usually high in sugar, which is also a dangerous thing.  

And if we are talking about dairy, such as butter, milk, and sour cream. Many canines have a lactose intolerance that can lead them to experience a variety of issues, including digestive distress, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.

And the list may go on with allergic reactions, including rushes and even troubles with breathing.

The condition could be severe depending on the seriousness of your dog’s lactose intolerance. If your pet consumes milk and starts to show any of the troubling signs and changes in the behavior you should contact your vet right away.

Butter and sour cream also mean fat. If your dog consumes too much fat rapidly, it may trigger the whole range of health issues, including diabetes, obesity, and even heart diseases, to name a few.

Another problem with too much fat intake is pancreatitis development, which could be life-threatening for your pet.

can dogs eat mashed potatoes

The last thing to remember is the fact that potatoes belong to a nightshade family. Those vegetables are labeled as Solanaceae crops by scientists and can be dangerous even for some people.

Although the impact on individuals is still a much-debated subject, it is recognized that the chemical solanine discovered on nightshade crops is poisonous to animals.  Solanine is found mostly in its peel.

Peeling and boiling a white potato will decrease solanine to the point that is considered healthy for animals to consume. But maybe you should still avoid any kind of mashed potatoes altogether.

Are garlic mashed potatoes bad for dogs?

mash potato dog

This recipe clearly indicates that it includes garlic. And it’s an absolute no-no for any dog. So yes, this version of the dish is bad for your pet as it can cause damage to the red blood cells and potentially cause anemia. At the very least, the dog might also end up having digestive issues, including various symptoms from nausea, and abdominal pain to vomiting and diarrhea.

Can dogs have instant mashed potatoes?

The Instant mashed potatoes you find in the supermarket are rich in sodium, which is not good for your canine at all. Getting too much sodium can even cause many other problems with salt poisoning. It may also contain additional herbs and spices, including garlic and onions, both of which are toxic to dogs.

For instance, this seemingly healthy organic option from Edwards and Son contains organic onion powder, along with other more dog-friendly ingredients. So you would definitely want to avoid it. 

However, this recipe by Honest Earth seems to be safer for dogs. So you would always want to read the labels and check out on the macros, sodium content, potentially toxic ingredients and also take care of the serving size too. Only the tiniest amounts of human food are OK to share with your pup. 

Can dogs eat KFC mashed potatoes?

In my personal opinion, no one should eat it. It looks OK in terms of macros if we are talking about human nutrition, but it’s too high in sodium for a dog (320mg per serving). 

But the worst part is what it’s made of. It’s around a hundred ingredients (check it here), and some of them have very tricky names. Like Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Corn Syrup Solids, BHT, Dimethylpolysiloxane, TBHO, etc.  

I am not sure if any of those can add up any nutritional benefits to the dog’s diet.

Can dogs eat…

… mashed potatoes with butter

Heavy additives such as butter were never intended for dogs. Never feed your dog with fat food that will only cause diarrhea and discomfort in your pet. Besides, some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase that breaks down the lactose in the milk. This can lead to diarrhea. So you should always stick to lactose-free products.

… mashed potatoes with peas

Green peas are a healthy treat for your dog because they are high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and various B vitamins. Peas are also a valuable source of fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. However, dogs that eat too many peas may experience gas as well as other digestive problems. So if there are a few peas in a small serving of plain mashed potatoes, that shouldn’t be a problem.

… mashed potatoes with corn

Pet food manufacturers favor this grain lately as it’s quite cheap. And many vets agree that corn is OK to be included in a dog’s diet. However, you have to make sure that your pup is not allergic to corn first. So again, it’s OK if you’ll add a small amount of corn into a bite-size serving of otherwise plain mashed potatoes.  

… mashed potatoes with gravy

mashed potato dog

Gravy is one of the most popular toppings that makes mashed potatoes taste even better. But this sauce is quite high in sodium, and one tablespoon of gravy (depending on the recipe) frequently contains more sodium than your pup can eat in a day. Apart from the vast amount of fat and salt, most of the gravy recipes contain either onion or garlic granules that are highly toxic to dogs.

Mashed potatoes and dogs. Summary

are mashed potatoes good for dogs

Because of all the troubling ingredients of a perfect for humans mashed potatoes, dogs should usually not be eating it. But again, if you want to prepare some simple mashed potatoes particularly for your pup, that can be okay.

To do this, boil the vegetables without any additional seasoning and mash them. But it’s certainly not something you should happily share with your dog anyway.

And don’t ignore the fact that you always have to check with your doctor before bringing any new meals into your pet’s diet, even though a meal is technically deemed “healthy” for dogs.

If you’d like to offer your dog some potato snack, it’s likely better to stay with sweet potatoes because they’re richer in nutrients and safer for your dog. And if you want to learn more about dogs and potatoes check our detailed backed by research report covering “Can dogs eat potatoes?” topic.


Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

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