Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns (Incl. McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s)

Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns? (Incl. McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s)

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Many of our human foods are not appropriate for dogs. Hash browns are one of them, no matter where you buy them from McDonald’s, Subway, or Trader Joe’s. Hash browns should not be given to your pups.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns? (incl. McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s)“.

Hash browns should not be eaten by dogs. Both Mcdonalds Hash Browns and Trader Joes Hash Browns are fried in oils giving them their high-calorie count per serving. They contain a lot of salt preservatives and fats as well. As a matter of fact some Hash Browns also contain onion as one of their ingredients depending on where you purchase them. 

Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns (Incl. McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s)

Before you give your pups Hash browns as treats consider healthier alternatives such as sprouts or seeds.

OK so lets look at why Hash browns are not healthy for your furry friends which ingredients in Hash browns can cause poisoning in dogs and other dog-friendly food alternatives to give them instead.

What are Hash Browns?

The classic American breakfast dish hash browns were and still is very popular. In the city that never sleeps New York City they first appeared on breakfast menus in the 1890s. 

Since then Hash browns have been commercialized much like Fortune cookies. In the 1980s fast-food companies such as Burger King and McDonalds began commercializing hash browns. Hash browns are now sold throughout the United States. 

Some regions of the United States add chopped or diced onions to Hash browns which are usually fried or grilled. In todays world Hash Browns are served throughout the day and not just for breakfast. 

Most people have Hash browns for breakfast with scrambled or boiled eggs bacon salmon breakfast sandwiches sausage or quiche. You can often find Hash browns served with burritos quesadillas or any meat dish for lunch or dinner. 

In response to its popularity Hash browns are now mass-produced and available at your local supermarket or grocery store. These products usually come frozen dehydrated or refrigerated. 

The word Hash is derived from the French word Hacher which means chop or hack so Hash browns means chopped potatoes.

What is in Hash Browns?

There are several ingredients in hash browns that appeal to the human palate and make them tasty savory and crispy. Lets examine the ingredients in both McDonalds Hash browns and store-bought Hash browns such as the Trader Joes Hash brown patties. 

Ingredients in McDonald’s Hash Browns

  • Potatoes.
  • Oils from vegetables: canola oil soybean oil corn oil hydrogenated soybean oil citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane.
  • Salt.
  • Corn flour.
  • Dehydrated potato.
  • Dextrose (corn sugar or sweetener).
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate.
  • Extractives of black pepper.

Ingredients in Trader Joe’s Hash Brown Patties

  • Potatoes. 
  • Vegetable oil: soybean and/or canola.
  • Salt.
  • Dextrose (corn sugar or sweetener).
  • The citric acid (to maintain color).

In addition lets look at what goes into the Hash browns:

Plain potatoes are safe for dogs fried potatoes with added salt are harmful to dogs)

Make sure the potatoes are fully cooked or baked when it comes to potatoes. Raw potatoes should not be given to dogs as they contain a toxic compound called solanine that is toxic to them. If you are making homemade Hash browns be careful and do not let your raw potato fall on the floor. 

The best potato for dogs is plain potato. Whenever they are fried in oil with added salt they are no longer healthy and safe for dogs to eat. 

Due to the high amount of salt in the potatoes in both the McDonalds Hash brown and Trader Joes Hash brown (as you will see below) you should not feed these Hash browns to your canine companions.

Vegetable oils used in Hash Browns are harmful to dogs

Potatoes fried in oil are not good for our furry companions so keep them away from the Hash browns.

The following oils are safe and canine-friendly so we highly recommend them: 

  • Flaxseed oil.
  • Olive oil. 
  • Coconut oil.
  • Fish oil. 
  • Sunflower oil.

The vegetable oils listed above are not digestible for dogs and they contain trans fats and saturated fats both of which are bad for the body. Like many of you I do not want my dogs to eat McDonalds Hash browns because they are very oily.   

Furthermore both McDonalds Hash browns and Trader Joes Hash browns contain soybean oil which some dogs are allergic to. McDonalds hash browns also contain corn oil which is another food product that can cause allergies in dogs. 

“Vegetable oil grease butter and bacon fat are not appropriate fats for your dog to consume. Low-grade oils may do more harm than good to your pets health resulting in disorders such as pancreatitis or obesity.”

Banfield Vet Hospital

An excessive amount of salt in Hash Browns is harmful to dogs

It is possible for dogs to become salt toxic if they eat even a small amount of Hash browns. Hash browns taste good because of the salt. Avoid feeding your pup Hash browns.

The best thing to do is to avoid feeding dogs food that contains a lot of salts such as egg salad and dairy products since they can cause salt toxicity.

Dextrose in Hash Browns is simply sugar that dogs don’t need

Hash Browns contain dextrose as one of their main ingredients. Corn sugar or sweetener is usually the source of dextrose. In the end sugar is simply just sugar whether it is corn sugar dextrose or sweetener.

Sugar is not required at all in the diets of our four-legged friends. They do not need to consume any sugar because their body naturally converts the carbohydrates from their regular foods to sugar. 

Dogs who consume too much sugar are at risk for weight gain dental problems diabetes and even pancreatitis. Because of this we should keep human food containing any form of sugar away from our pets. 

Sweeteners should also be used with caution. Dogs are toxic and at risk from sweeteners such as xylitol. 

Black pepper is safe for dogs in moderation

Dogs will be safe if they are fed small amounts of black pepper in moderation. When your dog accidentally consumes food with large amounts of pepper the following can occur:

  • Upset stomach

McDonalds Hash browns and Trader Joes Hash Browns ingredients need to be viewed in context specifically how they would affect a dogs health if he ate Hash browns.  

Nutritional Profile

Trader Joe’s Hash Browns

Nutritional Profile of Trader Joe’s Hash Browns (1 Potato Patty 64g)

Name UnitAmount
Calories cal120
Sodium mg250
Carbohydrate g15
Total Fat g6
Potassium mg210
Protein g1
Calcium mg10
Iron mg0.4

McDonald’s Hash Browns

Nutritional Profile of McDonald’s Hash Browns (1 Potato Patty 55g)

Name UnitAmount
Calories cal150
Sodium mg320
Carbohydrate g16
Total Fat g9
Potassium mg0
Protein g1
Calcium mg0
Iron mg<1

Are Hash browns bad for dogs?

Based on the nutritional profile above here are some reasons why hash browns are bad for our dogs: 

High-calorie count

Hash Browns contain a lot of calories as you can see. The amount of calories required per pound for dogs is only 25 per day.

Here are some examples: 

  • The daily caloric intake for a small breed of 10 pounds should not exceed 250 calories. 
  • The daily caloric intake of a 50-pound medium breed dog should not exceed 1250 calories. 
  • An animal weighing 70 pounds should consume only 1750 calories per day. 
  • There should be only 2250 calories in a day for a 90-pound giant breed. 

In addition with the 90/10 rule treats should not comprise more than 10% of a dogs daily diet. 

Here are some examples:

  • McDonalds Hash Browns (150 calories): 60% small breed Chihuahuas and 12% medium breed Labradors. 

Both of these percentages exceed the daily dog treat consumption threshold of 10%.  

Even a few bites of the Hash browns on a single day could add up to an excess of calories for a small dog. If dogs consume Hash browns regularly this can lead to weight gain and obesity. 

The Hash browns are often topped with melted cheddar cheese or cheese sauce. While this is fine for human consumption you should not feed your dog Hash browns drizzled with dairy or cheese products since many dogs are lactose-intolerant.

High in sodium

A high amount of salt is present in hash browns. As a result they are tasty and flavorful although consuming foods with a high amount of salt is toxic to dogs and could lead to salt toxicity in them.  

Dogs suffering from salt toxicity exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizure.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Weakness.
  • Dehydration.

In dogs its best to avoid excessive salt intake. You should take your dog to the vet immediately if your dog has salt poisoning. 

High in fat 

No matter if it is from a fast-food restaurant like McDonalds or a grocery store like Trader Joes hash browns are high in fat. Do not feed your pups any Hash browns but if you must give them only a tiny amount and do not do this frequently in order to avoid dog obesity. 

High in carbohydrates

Trader Joes Hash Browns and McDonalds Hash Browns both have high carbohydrate content as you can see from their nutritional profiles. Dogs can get obese and develop diabetes if they consume too much carbohydrates. 

It is important for dogs to get their carbs from their regular dog food. As Hash browns contain a lot of carbohydrates avoid giving them to your pups. 

Lack of nutrient benefits for dogs

The nutritional profile of McDonalds Hash browns shows that dogs do not get any nutrients from them so they are just consuming empty calories.

When to contact your vet

If your pup accidentally ate a lot of Hash browns and you notice any of the following symptoms or changes in their behavior contact or visit your veterinarian immediately. 

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Excessively thirsty.
  • Urinating more than usual.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Seizures.
  • Lethargy. 

Canine-friendly alternatives to Hash browns

When I eat Hash browns whether they come from McDonalds or Trader Joes I do not give them to my dogs as the cooking method and ingredients in these Hash browns are unsafe for them. 

So can dogs eat Hash browns?

As dog owners we are often tempted to feed our furry friends table food especially when they are looking at us with puppy dog eyes. However many of our human foods are not appropriate for dogs. Hash browns are one of them no matter where you buy them from McDonalds Subway or Trader Joes. 

Hash browns should not be given to your pups. Make sure you’re only giving your pup a small number of Hash browns and make sure you do not give him Hash browns regularly. Additionally Hash browns should not contain onions as they are toxic to dogs. 

When giving your furry friends dog treats and snacks its important to keep the 90/10 rule in mind. 

Can dogs eat Frozen Hash browns?

Unfortunately dogs should not consume frozen Hash browns. Salt preservatives and fats are still present in frozen Hash browns. This is harmful to the health and digestive system of dogs.

Can dogs eat Subway Hash browns?

It is not recommended for dogs to consume Subway Hash browns. As with McDonalds Hash Browns they are fried in oils that are unhealthy and unsafe for dogs and are high in salt and saturated fat. Subway Hash browns are also high in calories so keep your pup away from them.

Is Hash Brown bad for dogs?

The answer is yes. Because Hash browns are oily salty and contain preservatives dog owners should not give them to their pooch. Hash browns have a high-calorie count and dogs are likely to accidentally eat the whole thing. 

Vegetables such as carrots broccoli or beets are healthier choices. Dogs can enjoy these vegetables because they provide vitamins minerals fiber and antioxidants.

If your furry friends love potatoes you can feed them potatoes in moderation. Be sure it is plain with no added flavor and definitely make sure it is not fried in oil. 

Can dogs eat hash browns from Chick Fil A?

Dogs should not eat Hash browns from Chick-fil-a. In general it is not healthy for dogs to eat any fried food. Hash brown is fried in vegetable oil and includes tons of ingredients that will not sit well with your dog’s tummy. There is also added salt which your pups do not need. 

Most of the ingredients in Hash browns from Chick-fil-a are not healthy or safe for dogs. Additionally the Hash brown does not provide any nutritional benefit or value to your pooch. For these reasons we recommend that you do not feed your canine friends Hash browns whether from Chick-fil-a or another fast-food restaurant.

Share on:
Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *