The Short Answer is:
The simple answer to this question is no- you shouldn’t feed your dog sweet potatoes every day. Despite the fact that sweet potatoes contain lots of great nutrients, they are also very high in carbohydrates and contain a large amount of vitamin A. So, sweet potatoes are a great occasional addition to your dog’s food, but they shouldn’t show up in the bowl every day.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can I feed sweet potato to my dog everyday?“.
- What nutrition is there in sweet potatoes?
- Why do some commercial dog foods have sweet potatoes in them?
- Fresh sweet potato vs canned
- Should I feed sweet potato raw or cooked?
- How to cook sweet potatoes for my dog?
- Should dogs eat sweet potato skin?
- Can a dog have too much sweet potato?
- Is sweet potato better for my dog than pumpkin?
- How much sweet potato should I feed my dog?
- Can I feed sweet potatoes to my dog every day? (Watch Video)
Is it okay to feed my dog sweet potatoes every day?
The simple answer to this question is no- you should not feed your dog sweet potatoes every day.
Despite the fact that sweet potatoes contain lots of great nutrients they are also very high in carbohydrates and contain a large amount of vitamin A.
So sweet potatoes are a great occasional addition to your dogs food but they should not show up in the bowl every day.
It would also be beneficial for your dog to have a broader variety of foods to eat which is another reason why I’m reluctant to recommend feeding your dog sweet potatoes every day.
When adding sweet potatoes to a dogs diet why not mix it up with other vegetables as well?
You can read my articles about green beans broccoli celery and cabbage for dogs.
You will be able to offer your dog a more varied boost of vitamins and minerals as well as different textures and flavors.
What makes the humble sweet potato so special?
What nutrition is there in sweet potatoes?
When analyzing the nutrition of sweet potatoes it is important to note that all values are for a serving of 100 grams.
Furthermore the values in this section refer to boiled sweet potatoes.
Based on a general overview of nutrition boiled sweet potatoes contain over 4% fat 17% carbohydrate of which 5% is sugar and 2.5 % fiber.
In terms of vitamins sweet potato is rich in beta carotene (which can be converted into vitamin A).
Your dogs eyesight will benefit from this.
As an antioxidant it may also contribute to the prevention of certain types of cancer and the enhancement of “cognitive” function.
Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
Keeping your cells healthy and functioning properly is made possible by vitamin B6.
In order for tissues inside a dog to be healthy and strong vitamin C is essential.
One of the most important minerals present in a sweet potato is copper which is good for muscles and bones.
Why do some commercial dog foods have sweet potatoes in them?
Sweet potato is a common ingredient in commercial dog foods.
In “grain-free” foods where it replaces wheat as an ingredient it has a major role to play.
Wheat or gluten intolerance is the most common reason why dogs need to follow a grain-free diet.
It is unknown how many dogs are gluten intolerant; celiac disease the most severe form of this affects about 1% of the worlds population.
Fresh sweet potato vs canned
You might be surprised to learn that fresh sweet potato and canned sweet potato have slightly different nutritional profiles.
The fiber content and sugar content are lower in the canned variety (1.7% vs. 2.4%) but calories are higher (123 vs. 109).
Vitamin A is slightly higher in the canned variety (396 to 764 mcg) and vitamin B6 is about the same (.207 mg vs. .183 mg) but vitamin C is much higher in canned sweet potato (25 mg vs. 12 mg).
In terms of minerals canned sweet potatoes contain more copper than fresh sweet potatoes-.132 mg compared to .089 mg.
What is the difference between raw and cooked sweet potatoes?
Should I feed sweet potato raw or cooked?
Well well well.
You wouldnot believe it would you?
Raw sweet potatoes are much more nutritious than boiled sweet potatoes as evidenced by a comparison between the two.
Raw potatoes for instance have fewer calories (86 vs 109) very little fat (0.1 vs 4.3%) more fiber (3 vs 2.4%) and about half the sugar (4.2 vs 5.5%) of their cooked counterparts.
One of the most notable facts about raw sweet potatoes is how little fat they contain.
Lets compare vitamins next.
|Vitamin A||14187 IU||–|
|Beta carotene||8509 mcg||8968 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||.209 mg||.183 mg|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg||12.1 mg|
Raw sweet potatoes have a humongous amount of vitamin A so I guess thats the headline here.
Humans should consume 14187 IU per day nearly three times the daily recommended amount.
That is more than 28 times the amount recommended for dogs.
Based on the charts I created on this page I calculated this.
Adding to the colossal amount of vitamin A found in raw sweet potatoes is beta carotene a substance the body converts into vitamin A.
Although boiled sweet potatoes do not contain pure vitamin A they do contain more beta carotene than their raw “cousins”.
That is a lot of beta carotene as I said.
My understanding is that beta carotene is converted into vitamin A…
The raw variety of sweet potatoes contains slightly more vitamin B6 than the boiled variety.
However both amounts are slightly higher than the recommended amounts for dogs.
As far as dogs are concerned they do not need vitamin C in their diet since their bodies can make it in their livers.
A dogs system will not be adversely affected by vitamin C in foods it will only be boosted by it.
Dogs may be protected from free radicals by it according to some.
Moving on to minerals the only noteworthy mineral is copper.
A dogs body uses copper to maintain its bones and muscles.
The amount of copper in raw sweet potatoes is almost double that of boiled sweet potatoes (.151 mg as opposed to .089 mg).
Dogs generally need much lower concentrations of carbohydrates in their diets.
Lets move on to the lighter stuff. The next topic I would like to discuss is the best method for cooking sweet potatoes.
How to cook sweet potatoes for my dog?
It is not harmful to feed your dogs raw sweet potatoes since as we saw in the previous section they pack quite a punch.
It is harder for your dog to digest raw vegetables than cooked ones but you can get around this problem by cutting them up smaller.
Raw vegetables are simpler faster and less messy to feed than cooked ones.
However if you still want to feed them to your dog cooked what is the best way to prepare them?
Even though I’m a fan of roasted sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips myself my dogs do not get to eat them this way.
As you roast them you destroy more of their nutrients and you cook them in oil which you do not really want to put in your dogs diet.
I steam them to make them dog friendly.
The process makes them softer making them easier to digest while retaining most of their vitamin and mineral content!
After steaming the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes they are cut into 2 cm chunks.
With regard to texture I am looking for a bit of softness in the potatoes but I do not want to steam them for too long or they will fall apart.
It is soft enough to just poke the tip of a knife in without much resistance.
Should dogs eat sweet potato skin?
My opinion is that dogs should not be fed sweet potatoes with their skins still on.
In addition to being an extremely rich source of nutrients vegetable skins just mean less work for us so we are more likely to consume them.
The skin of a vegetable contains a lot of fiber which might concern some owners because it is a vegetable.
Nevertheless if you are concerned you can leave the skin on the sweet potato and feed your dog a smaller portion.
As a final word of caution about feeding vegetable skins (and this is funny coming from me because I’m often lax about rinsing vegetables) make sure they’re thoroughly rinsed to get rid of any stray direct chemicals or coating of pesticides.
Can a dog have too much sweet potato?
In the long run it might be harmful due to its high vitamin A content.
Its possible to become poisoned by vitamin A a condition that can take years to develop but can have some nasty and irreversible consequences including arthritis.
Fortunately excessive sweet potato consumption is not listed as a probable cause!
Another nutrient to be aware of is carbohydrates.
Raw sweet potatoes contain 20% carbohydrate (of which 4.2% is sugar) and boiled sweet potatoes contain 17% carbohydrate (of which 5.5 % is sugar).
There are a lot of carbs and sugars in that food which can have negative effects on a dogs health including encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria.
A dog whose poop turns orange after eating too much sweet potato is another side effect of too much sweet potato consumption.
This is something I have personally experienced.
I would rather have orange poop on my dog than on myself!
Is sweet potato better for my dog than pumpkin?
It depends on how you define “better” in this case but thats an interesting comparison.
Lets look at the nutritional information.
|100g serving||Sweet potato||Pumpkin|
|Vitamin A||14187 IU||8513 IU|
|Vitamin B6||.209 mg||.061 mg|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg||9 mg|
|Copper||.151 mg||.127 mg|
|Manganese||.258 mg||.125 mg|
The first difference is the amount of water in each.
Pumpkin contains 15% more water than sweet potato which helps explain why it only has 26 calories per 100 grams compared to 86 calories in sweet potato.
Carbohydrate content also differs significantly. Sweet potato has 20% carbs while pumpkin has only 6.5%!
Despite having six times the fiber (3 % vs .5%) sweet potatoes have almost two and a half times the amount of sugar (4.2% vs 2.8%).
Fiber content interests me since pumpkin is often recommended as a diarrhea remedy for dogs because it is high in fiber.
Fresh pumpkin does not have a lot of fiber in a relative sense.
Even though canned pumpkin is better.
In terms of vitamins sweet potatoes contain far more vitamin A than pumpkins but pumpkins contain far more beta carotenes which the body converts into vitamin A so I’m not sure how much of a difference there is.
In comparison to sweet potatoes pumpkins contain more vitamin C.
When it comes to copper and manganese content sweet potato is the winner.
Even though these two vegetables have the same color they are quite different in many respects.
Depending on your dogs needs!
How much sweet potato should I feed my dog?
As I answer this question I will focus on how much to feed your dog as a supplement to their main meal.
In the case of a diarrheal dog for instance sweet potato would be more appropriate to feed.
The abundant and nutritional nature of sweet potatoes is a recurring theme in this article.
Due to this I recommend feeding your dog no more than a few tablespoons.
So I would probably feed my sixty pounds (thirty kg) Golden Retrievers a maximum of three teaspoons each.
You can give your dog up to four tablespoons if it is a large dog.
Feed less than one tablespoon to the smallest breeds of dogs like Chihuahuas or Shih Tzus.