Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns?

We all like giving our dogs some of our food as a snack. While it might be harmless at the time, it can lead to stomach upset and other issues. If you are curious whether it is okay for your dog to eat hash browns, the answer is no. Hash browns contain some ingredients and spices that are not good for your dog.

While your dog might enjoy eating hash browns, they can lead to several health issues. By knowing this, you can make the right snack choice for your dog.

Before we get into the ingredients of what makes a hash brown, you need to know why people make a fuss over this snack.

What is a Hash brown?

Hash browns are an American breakfast dish first made in the 1890s and are still a common breakfast item today. As they became popular, they were commercialized and are now sold in most food outlets like MacDonald’s. Some companies also sell them frozen so families can heat them in the home. They have become regular in most family meals, and this is how dogs get to eat them.

What are the Ingredients in a Hash brown?

Hash browns are made from a myriad of ingredients to satisfy human taste buds and can either be grilled or fried in oil to make them crispy and tasty. While eating hash browns is okay for humans, the same cannot be said for dogs. Most of the ingredients in a hash brown are not safe for canine consumption.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Human Food? The Answers in 2022

Here are some of the ingredients used in making hash browns.


The main ingredient in hash browns is shredded potatoes. Since the hash browns will be fried or grilled, there is often a chance that the potatoes will not cook through entirely. Even though your dog can eat potatoes, you need to ensure that they are completely cooked. A compound called solanine found in raw potatoes can harm your dog. If you bought hash browns from a fast-food store, it is difficult to know if the potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

Vegetable oil

Hash browns are usually fried in oil to give them that crispy color. Even when air frying them, one will often brush them with a little oil to ensure they crisp up when they cook.

Most of the oils used, especially in fast food joints, are not dog friendly. Unless you make the hash brown yourself, it might be hard to control this. If you plan on cooking for your dog, use these oils but keep in mind that they still might be harmful to your dog:

Aside from these oils, MacDonald’s and Trader Joe’s hash browns contain soybean or corn oil, which most dogs are highly allergic to.


One of the reasons hash browns are so tasty is the copious amount of salt added to them. While this salt might not be bad for you, it can cause irreparable damage to your dogs. Avoid giving the hash browns if you have pups because the high salt content can cause sodium poisoning.


Another ingredient in hash browns is dextrose which is sugar or corn sweetener. There is no reason for your dog to eat sugar in their diet. When you give your dog too much sugar, they are at risk of gaining weight and having dental issues.

When it comes to sweeteners, variations like xylitol can be very toxic to your dog.

Black pepper

Even though your dog can eat food with black pepper, ensure that they do so in moderation. If the hash browns are heavily spiced up with black pepper, your dog will have an upset stomach after eating too much.

Limiting the amount of black pepper in the hash browns can be difficult, especially if you bought them at a store.


Most hash browns have cheese in them, and just like humans, your dog can be allergic to it. Giving dogs food with cheese can lead to issues like diarrhea and vomiting, which get worse over time.

If your dog is allergic to dairy products, you might want to steer clear of the cheese in hash browns.


It might come as a surprise to you, but onions are toxic for dogs. While they might not have showcased any severe allergic reactions to the entire onion family, giving them food with onions is not safe.

Since you cannot make hash browns without onions, you might as well avoid giving it to them altogether. This way, there will be no cases of diarrhea or vomiting after your furry friend eats them.

Hash browns’ Calorie Count

Hash browns have such a high calorie content that it is not good for your dog.

A dog should eat 25 calories for every pound they weigh. With this in mind, you need to remember that hash browns have 136 calories per single piece.

Despite the high-calorie count, they are not very filling for your dog – It may gain too much weight because it needs many hash browns to get full.

If you want to reduce the caloric count in hash browns, you can choose to air-fry them. Nonetheless, while air-frying reduces the amount of oil in hash browns, they still have other ingredients that make them unsafe for your dog.

This makes it a bad snack for your dog. Cutting them out altogether is the best way to go about it.

What Happens When You Give Your Dog Hash browns?

Different dogs will have different reactions to hash browns, so this is something you need to keep in mind. Do not just give your dog hash browns without thinking about the effect it will have.

Here are some warning signs that your dog is allergic to hash browns. When you notice any of these, ensure you see a vet so your dog can get checked out:

Final Word

When it comes to hash browns, we strongly recommend against them. While it might seem like a fun snack to try out, the effects are not so great and can be fatal. There is no difference between store-bought and MacDonald’s hash browns, so ensure you keep your dog away from them.

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