Sweet potatoes and breakfast are almost like Siamese twins, providing unmatched nutritional value. This delicacy offers multiple nutrients, from minerals to vitamins. While it is a perfect addition to your diet, you might want detailed information on its suitability for your dog.
Nutritionists consider sweet potatoes a superfood, thanks to their nutrient-rich nature. Besides having vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, potatoes are low in calories and fat. They are also tasty, making them an ideal addition to your dog’s diet.
Further, various manufacturers include sweet potatoes and sweet potato elements in dog meals. However, they are a limited ingredient in kibble formulas, particularly for dogs with allergies. A few concerns have arisen over its inclusion in these meals, forcing manufacturers to limit it.
While sweet potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients and energy for dogs, limiting the amount is worth considering. The idea is to minimize some side effects of these potatoes, cushioning you against unnecessary veterinary expenses. Here are a few insights to keep in mind.
What Makes Sweet Potatoes Unique?
Sweet potatoes are starchy and often confused with yams. These are sweet root vegetables often used for breakfast. They contain significant amounts of beta carotene, fiber, and a low glycaemic index.
You must also understand the difference between yams and potatoes, as they are often confused. While they are both root vegetables, yams are less nutritious than potatoes. Further sweet potatoes come from different families, the former from the morning glory family and the latter from the lily family.
Yams are significantly larger than potatoes, and they have bark-like flesh. They also have drier and starchier meat. On the other hand, sweet potatoes are less starchy and with more nutrients. They also boast thinner skin, making them easy to cook.
However, you must prepare sweet potatoes before feeding them to your dog—excellent preparation cushions your pet against various health complications, including gastrointestinal issues.
How to Feed Sweet Potatoes to Your Dog
Ensure that you feed sweet potatoes to your dog in moderation, thanks to their starchy content. Increased carbohydrate content makes it hard for dogs to digest sweet potatoes.
You’ll also need to bake or boil the sweet potatoes before mashing, slicing, or cubing them. Fried sweet potato chips are good for humans yet unsuitable for dogs, as they cause stomach upsets. In addition, you can mix these potatoes with fruits and veggies, boosting nutritional value.
Nutritional Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients and health benefits. These root vegetables are an excellent source of energy for your dog. A few insights into their nutrients will help you understand why they are an invaluable choice.
Also referred to as roughages, dietary fiber is the indigestible part of vegetables. It is a complex carbohydrate fermented in the large intestines, meaning it takes longer to digest. Fortunately, sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, which helps increase bulk and absorb excess water in the body. This absorption helps regulate bowel movements and produce firm stool.
Fiber maintains a healthy intestinal pH, protecting the dog against undesirable bacteria, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Sweet potatoes also offer insoluble fiber, which supports gut health.
Fiber is essential for dogs with diabetes, as it regulates blood glucose and sugar. This element minimizes glucose fluctuations, regulating weight health. In addition, it enhances bulk and ensures that the dog remains satisfied for a long time.
Various signs show that your dog needs additional fiber, like this from sweet potatoes. Increased stool frequency, diarrhea, and urgency to defecate are signs that your dog is fiber-deficient. Once you see these signs, consider adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s meal.
Sweet potatoes provide your dog with vitamins A, C, and B6. These essential nutrients help heal wounds, bolster immunity, enhance energy conversion, repair damaged cells, and shore up bones.
Vitamin A is essential in boosting cell function, immunity, vision, and reproduction. It stems from the beta-carotene found in the root vegetable.
On the other hand, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against cellular damage. In addition, it improves cognitive function in senior dogs.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin B6, boosting red blood cell function and health. This vitamin will also encourage the consistent production of blood glucose and sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for dogs with diabetes.
Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, which help deal with free radicals that can damage cells. Cell damage could happen because of stress, illness, and environmental injury. These elements will help reduce system-wide inflammation and restore active muscles in dogs.
Antioxidants help cushion dogs against various illnesses, including respiratory issues, skin allergies, eye problems, arthritis, heart diseases, and cancer. Fortunately, sweet potatoes have different sources of antioxidants, including vitamin E and C, beta-carotene, and selenium, which boost cognitive function.
Sweet potatoes are rich in calcium, potassium, and iron. Calcium is essential for bone growth, heart health, and muscle function and also boosts nervous system function and dental health. On the other hand, potassium ensures that the dog has a healthy digestive system, heart, and muscles. Iron supports hemoglobin production, providing the body with energy and oxygenated blood at all times.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes
Raw sweet potatoes are not suitable for your dog. The skin is hard for the dog to digest, meaning you must remove it before ingestion. In addition, raw sweet potato is difficult to chew, exposing your dog to dental health issues, gastrointestinal blockage, and stomach upsets.
Ensure that you feed cooked sweet potatoes to your dog to avoid various health complications. Eating raw sweet potatoes could trigger vomiting, gastrointestinal complications, and diarrhea. Further, cut the sweet potatoes into small pieces to prevent choking and intestinal blockage.
How Suitable Are Canned Sweet Potatoes?
Canine nutrition must be individualized, meaning you must consult with your vet before feeding canned sweet potatoes to your dog. This happens if your dog is new to canned sweet potatoes.
Canned sweet potatoes contain artificial sweeteners and ingredients, making them unhealthy for your pet. However, if no artificial additives exist, the canned sweet potatoes will be worth it.
Suppose the vet approves canned sweet potatoes for your pet. Then, you’ll need to introduce the meal gradually, monitoring any changes in the dog.
Are Sweet Potatoes Good for Dogs With Diabetes?
Excessive consumption of sweet potatoes is not advisable for dogs with diabetes. Minimizing this amount will help regulate weight and glucose levels in the body. These sweet potatoes have a high glycemic index, meaning you must incorporate them carefully.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Sweet Potatoes?
Some dogs can be allergic to sweet potatoes, particularly when newly introduced. While they are considered whole meals, sweet potatoes can trigger sensitivity or an immune response in some dogs. You might need to look for itchiness, breathing issues, and rashes in sensitive dogs.
Consult with a vet as soon as you notice these symptoms.
Do Sweet Potatoes Cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy In Dogs
Research associates sweet potatoes with canine dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. This condition is characterized by an enlarged heart, limiting the ability to efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. It contributes to congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. The best way to avoid this condition is to embrace moderation when feeding your dog sweet potatoes.
Including sweet potatoes in your dog’s diet is vital for long-term health. While these potatoes are nutritious, moderation is essential in this case. Above all, excellent preparation is inevitable when feeding your pet.