Tater tots are a popular side dish eaten in most homes. While enjoying the sumptuous food, you might wonder if sharing it with your furry friend is safe.
Though it can be tempting to give into your dog’s begging eyes, please do not give them tater tots. Not all foods that are safe for consumption by humans are dog friendly. You should always check the nutritional content of the food before letting your dog have any of it.
You should also contact your vet and ask if your dog has any dietary restrictions. They will let you know whether the food you want to give your pup is safe for them and whether they have any allergies preventing them from eating certain foods.
If your dog has accidentally eaten tater tots in small quantities, there is a high chance they will not get any adverse health effects. However, this does not mean it is okay for them to have tater tots occasionally.
The food will expose them to various short- and long-term health issues. Most recipes for making tater tots are high in saturated fats, sodium in the form of salts, and preservatives. Moreover, tater tots have high-calorie content, while some frozen varieties contain alliums which are toxic to dogs.
Main Reasons Why Tater Tots Are Bad For Dogs
While there are so many reasons the meal is unsuitable for your dog, it all boils down to the ingredients used and how it was prepared. Below is a detailed summary of why tater tots are not dog-friendly.
Tater tots are made from shredded or grated potatoes baked or deep fried. They can be bound using eggs, oil, seasoning, or seasoned flour. While plain potatoes are very nutritious to dogs and safe for them to eat, the additional ingredients, when combined, create a meal that is unhealthy for canines.
If you purchased the frozen variety from your local grocery store, do not let any of it fall on the floor when preparing, as your dog will probably eat it out of curiosity. Your dog eating uncooked tater tots will expose them to solanine poisoning from raw potatoes. Though they will have to eat a massive portion of raw potatoes to become unwell, keeping tater tots out of their reach is recommended.
For a unique flavor, tater tots are usually seasoned with salt, garlic, onion powder, or all the spices combined. Individually, all the spices can cause gastrointestinal issues. The damage to your dog when all three are added when making tater tots will be far worse. The heavy seasoning in the meal may be sweet to you but is fatal to your pooch.
Typically, tater tots are made by deep frying them in vegetable oil. Most vets do not recommend using grease, butter, vegetable oil, or bacon fat when making dog meals.
When deep fried, the tater tots soak and retain some of the oil used, which can cause health issues such as pancreatitis or obesity in the long run.
Baked tater tots contain less oil than the deep-fried variety but can still expose your pooch to health issues. The oil used to grease the baking pan and the tater tots is sufficient to cause harm to your dog if the food is consumed regularly.
Why Are Tater Tot’s Carbs And Calories Bad?
Tater tots are very high in carbs as potatoes are the main ingredient in the meal. Carbs are not bad for canines, but too much can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
Your dog can get enough carbs from their regular diet, making this an unnecessary and dangerous treat. Also, the ingredients used in making tater tots have high calories, making the food even more unhealthy.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Tater Tots
Unless the tater tots contain seasonings known to be toxic to dogs, you do not have to worry. If your pooch has no underlying conditions, they will digest the meal if it is in small quantities with little to no discomfort at all.
Sometimes, your dog might experience bloating, diarrhea, and gas issues. You might not have to go to a vet, but you must keep your pet hydrated and give them plain foods such as rice and yogurt until they recover.
If your dog ate tater tots that contain toxic ingredients, rush them to the vet immediately for assistance if there is any visible sign of toxicity.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Tater Tots?
Raw and frozen tater tots are not a safe option for your dog. The uncooked version has preservatives and seasonings that can be toxic to dogs. Avoid keeping the food near your dog when preparing it for yourself.
Can Dogs Have Sweet Potato Tater Tots?
Plain sweet potatoes are healthier compared to potatoes. Nevertheless, their benefits cease to exist when they are used to make tater tots, especially when heavily seasoned.
Sweet potatoes will have better nutritional value as tater tots compared to standard potatoes. Still, it is best not to feed your dog tater tots, whether made using potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Dog Safe Alternatives To Tater Tots
If you want to give your dog something to bite on as you enjoy tater tots, you can offer them several snacks, which include:
Plain popcorn will go a long way in keeping them healthy. Avoid salting the popcorn as dogs require very little sodium. Buttered popcorn can be worse for your dog’s health, especially when they are lactose intolerant.
Several fruits are dog-safe, and peaches are one of them. They contain plenty of fiber and vitamins that are good for your dog’s health. They are best served to dogs when frozen and cut into tiny chewable pieces.
Tater tots do more harm than good to dogs. Thus, sharing the food with your fur baby is not advisable. If you want your dog to enjoy a sweet snack, try a safe alternative that will add nutritional value to their health.