The Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs – Based on Science
If your dog is like most dogs, they enjoy eating just about anything that is put in front of them. They’ll also happily scrounge around looking for any snacks that they can eat on the ground or in the garbage. Some human foods are fine for dogs to eat. In fact, some are even healthy. But not all human foods are good for dogs, like onions.
So, are sweet potatoes a good snack option for dogs? They sure are! There are a few health benefits your dog can enjoy when eating sweet potatoes as a snack. There are also many fun ways to feed your dog sweet potatoes. We’ve put together the following guide to provide you with the information that you need to know about feeding sweet potatoes to your dog and how eating sweet potatoes can affect your dog overall. Keep reading!
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
First and foremost, sweet potatoes are packed full of antioxidants that have been shown to fight off various types of cancer. Sweet potatoes are also full of fiber, which will help keep your dog’s digestive system in good health as time goes on. Thanks to all the beta-carotene in them, sweet potatoes are one of the best human foods to offer your pup for visual health support. Sweet potatoes are also filled with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium, that help enhance the immune system, which is important for fighting off illness and disease as your dog ages.
Sweet potatoes also happen to be a good source of protein, which dogs need for strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system. With all these health benefits to take advantage of, why wouldn’t you feed sweet potatoes to your pooch?
Sweet Potato Preparation and Serving Options
You should never feed your dog raw sweet potatoes because they could block their colon, create digestive problems, or become a choking hazard. Your dog’s sweet potatoes should always be cooked, whether steam, boiled, or baked. Sweet potatoes retain more of their nutrients when steamed, so it should always be considered first. But any type of cooked sweet potato is a healthy snack for dogs as long as additives like salt and oil aren’t included. Here are a couple of fun ways to consider serving sweet potatoes to your pooch:
1. Make Chews
Rawhide chews are fun for dogs but they can also be hazardous. Once they become soft and pliable, they can get lodged in a dog’s throat or obstruct a dog’s digestive tract — both of which can be deadly. But you can replace those rawhide chews with homemade sweet potato chews.
Your homemade chews won’t last as long as rawhide chews, but they will be safer — and healthier too. You can make your own chews by thinly slicing sweet potatoes and placing them in a single layer on a sheet pan.
Then, heat the chews in your oven at the lowest temperature possible until they become leathery, like rawhide chews. Alternatively, you can put the sweet potatoes in a food dehydrator until they reach a chewy consistency. You can feed the chews to your dog for entertainment and as a healthy snack between meals.
2. Bake Biscuits
Another fun way to treat your dog to sweet potatoes is to bake homemade biscuits. You can avoid the commercial biscuits and all the added ingredients in them. You’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your dog is eating a healthy treat that will enhance their health.
Start by steaming peeled sweet potatoes until they’re tender, then let them cool off to room temperature. Once cooled, place the sweet potatoes and a handful of oats in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients create a rough dough. Then, use a spoon to scoop a little of the dough out, and roll the dough between your palms to create a small ball.
Place the ball on a cookie sheet, then continue making balls with the dough until your cookie sheet is full. Use a spoon or spatula to slightly flatten each ball, then put your cookie sheet into the oven and bake the biscuits at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until slightly browned. They’re ready to serve to your dog once they cool down!
Dogs & Sweet Potatoes: Our Final Thoughts
You can’t go wrong with feeding sweet potatoes to your dog. Throw a few boiled pieces into their dog food, or get creative in the kitchen and slice, dice, and shred your way to healthy doggy treats. Given that this veggie isn’t drenched in oil and spices, your dog can eat sweet potatoes in a variety of different ways. Have you ever fed your dog sweet potatoes? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below.
Featured Image: yuzu, Shutterstock