Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are known for their sweet flavor and bright orange hue, and many households love them. If you’re a pet owner, you might wonder if this popular vegetable is a good option for your dog. We often get asked at Heart + Paw about including human foods like sweet potatoes in a dog’s diet. This article will give you helpful insights into adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s meals. 

If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact your nearest Heart + Paw hospital today! 

can dogs eat sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes: A Nutritional Boost for Dogs

Full of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, sweet potatoes can be a beneficial addition to your dog’s diet. These vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and B6, and important minerals like potassium and manganese. These vitamins and minerals can contribute to your dog’s health, supporting their vision, muscle function, and digestive health. Remember, dogs have their own nutritional requirements that are different from ours, so any diet changes should be made carefully, preferably with a vet’s advice.

How to Introduce Sweet Potatoes into Your Dog’s Diet

Sweet potatoes can be beneficial, but they shouldn’t replace your dog’s regular meals. It’s essential to keep a balanced diet and use sweet potatoes as an occasional treat. 

Here are some tips on how to safely prepare sweet potatoes for your dog:

Preparing Sweet Potatoes Safely for Dogs

  • Wash and Peel: Clean and peel the sweet potatoes to eliminate dirt and pesticides.
  • Cook Properly: Dogs may have difficulty digesting raw sweet potatoes. Cook them until they’re soft, just as you would eat them. 
  • Avoid Unsafe Additions: Don’t add salt, sugar, butter, or spices to the sweet potatoes, as these can harm your dog.
  • Control Portions: Give sweet potatoes to your pet in small amounts to avoid overfeeding.

Be Aware of Overfeeding Signs

Watch out for signs of gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea or constipation, which can suggest overfeeding. Treats like sweet potatoes should make up less than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

Sweet Potato Risks to Consider

Sweet potatoes are generally safe for dogs, but there are some risks to keep in mind:

Sugar Content

Sweet potatoes have natural sugars, which in large amounts, can be a concern for diabetic dogs or those at risk of obesity.


Oxalates are a natural compound that can cause crystal formation in your dog’s urinary tract, leading to kidney or bladder stones. Dogs with urinary or kidney issues should eat sweet potatoes cautiously. Remember, moderate amounts of oxalates are usually not harmful, but a diet high in oxalate-rich foods can be risky.

If you think your dog is having issues related to oxalates, like urinary discomfort or changes in urination, see a vet right away. They can help with diet changes and treat any complications.

Allergic Reactions

Some dogs might be allergic to sweet potatoes, showing symptoms like skin irritation, stomach upset, or breathing problems. If you observe these signs in your pet, stop feeding them sweet potatoes right away. 

Consult with Your Veterinarian

Sweet potatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs when given as part of a balanced diet and in moderation. Still, it’s vital to know the possible risks and watch how your dog reacts to new foods.

For questions or concerns about your pet’s diet, feel free to contact your nearest Heart + Paw location. Our dedicated team is committed to your pet’s health and happiness. Whether you’re thinking about adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet or have other questions about their nutrition or general well-being, we’re here to offer tailored recommendations and treatment. Get in touch for more expert advice!

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About Us

Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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