Dogs typically find sweet potatoes absolutely delicious! Not only are they tasty, but sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and fiber. However, you do need to be aware of side effects if you feed your dog baked sweet potatoes.
Right off the bat, we would like to caution that you should never give raw sweet potato to your dog. Raw sweet potatoes are difficult to digest and can potentially cause intestinal blockage. Always, cook them first.
Sweet potatoes originated in the 15th century in the Americas. Falling in love with the taste, Christopher Columbus brought the sweet potato back home to Spain, and they quickly became popular all of Europe within the next hundred years.
Sweet potatoes offer a range of fabulous benefits, from digestive health to vitamins and nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most tasty and best sources of fiber for dogs. 1 cup of cooked sweet potato contains about 6 grams of fiber. This is excellent for dogs with digestive issues like IBS, diarrhea, and constipation.
The fiber from a sweet potato will promote regular bowel movements. If your dog ever gets a bout of diarrhea, sweet potato can also alleviate symptoms fast. Same with constipation.
Beta-Carotene, a potent antioxidant, is what gives sweet potatoes their orange or golden color. Beta-Carotene helps prevent heart disease and reduce risks of certain types of cancer in dogs. This nutrient in sweet potatoes converts to vitamin A in your dog's body (unlike cats, who can't convert it).
Vitamin A helps dogs with the following:
Serious Vitamin A deficiencies can cause the following conditions in dogs:
Sweet potatoes are also rich in Vitamins B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron.
Vitamin C is critical for a properly functioning immune system. Dogs can recover more quickly from illness and injury when they have an adequate amount of vitamin C.
Because they have a high glycemic index, dogs that are overweight, diabetic should be given only a minimal amount of sweet potatoes. Caution should be exercised with these conditions.
Use only baked, boiled or mashed sweet potatoes, never raw.
Boiled or steamed sweet potatoes have more nutritional value than baked.
Make sure to start start off with small amounts so you dog has time to adjust to sweet potatoes.
Some folks add sweet potato to kibble to make it more palatable. However, we love giving our dogs pieces of sweet potato during the day instead of dried treats!
Do you give sweet potato to your dog? Has it helped any condition? Please send us your feedback!