Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

french fries on parchment paper

Can dogs eat French Fries? This guide will answer this question and take you through the different types of fries, which ones can be healthy, and how could they impact your dog’s health? 

French Fries are made from potatoes rich in starch. Potatoes also have necessary vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. French Fries can be a healthy treat if they are consumed in moderation and cooked properly. They have the important minerals and vitamins that will help keep your dog healthy. However, they also have a high-calorie count, so it is crucial that you don’t feed them too much of fries. 

Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

If your dog has consumed a few French Fries from your plate, it most likely won’t experience a negative reaction. However, French Fries are human food that doesn’t offer any nutritional value to your dog. It is also not good for humans. Additionally, excessive French Fries consumption may lead to harmful effects on your dog’s health. French Fries are high in carbs, salts, and fats, resulting in weight gain and other health-related issues in canines.

Fries that are available in fast food and restaurants can be harmful to dogs because of their high salt content. Additionally, fries prepared in restaurants often add seasonings that can be harmful to dogs, such as onion powder or garlic.

Instead of feeding your dog something that may be harmful to them, you can feed them other human food like lentils, blueberries, or veggies. Your dog will enjoy the treat, and it will be a healthy alternative as well. It is important to note that majority of your dog’s diet comes from a small portion of dog food that meets their nutritional requirements.

french fries on a black table with a side of ketchup

Health Benefits of French Fries

French Fries consist of carbohydrates essential for energy and brain function for your dog. Because French Fries are mainly made of potatoes, which are vegetable-rich in many nutrients like magnesium, potassium, some proteins, and vitamin D, there are various health benefits. Feeding your dog fries will not only satisfy their hunger, but when the dog has consumed it, they will most likely not ask for anything else for some time.  

However, feeding your dog potatoes when baked or boiled is fine. Considering that there is nothing else added to it. However, potatoes fried in oil, for instance, potato chips, French Fries, or potatoes that have anything else added to them, like salt or butter, are not healthy for dogs. 

Risks Associated with Dogs Consuming French Fries

French Fries have a high concentration of fats, which can lead to health issues such as obesity. Additionally, fries also consist of sodium which can be harmful to dogs who already suffer from heart diseases and hypertension. The reason is that French Fries may lead to increased blood pressure and cause water retention. 

Here are some of the risks associated with dogs consuming French Fries: 

Allergies

Some dogs might get an allergic reaction to both fresh and fried potatoes. However, you can safely feed a sweet potato to your dog when it is cooked in the right manner. You will have to keep an eye on your dog for symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling or hives if they accidentally consume potatoes.

Salt Poisoning

There is a high composition of salt in French Fries. If your dog consumes them too much, he might be susceptible to suffering salt poisoning (which may be fatal at times). This risk of salt poisoning is more in small dog breeds. Even if the salt consumption in your dog’s routine is increased just a little, there is a risk of increased thirst, high blood pressure, dehydration, and frequent urination. Additionally, things like ketchup, salt, and sugar added to fries may be extremely unhealthy for your dog.

dog sitting in the grass looking up at the camera

Inflammation

French Fries cooked in vegetable or canola oil consist of saturated and trans fats. These elements can upset your dog’s stomach and are unhealthy. Food high in carbohydrates have a similar impact on dogs as it has on humans. It can lead to gastrointestinal distress. Even little consumption of these fats can lead to canine bloat, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, if these fats are consumed in the long term, it can lead to pancreatitis.

Obesity

Regular consumption of high-carb fried food can be extremely unhealthy for your dog. It can lead to weight gain and obesity, which may cause other health issues. If you wish to maintain your dog’s weight, it is important to serve them food recommended by your veterinarian. In addition, make sure that your dog’s diet consists of all the important nutritional elements your dog needs.

What Should I Do If My Dog Consumes French Fries?

If your dog has consumed a few French Fries, there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, some dog breeds are very sensitive to the ingredients present in fries. It is important to note that some dogs are even allergic to the ingredients present in fries. If your dog has consumed a few French Fries, keep an eye on them and look for symptoms that may be a concern. You should call your vet right away.

Some side effects to look out for include vomiting, upset stomach, loose stools or diarrhea, dehydration or excessive thirst, and frequent urination. If these symptoms become severe and last more than twelve hours, you should consult your vet immediately.

Apart from this, some severe side effects your dog might suffer from include an extreme allergic reaction. For instance, your dog might show symptoms of swelling or difficulty breathing. Your dog might also show confusion, fever, seizures, or coma. As discussed earlier, consuming French Fries may also cause bloat, which can be life-threatening. Your dog’s stomach may get twisted and filled with gas in bloat. Symptoms may include drooling, pacing, panting, swollen stomach, and showing signs of pain.

If your dog has consumed a few fries, you should give them plenty of water. The excess salt in the fries will make them thirsty and lead to dehydration. Water will be of help in such a situation. However, if your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you will have to call your vet immediately.

french fries in a pot on a wooden table

Healthy Alternative for French Fries

When you’re at the drive-thru getting a meal for yourself, most places offer no good options for dogs. Even the ‘healthy’ options like fruits contain added sugars or may be treated by pesticides and herbicides. It will probably be good to leave your pet at home when you plan to get a meal for yourself. However, various healthy human food can be shared with your pet. Dogs can consume various vegetables like carrots, green beans, broccoli, etc.

Additionally, many healthy fruits can be consumed by dogs. Some include watermelons, blueberries, and bananas. However, some food options should be avoided at all times. These options include onions, garlic, grapes, and other foods that may be toxic to your dog.

It is important that you consult your vet before sharing any human food with your pet. Your vet may be able to guide you best, considering the health conditions associated with your dog breed. Healthy meals can also be unhealthy for your pet if served in the wrong amounts. Again, your vet will be able to guide you about the appropriate serving size for your pet.

If you wish to prepare a hamburger patty for your pet, make sure you don’t add salt to it. Salt can be harmful to your pet. The hamburger patty won’t be super healthy, but it’s a better alternative than fried potatoes with many risks involved.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative if you wish to make something at home and serve it to your dog. They are extremely healthy and packed with fiber, and most dogs love them. In addition, you can skin the fryer as most pets may eat them after steamed or baked. Both the alternatives are considered healthy meals for dogs. However, if you have a busy routine and cannot bake or steam potatoes, you can serve them sweet potatoes as a snack. They are available at many pet stores, and it is a less time-consuming alternative. It is important to note that although sweet potatoes are healthy, they should be consumed in appropriate amounts or as instructed by the vet. Hence, your dog won’t be able to eat as many sweet potatoes as they want.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are considered a healthy option for dogs compared to white potatoes because they comprise various nutrients. They consist of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and many other nutrients. Each dog breed is different, so you should start with a small amount of potato to ensure that your dog can digest it well. It is important to ask your vet before serving your dog any new meal that they haven’t tried before.

dog sitting in the grass at the park

Why Are Sweet Potatoes Good for Dogs?

Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to French Fries as they are a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber assists in the digestive process, and your dog will be able to digest the food well. Additionally, consuming fiber regularly will decrease the risk of certain types of cancers and heart diseases.

Sweet potatoes are a whole food. Hence, they won’t damage the digestive tract or cause an immune response after consumption, says Kathleen Standafer Lopez, a registered dietitian nutritionist. This is why they are a common source of carbs in commercial dog foods. Additionally, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins B6, A, C, potassium, calcium, and iron. All of these ingredients play a crucial role in your puppy’s overall health and well-being. For instance, Vitamin C is crucial to an effective immune system. Additionally, dogs also show much disease resistance and have a great chance of recovery from illness or injury when their diet is supplemented with vitamin C. Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy nerves, eyes, muscles, and skin.

How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Dogs?

If you want to serve your dog sweet potatoes, you need to make sure that the skin is removed and cooked. If you leave the skin as is, your dog will face problems digesting the food. Avoid feeding your dog raw sweet potatoes. Raw sweet potatoes are hard to chew and can cause an intestinal blockage and an upset stomach. In addition, some pets are considered to inhale their food, so you need to make sure that the food you’re serving is soft and can be easily swallowed, reducing the risk of choking.

dog sitting in front of an orange background

Can Dogs Consume Raw Potatoes?

Dogs should not be offered raw potatoes. White potatoes are from the nightshade family of vegetables. This family includes tomatoes. Similar to tomatoes, raw potatoes comprise solanine. Solanine is a compound that may be toxic to some dogs. However, if you cook a potato, it will lower the levels of solanine, lowering the level of toxicity as a result. However, raw potatoes should be avoided.

If you decide to serve your dog potato, it should be boiled or baked. You should also ensure that nothing else is added to it. Potatoes that are fried in vegetable or canola oil and are then coated with ketchup, cheese, salt, or garlic are extremely unhealthy for a dog. If your dog suffers from diabetes, you should avoid giving them potatoes as they can result in an increase in blood sugar levels. A dog’s body is made to get the majority of the nutrients from animal protein. Hence, if you plan on serving them boiled or baked potatoes, it should be done in small quantities. Additionally, serving your dog meal rich in too many carbohydrates can lead to health problems such as obesity.

How Much Food Can a Dog Consume?

Every food should be served in small quantity, be it anything. The number of meals provided should be based on various factors, such as your dog’s activity level, size, and overall health. Too much consumption of a certain meal may lead to muscle and bone weakness. This happens due to excessive vitamin A.

Serving your dog sweet potatoes is good. However, it should not be the primary source of nutrition for your dog. Animal protein should be a part of their regular diet as well. You must consult your vet before introducing any new meal to your dog. If they give the go-ahead, you can start by serving a smaller amount and see if there is an unexpected reaction to it.

How to Prevent a Dog from Consuming Fries?

The best way to keep your dog in another room or their crate while you’re eating. This would stop them from going after the food and consuming some fries while they do so. Additionally, if you have multiple pets, this will also prevent them from fighting over the food. If you don’t have an option to keep them in another room, for instance, if they are in your car with you while you pick up your order from a drive-thru, then you should teach them commands like ‘leave it’ or ‘stay.’ These commands will stop your dog from going after the ordered meal which can be unhealthy for your dog.

No matter how much training you have provided your dog, it is better not to leave them alone with your meal or takeout bag. Leaving them unsupervised is a big risk for their health. It is best to always keep the food out of their reach, especially when you’re not there to protect it.

crinkle cut fries on a black table

Are Condiments Safe for Dogs?

Many condiments are not toxic; however, it doesn’t make them completely safe. Salt content is the main issue that matters to all dog owners. Ketchup has a high salt content, just like many other dipping sauces. In addition, some have different ingredients that can cause a problem, such as onions and garlic. If you’re still concerned, you should check the ingredients. It is true that your dog will not be a major risk if he tastes condiments; however, dog owners are advised not to offer their dogs condiments.

Final Thoughts

It’s always a difficult task refusing your furry friend regarding any matter, particularly food. You can find it difficult to stop your dog from consuming French Fries; however, you shouldn’t serve your dog anything that you have got from the restaurant. Many fast foods and restaurants include excess ingredients like butter and salt to enhance the overall taste of their food. While it can make the food delicious, it can be harmful to dogs. 

Hence, French Fries should not be consumed by dogs as they can lead to salt poisoning, bloat, obesity, and other health concerns. You can search for other healthy alternatives like blueberries, lentils, and other vegetables that are safe to consume. Your vet might be able to guide you best regarding what to serve, and what quantity is best for your dog. In case your dog has consumed a few fries, look out for symptoms and call a vet immediately. 

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