can dogs eat mashed potatoes

Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes? Nutrition, Concerns, & Tips

Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes? Nutrition, Concerns, & Tips

Potatoes are a mainstay in the diets of both humans and dogs; they are a component of the majority of the meals we eat and are also frequently found in commercially prepared dog food. Dogs can eat potatoes, but can dogs eat mashed potatoes? Or are all of the additional ingredients in this side dish too much for our dogs?

In short, yes, mashed potatoes are safe for dogs to eat. Because mashed potatoes are not a natural food for dogs, it is important that we limit the amount of potato-based products that our dogs consume. In addition to this, you need to check to see that the mashed potatoes you give your dog are plain and do not contain any potentially harmful seasonings, ingredients, or additives.

bowl of mashed potatoes

Common Mashed Potato Ingredients


Salt is acceptable in limited quantities, but the daily intake for a medium-sized dog should not exceed 100 milligrams. As a point of reference, 450 milligrams of sodium can be found in a can of light tuna packed in water. In addition to adding salt directly to the potatoes when you mash them, there is also a significant amount of salt in the gravy that is frequently served alongside mashed potatoes.

An excessive amount of salt makes a dog thirsty, which can result in the dog drinking an unsafe amount of water. The dog's kidneys become overworked as a result of the increased amount of urine it produces, which can lead to dehydration. A dog's body may swell up if it consumes an excessive amount of salt.


Dairy products include staples such as milk, butter, and sour cream. Like humans, some dogs are lactose intolerant. Some people have no issues when they consume dairy products. Puppies are born with an adequate amount of the enzyme lactase, which allows them to digest their mother's milk.

On the other hand, as the puppies mature, many of them produce less lactase. Keep in mind that dogs in the wild do not consume dairy products, so it is possible that your dog is not adapted to consume them either. Consuming dairy products may result in gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, and others.

dog licking his lips looking at mashed potatoes


It is not likely that a trace amount of black pepper in a modest amount of human food will cause any harm. On the other hand, dogs should not consume large quantities of black pepper. Capsaicin, which is found in black pepper, is harmful to dogs. It is possible for it to cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The mucous membranes of a dog's eyes and nose can become irritated if they are exposed to black pepper in the air.

Dill, Chives, & Garlic

Dogs should not eat garlic because it can be toxic to them. Garlic is a member of the same plant family as chives and onions, both of which should not be fed to dogs. Garlic has the potential to alter the structure of a dog's red blood cells and increase the likelihood that the cells will burst if they are ingested.

The ruptured red blood cells cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen that is present in a dog's blood. Garlic poisoning manifests itself clinically as bad breath, nausea, discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract, weakness, and an elevated respiratory rate.

Dogs are allowed to consume parsley without any problems. It fights bacteria and inflammation in addition to having antioxidant properties. Dill is non-toxic to dogs and has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, prevent inflammation, alleviate diarrhea, and improve digestion.

Are Mashed Potatoes Healthy For Dogs?

Potatoes are an ingredient that can be found in a wide variety of different dog food recipes. It is possible to serve mashed potatoes to your dog as long as they are unseasoned and contain only a trace amount of milk. This will ensure that they are safe to consume and will also provide them with some essential nutrients.

Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. Maintaining a healthy immune system in your dog and assisting them in warding off illness are two of the most important reasons why vitamin C is so important, just as it is for people. However, it also plays a variety of other important roles in the body of your dog. For example, it assists in the absorption of iron, it helps to keep their bones and joints strong, it assists in the maintenance of healthy cells, and it acts as an antioxidant.

bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy

To make new proteins, the body needs to be able to use amino acids, and vitamin B6 is necessary for this process. If your dog does not consume sufficient amounts of vitamin B6, this can result in a deficiency, which can cause symptoms such as anemia, poor growth, kidney stones, and patchy skin. Mashed potatoes also contain significant amounts of several minerals, including:

  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Niacin
  • Folate

It's pretty that your dog gets enough magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals because they help the body absorb other nutrients like calcium. Potassium, on the other hand, is an electrolyte that is critical to the proper functioning of your canine companion's organs and cells. Mashed potatoes can be a healthy treat for your dog as long as they are prepared properly.

Potential Health Concerns Of Mashed Potatoes For Dogs

Just like with humans, consuming an excessive amount of carbohydrates can lead to health issues such as obesity and diabetes in your dog. Therefore, serving mashed potatoes in moderation is essential. An excess of carbohydrates can also lead to pancreatitis. The inflammation of the pancreas is referred to as pancreatitis.

The pancreas plays a role in digestion and also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis can manifest itself in a number of ways, including a loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Pancreatitis is a condition that can be treated by a veterinarian, but if left untreated, it could result in death.

Never feed your dog raw potatoes. They contain something that is called solanine. It is possible for solanine to be toxic to dogs, and if they consume it, they may experience symptoms similar to those of food poisoning. Intoxication with solanine manifests itself clinically as difficulty breathing, heart problems, and abdominal distress.

small black dog holding a food bowl

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Mashed Potatoes

Pick Ripe Potatoes

Potatoes that have green skin have a high concentration of solanine, a natural pesticide that is toxic to dogs. Even after being cooked, the solanine in unripe potatoes is not destroyed by heat. Therefore, stay away from any potatoes that are green or appear to be green.

Start Slowly

Any new food that you give to your dog should not be introduced into his diet right away. Always begin with a small amount and observe their response before gradually increasing the amount of the new food. Begin with a very small amount of potato if your canine companion has never tried it before.

Exercise Moderation

Even if your dog is accustomed to eating mashed potatoes, you shouldn't give him excessive amounts of them. They could be putting their hearts at risk by consuming mashed potatoes on a daily basis. Mashed potatoes should make up no more than 10% of your dogs daily diet.

Supplement Their Regular Food

Serve your dog a small amount of mashed potatoes as a side dish along with their natural food, rather than making mashed potatoes the main course of their meal. Your dog is going to adore it and gobble it up in no time.

mashed potatoes with butter

Can Dogs Eat Instant Mashed Potatoes?

There are some additives and seasonings in instant mashed potatoes that your dog would be better off without. A dollop of instant mashed potatoes should not be harmful to your dog, so you shouldn't worry if there is a speck of it left on a plate that you have allowed them to lick clean.

The problem is that instant mashed potatoes are very salty because the salt and nitrates that are used to flavor and preserve the product also contribute to its saltiness. Your dog's health could suffer if they consume an unhealthy amount of salt, so it's best to put a cap on how much they can consume.

As long as your dog does not consume an excessive amount of instant mashed potatoes and does not consume it on a daily basis, it should not be sufficient to cause them any serious harm. However, it is best to err on the side of caution, and it is best not to give your dog instant mashed potatoes when they would be better off without it or when you could give them something healthier instead.

Review: Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are generally safe to feed your dog in small amounts. The cooking process eliminates the toxins that are present in the potatoes in their uncooked state. Potatoes, in general, are beneficial to a dog's diet; however, due to the high carbohydrate content, excessive consumption of potatoes is not recommended.

Just remember to exercise caution with any additional components that you add to your mashed potatoes. Steer clear of foods containing garlic, as well as excessive amounts of salt and black pepper, as well as dairy products like milk, butter, and sour cream. If your dog eats mashed potatoes and experiences a negative reaction, consult your veterinarian.

Find the perfect gift for your dog