Hash browns are some of the most craved foods across the world. They are sumptuous breakfast options but pretty much work as an all-day snacking delight.
If you have a dog who loves to nibble on your hash brown while you are at it, you need to know if it is safe for your loved pet to eat it.
While you may be tempted to give in to that loving look that your dog gives you in order to be fed, hash browns are not the best food options for dogs.
What Do Hash Browns Contain?
Hash browns are traditionally made by finely chopping boiled potato and roasting or shallow frying them till a point they turn brown and crispy.
In addition to the traditional form, they are easily available in packaged, frozen form for those who don’t have time to make them the traditional way.
As tasty as they are, one must not forget they are also high in fat. According to Fitbit, a 100-gram serving of hash brown consists of nearly 210 calories out of which 112 come from fat.
Other constituents of hash browns include magnesium, zinc, thiamin to name a few.
Are Hash Browns Healthy?
It is widely known that hash browns are not the healthiest food option out there. But exactly how healthy or unhealthy it is?
According to a 2017 study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, hash brown consumption on a regular basis is directly proportional to elevated mortality.
The findings of the study suggest that white potato consumption is not dangerous to health. However, fried potato increases the risk of mortality.
The study suggested a careful balance of fried and whole potato to mitigate any health risks.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Black Beans?
Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns?
To put it simply, hash browns are not great for dogs. The high salt and fat content makes it an unhealthy option for dogs.
You can give a very tiny portion of hash brown to your dog once in a while but certainly not regularly and definitely not large portions.
The bottom line here is if this food is not good for you, you are better off not feeding it to your dog.
The million-dollar question, however, is if dogs can eat potatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Potatoes?
Hash browns are an upgrade to the humble potato. They contain oil, a few spices to give them their final form.
But what about potatoes? Potatoes contain solanine which may be harmful to a few dogs. However, when you cook the potato, the solanine content reduces significantly.
Therefore, you will see people feeding their dogs boiled potatoes sans any added spices or oil.
If you would like to feed potatoes to your dog, it is best to consult a vet. However, hash browns should be avoided as much as possible.
However, you must take this research into account. According to a study by the US Food and Drug Administration, dogs who eat potatoes increase the risk of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
This essentially means that a diet high in potatoes can lead to a disease of the heart in dogs. What happens is that the prolonged presence of potatoes causes slow heart pumping in dogs and can potentially increase the size of their heart.
This disease can be life threatening in some grave cases and may even induce a heart attack in dogs.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Pizza Crust?
What Else Do You Need to Know About Dogs and Potatoes?
One may argue that raw potato contains vitamins and minerals which may be beneficial to dogs. However, dogs’ bodies are dependent on animal food. Therefore, you must give your dog only those foods which are medically recommended.
Heavy reliance on potatoes not only risks heart diseases but can also cause other complications due to obesity.
Occasional Potato Treats for Dogs
If your dog has developed a taste food hash browns thanks to your midnight nibblings, you first need to reduce this craving in your pet.
Secondly, if you do want to treat your dog to hash browns or potatoes occasionally, here are a couple of things you need to take care of.
Keep the potato stem, skin and leaves away from the dog at all times. If your dog happens to consume the skin of potatoes, there could be catastrophic consequences.
As we mentioned above, the skin of potatoes contains a high concentration of solanine. This may induce blurred vision, an upset stomach and even heart complications in your beloved pet.
So, if you want to feed your dog potatoes, it should be moderate quantity and that too boiled.
What About McDonald’s Hash Browns?
If you and your family, including your pet, are on an outing and McDonald’s is on the menu, be wary of feeding hash browns or fries to your pet.
McDonald’s hash browns are high in salt and several oils and lots of calories. Together they can spell trouble for your dog’s immune system. If not something grave, a lot of fries are sure to cause an upset stomach in your dog.
The same goes for Subway and any other fast-food joint you regularly frequent. Why would you want that when there are healthy substitutes available?
What About Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful substituent for potatoes. They are healthy and delicious, which is why it is common to see this included in some dog foods as well.
The high nutrient value of sweet potatoes makes them a more viable option than potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium among others.
They are tasty and work wonders for your pet’s health by promoting muscle development and boosting your dog’s immune system.
Notwithstanding the many benefits of sweet potato, please make sure to test your dog’s tolerance for the vegetable.
Start with small quantities to see how does it sit with your pet’s digestive system and increase the quantity only when you don’t see an adverse reaction.
A final tip—if your dog is suffering from morbidity ailments such as diabetes, you may want to double-check with your dog’s vet to decide on feeding sweet potatoes to your pet.
Sweet potatoes have the potential to spike blood sugar levels in certain dogs and it is better to be knowledgeable about this from the outset.
Taking Care of Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs
Caring for your pet is akin to raising a child. You need to be thorough with their emotional, physical and nutritional needs.
It is a must to strike a healthy balance between meeting your dog’s cravings and nutritional needs.
It is also crucial to understand that most times packaged dog food labeled as wholesome or complete is not enough.
You must do your research, consult a good vet doctor and then feed your dog to ensure your pet remains healthy, energized and fit.
This doesn’t mean that all home food is wholesome. According to a study, few homemade recipes for dogs match up the required amount of nutrients.
Food made at home gives you more freedom to supervise hygiene and nutrient levels. It is crucial to educate yourself on what is required for your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Consulting a professional on all aspects of diet is a very good idea and should be imbibed. It is also important to have period check-ins with your vet to know of any evolving dietary requirements of your pet.
Here are a couple of homemade foods which make excellent dog food:
- A healthy mixture of turkey, peas and spinach with brown rice can be a good source of nutrients for your dog. Turkey and peas should make half of the recipe with brown rice adding to one-fourth of the dish. You can, however, change the proportions based on your doctor’s advice.
- A combination of healthy veggies such as carrots, cauliflowers and broccoli with two cups of brown rice and pound turkey make excellent dog food. Make sure to make the mixture slightly syrupy by adding water. You can top up the recipe with rosemary herb if your pet likes it.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Sausage?
While you whip up these recipes for your pet, make sure to check for any allergies. Also, you may need to complement homemade food with dog food available in the market for the best health results for your pet.
Remember, it is often the most cautious pet parents who have the healthiest pets.