Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes? Here’s What We Know

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9 min read
9 min read

Updated - Mar 20th, 2023

Key Points

  • Yes, dogs can eat sweet potatoes – ideally fresh, peeled, and cooked or dehydrated.
  • A sweet potato’s fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can benefit your dog’s health. 
  • While sweet potatoes are generally safe when given as an occasional treat, talk to your vet before giving them to a dog that has been diagnosed with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or chronic ear or skin infections.

As you’re digging into a comforting holiday side of baked sweet potatoes topped with toasted marshmallows and brown sugar, your thoughts may naturally wander to, “Can dogs eat sweet potatoes?” Much like humans, dogs can eat sweet potatoes — minus the marshmallows and sugar — in moderation to receive a number of health benefits. 

Like strawberries, sweet potatoes can be a nice switch up from savory flavors typically found in a dog’s diet. Like cucumbers, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood by nutritionists – packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes are more versatile, lower in starch, and non-toxic if your dog accidentally ingests them raw. Ultimately, among all the foods you’re wondering whether or not your dog can eat, sweet potatoes can add nutritional value to your dog’s diet.  

In fact, you’ll find many pet food and dog treat manufacturers include sweet potatoes in their products. They’re also found in some limited-ingredient or grain-free kibble formulas for dogs with food allergies. There are some concerns with this, which we’ll look at later in this article. For now, let’s look closer at the sweet potato to see why (and how) these tubers can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

Are sweet potatoes safe for dogs to eat?

Sweet potatoes can be safe for dogs to eat if they are:

  • Cooked. Cooked sweet potatoes are great for your pooch, but raw sweet potatoes may cause a belly ache or intestinal problems. For that reason, it’s best to only serve them in their cooked form. Unlike white potatoes – which are in the Nightshade veggie family and toxic if ingested raw – sweet potatoes are in the Morning Glory family and are non-toxic.
  • Peeled. The skin of a sweet potato isn’t toxic to dogs, but it could be a choking hazard if eaten in large hunks. This is especially true for small dog breeds. Peeling sweet potatoes can make them more palatable for your pup. Whether you leave the skin on or not, it’s best to cut or slice the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces for easier digestion.
  • Fresh. Most canned sweet potatoes have added sweeteners and artificial ingredients, making them a potential hazard for your pooch. Organic, unsweetened canned sweet potatoes with only water as the added ingredient are okay for your dog, though it should be noted that some nutrients are lost in the canning process. Avoid feeding your dog any type of “sweet potato casserole” with cream, butter, and added sugar, as dogs are not made to digest rich holiday desserts. 

How much sweet potato can my dog eat?

“Safe amounts” of any food will vary based on your pet’s size, age, and health status. As with many other fruits or vegetables, sweet potatoes should be fed to your dog in moderation and as occasional treats, not as part of a regular diet. Too much of a good thing, even if it’s nutritious, should be offered in small amounts first to avoid any allergic response or intolerance. 

  • For small dogs: First offer 2 to 3 teaspoons.
  • For large dogs: First offer 1 tablespoon. 
  • If well tolerated: You can increase the amount to 1-2 ounces (or 2-4 tablespoons). 
  • If you’re feeding dehydrated snacks: 1-2 pieces is plenty. 

With sweet potatoes, the high fiber content can lead to diarrhea in dogs, while too much vitamin A can cause bone and muscle weakness. 

Sweet potatoes for dogs: Preparation do’s and dont’s

Consider the following tips when preparing to feed your dog sweet potatoes:

  • Do boil or bake, then mash, slice, or cube. These forms of sweet potato are healthiest and easily digestible.
  • Do use dehydrated sweet potato as a healthy alternative to rawhide chews. They come out of the oven or dehydrator with a slight chewiness that satisfies your pup’s chewing needs. 
  • Do mix with other fruits and veggies to add a nutritional boost to your dog’s diet. Mix them with strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, bananas, add them to plain yogurt smoothies, or freeze them for a quick summer treat.
  • Do use as training treats, as they are low in fat and calories. Sweet potatoes can be a yummy motivator for your pup as they learn to sit, stay, and play fetch.
  • Do occasionally add flavor to your dog’s regular dry kibble or wet food. They’ll thank you for the sweet surprise!
  • Don’t feed your dog sweet potato fries or chips made for humans. These products can have added salts, sugars, and artificial additions.

Tip: There are many resources on the internet for making quick and easy sweet potato chews for those who prefer to DIY.  This option is especially good for senior dogs or puppies.

Nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs

Considered a whole superfood, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals that benefit the health of dogs and dog owners alike.

Here are some benefits sweet potatoes provide:

  • Dietary fiber. Sweet potatoes are one of the highest sources of fiber out of all veggies, and most dogs love them. Fiber is essential for keeping the digestive system functioning smoothly. If your dog has diarrhea or constipation, the fiber in sweet potatoes can help correct these problems. A high-fiber diet can also help overweight dogs shed those pounds. Fiber lengthens the feeling of fullness after a meal, helping your dog lose weight. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fiber may lower heart disease, promote renal and immune health, help with weight loss, and prevent certain types of cancer in dogs.
  • Antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help destroy free radicals that cause cell damage from things like stress, illness, and environmental toxins. The purple sweet potato (Stokes sweet potato) has higher antioxidants (anthocyanins), and the orange sweet potato contains more beta-carotene


  • Vitamin C. A powerful antioxidant, this vitamin boosts your dog’s immune system and is reported to reduce cognitive aging problems in senior dogs. 
  • Vitamin A. Besides supporting cell function, reproduction, and the immune system, vitamin A is what beta-carotene becomes once inside a body. Beta-carotene is responsible for the orange color in sweet potatoes and carrots and promotes healthy vision.
  • Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 supports healthy red blood cell function, the immune system, and provides support for glucose generation. This is an essential vitamin – especially for dogs with diabetes who need help regulating blood sugar levels.


  • Calcium. This is an essential mineral necessary for supporting strong bone and muscle growth, healthy teeth, a strong heart, and a healthy nervous system. 
  • Potassium. This important mineral keeps your dog’s kidneys functioning well. It also supports heart function, muscle function, and a healthy digestive system.
  • Iron. Iron supports red blood cell and hemoglobin formation. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout the body and produces energy. Iron is an essential nutrient for dogs.

Possible risks associated with sweet potatoes for dogs

While many dogs eat sweet potatoes without incident, you should consider your dog’s diet carefully, as canine health may vary. Risks may outweigh the benefits of sweet potatoes in a dog’s diet if your pet has: 

  • Skin allergies or frequent ear infections. Sweet potatoes are considered a whole food, meaning your dog is less likely to have an immune response or sensitivity to them. However, whenever you offer your pooch a new food, watch for any itchiness, breathing difficulties, or rashes. Because sweet potatoes are a starchy carbohydrate, dogs with yeast or candida issues (ear infections or excessive itchiness) should be monitored for symptom flares. Once ingested, carbohydrates turn to sugar – which can feed yeast or candida in the body.
  • Diabetes. Sweet potatoes are high in starch and considered a medium glycemic load vegetable. That means it quickly changes to sugar and can spike your pup’s blood sugar levels. It also can cause blood sugar to crash or drop quickly. For this reason, diabetic dogs should only be given sweet potatoes as an occasional treat.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the enlargement of the heart, which limits its ability to pump blood efficiently throughout a dog’s body. This can lead to severe congestive heart failure and sudden heart attacks. In recent years, there has been some concern – and many studies – around the role of grain-free or limited ingredient diets in dogs diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. The studies were initiated due to concerns of dogs being diagnosed with DCM in breeds not known to have a genetic predisposition to this disease. In many of the cases, the dogs were eating a limited ingredient diet. While studies have not determined the cause of the increase in cases of DCM, they have determined that 93% of dogs diagnosed with DCM were eating foods that contained peas or lentils as a primary ingredient. Far fewer dogs diagnosed with DCM were eating foods containing potatoes or sweet potatoes. This means that sweet potatoes, as a treat, are not likely to harm your dog or cause DCM. There are still more studies surrounding this issue, but for now, sweet potatoes are not seen as playing a role in the rise of DCM.


Are sweet potatoes toxic to dogs?

Sweet potatoes are not toxic to dogs. While dogs digest boiled or baked sweet potatoes better, a raw piece is not likely to cause harm.

Are freeze-dried sweet potatoes good for dogs?

Freeze-dried or dehydrated sweet potatoes are a great snack for dogs. When prepared this way, the moisture content is removed, without sacrificing nutrients or flavor.

Can dogs eat frozen sweet potatoes?

Avoid feeding your dog frozen, commercially prepared human-grade sweet potatoes like sweet potato fries, as these products may contain harmful additives. You may, however, freeze a fresh sweet potato for up to six months to maintain freshness. We recommend cooking before serving, as dogs tend to enjoy the taste more and it’s easier on their stomachs. 

Can dogs with sensitive stomachs digest sweet potatoes?

If your dog is prone to having loose poop, you may find the added fiber content from sweet potatoes firms the stool up slightly. On the other hand, too much sweet potato can cause the stool to become runnier. It’s best to introduce a small amount at a time. 

What are signs of sweet potato intolerance in dogs?

Allergic reactions are rare, but possible with any new food. When introducing sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet, watch out for itchiness, breathing difficulties, or rashes. If necessary, your vet can perform allergy tests for your dog.

Sweet potatoes can be a nutritious treat for your furry friend – and it’s fun to see your pup perk up once they find a new flavor. As always, check with your vet before you add any new food to your dog’s diet – in this case, especially if your dog has kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, is overweight, or has a chronic ear or skin infection.


Foods that are safe for humans to eat can sometimes be poisonous to pets. Always ask your veterinarian if you're ever unsure whether or not a food is safe for your pet to consume. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Keep in mind that this article is meant to be educational and shouldn't be used as a replacement for professional medical or dietary advice.

Lynn Guthrie

Lynn Guthrie

Writer, Mom of a Fab Fur Fam of Five
Lynn is a writer and long-time Learning & Development Manager at a large PNW retailer. She's also mom to 3 dogs & 2 cats!
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