You may be confused by the potato choice on offer in your local supermarket, with different offerings depending upon the intended use – mash, chips and new potatoes – so you may be surprised to know that is the very tip of the iceberg with thousands of different varieties of potatoes grown! So what are potatoes and are they good for your dog?
Potatoes are a root vegetable, which provide starchy carbohydrate. In petfood, potatoes are often used as an alternative to grains such as rice or barley.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are from different plant families; with potatoes belonging to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family which includes peppers and tomatoes. Sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae family. They are however both tubers, which means they are an enlarged area of the root used as an energy source by the plant. Nutritionally they are very similar, with both acting as a good source of carbohydrates for energy. They only contain a low level of protein but this can be extracted in the juice and concentrated up to give a novel protein source for pet foods. They also provide some vitamins and minerals!
You should only ever feed your dog cooked potato. Raw potatoes are very poorly digested and unripe ones contain toxic compounds, glycoalkaloids, which are present in the stem, leaves and skin, and particularly in green potatoes. Consult your vet if your dog has consumed unripe green potatoes or the plant itself.
James Wellbeloved offers a range of tempting grain free options for dog and cats which include white potatoes as an alternative source of energy. To ensure the safety of our ingredients, deliveries of potato are routinely analysed by an accredited external laboratory to ensure that glycoalkaloids are well below recognised safety levels.