Does sweet potato work for diarrhea? The answer is yes. Sweet potato can help with dog diarrhea as it’s loaded with fibers that support digestive health.
However, you can’t just hand your dog a plate of sweet potatoes.
I’ve done lots of research to know whether sweet potatoes actually work for dog diarrhea. I also gathered info about the safe amounts of sweet potato to feed your dog as well as how to serve it.
So, you’ll find in this article info about:
- Whether sweet potato work for dog diarrhea
- Other benefits of sweet potato for dogs
- The safe amount of sweet potato dogs can eat
- Dangers of feeding sweet potato to your dog
- The best way to serve sweet potatoes to dogs.
Let’s get started!
Unfortunately, diarrhea is a common affliction in the dog world. As much as we hate to clean a stinky brown puddle after our dogs, diarrhea is a sign that could help us figure out if something wrong is going on with their health.
- Eating toxic food or substances
- Swallowing a foreign body like a toy
- Eating a poisonous plant
- Rapid change in your dog’s diet
- Eating too many human foods like greasy food
- Virus and bacterial infections
- Reaction to antibiotics or other medications
- Serious illnesses, such as kidney, liver, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
You can treat diarrhea at home only when your dog is acting normally except for the diarrhea. If you notice any other symptoms besides diarrhea, you need to call your vet.
So, for mild cases of diarrhea, sweet potato can be your solution. Sweet potatoes are high in fibers, which is great for your dog’s digestive health. Fibers aid your puppy’s digestive system to function better.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, it means that the food moves too quickly in his intestines without giving it a chance to absorb the water in it. This results in loose stool, aka diarrhea.
Here’s when sweet potatoes come to your dog’s service. The high fiber content in them helps with water absorption, which slows down the speed at which the stool moves in its intestines.
This way, the intestines have time to absorb the additional amount of water, resulting in a more solid stool.
Sweet potatoes also help with constipation problems and this goes back to its high fiber content as well. Fibers absorb water from the undigested food in the intestines, which helps soften the stool. Therefore, it passes more easily.
You should know that some cases of diarrhea will need much more than just adjustments to your dog’s diet. Your canine friend might need medications in this case.
This is when it’s best to consult your dog’s vet.
There are several benefits of feeding sweet potatoes to dogs, which include:
It’s not that sweet potatoes make your dog lose weight. It’s about making him feel full without eating much.
This goes back to the fibers in the sweet potatoes again. Fibers make you feel full without eating much and for a longer period after a meal.
They have the same effect on your dog as well. So, if your dog is struggling with obesity, maybe he can benefit from a diet with high fiber content.
You can add sweet potatoes to his diet to help with that problem. However, it’s best to talk to your dog’s vet first before making that decision.
Sweet potatoes contain plenty of antioxidants that are beneficial for you and your dog. Antioxidants can protect our bodies and our doggies’ bodies against free radicals.
Those free radicals are what cause damage to the DNA, leading to inflammation. This can cause serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart diseases.
Therefore, antioxidants in sweet potatoes can help your dog’s body fight against those serious health problems.
Sweet potatoes contain several vitamins, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- B Vitamins
Vitamin A is essential for all dogs. It promotes skin, coat, muscles, and nerve health.
It’s even more crucial for pregnant dogs and puppies. It helps with the growth and development of muscles and nerves.
Vitamin C is another essential vitamin for dogs. It’s an antioxidant that strengthens your dog’s immune system against free radicals.
The entire group of B vitamins is important to all dogs. They help dog’s bodies perform vital functions, such as facilitating enzyme function, regulating energy metabolism, and generate glucose.
Sweet potatoes don’t just contain vitamins, but they’re also loaded with different minerals. This includes:
All these minerals play a great role in keeping your dog healthy. For example, calcium promotes strong, healthy bone growth. It’s also crucial for your dog’s teeth.
Another good example is iron. It helps with the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
So, if your dog has a deficiency in any of these minerals, sweet potatoes can be a tasty way to help him with that.
Although sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial to dogs and provide them with lots of nutrients, you have to feed them to your furry friend in moderation.
Keep in mind that dog bodies are different. What is a lot for them might be moderate for us and vice versa.
So, what is the safe amount of sweet potato that you can feed your dog?
The best thing you can do here is to ask your dog’s vet. Not all dogs are the same, and your dog’s vet will give you the answer that best fits his needs.
However, in general, you can introduce sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet by incorporating not more than an ounce or two per serving.
In the beginning, you can mix sweet potato with his regular dog food, but start first with only one meal. If he tolerates it well, you can continue adding it to his meals.
You can also make some treats for him with sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that treats and toppings shouldn’t make up more than 10% of his daily caloric intake.
For smaller breeds, just a quarter or half an ounce of sweet potatoes per serving is more than enough to start incorporating into their diets.
Be careful, before you start adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet, make sure that his kibble and store-bought treats don’t contain sweet potatoes already.
Grain-free dog food specifically contains sweet potatoes listed within the first ten ingredients. If your dog’s regular food contains sweet potato already, you might not need to add more to his diet.
In this case, you should consult your vet. Make sure that you tell him about the type and brand of dog food you give to your buddy.
Yes, sweet potato can be dangerous for dogs in some cases. That’s why we always recommend checking with your dog’s vet first before incorporating this veggie into his diet.
Here are some cases where sweet potatoes can be dangerous to dogs:
Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, which are broken down into simple sugars by our bodies. This causes our blood sugar levels to increase.
The same process happens in our dogs’ bodies when they eat sweet potatoes. Therefore, if your dog is diabetic, it’s best to only give him sweet potatoes occasionally as a treat.
However, don’t even start giving him sweet potatoes until you check with his vet first.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious health condition where the heart of the dog becomes enlarged.
In this case, the heart becomes unable to pump blood to the rest of the body and fluid accumulates in certain tissues.
How is this heart condition linked to sweet potatoes? In recent years, there have been ongoing investigations around the relation between grain-free dog food and the increase in DCM cases.
While scientists still don’t know the reason behind the increase in DCM cases, it was estimated that a large number of DCM-diagnosed dogs were eating foods containing sweet potatoes.
This doesn’t mean that incorporating sweet potatoes into your dog’s diet will cause DCM. As long as you’re feeding your dog sweet potatoes in moderation, there’s nothing to worry about.
Keep in mind that sweet potatoes and dog food that contain them are not recommended for breeds that are known to have a genetic predisposition to this disease.
These breeds include:
- Doberman pinschers
- Great Danes
- Cocker spaniels
- Golden retrievers
- Labrador retrievers
- Australian shepherds
- German shepherds
- Pit bulls
- Standard poodles
While sweet potato allergies are uncommon, there’s still a possibility that your dog might have it. When introducing sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet for the first time, it’s important to check for any food allergy signs, such as:
- Itchy skin and hives
- Loose stool
- Ear or paw infection
- Stomach issues
Once you notice any of these signs, call your vet immediately.
It’s most likely that your canine friend will fall in love with sweet potatoes, as most dogs love their taste and aroma.
There isn’t a best way to serve sweet potato to your dog. You can actually incorporate it into his diet in many ways.
Be careful that raw sweet potatoes can upset your dog’s stomach. This is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do here.
They can also be a choking hazard. So, cooked sweet potatoes are the best here.
Boiled, steamed, baked, or roasted sweet potatoes are all okay to offer to your dog. However, if you’re worried about his sugar levels, then avoid the last two methods.
Baking and roasting sweet potato destroy its resistant starch, which increases its glycemic index. So, maybe stick to boiled or steamed.
Don’t feed him sweet potatoes that have spices or salt on them. This means you should avoid sharing your sweet potato chips or fries with your dog.
Spices and salt can upset your dog’s stomach. This is also something to consider if you’re serving dehydrated sweet potatoes to your dog.
Besides all that, it’s best to serve your dog fresh sweet potatoes. Processed or frozen sweet potatoes usually contain preservatives that are not the best for your dog.
Make sure that you cut sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces so your dog can eat them easily. You can also mash them and mix them with his kibble.
Lastly, you can feed him dog kibble or treats that contain sweet potato in the ingredients.
If your dog is struggling with diarrhea, the following recipe will help firm up his stool:
- Boiled chicken breast
- ½ cup of boiled or steamed sweet potato
- 1 cup of cooked white rice
- 2 tbsp of plain yogurt
This makes a big serving for larger dogs. Feel free to adjust the amounts to what is more suitable for your dog.
- Shred the boiled chicken breast to the size that suits your dog.
- Mash the sweet potatoes until it looks similar to a paste.
- In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken with the mashed sweet potatoes, white rice, and yogurt.
And this is it! It’s really simple.
Of course, you don’t want to feed your dog this dish all the time. Serve it to him occasionally as his lunch or dinner meal.
Sweet potato is a superfood that contains plenty of nutrients that are beneficial for our dogs’ bodies. If your dog is struggling with diarrhea, sweet potatoes can be extremely beneficial for him in this case.
The fibers found in the sweet potatoes help firm up his stool while supporting gut health. Besides helping him with diarrhea, sweet potatoes provide him with essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s important to feed your dog sweet potato in moderation. An occasional dish or treat with sweet potato is a good way to incorporate it into his diet.
Of course, it’s best to consult your dog’s vet first before making any changes to his diet.
Here are our answers to some of the most common questions people ask about this topic:
It’s not recommended to feed dogs sweet potato skin, as it can be difficult to digest.
Diarrhea can happen suddenly, and it usually lasts a day or two. However, it can be worse than this and last up for a few weeks or even months.