Believe it or not, the question ‘Can dogs eat French fries’ is one of the most common many owners ask. When feeding carnivores with food for humans, the answer is not simple and always depends on several factors. In this case, the potato is not a primary problem, although it has virtually no nutritional value for this species.
The crucial issue is the excessive amount of fat and salt this food contains. The fact is that a few potato sticks won’t harm your furry friend, but feeding it with too many fries may cause severe gastrointestinal conditions. Let’s see.
Can Dogs Eat French Fries?
Potatoes fried in oil and seasoned with salt, including chips and French fries, are highly unhealthy food for dogs, especially those suffering from diabetes or obesity.
Even though French fries don’t have any nutritional value for carnivores, they won’t harm your dog’s health after one or two consumptions. However, including this salty food rich in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates in a regular dog diet will result in severe health conditions.
Why are French Fries Bad for Dogs?
If you wonder are French fries bad for dogs, you should check how it affects the organism of carnivores.
Nutrition – French fries have zero nutritional benefits to the dog’s body.
Calories – It is not a question that can dogs eat fries. Yes, they can, but this food is richer in calories than potatoes prepared in other ways. The result is a dog with an obesity problem.
Fats – Dogs and fries are not friends because of oil, among other things. Some of them (fish oil) are a healthy option for carnivores. Unfortunately, this product is usually prepared on vegetable, palm, or canola oil.
If unhealthy fats are a regular part of your dog’s diet, excessive consumption of French fries will probably cause pancreatitis. Plus, a high level of saturated and trans fats may lead to numerous health problems in dogs, including clog arteries.
Salt – French fries contain a high amount of salt that can cause sodium poisoning, dehydration, and kidney problems.
Carbs – These compounds are potentially dangerous for carnivores since they cause the development of bad feeding habits and obesity. Plus, the dog fed up with carbs won’t eat enough protein-packed meals, which will affect its overall health negatively.
Ketchup and Seasonings
In most cases, human food can be harmful to carnivores, especially given in the wrong amounts. For instance, you should never offer your pet grapes, garlic, and onions since they can be unhealthy or even toxic for it.
Now, let’s talk about seasonings. As I have already said, dogs and French fries are not a recommended combination. The same meal sprinkled with salt and pepper or topped with ketchup is even a bigger NO for your furry friend because of the high sodium content.
An average dog needs 0.0035 ounces (100 milligrams) of sodium a day, but it will get 0.005 ounces (154 milligrams) of this mineral in only one tablespoon of ketchup. As a result, your dog will suffer from excessive thirst and bloating.
If you have trained your dog well, you can order it to step back while you eat. Otherwise, you will face with begging. Most owners have that annoying problem with their furry friends. In fact, as soon as they sit down at the dining table, their dogs get a hungry and pathetic look, as if they had not eaten for days.
Probably the best way to avoid giving such unhealthy food like French fries for dogs is to keep them in another room, in the yard, or the crate while the owner finishes the meal.
What to Do if the Dog Ate French Fries?
Unfortunately, if your dog ate French fries in a large amount, you should monitor it for possible signs of poisoning. In most cases, the animal will develop symptoms of sodium poisoning due to intaking too much salt. The usual ones include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Upset stomach and reduced appetite
- Dehydration and excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Lethargy and weakness
- Muscle tremors and seizures
Once you notice more than three symptoms in your furry friend after consuming French fries, you should ask for professional animal care in your country as soon as possible.
In particularly severe and potentially life-threatening cases, you may see the following side effects:
- Allergic reaction with typical symptoms, such as swelling, difficulty breathing, and possible anaphylaxis.
- Bloat in large breeds followed by swollen stomach, panting, drooling, and pain.
- Pancreatitis with symptoms that include lethargy, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and characteristic ‘praying position’.
The final result of this condition will depend on the dog size, the level of salt in French fries your pet ingested, and its salt tolerance. If your small dog ate a whole bag of this food, you should consult the vet immediately.
If you can’t spot any of the listed symptoms, it will be enough to check the dog’s reaction and possible signs of dehydration in the next 12 hours.
If you take care of your dog’s menu and want to avoid feeding it with fast food, you should find a tasty replacement to mislead it while enjoying unhealthy delicacies.
As you can see, the potatoes are unhealthy and French fries are bad for dogs, but you can replace them with sweet potatoes. Some dogs will also enjoy eating vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, paprika, and carrots or fruit, like bananas, watermelons, and blueberries.
In the end, I can give you answers to two crucial questions.
If you ask me can dogs eat fried potatoes, my answer is – YES! However, if you ask me should they eat this type of food, my answer will always be – NO!
With so many highly-quality meals available on the market, you don’t need to offer your furry friend such unhealthy food. As a big fan of French fries, I can add that you shouldn’t eat it either. The point is that we need to be more merciful to our four-legged friends than to ourselves.