Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

pile of sweet potatoes on wooden table surrounded by herbs.

Dogs are notorious for sneaking food from countertops and eating whatever they find. This unshakeable love for food can put them in a lot of trouble if they consume something toxic. Therefore, it is one of the foremost responsibilities of every dog parent to see what his/her pup is eating.

Many ingredients can raise a question in the mind of new owners. For instance, sweet potato or yam can be a tricky ingredient to include in your dog’s diet. Although both these vegetables are quite healthy for humans, you must study their nutritional value (for canines) before feeding.   

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Yes, they can. This is the simplest possible answer to this question. According to Dr. Rachel Barrack (a licensed veterinarian in New York), sweet potatoes are equally beneficial for humans and canines. However, it’s important to feed a moderate quantity of sweet potato to your dog because it is rich in carbohydrates.

You should start with a small amount to see how your pup reacts to this ingredient. Some dogs might not like the taste of sweet potatoes. Similarly, canines with a sensitive stomach may develop digestive issues due to this ingredient. Once you are confident that everything’s working, you can increase the quantity gradually.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Dogs

dog bowl full of meat and vegetables

This natural treat is an excellent source of fiber that can help in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Likewise, sweet potatoes offer a range of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the overall wellbeing of your pet. For example, sweet potatoes provide an ample amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. All these nutrients play a vital role in keeping your dog healthy.

Another useful chemical that is abundant in sweet potatoes is Beta Carotene. This organic pigment is what gives this vegetable its yellow or orange color. It is a powerful antioxidant that provides protection against heart diseases and reduces the risk of cancer. In addition to that, Beta Carotene is also useful for your dog’s bones, vision, and skin.   

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato Skin?

Pile of sweet potato peels on a table next to basket of sweet potatoes and potato peeler

This can be a really tricky question for most people. A moderate quantity of sweet potato skin is healthy for most dogs. Although it is safe for dogs to eat sweet potato skin, make sure that there is no mold (can be toxic) on it. Therefore, check the sweet potato skin thoroughly and scrub it well before feeding it to your canine companion.

In some cases, it has also been observed that dogs find it difficult to digest sweet potato skin. The parents of such canines must avoid this ingredient from their pet’s diet.

NOTE: Sweet potato vine is very poisonous for dogs and should ALWAYS be kept beyond your pup’s reach.

Can Dogs Eat Yams?

sliced yam on table with a vine and knife

Even though they are two different root vegetables, yam and sweet potato are often used interchangeably. Yams are less sugary (more starchy) than sweet potatoes and have a much drier texture. Just like sweet potatoes, cooked yams are also safe and healthy for dogs. Raw yams are generally not recommended because they can be harder to eat and digest.

Yam is an amazing low-calorie treat, especially for those canines who are trying to lose weight. Therefore, there is no need to worry if your pup manages to sneak a cooked yam from your kitchen. Just make sure that it wasn’t prepared with nutmeg, which is toxic to dogs.

Health Benefits of Yams for Dogs

Not only is yam a delicious snack for your pet, but it also provides a range of health benefits. Some of the most common ones among them are discussed below.

Healthy Muscles and Bones

Healthy labrador puppy sitting in front of a window.

Yams are rich in magnesium that is extremely useful for the overall wellbeing of your pet. Magnesium is important to keep the bones and muscles healthy because it assists in the absorption of calcium, zinc, and potassium.

Similarly, this mineral helps in keeping your dog active by ensuring the normal functioning of body organs. Last but not least, magnesium is the perfect remedy for those canines who are suffering from anxiety.

Suppresses Inflammation

Yam has a phytosteroid (called Diosgenin) that has anti-inflammatory properties. This chemical is clinically used for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of joints. Because it is quite common in dogs, yams can serve as natural preventative medicine.

Low-Fat Ingredient

overweight pug sitting on sidewalk

This is one of the biggest reasons why dog parents love this food. Obesity is a significant issue with dogs and you do need healthy ingredients to feed your pup. Likewise, yam is an excellent alternative for those canines who suffer from fat intolerance and other digestive issues.

Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidant properties of yams are acknowledged by many researchers in the world. Antioxidants are incredibly important for the overall health of a pet. They provide several benefits by fighting the effects of free radicals in the body.

If your dog has a history of skin problems or allergies, yams can help cure these ailments. In addition to that, antioxidants also provide a boost to the immunity of your canine.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Just like obesity, diabetes is another medical condition that is quite common among dogs. Yams are extremely helpful for regulating the blood sugar level of diabetic dogs. They carry a lot of Dioscoretine, which helps in improving the sensitivity of insulin. Adding a moderate amount of cooked yam in your dog’s meals can keep the blood sugar in control.   

Can Dogs Eat Yam Skin?

a peeled yam with peelings and a potato peeler

Although it is safe for dogs to consume yam skin, it is NOT recommended to feed them this vegetable in raw form. Not only is it difficult to digest raw yam, but it can also contain toxic tannins. In the case of tannin toxicity, the dog will show distressing signs, like vomiting and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms appear, you must immediately contact an emergency vet for necessary steps.  

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.