Sweet potato has hit the big time in recent years. Off the back of the vegetarian and vegan movement currently sweeping across America, sweet potato has found its way into the homes of millions of Americans.
Sweet potato is healthy, sweet potato is filling, sweet potato is nutritious, and you just know that sweet potato oh-so-delicious. The beauty of the sweet potato revolution is that there is now plenty of sweet potatoes to go around.
Just like we like sweet potato, dogs are pretty fond of the stuff too. Adding sweet potatoes to your dog’s diet is an easy way of making sure they are getting their vitamins in.
Not to mention the fiber found in sweet potatoes can do wonders for a dog’s gut health.
This article is here to ensure you know exactly how to cook up a big batch of sweet potato Scoobie snacks today so that your pooch can start reaping the benefits tomorrow.
Are Sweet Potatoes Dog-Friendly?
To put your mind at ease on whether or not sweet potatoes are safe for canine consumption, yes, yes they are. Sweet potatoes are incredibly beneficial vegetables that can do wonders for a dog’s overall health.
Sweet potatoes are whole tubers which means they shouldn’t cause damage to your dog’s GI tract or an immune response.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should start feeding your dog sweet potatoes every single day. Moderation needs to be administered to the level of sweet potato intake for dogs.
This moderation is especially important for any dog that suffers from diabetes, is overweight, or is aging. If your dog is any or all of the above, then you really do need to make sure you’re only feeding them small portions of sweet potato.
Why? Because as their namesake suggests, sweet potatoes have a high glycemic index.
One last thing to consider is that sweet potato is most certainly dog-friendly but only when it’s cooked. Just as raw potato isn’t recommended for human consumption, feeding your dog raw sweet potatoes can give them a serious stomach ache.
Also, if it is at all possible, removing the sweet potato skins will make it easier for your dog to consume them as well.
Why Are Sweet Potatoes So Good For Dogs?
As previously mentioned, sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber for dogs. Fiber is a carbohydrate that helps dogs do their doggie business.
Sweet potato is also packed full of essential vitamins like B6, A, and C. These vitamins are exactly what the body needs to function well and fight off infections.
Not only that but a high fiber diet is also proven to reduce the risk of dogs contracting diseases in their older years. All things considered, so long as it is cooked first, sweet potato is a great addition to most dog diets. Let’s just hope they eat it!
How Do You Cook Sweet Potatoes For Dogs?
Preparing sweet potatoes for your dog can be done in a number of ways. As long as they are cooked, the sky really is the limit to how you do it.
Whether you want to mash them up, boil them in chunks, bake them into bite-sized chewy treats, or make them into cookies, it is all a possibility with sweet potatoes.
Below we have listed some of our favorite ways of preparing sweet potatoes for doggie consumption. Each of these cooking methods has been tried, tested, and tried again, with the bowl being licked clean every time.
Mashed Sweet Potato
Mashed potato has been an all-time classic staple of American households for many many years. There’s just something very homely about tucking into a big ol’ bowl of mashed potato, and dogs tend to feel the exact same about the stuff.
Of course, mashed sweet potato isn’t mashed potato, it’s better. Sweet potatoes is packed with more flavor and vitamins than regular potatoes, making them the obvious choice to treat your dogs with.
Mashing sweet potatoes for dogs is even easier than mashing them for humans. All you have to do is peel your sweet potatoes, cut them into chunks, boil them until they are easy to cut with a knife, and then mash them up nice and sloppy.
A quick and easy sweet potato meal that can have a whole host of meats and treats mixed through. Even if all you mix through your sweet potato mash is a can of dog food, this is still a super valuable thing to do for your dog’s health.
They will be counting down the days until “sweet potato night” rolls back around.
Baked Sweet Potato Treats
Baked sweet potato treats are super easy to make and even easier to eat. You would be hard-pressed to find a dog that doesn’t love being treated to chewy bite-sized sweet potato treats.
Eating anything bite-sized makes it feel like a treat, and your dog will be all giddy with excitement every time they smell the sweet potato treat container being opened.
Do you want to know the best thing about sweet potato treats?
They are frugal. Instead of spending sometime silly money on specialist dog treats, all you have to do is bake some sweet potato and most dogs won’t even notice the difference.
You can bake as many sweet potato treats as you wish, but when starting out, we would suggest trialing two sweet potatoes to make sure your dog likes them first.
All you have to do is wash and peel the sweet potatoes and then cut them into long chip-like shapes. Think of them as thick-cut sweet potato fries and you will be along the right lines.
Once they have been cut thick, get them on a baking tray and whack them in the oven at 200°F – 250°F for at least one and a half hours, or until cooked.
What you don’t want is your sweet potato treats to turn hard and crispy as this will not be enjoyable to eat for your dog. Make sure that they are cooked evenly on both sides, but still chewy enough that they are still soft and chewy on the inside.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sweet potato biscuits are another great idea for mixing up the daily menu for your dog. Sweet potato biscuits are going to be a little more involved than baked treats and mash, but surely your four-legged best friend is worth it?
All you have to do to create the perfect dog sweet potato biscuit is mix together sweet potato mash, oats, cornmeal, wheat-free flour, and a little water.
Once all the ingredients have been mixed together thoroughly and have formed a particularly sticky consistency, it is time to roll them out. Roll the biscuit dough out before cutting it into biscuity shapes and baking them in the oven.
Although you may have the temptation to add a little salt or sugar for taste, try to refrain from this urge. Dogs are sensitive to excessive amounts of salt and sugar, and their palette isn’t so tuned into these flavors anyways.
Besides, there’s plenty of sugar in sweet potatoes, remember?
Sweet Potato Puree
Not to be confused with mash, sweet potato puree is particularly useful to have stored in the fridge for mixing purposes. The big difference between puree and mash is their consistency.
Where mash is thick, puree benefits from a thinner consistency that is easier to mix through other foods.
How do you turn sweet potato to puree? All you have to do is mash them up and add water. The water will thin out the sweet potato and make it a deliciously sloppy mess that dogs love to lick their lips over.
Kong Sweet Potato Treat
If you’ve never heard of them, kong sweet potato treats are physically and mentally engaging dog chew toys. You might be thinking, where the sweet potato side of things comes into play? Good question.
Kong chew toys aren’t your average chew toys. They can be filled with food that is slowly expelled once a dog starts chewing on them.
A quick and easy recipe that is perfect for stuffing into a Kong is mashed sweet potato, rice, and a dollop of peanut butter.
This is a foolproof mixture that will have your dog chewing their Kong like it’s the only thing that matters in the world. We guess, from where they’re looking, it kind of is.
Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chews
If you are the proud owner of a food dehydrator then we’re guessing that you have probably already tried your luck at dehydrated sweet potato. Dehydrated sweet potato is great because it manages to retain a little chewiness while turning from a soggy to chewy.
Make sure that the sweet potato is cut fairly thick (but not too thick) as this will eliminate the possibility of the chews becoming too crispy. Once you get the thickness spot on, then the rest is easy as your dehydrator will do the work for you.
One final tip is to blanch or cook the sweet potatoes prior to dehydrating them. Doing this will safeguard your sweet potatoes from losing color, texture, and most importantly flavor.
As you can see, there are many ways to successfully (and safely) cook sweet potatoes for dogs. The big thing you must remember is to ensure that the sweet potatoes are cooked fully through.
Once you understand this essential fact about sweet potato then the rest is gravy. We hope these cooking ideas have inspired you to get creative and keep your best friend guessing as to what’s being served next.