Can Dogs Eat Yams?
The simple answer is yes. Dogs can eat yams (sweet potatoes). Yams contain high amount of fiber and also contain several beneficial minerals and beta-carotene which helps to protect against several diseases.
Sweet potatoes have been grown by humans for thousands of years. Alongside rice, corn, and wheat, potatoes are one of the top food crops on the earth. Potato plants that are immature contain solanine. It is defensive poison. So, dogs should be well-fed and cared for. Solanine can affect the dog’s eyes, nervous system and disrupt digestion. It also can slow the heart rate. If you find any green whatsoever visible on a skin of the potato, keep it well clear.
Most of the dogs enjoy a nibble of cooked potato/yams. Yams are a healthy snack for pups. Many pet food manufacturers also include yams in their dog food formulations. The yams contain LSD as its main toxin. It can cause hallucinations and diarrhea in our pets. Fortunately, the roots of this plant, which are potatoes themselves and their skin are safe for our pets to consume.
Benefits of Yams (Sweet Potatoes)
There are a lot of benefits of the yams to dogs and these can be consumed safely. The main benefit of the yam is it can assist the digestive system of your dog. Yam contains potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Also, there is a high amount of iron, zinc, and calcium in the sweet potatoes. Amount of sodium is low in them. And, all these minerals are very beneficial for good health. For instance, potassium helps to maintain the correct fluid balance in the body of your dog. It also preserves muscle functions and nerve transmissions.
Sweet potatoes have a high amount of fiber. It is very good for a digestive system of your dog. Amount of fat is very low in yams, it is a good thing.
Some people feed white potatoes to their pets. White potatoes are cheaper than the sweet potatoes, but they have less nutritional value. Moreover, white potatoes contain a very high amount of carbohydrates; it can cause blood sugar problems as well as obesity.
Raw or Cooked
It is advised to give your dog cooked yams as if you give uncooked yams; there are many risks such as digestion and taste. If the yams are not cooked very well the tuber’s dietary fiber and starch won’t be well broken down to be easy for digestion. And, it will cause digestive problems. And if the Yam is cooked then the taste of the tuber gets better. So, always cook the yam or sweet potatoes before feeding it to your pet.
Yam and sweet potatoes tubers are hard so it makes chewing and swallowing hard. There is a well-known characteristic of dogs that they inhale their food and if this happens with uncooked yam, it will cause choking which is very dangerous. Moreover, uncooked tuber can block intestine with disastrous results which can lead to death.
So before feeding the yams to your pets cook or dehydrate them. Raw potatoes contain trypsin inhibitors. It reduces the ability of your pet to digest proteins. And, cooking sweet potatoes will get rid of these trypsin inhibitors, making them safe for Fido to eat.
Give only Moderate Quantities
Sweet potatoes, like white potatoes, contain sugar and carbohydrates but the amount of them is lower in sweet potatoes than white ones. And, high amount of sugar and carbohydrate can increase the weight of your dog which will result in obesity. Moreover, high sugar intake can also lead to diabetes. Just like their owners, dogs are at risk of these developments. So it is best to moderate the intake of potatoes.
Carbohydrate and sugar also affect the digestive system of your dog and these ingredients are also responsible for diarrhea. In case your dog seems to react more heavily against the yams, then you should leave the addition out of his diet. Your dog can survive without yam, but the yam is simply a nutritional benefit when used on as needed.
If you want to feed yam to your pet, then you should start with some small amounts. All human foods should be fed moderately as human foods contain a high amount of sugar. Some people believe that it is not good to offer human food to dogs at all. But many vets don’t believe on this. If you are giving your pet’s healthy food in good amounts then there is no problem.
Most of us feed our pets the food off table or leftover. But keep in mind if you also do so, just offer them healthy food.
How to Cook Yam/Sweet Potatoes
You can cook the sweet potato in microwave or oven and feed your dog it in its whole form. Also, you make slice and cook them in low-fat oil. In both ways, your dog is getting healthier food. Moreover, it is not much expensive than the ready-made treat.
Always keep in mind that you should never feed raw or uncooked yam to your pet. The skin, leaves, and plant are not good for the health of your dog. So, remember to remove all the skin of yam before cooking.
Also, you can add some other vegetables to yam like leafy greens, squash, pumpkin, peas, and carrots etc. to make a mixed vegetable for your dog.
In the end, we can say that yams or sweet potatoes are very healthy and you can give them without any worry to your pets. The thing to keep in mind is that yams should feed cooked always otherwise you will risk the health of your dog as the raw yam or sweet potato contains some harmful ingredients.
Also remember to feed the yams in small amounts as anything in excess is not good for anyone. So just start from small amounts. If your dog has some digestive issues then you should consult your vet before feeding yams to it.