Potatoes have recently become one of the latest ingredients to be labeled as ‘bad’ for pets but what are the actual facts?

As with many pet food trends, certain ingredients tend to become ostracized (or promoted) due to marketing initiatives and inaccurate rumor mills. We have gotten many questions about potatoes and want to take a minute to point out the facts.

Potatoes and Glycoalkaloids

Much of the bad rap for potatoes is due to their glycoalkaloid content. Glycoalkaloids, which are nerve toxins, can develop only in the stems, shoots and green parts of the skin. White potatoes should always be stored in the dark since glycoalkaloids can also become an issue in potato skin that’s been subjected to excessive or prolonged exposure to light. The stems, shoots and green parts of potatoes should not be consumed by people or animals and should be removed before serving.

Power of the Potato

However, the white flesh of potatoes and the regular skin (not including shoots and green areas) does not contain any glycoalkaloids or any toxins. Additionally, there are many benefits to feeding potatoes to dogs. Veterinarian Patrick Mahaney says, “Potatoes add a helpful punch of nutrients. They provide vitamins (B3, B6, C, etc.), minerals (manganese, phosphorus, etc.), antioxidants (carotenoids, flavonoids, etc.) as well as potassium, iron, copper and fiber.” Significant quantities of molybdenum, chromium and selenium can also be found just beneath the potato’s skin.