Although french fries are generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, they are not the healthiest food for them. Giving a few of your leftover french fries here and there is not likely to cause any harm. However, there’s always the risk of overfeeding your dog with this high-fat food, and this is when it becomes a health concern.
Let’s discuss the potential health risks associated with feeding french fries to dogs and explore healthier alternatives.
5 Downsides of Feeding French Fries to Dogs
Are french fries bad for dogs? French fries are not entirely bad for dogs, but this human food should never be a regular part of their diet. Or else the high sodium and fat content of french fries can lead to several health problems to develop:
French fries are deep-fried, causing them to become loaded with unhealthy saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Moreover, fried food typically carries large amounts of fattening calories and carbohydrates.
If fed to dogs in excessive quantities for long periods, french fries will cause obesity, which is the gateway to other canine ailments such as heart disease and joint problems.
2. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Overeating fatty human food like french fries can trigger stomach upset in mild cases. However, prolonged consumption potentially leads to pancreatitis, which is a condition that results in the inflammation of the pancreas.
Oily food is also said to increase the risk of bloat in dogs as it is slowly digested by the stomach.
3. Sodium Poisoning
Salt is the most common type of seasoning heavily used on french fries. The amount of sodium in medium-sized french fries ranges from 140 milligrams to over 200 milligrams.
Excessive sodium intake is toxic to dogs and may cause severe hydration, muscle tremors, and seizures. Salt poisoning is a particularly fatal condition to canines with kidney problems.
4. Abrupt Blood Sugar Spikes
French fries are often made from potatoes, which rank high on the glycemic index. This means they are easily absorbed in the body, making them very likely to cause abnormal elevation of blood sugar levels.
Glucose spikes are not alarming on healthy dogs, but they can be disastrous to diabetic canines. For this reason, french fries should be off-limits to them.
Potato allergy is not commonly seen in dogs, but some may develop this health condition in their lifetime. Thus, keep an eye on your canine friend if he ingested this human food for the first time.
Look out for symptoms of allergies such as:
- Constant itching
- Inflamed skin
- Runny discharge on the eyes or nose
Take your dog to the vet immediately if he shows these clinical signs for proper diagnosis. Keep him away from any food made from potatoes, such as french fries, if the vet confirms he has potato allergies.
Health Benefits of French Fries to Dogs
French fries do offer some health perks to dogs despite their numerous drawbacks. They contain several nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C, which are good for strengthening dogs’ immune systems and improving bone health.
As we have mentioned earlier, french fries are high in carbohydrates. If consumed in moderation, they give pooches an energy boost.
Plant proteins can also be found in french fries, which promote proper tissue growth and repair. However, they are not at par with animal proteins, which provide better quality essential amino acids.
Do Not Let Dogs Overindulge in French Fries
Are french fries safe for dogs? Although french fries have some health benefits for dogs, these are not enough to outweigh their disadvantages to canine health. As much as possible, feeding this human food to your canine companion should be minimal.
How many fries can a dog eat? If your dog manages to sneakily eat 1–2 french fries, do not worry as he is safe from developing stomach problems and other unwanted adverse reactions.
However, dogs that scarfed down an entire order of french fries are likely to suffer from bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, these digestive issues are temporary and go away within a few days.
If your dog is predisposed to bloat, diabetes, kidney problems, or pancreatitis, he needs to be closely monitored in case his condition suddenly worsens after consuming copious amounts of french fries. Bring him to the vet immediately should this happen.
What Types of French Fries Are Safe to Share with Dogs?
French fries can be cooked in different ways and paired with various seasonings and condiments. However, not all of them are safe for dogs to eat.
Can dogs eat raw french fries?
No, raw french fries are difficult for a dog’s stomach to digest as their starches remain intact. Consuming them will inevitably result in digestive problems.
Can dogs eat cooked fries?
Yes, cooked fries are more digestible for dogs than raw fries. However, avoid using oil or salt when cooking to make this human food a bit healthier for your furry pal.
Can dogs eat uncooked frozen french fries?
No, frozen french fries are tough to chew, making them potential choking hazards to dogs. Ideally, they should be thawed, cooked, and served plain.
Can dogs eat french fries without salt?
Yes, french fries without salt will not harm your dog, provided that you skip cooking them in oil. However, it should not be given as a regular dog snack.
Can dogs eat McDonald’s french fries?
No, McDonald’s french fries are very unhealthy for dogs due to their high salt and fat concentrations. Other fast-food fries should never be shared with your pet for the same reason.
It would be preferable to make french fries for dogs at home since you have full control of what ingredients to use. Consider switching out white potato with sweet potato, which contains more nutrients and fiber.
Serve sweet potatoes plain and free from oil or salt. Offer them in great moderation as they are a high glycemic vegetable packed with carbohydrates.
Can dogs eat baked french fries?
Yes, baked french fries for dogs are better than deep-fried ones. As usual, do not add any salt or oil to prevent upsetting your pet’s stomach.
Can dogs eat air-fried french fries?
Yes, air-fried french fries for dogs are fine as long as they are free from salt and oil. Since they are still high in calories and carbs, make sure to feed them to your furry pal in moderation.
Can dogs eat french fries with cheese powder?
Feeding your dog french fries with cheese powder is not recommended. Cheese powder often contains artificial preservatives, coloring, and flavoring, which are unhealthy for dogs.
Moreover, most canines are lactose-intolerant. Consuming dairy products such as cheese powder will trigger adverse reactions, including diarrhea and a bloated stomach.
Both french fries and cheese powder are high in fat. Allowing your dog to snack on them in excessive quantities can lead to unhealthy weight gain and, consequently, obesity.
Can dogs eat french fries with ketchup?
Look for Better Alternatives
French fries should not be your first choice when choosing human foods for your pet to snack on. You can find plenty of other food options that are far healthier and more nutritious for him, such as: