Are Potato Chips Bad For Dogs?

Treats are an important part of the training of the pet and are a way of appreciation of the dog. Treats help in developing the bond between the pet and owner. Treats are offered as a part of positive reinforcement. It develops a sense of accomplishment in the pet and they strive to do better. 

However, you need to be cautious about what should be given as a treat and how much of it should be offered. Giving too many treats result in loss of appetite for the actual meal and may lead to weight gain or obesity. So, giving unhealthy treats can cause serious health problems. Treats having high starch content, artificial sweeteners, and toxic human food should be avoided to keep your dog safe. One such category is salty food like chips. 

Are Potato Chips Bad For Dogs?

What are the major ingredients in chips?

Chips are made of potatoes and starch-containing ingredients like flours, potato flakes, and starches. They contain an addictive amount of salt and artificial flavors. They are highly processed food with very low nutritional content. They may contain spices and herbs like onion and garlic too. 

Are potato chips bad for dogs?

The indiscriminate eating habits of dogs may make you decide to indulge them in your favorite snacks but this could be a bad idea. Although they may pick up a few chips dropped on the ground, the dog should not eat them in large quantities. Potato chips many side effects. They are considered unhealthy even for humans and are toxic to canines. As they are fried in vegetable oil, potato chips contain a high amount of fat that can be detrimental to your dog's health because dogs need healthy fats to thrive. 

The amount of salt present in chips is often quite high which can lead to certain health problems. Carbohydrates, although they can be a source of instant energy but make your dog gain unwanted weight. Once, dogs indulge in this unhealthy habit it is difficult for them to resist. 

As they provide a sudden boost in energy, dogs can get addicted to them, making it difficult for them to leave this unhealthy habit. Every time they will get hungry, they will be looking forward to having a bag of chips. Chips are too much of a temptation and dogs may want to have another bag of chips, once they finish the one, they already had.

What happens if a dog eats potato chips?

If you suspect that your dog has eaten chips you should first make sure to take away the remaining ones, if any. Monitor your dog and look for symptoms if they show any. 

After ingesting a considerable amount of chips, the following unpleasant conditions may result. 

1. Water retention

Intake of an increased amount of salt often leads to water retention in the body. This can result in swelling of certain body parts like the face and abdomen. Water retention is treated by diuretics which help in losing the excess water through urination.  

2. High Blood Pressure

Salt-induced hypertension or increased blood pressure can be a result of high salt consumption. Although nutrition does not directly affect blood pressure, it can cause obesity which can be a reason for elevated blood pressure. Medication to treat high blood pressure includes diuretics, angiotensin receptor blockers, and calcium channel blockers

3. Salt poisoning

When a dog ingests food with high salt content, body cells release water to the blood to level the amount of salt in the blood. This lack of water damages the brain cells, causing neurological symptoms like headache and dizziness. Hypernatremia is the condition of too much salt in the blood. 

This can make muscles become stiff and create jerking. Other symptoms include fluid buildup, increased urination, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and watery diarrhea. Diagnosis involves physical examination which includes blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate.  

4. Inflammation of the pancreas

The pancreas is an important organ as it releases the digestive enzymes to absorb the nutrients from the food. Food high in salt and fat can cause pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fever, and weakness. To treat these symptoms supportive care is provided along with IV fluids and medication. 

5. Sodium-ion poisoning

Sodium is an essential mineral and is needed for the proper functioning of cells. The recommended intake of sodium chloride is less than 2-3grams/Kg body weight in dogs. Ingestion of more than this amount can cause toxicity and can be fatal. The first sign of toxicity is vomiting while others include diarrhea, lethargy, and shortness of breath. 

Treatment includes rehydration by intravenous fluids. The process of rehydration should be slow otherwise it can cause overhydration which can lead to cerebral edema (accumulation of fluid in the brain). 

6. Dehydration

Eating salty food makes your dog thirsty and if there is not enough water to drink, dehydration can occur.  This can result in difficulty in breathing, a fast heartbeat, and fainting. Along with avoiding the salty snack for your dog, you should also keep the water bowl filled.

Why Are Potato Chips Bad for Dogs?

Why Are Potato Chips Bad for Dogs?

Chips are fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil which makes the fat content very high. They are highly processed food with little or no nutritional value. Sometimes, chips may contain garlic and onion to enhance the taste but they have been proven damaging to the dog’s health. They attack the red blood cells ad cause anemia

Onions and garlic contain thiosulfate which is a very toxic chemical to the dog. Artificial ingredients make chips more tempting to humans but it is not same for the dogs. These ingredients can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas. The sharp edges of crisp can damage a dog's gums and teeth leading to discomfort even while eating a regular meal.

Not only the ingredients in chips can make dogs sick but the plastic bag of the chips can make your dog choke on this which is not very rare. 

What are different alternatives to potato chips?

Air-popped popcorn without salt and butter can be an alternative to potato chips. They contain minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc along with fiber and certain vitamins. Any amount of added butter, salt, and oil can cause intestinal upset and obesity. 

Oven-baked pretzels are another healthy snack for your dog if they are free from butter and salt. Low fat cottage cheese can be given to your dog if he is not lactose intolerant. However, reaction to cheese should be monitored closely. The human food which is safe for dogs includes carrots, watermelon, zucchini, apple slices, and peeled bananas. 

Giving your dog sweet potatoes is also a healthier option because they contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients that are great for canine’s wellness. They are high in fiber and possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are vital for muscles, vision, and overall health. 

To prepare sweet potatoes for your dog, they should be cooked, and make sure to peel off the skin to make them easily digestible. Raw sweet potato is difficult to chew and can be a potential cause of intestinal blockage.

If your dog loves crisp, you can make crisp slices by cutting apples and carrots which are quite healthy and appetizing for your dog.

If you want to introduce any of the above food to your dog, you must start by offering them in very small quantities to make sure they are not allergic to them.

Potatoes vs potato chips for dogs?

Potatoes vs potato chips for dogs?

The added fat, too much starch, and salt content make potatoes unhealthy to consume for dogs but otherwise, the potato part is healthy for them as it provides minerals (iron, magnesium, and potassium) and vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B) to the diet.

Potatoes can be baked, smashed, or steamed to give your dog a healthy snack. To make mashed potatoes, make sure you avoid adding butter, cheese, and salt. White potatoes are known to have a high glycemic index which means the starch content is very high and it takes a lot of physical activity to burn these calories.  Raw potatoes and sprouted potatoes are not recommended as they can be a cause of potato poisoning due to a compound present in them called solanine. 

If your dog is diabetic, you should avoid giving him potatoes as this can result in a rise in blood sugar levels. A dog's diet should mainly consist of animal proteins and should get most of the nutrients from it rather than other sources. If you are going to add potatoes to your dog's diet, make sure they are in moderation.

Homemade chips are relatively safer for consumption. For this purpose, cut the potatoes in slices and toss these plain slices in very little oil. After which they are baked at 325 degrees until they crisp up.


So, the bottom line is, it is completely alright if your dog eats a few chips. Avoid giving potato chips regularly to your four-legged friend as it can lead to obesity and consequent cardiovascular diseases.



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