The Benefit of Sweet Potatoes in Your Pet's Diet
Feeding pets vegetables can come with many benefits. They are convenient treats, providing your pet with multiple nutrients that they may not get from their regular food. In fact, this why we're seeing more natural ingredients, like sweet potatoes, making their way into pet treats. This tasty vegetable is proving to be ideal for boosting pet health.
Let's take a close look at the sweet spud, its benefits, and how much you should feed your cat, dog, or small pet.
Are Sweet Potatoes Safe for Pets?
Yes, but most times, cooked sweet potatoes are better for your pet's digestion. Hard, raw sweet potatoes can cause intestinal blockage, so it's advised to cook and peel them before offering them to pets. The one exception is bearded dragons, who may prefer raw sweet potatoes.
Something else to keep in mind is that raw sweet potatoes or rotting sweet potatoes can be toxic to rodents and small pets due to the presence of cyanide. Prepare sweet potatoes properly before feeding them to your animal companion.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
- Vitamin A supports healthy vision, physical development in young pets, cell function, and a robust immune system.
- Vitamin B6 boosts the function of red blood cells, the nervous system, hormone regulation, and immune response.
- Thiamin regulates your pet's energy, metabolism, and tissue wellness.
- Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants for your pet and helps remove free radicals from the body. It can also reduce inflammation and slow down cognitive aging.
- Potassium supports muscle function and is vital for synthesizing protein and carbohydrates.
- Iron is essential for healthy blood production.
- Magnesium can balance blood sugar levels.
- Phosphorus sustains and helps the formation of bones and teeth.
- Zinc contributes to the wellness of healthy skin, fur, and thyroid operation.
- Calcium supports various functions like muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and more.
Another benefit? Sweet potatoes are also high in dietary fiber, which makes them a great digestive aid.
Do keep in mind that too much vitamin A can be toxic for your pet, so it's vital to offer sweet potato portions or treats in strict moderation. Symptoms of vitamin A poisoning to look out for include:
- lethargy or limited movement
- skin peeling
- poor coat health
- abdominal pain
Speak to your vet if your pet shows unusual health symptoms.
How Much Can I Feed my Pet?
You can feed your cat, dog, rodent, rabbit, bird, or reptile small portions of cooked, unseasoned sweet potatoes as a rare treat. Dr. Katrin Ventocilla, DVM, owner of PACK Animal Care in Lorton, Virginia, suggests that a small dog can eat about one teaspoon of cooked sweet potato per day, and a larger dog can eat one tablespoon daily.
When offering this vegetable to other animals or exotic pets, err on the side of caution, and talk to your vet.
Sweet Spud Treats for Your Pet Friend
Moderation with any pet treats is important. Still, when offered in proper amounts, sweet potatoes can provide a yummy source of essential vitamins and minerals to your animal friend.
At Pets on Broadway, we stock dried sweet potato treats from Snook's Pet Products. These hand-made treats contain natural, GMO-free ingredients with your pet's health in mind.
Pets on Broadway also sells a variety of sweet potato infused treats, chews, and kibble recipes for both cats and dogs. Click here to shop all sweet potato infused cat or dog products.
For more pet supplies, food and treats for the pets under your roof, visit petsonbroadway.com.