Who doesn’t love french fries? Whether kids or adults, all of us gorge on this crunchy snack at any time of the day, no matter whether we are hungry or not. However, we cannot ignore the fact that although french fries are tasty, they are equally unhealthy.
We all know the health hazards of eating fries regularly. Not only for adults, but eating too many french fries is bad for kids too. Hence we refrain ourselves and our kids from hogging fries regularly.
Coming to the question ‘Can you feed your dog french fries?’ Did you know that even your dogs can eat french fries? As unhealthy as it is for us, it is no better for your dogs too. No, we aren’t trying to say that your dog cannot feed on fries. Of course, it can. But within a certain limit.
In this article, we shall explore the foods that are important for your canine, what must be the feeding routine, and which foods should be kept away from your dog. Can dogs eat french fries? Well, we will see the effects of french fries on dogs.
Are French Fries good for your dog?
We all love our dogs more than anything else. When you are at your dining table, and you find those cute little puppy eyes lovingly staring at your food, it is hard for you not to feed your dog a few bites. However, you need to know that all human foods may not be good for your dog.
As we know, most fast foods are unhealthy for us to be eaten in large amounts. Similarly, the digestive systems of dogs is quite sensitive to greasy good. If these oily foods aren’t good for us, they aren’t for our dogs either.
Amongst our favorite fast foods, one of them is french fries. Let us see the repercussions of this fried snack on our furry friend.
How are French Fries prepared?
French Fries are deep-fried potato sticks. The added taste comes by sprinkling salt followed by some over-the-top seasoning. Although eaten as a side dish, we tend to eat fries in large quantities since it is very hard to stop. French fries are usually served with either tomato ketchup or any other sauce.
Fried foods contain loads of oil, hence they are nothing but empty calories. To top it all, potato is the main ingredient in french fries which mainly contains carbohydrates. Hence, on a whole, your french fries might be crunchy and tasty, however, they don’t have much nutritional value.
Can dogs eat french fries?
French fries in large quantities are bad for your canine. You can feed your dog french fries, however, in very minute quantities, maybe a bite or two. If you intend on feeding your dog a large pack of fries from McDonald’s or Wendy’s, then don’t even think of it. Oily foods are bad for dogs and can hamper their digestive system.
Since french fries consist mainly of oil, potatoes, and salt, this makes us wonder whether potatoes are bad for dogs or if dogs can have salt. Let us discuss these aspects in detail further down this article.
Now, the question here is, which human foods can you feed your dog? And how much? We all want our dogs to be fit and active. Many pet parents prefer giving their dogs a homemade meal which is a very good option. Every dog breed is different, and so their requirements are also different.
Now coming back to french fries. Feeding your pet french fries regularly is not ideal. It can have harmful effects. Even if you plan on feeding this snack occasionally, let us see a few implications this snack can have on your dog.
- Allergy-related after-effects: Veterinarians usually advise against feeding potatoes to your dogs. You can still think of giving sweet potatoes but make sure they are cooked properly. Dogs find it difficult to digest regular potatoes as their digestive systems are made as such. Even if you bake or fry potatoes, it is not advisable to give them to your dog in large quantities. If your dog is showing any allergic symptoms like swelling or hives, immediately rush him or her to your vet.
- Chances of salt poisoning: A heavy amount of salt is liable to cause salt poisoning, an extremely dangerous condition, in dogs. No, we are not trying to imply that feeding your dog a few fries can lead to this kind of situation, but it is always better to watch out for the warning signs. Certain dog breeds can be quite sensitive to salty foods.
Even a slight deviation in your dog’s salt intake can shoot their blood pressure levels to a very high level. Your dog might start feeling more thirsty than usual and pee more often. Some dogs can also get dehydrated. The add-ons that come with fries, like tomato ketchup and sauces are no better. Even these have more salt and sugar than required.
- Inflammation issues: French fries are usually fried in canola oil or vegetable oils with a high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. These can disturb your dog’s tummy and your pet might show signs of a stomach disorder. Regular consumption of such foods could cause Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or pancreatic disorder in dogs. Both these conditions are serious situations and it is best that we don’t put our pets through this by taking good care of their food habits.
- Stomach Disorder: Just like we tend to fall sick and have a terrible tummy when we overeat certain unhealthy foods, the same goes for your dog too. Your pet may not eat properly and could lose its appetite if it suffers from a stomach disorder.
- Piling up that fat: Apart from the above-mentioned issues, your dog could also consume extra calories and gain weight. Weight gain could lead to lethargy, inactivity, and a whole list of fresh new issues. The more active and fit your dog is, the better will be its health.
Actions to be taken if your dog overfeeds on French Fries
Don’t worry if your dog has just taken a bite or two of your french fries. However, if your loving friend has consumed a full pack of the crunchy snack, then you should take some of the precautions listed below.
- Keep giving water: To avoid the risk of dehydration, let your dog keep drinking water. As french fries contain high amounts of salt, your pup is likely to be very thirsty. Drinking adequate water will help your dog feel better.
- Allergic reactions: Dogs are unable to digest potatoes properly. When this happens, they can fall prey to certain allergies like rashes, irritation on the body, heavy panting, or hives.
- Look out for the warning signs: In stray cases, there could be some serious issues with your dog consuming more fries than required. Watch out if your canine friend is showing any signs of distress like a bad stomach. In some worst cases, there have been incidents of dogs throwing up or having diarrhoea or canine bloating after consuming oily foods. Look for symptoms like abdominal swelling, heavy breathing, or any other warning signals.
Salt poisoning is another serious issue faced by some dog breeds. This is fatal in some cases. If your dog is repeatedly demanding more and more water and is peeing more often, this could be an early signal. You need to see if your dog is exhibiting any problems like being unable to walk properly or swelling of the tongue. In extreme cases, some dogs experience seizures. Your vet will have to be summoned immediately.
What kind of human foods can you give your dog?
There are various dog foods available in the market. However, you can also feed your pet certain healthy things that you prepare hygienically at home. In this section, let us go through some healthy foods which you can give your dog and some foods to avoid.
Since dogs belong to the carnivore family, meat is an important part of their diet. However, dogs are not completely carnivorous like other meat eaters. Wild dogs do not have much of a choice and prey on other smaller animals in the forest. They also feed on fruits once in a while.
Dogs can feed on human food. However, make sure you follow the instructions correctly before feeding your pets any kind of food. Always talk to your vet before introducing any new foods to your dog. It does not matter even if it is homemade food. As the saying goes, precaution is always better than cure. Don’t wait for your dear one to fall ill after consuming something.
Different dog breeds have different requirements. You can decide on the right food for your dog after speaking to the vet.
The foods mentioned below are healthy to be given to your dogs.
Like humans, dogs also require proteins for their overall growth and development. If you are planning to give a home-cooked meal rich in proteins, then you can give any of the following foods.
You can safely feed chicken to your dog. This is a very rich source of protein. It is also loaded with omega-6 fatty acids which are essential for your dog’s skin and fur. Chicken also contains a few important amino acids and glucosamine that can surely help to build healthy bones.
However, you should consider the following aspects before feeding a chicken meal to your dog:
- Some dogs could develop a stomach ache after having a chicken meal. This could be any kind of allergy. Hence, ensure you have checked with your vet.
- Do not feed your dog raw chicken. There is a high chance of your pet developing a bacterial infection. Always cook it thoroughly. You can either roast, poach, grill, or bake the chicken. However, remember not to add onions, garlic, or any other seasonings.
- Only boneless chicken or chicken meat off the bone is recommended for dogs. Chicken bones can rupture your dog’s tummy or intestine, apart from being a choking danger.
- If you are looking for healthy chicken options, you can go for lean chicken breast meat containing very less fat without any skin. It is best to avoid high-fat foods as they can lead to pancreatitis.
Follow all these precautions even when you plan to feed foods like turkey or any other white meat.
Fish is also a very rich protein source for your dogs. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids in abundance. This is very important for dogs since it tackles all the inflammatory issues within them. You can consult your veterinarian and make fish a part of your dog’s diet when you intend on providing it with home-cooked meals.
- However, not all fish species can be safe for your dog. Fish with a shorter life span like salmon, herring, walleye, lake whitefish, ocean whitefish, and Arctic char are good options. These fish do not contain any mercury traces within them owing to their short life span.
- On the other hand, fish like tuna and swordfish have a long life span, hence there is a lot of mercury accumulation in their systems over a while. With so many options available, it is better to stick to the safe ones rather than go for tuna or swordfish.
- Like chicken, it is important to keep a few things in mind while cooking fish. Use very less oil, and avoid garlic and seasoning in the dishes. Fish bones, although brittle, should be removed before feeding. Bones are always a choking hazard for dogs.
- Most importantly, if you are trying out any new variety of fish for the very first time, try giving only a small quantity initially. See if your dog can digest it properly. Gradually, you can increase the portions.
- Make sure you cook your fish properly. Avoid giving raw fish as it is filled with loads of salmonella and listeria bacteria. Even if you plan on giving raw fish at any time, you need to follow all the guidelines listed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can cook, steam, or grill the fish, whichever suits you best and is loved by your dog.
- Although fish is good for your dog, try to limit its frequency. Regularly feeding fish can sometimes cause weight gain in dogs and you need to watch out, especially when you are planning to control your dog’s weight.
Eggs are another option for a protein-rich diet for dogs. Like fish, eggs are also loaded with fatty acids and amino acids, a very important requirement in a dog’s diet. If your dog is suffering from indigestion, you can give him or her eggs, as they are quite safe.
You need to follow the same precautions while feeding eggs to your dog just like explained above for feeding fish.
- Raw eggs contain bacteria and an enzyme present within uncooked eggs arrests the biotin absorption rate within the dog’s body. Biotin is a very important vitamin essential for a dog’s well-being, and you cannot afford for your dog to become biotin deficient. Hence, you should avoid giving raw eggs to your dog.
- Although raw eggs are not good, if your dog has consumed them in little quantities, don’t worry. Just monitor for any signs of diarrhea or vomiting and contact the veterinarian if required.
- How to administer eggs to your dog? Scrambled eggs are a very good option. If you plan on giving boiled eggs, cut them into small pieces. And avoid adding oil, salt, butter, and other seasonings as we do for us.
- Pork and lean beef
As stated earlier, being from a carnivore family, meat is extremely essential for dogs. Pork is filled with the goodness of proteins and vitamin B12, which ensure your dog gains the required muscle mass. For people who think that pork mainly consists of fat, here is something for you. About 81% of it is mainly protein, and the remaining 19% is fat.
However, when you compare this one with chicken or lean beef, the fat content is slightly higher in pork. Hence, you need to be watchful when your dog feeds on pork. Apart from protein, fat, and vitamin B12, pork also consists of vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, iron, and selenium.
How to feed pork to your dog?
Raw and partially cooked pork can infect your dog with trichinosis, a kind of ringworm infection that infects many other animals apart from dogs. Dogs with a compromised immune system are more at risk of developing this infection. Hence you must cook your pork well for a sufficient amount of time. Doing so eliminates the parasites within the pork responsible for causing trichinosis. Your dog can safely consume the pork once it is cooked by following some safe and healthy dog recipes.
Again, you should do away with the pork bones and pork ribs as these can rupture your dog’s mouth and intestines. Although uncooked pork bones do not cause any issues, as explained above, they are not recommended.
- Pork Sausages
Pork sausages are usually prepared with lots of seasoning and garlic, which is not good for dogs. Feeding your dog plain cooked pork is always better in the long run.
- Lean Ground Beef
Lean ground beef consists of proteins, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids. Did you know that lean ground beef can also soothe your dog’s upset tummy? Yes, you heard that right. It is quite easy on your dog’s stomach. If you are planning on putting your dog on a simple, plain diet, you can include beef in it. It acts like a top-up to the overall nutritive value of your dog’s food.
Amino acids like histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, and a lot more are present in lean ground beef. All these nutrients are a must in your dog’s meal because of its inability to produce them within its body. Lean meat protein balances your dog’s meal with good quality nutrients.
- Yogurt and Cheese
Yogurts are a good source of protein and calcium for your dog. It also includes probiotics. However, include this in your pet’s diet only if they are not lactose tolerant, else avoid it. Also, ensure that the yogurt is low in fat content.
- Do not add sugar into the yogurt like you normally do for your kids. Sugar can ruin your dog’s teeth and may cause a gradual weight gain. Of course, you can let your pup have a little bit of sugar during any special occasion, but not regularly.
- Now, coming back to yogurt. Although this is a good option, do not feed it regularly. Yogurt can mess up the digestive cycle of your dog, even though it can tolerate lactose. Your pet could end up with some gas-related troubles. Hence, you need to plan it out carefully.
- Cheese is also a good source of protein and calcium, however, it is also known for its high-fat content. You can give your dog some cheese once in a while. Again, stick to low-fat cheese and go for the ones without any additions like herbs and seasoning.
2. Fruits and Vegetables
Who says that dogs survive only on meat? Just like fruits and vegetables are a very healthy option for us, they are good for dogs as well. The reason is simple. They are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals required for uplifting your dog’s health.
Let us see some fruits and vegetables that can be included in your dog’s diet.
- Apples: Rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber, apples are a very healthy snack for your pup. The fat content is also quite low. Even if the protein content is low, you can substitute it with other protein-rich foods. Ensure you remove the apple seeds completely before feeding them to your dog. Also, cut the apple into small pieces and do not try feeding big chunks.
- Bananas: Bananas are housed with loads of potassium and C and B6 vitamins combined with other essential amino acids. Bananas when consumed by your dog uplift their energy levels as it contains natural sugars. It is also good for great heart health and keeps blood pressure under check.
- Blueberries: Just like blueberries are good for us, they are good for your dog too. Not only are they tasty, but their calorie count is also low. The antioxidants present within blueberries ensure that all the cells within our bodies are healthy and great. This is true for dogs too. Having blueberries regularly reduces cancer risk to a great extent.
- Broccoli: Broccoli comes with a truckload of nutrients like Vitamins A, C, and D along with beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium, and even Chromium. Undoubtedly broccolis are healthy, however, your dog might develop gastric troubles if it consumes them in large quantities. Hence keep a check on the portions when feeding them with broccolis.
- Brussel Sprouts: Brussel sprouts come packed with many vitamins like A, B1, B6, G, and K. The fiber content within Brussel sprouts makes them very healthy for your dogs.
- Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is housed with loads of nutrients and fiber. However, it also contains sugar which can cause your dog to gain a little weight. Hence you need to be careful with the feeding portions. This is a very good option for dogs that require weight gain. Always deseed the cantaloupe before feeding it to your dog.
- Celery: Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from bad breath. If your dog is one, then try feeding him celery. Apart from preventing bad breath, celery also contains vitamins A, B, and C. Just like blueberries, celery also promotes good heart health and prevents cancer.
- Carrots: Don’t think only bunnies love carrots. They are a favorite of dogs too. Just like how carrots are good for our eyes, the same thing is true for your dog. Along with the eyes, carrots are good for your dog’s teeth, gums, and even skin. Coming with loads of vitamins like A, C, D, E, and K, carrots are also rich in beta-carotene, magnesium, and even iron. Isn’t it an extremely healthy option for your dog? You can either cook carrots or feed them raw to your dog.
- Cranberries: Your dog may not be a big fan of cranberries, but they are quite healthy. You can feed them in moderation.
- Cucumbers: If you intend on trimming down your dog’s weight, then this is the best you can give. Loaded with multiple nutrients and water along with very few calories, the crunchiness of cucumbers is loved by dogs. Cucumbers could be a lovely treat during that scorching summer.
- Green beans: High in vitamins, minerals, and fibers and low in calories, green beans can be a very healthy option for your dog.
- Oranges: When peeled and fed, oranges can be a very good fruit meal for your dog. Apart from Vitamin C, oranges also contain fibers in high quantities and also potassium.
- Peaches: Filled with Vitamin A and fiber, peaches improve the skin of your dog. Ensure you peel it completely before your dog eats it. However, never go for packaged or canned peaches owing to the high sugar content within them.
- Peas: Dogs are big fans of peas. Along with proteins, it also consists of loads of vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, and K. Peas are also housed with fiber, folic acid, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin. You can give your dog fresh boiled peas, cooked and even frozen peas. Avoid canned ones as they may not be very good.
- Pineapples: Owing to their lovely sweet taste, pineapples are loved by most of us and even dogs. Along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, pineapples also contain bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that aids in protein absorption. Pineapples can serve as a nutritious and tasty treat for your dog.
- Strawberries: No, we are not kidding here, but strawberries can be a natural teeth whitener for your dogs. Yes, that is right. An enzyme present within this lovely fruit helps in the whitening of your dog’s teeth. It also keeps your dog’s weight in check, improves its immune system, and makes it stronger.
We have mentioned many fiber-rich foods that could be appropriate for your dog. But just like we require some varieties in our meals, the same goes for our dogs too. There are a few grains moderately loaded with fibers that can be a good meal option for your dog such as:
- Corn: Corn consists of good amounts of carbs, proteins, and linoleic acids along with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. You can pick out the corn kernels from the cob and give them to your dog. Avoid giving the entire corn cob as it could be a choking hazard. If your dog eats an entire corn cob, the signs of distress to watch out for include vomiting, tiredness, dehydration, and lack of activity. Call your vet if you happen to notice any of these symptoms.
- Quinoa: Undoubtedly, quinoa is a very healthy meal for us. But for dogs? Of course yes. Did you know that dry dog foods contain quinoa as an ingredient? When preparing a homemade meal for your dog, you can use quinoa as a substitute for corn, wheat, or even soy.
Cook the quinoa well and offer it to your pup without any add-ons like onion and garlic. For those of you who are worried about your dog developing an allergy owing to the saponin content present in quinoa, don’t worry. Quinoa contains saponin in very minute quantities which can hardly affect your dog. Still, it is good to soak your quinoa in water for a while and wash it well before you cook it. If your dog is nibbling at quinoa for the very first time, offer only a very small portion and see how well it adjusts. You can increase the quantity gradually.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal also comes with its own share of nutrients. If you intend on feeding oats to your dog, just go for plain ones rather than flavored ones. Also, start with small quantities. The add-ons present in flavored oatmeal may not be good for your dog. Just like quinoa, you need to cook oatmeal well.
- Rice: Rice is present in various dog foods. Even if your dog is unwell, you can feed it rice.
Dogs cannot digest brown rice easily as it is high in fiber, hence it is better to feed your dog only white rice. Again, the primary ingredient of rice is carbohydrates. Too many carbs lead to weight accumulation, hence be mindful of the feeding portions. If your dog has an active lifestyle, you can add some rice along with their meals.
- To feed your dog rice, simply boil it in a pan or you can even steam it in a pressure cooker. As usual, there is no need to add any seasonings to the rice and offer it plain to your dog.
- Bread: Bread is also an option, provided your dog is not allergic to it. Both white and wheat bread can be safely administered to dogs. However, remember that bread does not contain any specific nutrients as such. It is something that can just fill your dog’s tummy. Bread cannot replace any meal as such, hence keep this as an option occasionally. If your dog is very active, you can give it bread once in a while.
Apart from all these foods, there are a few other options like peanut butter, coconut, honey, and popcorn that your dog can safely consume. Ensure that the peanut butter does not contain any sugars or xylitol since dogs are allergic to these. Stick to these foods occasionally and feed them in small portions. Always talk to your vet before you put your pet on any of these foods.
Did you know?
Bramble, a collie, lived up to 25 years just on a vegan diet consisting of grains, rice, and vegetable proteins.
Foods to avoid for dogs
- Chips: Many of you’ll wonder, can I feed my dog potato chips or banana chips? The answer is simple here. Giving a bite or two of any of these might not do any harm. However, chips are deep-fried and contain lots of salt. We have already seen what effects these could have on your dog’s digestive system. Hence it is best to limit these to a minimum.
- Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic contain thiosulfate, which kills the red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anaemia in dogs. Remember, this is specific to dogs and not humans. Hemolytic anaemia causes your dog to become weak, lethargic, inactive, and in some serious cases contract jaundice. Garlic is good for humans, but not for dogs. It can lead to stomach issues, dehydration, and vomiting in dogs.
- Chocolates: We all love chocolates, but avoid giving these to your dog. These are toxic for your pet owing to the theobromine present in them. Dogs are unable to process theobromine effectively. If your dog has eaten a few pieces of chocolate, watch out for any distress signs.
- Avocados: Avocados are a strict no for dogs. The reason — it contains Persin, which is not good for dogs. Persin, when consumed in large amounts can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs apart from causing myocardial damage. Avocados are also high in fat, hence they can lead to weight gain in dogs. The avocado seed present within the fruit can also pose a choking hazard in dogs.
- Macadamia nuts: Vets advise against feeding macadamia nuts to dogs. These nuts tend to cause a toxic reaction in dogs leading to them throwing up, feeling dull and weak, and even causing ataxia.
- Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can disrupt kidney functioning in dogs. It is unknown what element present within grapes and raisins can cause this in dogs, but it is quite poisonous for them. Hence avoid adding any of these to your dog’s meal.
- Caffeine: Caffeine does not harm us much, but it is highly toxic for dogs. Hence keep them away from your coffees and teas.
So now you know ‘can dogs eat french fries’ and what happens when your dog eats french fries. Moreover, you are aware of the precautionary steps you can take while feeding your loving pet so that it does not fall sick.
You also know which human foods are safe for your pup and the ones you should keep them away from. Remember, you love your pet as much as your kids. Hence, try giving them the best possible care in terms of lots of love and healthy food. After all, your dog completes your family, so take care.
FAQs about feeding your dog french fries
Too much salt can cause salt poisoning, a very dangerous condition in dogs. Hence avoid adding too much salt to your dog’s food. A small quantity will not do much harm.
Potato chips are high in salt and oil, both of which are bad for dogs. Hence, avoid feeding them in large quantities.
Potatoes can be given to dogs but only when cooked appropriately. Raw or undercooked potatoes and fried potatoes may not be very good for dogs.
Black pepper in small quantities is okay for dogs to eat. Eating them in large quantities can upset their tummies.
The BBQ sauce is high in sugar and salt, and both are bad for dogs. Hence it is better to avoid them.
A small portion of french fries is ok to give your dog. However, avoid giving it to them in large quantities.
Tater tots are not recommended for dogs as they don’t do any good to them.
If your pizza contains onions and garlic, it is best to avoid giving them to your dog. Even otherwise, pizzas are not recommended for dogs.
Can dogs eat Mcdonald’s nuggets?
Again nuggets are fried. Hence it is better that you avoid feeding these to your dog.
Can dogs have ketchup?
Ketchup contains high amounts of salt and sugar apart from onion, garlic, and other seasonings. Hence, keep your dog away from it.
Can cats eat french fries?
Yes, cats can eat french fries but in very limited quantities. When eaten in large quantities, these can upset their stomach and cause gastrointestinal issues.