Tater tots are made of diced or shredded potatoes, deep-fried in oil with flour, salt and seasoning. This snack is a “favorite” in the United State. But the big question is, is it safe for dogs? My answer is a definite No! Find out more about tater tots and why it is not a healthy choice for your dog, all in this article.
Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots
There are a million and one reasons why tater tots are not the right treats for your dog’s consumption. Tater tots have fight salt and fatty contents, they are deep-fried in oil that is not healthy for your dog, they are also have high level of calories and loaded with preservatives.
Giving tater tots to your dog could lead to obesity and like Hash browns, can also lead to several health issues in your dog.
Many dog owners ask if it is okay to feed their dogs frozen tater tots then. Truth is, there isn’t much difference between the frozen tater tots and hot tater tots.
They both contain high amounts of salt and seasonings, and are made with potatoes, all of which are still toxic and harmful for your dog. The fatty content are only reduced a tad bit in frozen Tater tots.
Side Effects Of Tater Tots On Dogs
Tater tots may not have an immediate effect on your dog but it can cause a fatal damage to your dog’s body. There are many side effects of tater tots on dogs and in this article, we would be discussing them based on the ingredients and nutrients contained in tater tots.
Research has shown that potatoes are one of the major causes of a heart disease in dogs known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy. This disease is said to cause enlargement in dogs’ hearts and reduces heart functionality. This could very well lead to heart failure in dogs with the disease.
Although, just one potato might not cause this much harm, it is advised that you keep your dog away from potatoes to avoid the accumulated effects.
As it is with most human snacks, Tater tots contain high salt content, that is in most cases higher than the daily requirement of salt in your dog. This can lead to sodium poisoning in your dog. A dog with sodium poisoning would show the following symptoms:
Muscle tremors, diarrhea, lethargy, fever and loose bladder.
The oils used to fry Tater tots are responsible for the crunchiness and golden color of tater tots. Unfortunately, these oils are bad for your dog and consuming foods like tater tots that have so much oil content can cause harm to your dog’s intestine. More so, with time, it can result into heart problems, obesity and pancreatitis. Dogs have no business eating any fried food.
Flour is not a toxic ingredient in it itself. It is used to make regular dog food and so it is safe for your dog. However, the flour in Tater tots is toxic as it soaks up the oil used to fry the tater tots to give tater tots its crunchiness. This makes it unsafe for your dog.
Some of the seasonings and spices contained in tater tots can be harmful for your dog, especially garlic and onion; these two are toxic ingredients and are harmful for your dog. Feeding your dog with foods or snacks containing garlic and onion can result in a condition known as hemolytic anemia in your dog. A dog who has onion or garlic poisoning would begin to show these symptoms:
Nausea, respiratory issues, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
- Calories And Carbohydrates
Tater tots have high amounts of carbohydrates and calories that may exceed the recommended daily limit for calories and carbohydrates intake for your dog. Exceeding his limits puts him at a risk of weight gain, diabetes and obesity.
Asides the fact that it has high amount of calories, tater tots possess more saturated fat than normal fat, which is not a healthy kind of fat for your dog. The calories quality is as important as its quantity. Also, tater tots contain more starch and sugar than fiber, which is not good for your dog in excess quantity.
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Healthy Substitutes To Tater Tots For Dogs
There are a number of other sources of nutrients that are safer for your dog than tater tots. Some of them are:
Carrots. Carrots are rich in vitamins and carbohydrates. This is a healthy treat for your dog.
Brussel Sprouts: Brussel sprouts are healthier alternatives to potatoes for your dog. Brussel sprouts must however be served in moderation to get the best of it for your dog.
Coconut: Coconut helps in boosting your dog’s immune system and reduces the risk of inflammation in your dog. It has a good amount of carbohydrate and healthy fats.
Homemade Tater tots: Homemade Tater tots are preferable for your dog as you would pick the ingredients on your own and be sure they are healthy for your dog.
Bananas: Bananas are a great source of carbohydrates, vitamins and potassium for your dog.
Dog treats: There are treats made specifically for your dog’s consumption, in different flavors that your dog would enjoy. They contain ingredients that are not only healthy but also provide your dog with the adequate nutrients he needs.
Apple: Apples have high level of fiber and natural sugar. These two elements are healthy for your dog. Ensure that you do not feed apple to your dog with its skin and seeds.
Wholesome Pride Pet Treats : This dog treat is made from 100 percent natural vegetables and fruits. It has variety of flavors like gluten-free, vegan, grain-free sweet potato chews.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is also a great source of fiber that improves your dog digestive tracts and boosts his immune system.
Although sweet potatoes are a healthier substitute for regular potatoes, the process of making the sweet potato tater tots are no different, which makes it unhealthy for your dog.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Much Potatoes Can A Dog Eat?
Potatoes contain iron, carbohydrates, vitamins B6 and C, and magnesium, all of which are healthy nutrients for your dog so a slice of potatoes once in a while should be just okay for your dog.
You must however ensure not to feed your dog raw potatoes, whether sweet or regular potatoes as they are toxic for your dog and can cause indigestion and blockage in your dog’s intestine.
What If My Dog Eats Tater Tots?
A few Tater tots would not pose so much of a treat to your dog’s health if it does not have garlic or onion powder in it. However, it is important that you pay attention to your dog in case he begins to show symptoms like diarrhea or nausea after consuming Tater tots.
If this happens, ensure to visit your vet doctor for immediate treatment. Feeding tater tots to your dog too frequently can shorten his lifespan.
Although potatoes contain a number of nutrients that are healthy for your dog, these nutrients will no longer be healthy for your dog when they are put in tater tots, due to the high amount of fat and sodium present in the snack. For this reason, it is advised that you do not feed your dog any tater tots.
Tater tots is highly advised against for older dogs, obese dogs, dogs who are diabetic or allergic to sodium and dogs who have history of health issues.
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