Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

Surely it’s no surprise to you that French fries are not the healthiest food. They do taste good, though, and that’s why it can be hard to resist eating some French fries from time to time. As you enjoy eating them so much, you might even consider giving your dog some fries, but are French fries safe for dogs? Can dogs eat French fries?

Sadly, the answer is no, dogs should not be allowed to eat French fries. French fries are too salty and fattening for dogs. Having a few fries wouldn’t cause any serious harm to your dog, but it wouldn’t do anything good either, so it’s best to avoid sharing your fries with the dog.

Dogs Cannot Eat French Fries for the Following Reasons:

Excessive Salt Makes French Fries Unsafe for Dogs

The main reason why French fries are not good for dogs to eat, is the large amount of salt French fries contain. Because dogs have a low tolerance of salt, salty food in general is not good for them. It’s recommended for a medium-sized dog to have no more than 100 milligrams of sodium per day, according to the USDA, a small serving of French fries contains 149.1 milligrams of sodium.

Eating a good amount of salty food can lead to salt poisoning in dogs, which is a lot more dangerous than you might think. Salt poisoning can permanently damage a dog’s kidneys, cause coma and even death.

The first signs of salt poisoning in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, lethargy, excessive thirst and seizures[1]. It’s unlikely that the French fries contain enough salt to actually cause salt poisoning in dogs, but if your dog shows any of these signs after eating fries or other excessively salty food, then contact a veterinarian as your dog might need medical treatment.

French Fries Are Full of Bad Fats That Are Not Good for Your Doggy

Because French fries contain a lot of salt and bad fats, It's not a good idea to share your fries with your dog.

Because French fries contain a lot of salt and bad fats, It’s not a good idea to share your fries with your dog.

Excessive salt is not the only reason why it wouldn’t be safe for your dog to eat French fries. French fires are also full of bad fats.

High-fat food too is not good for dogs in general. In order to stay healthy, dogs still need to have some fats in their diet. According to the PetMD, an adult dog’s diet should consist 10-15 percent of fat[2].

We are talking here about healthy fats, though. Omega-3, omega-6 and vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower oils, which are popular ingredients in high quality commercial dog foods.

French fries wouldn’t provide your dog with these healthy fats. French fries are full of saturated fats. For us humans, a diet high in saturated fats is associated with high cholesterol levels. Dogs do not have to worry about high cholesterol, but saturated fats are still bad for their health. Food rich in saturated fats can lead to pancreatitis and obesity in dogs. It’s definitely best to not let your dog eat French fries or any other food containing high amounts of saturated fats.

My Dog Already Ate Some French Fries

If your dog already had some French fries, then the above article probably got you scared for your dog’s health.

Well, you don’t have to worry about saturated fats. One meal rich in saturated fats is not going to harm your dog, just don’t repeat this mistake in the future and keep your dog’s diet free of saturated fat rich foods.

If the French fries your dog ate were excessively salty, then you do have to watch out for signs of salt poisoning and contact a veterinarian if you notice anything. However, your dog is likely to be more thirsty than normal, but it’s unlikely that eating some fries will actually result in salt poisoning for your dog.

But if you have a small dog, and she had quite a lot of French fries, then it’s possible that she has consumed a dangerous amount of salt with the fries. If that’s the case, then it would be for the best to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat French Fries

Can dogs eat French fries? No, dogs should not be allowed to eat French fries or other food containing a lot of salt and/or saturated fat. You might think that giving your dog one or two French fries might be okay, but it’s not. That will encourage your dog to beg for a bite whenever you are eating something. If you constantly giver your dog a few French fries, potato chips or other unhealthy food, then in time it can lead to health problems such as pancreatitis and obesity for your dog. Your dog would much more appreciate some plain baked potatoes than French fries.

References

  1. Salt and Dogs, Salt and Cats – Salt Poisoning in Dogs and Cats” Pet Poison Helpline. Web. 14 Apr. 2016
  2. Fats and Oils: Good for Your Dog’s Health?” PetMD. Web. 14 Apr. 2016

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