Can Dogs Eat French Fries? Everything You Need To Know About This Salty Snack


Can Dogs Eat French Fries? Everything You Need To Know About This Salty Snack

It’s tempting to share delicious french fries with your precious pup—but are they safe for dogs? Tracey L. Kelley headshot
Tracey L. Kelley headshot By Tracey L. Kelley October 28, 2022 Advertisement Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print woman giving dog a french fry; can dogs eat french fries?
woman giving dog a french fry; can dogs eat french fries? Credit: Jill Maguire / Getty

On This Page

  • Are French Fries Safe?
  • How Many French Fries Can Dogs Eat?
  • Do French Fries Make Dogs Sick?
  • Can Dogs Eat Other Potatoes?
  • Other Vegetables for Dogs

Most of us agree that hot, crispy french fries are golden strands of happiness. So when our four-legged furball catches a whiff of the salty snack, he naturally wants to stick his snoot into the whole pile!

Will one or two french fries hurt your pup if he finds a few on the floor? No. But can dogs eat french fries as a regular treat? No. Here's why. 

Are French Fries Safe for Dogs? 

French fries—even saltless—simply aren't the best canine snack for a few reasons, says Thashia Reddy, DVM, a consulting veterinarian with Petcube Online Vet, a telehealth veterinary service.

"They're typically high in fat and salt, which isn't good for dogs. Additionally, the grease and oil from french fries can cause stomach upset," she says. "Finally, the small potato pieces can be a choking hazard."

How Many French Fries Can Dogs Eat?

If your dog eats one french fry, it's not the end of the world, as it's not toxic. However, if your dog gets into french fries that are seasoned with onion or garlic, call your vet and/or the Pet Poison Helpline—(855) 764-7661—because these ingredients are toxic to dogs. Slipping your dog an unseasoned baked or air-fried french fry occasionally isn't a problem, either. But having high-calorie french fry treats shouldn't become a habit. 

On average, dogs should consume 21 grams of fat and 200 milligrams of sodium in their daily diet, which they get through their properly formulated dog food. A serving of french fries can include 13–15 grams of fat and 140–190 milligrams of sodium, and that's way too much for your dog to eat along with his normal food. Experts recommend that no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily calories come from treats.

RELATED: 10 Toxic Human Foods Dogs Should Never Eat

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating French Fries?

If your pup eats a few of your french fries from your favorite drive-though, he most likely will feel perfectly fine. However, if he finds a big helping of leftovers while rummaging through the trash can or swipes your entire large fry from the coffee table, he might feel a bit lethargic or experience diarrhea or vomiting before feeling fine in a day or two. If the symptoms don't resolve in a few days or you're unsure, call your vet.

The rationale for why humans shouldn't eat too many french fries applies to our pets, too. Even a few fries weekly can lay the groundwork for heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, and pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Other Potatoes?

"There are mixed opinions on whether or not dogs can eat potatoes. Some [veterinarians] say they're fine in moderation, while others believe they're not good for dogs at all," Reddy says, adding that it's essential to check with your vet before feeding your dog any type of potato.

She believes boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cooked sweet potatoes are OK for dogs occasionally. "However, some forms of potato—such as mashed potatoes—may contain ingredients that aren't safe for dogs." So make sure all cooked potatoes are unseasoned, made without milk, butter, onions, and garlic.

If your vet says a little spud is fine once in a while, try these dog-friendly baked sweet potato treats instead of french fries.

Other Vegetables Dogs Can Eat Safely

While they might not hanker for a salad over french fries, many pups might love the pleasing crunch of these veggies:

  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Celery

"While some of these foods may not be as appealing to dogs as others, they can still provide essential nutrients and calories that help keep them healthy and active," she adds.

RELATED: Human Foods You Can Safely Share With Your Dog

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