Are Tater Tots Safe for Dogs & Puppies to Have?

If you are a dog owner, you already know how tempting it can be for you to want to give your best four-legged friend a quick treat that you are eating at the table, especially when you see that they have started giving you the irresistible puppy eyes.  However, it is always going to be in the best interest of not only you, but your dog as well if you double check to make sure that your dog can even eat the food treat that you want to give them.  A perfect example of this is tater tots.  While it may seem like a delicious treat that your dog will love upon first though, there are going to be a couple different things that you should consider before you do allow them to eat tater tots.

If you have given your dog a tater tot to eat that was brown, there is a very good chance that there were no problems, and everything was fine.  However, that is not how this particular story is always going to go.  Here is everything that you need to know about your dog and whether or not it is alright for them to eat tater tots.

Can Your Dog Eat Tater Tots?

To answer this question in a word, that answer is no, your dog should not be eating tater tots at all.  Most recipes for tater tots are packed full of high amounts of preservatives, bad fats, and salts.  As if that weren’t enough to deter you from feeding them tater tots, these same tots are also normally fried or baked in oils, meaning that they are going to have a much higher calorie count than they should as well.  Finally, depending upon the recipe that was used to make the tater tots, there may be onion in it.  In case you didn’t know, onion is essentially a toxic food for your dog, and they should never be allowed to eat it.

Are Tater Tots Bad for Your Dog?

There are several different reasons that tater tots are considered to be a bad food for your dog to eat.  While a couple of them have been previously mentioned (how they are cooked, the ingredients that are used, plus the enormously high number of calories), here is a little more detail on why you should never feed your dog tater tots:

The Ingredients are Simply Bad for Your Dog to Consume

The average tater tot recipe is going to include either riced potatoes or shredded potatoes.  These potatoes will then be baked or fried, both times being done so with onion.  Oftentimes, they will even be bounded with oil and eggs, eventually having extra seasoning and salt added later.  

Now the small amount of potatoes is not going to necessarily be bad for your dog to eat, consuming raw potatoes in higher quantities is going to be bad for them.  What this means is that if you decide that you will be making tater tots from scratch at home or have some uncooked frozen ones on the counter, you are going to want to do your best to not let any of them make it to the ground where your dog will surely be lying in wait.

Raw potato has something known as solanine, which is virtually toxic to many different breeds of dogs.  While your dog will need to eat a very large quantity before they fall ill from it, you basically don’t have to worry about it being any type of health issue for your dog.  However, onion is considered to be extremely toxic to your dog, and just so happens to be one of the core ingredients of just about every tater tot recipe and product.  The excess amount of salt that can be found in tater tots is also something that can lead your dog to having sodium poisoning, and most of the frozen tater tots available will rely very heavily on this as a seasoning.

Why Cooked Tater Tots are Bad

You now know why feeding your dog tater tots is not a good idea, but what about if you cook the tater tots first?  Perhaps you enjoy eating your tater tots after frying them in some vegetable oil.  There is no denying the fact that your dog will more than likely love them.  However, using vegetable oil to fry up your tater tots is also not a good idea, as vegetable oil is considered to be a very unhealthy ingredient for your dogs to consume.

Essentially, the oil that is used to cook the tater tots is not going to be something that you want your dog to have in their diet, at all.  There are many bad fats (both trans fats and saturated fats) that are contained within this cooking oil.  It is for this reason that you should never allow your dog to eat cooked tater tots.  

On a side note, if you decide that you will be cooking your tater tots in the oven by baking them, it will keep the tots a bit healthier.

Why Tater Tots Carbs and Calories are Bad

Since tater tots are made out of potatoes, they are going to be a food that is high in carbohydrates.  While carbs are not necessarily bad for your dog to consume, you do want to limit the amount of carbs that they consume on a regular basis.  If not, there is a chance that they will become obese or get diabetes.

Now you must keep in mind that your dog is already getting most of the nutrition that they require on a regular daily basis through the food that you are already feeding them.  So when you add in extra foods that are loaded with additional calories and carbohydrates, it is only giving them that much more potential to become overweight and have to deal with all of the different health risks that come along with being overweight. 

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