Hash browns are made of shredded potatoes and are fried until they get golden and crispy. People enjoy having it and is a popular breakfast in many regions. They also have some seasoning of onion, salt and garlic on them. So, as a dog owner, at some point, you may have thought and googled – Can dogs eat hash browns?
Well, today’s your lucky day. I have years of experience as a vet and as an advisor for Wewantdogs, I will provide you with the answer and get into specific details of whether dogs can have hash browns or not.
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Can Dogs Eat Hash Browns?
The straightforward answer is – No, dogs cannot eat hash browns. They are fried potatoes which have a high proportion of salt, fat, and other preservatives. These preservatives can cause health issues for the dogs. In addition, the hash brown snack may also contain onion and garlic, both of these are toxic and can cause anaemia in dogs.
Still, many dog owners think they can serve them in small quantities or with less proportion of salt or other seasonings. If you think you can feed your dog some, don’t. Here are some of the reasons explaining why you shouldn’t:
- Fatty for dogs
Fat is not good for your furry friend. Hash browns are fried in oil, and this makes them more fatty for the dogs. The presence of high fatty content will cause health issues such as obesity and pancreatitis. The dog will suffer from vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
The high amount of fat will also cause a nutritional imbalance in the dog’s regular diet. This can lead to a deficiency of other vital nutrients. A dog needs a proper diet and their food must have a proper distribution of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Yes, some fat is necessary but, not too much.
- Too much salt
Hash browns retain a high amount of salt in them. Excessive amounts of salt can cause high blood pressure in dogs. In fact, dogs don’t require salt because they have the ability to naturally regulate the sodium levels in their body.
So, adding salt as a topping or mixing it with regular food for your dog can have serious implications. Not only it will disrupt the nutritional balance, but also lead to salt poisoning. In some cases, salt poisoning also leads to seizures and worst – death.
- Presence of onion and garlic
Sometimes hash brown also retains a fair amount of onion and garlic. Both these items are part of the allium family of plants and can cause some serious damage to the red blood cells of the dog. In addition, they can also cause anaemia.
Anaemia is a condition where the blood will not carry enough oxygen to the tissues and organs. Your furry friend will also feel weakness and may even collapse or die because of the lack of oxygen. So, whether you cook them, or serve them in dried, raw or powdered form, they are toxic for the health of your canine friend. Even a small proportion may make your furry friend suffer from fatal health issues.
- High in preservatives
The preservatives that are found in commercial packing are unhealthy for your furry friend. They are basically different chemicals which help in avoiding the spoilage of the food. The hash browns from the supermarket will also have such chemical preservatives and your furry friend is likely to have skin problems, allergies, digestive issues and even cancer.
Potatoes are from the nightshade family of plants and they contain a compound called solanine. This is a natural toxin that safeguards the plant from fungi and insects. In addition, the presence of this compound is high in green potatoes. So, even if you cook your potatoes, the presence of solanine is there in small amounts.
Even if the traces of this compound is less, it is toxic for your dog. Solanine can damage your furry friend’s nervous system and also lead to digestive upset, make breathing difficult and cause heart issues.
So, these reasons should convince you onn not to provide hash brown to your dog. I know you are thinking what if my dog accidentally eats hash brown? How will I know? Well, if this happens you need to look out for different symptoms that may suggest the ingestion of hash brown.
Signs and symptoms to look for when a dog eats hash brown
If your dog somehow manages to grab a bite, you will notice some discomfort and illness. Here are some of the signs and symptoms you need to look out for.
- Diarrhoea: the high amount of fat, salt, or preservative content in the hash brown will cause diarrhoea issues. Also, if the hash brown had the presence of onion or garlic, it may have caused onion toxicity.
- Vomiting: the traces of solanine compound in the potatoes often result in solanine poisoning. The poisoning will make your dog vomit. The constant vomiting may also indicate pancreatitis issues caused by the ingestion of hash brown.
- A dog is thirsty: your furry friend will try and intake excessive water because of the vomiting and the diarrhoea caused after ingesting hash browns. This thirsty nature also suggests that a dog is having solanine poisoning and that their electrolyte balance and kidney function are also compromised.
- Continuous urination: your dog will frequently urinate after eating the hash browns. They do this to release the salty and toxic elements present in their body. Continuous urination is also a sign that the dog is suffering from solanine poisoning and their kidney is damaged.
- Seizures: solanine or salt poisoning can have some serious neurological effects on your furry friend. You will see them have seizures on a regular basis. These seizures can also indicate hypoxia or anaemia.
- Lethargy: your dog will become weak, and will get tired easily. You will see them lose interest while exercising or training. This will happen because of the loss of fluids, electrolytes, or blood cells.
If you observe these symptoms it’s best you visit the nearest clinic. Because you cannot anticipate the underlying cause and any sort of ignorance may have severe consequences for your furry friend. But, at times you may have to instantly address the situation. Here are some points you can consider:
- See how much hash brown your dog has eaten
Before taking any action, you should try and figure out how much hash brown your dog has eaten. This will help in getting an insight into whether or not an immediate vet visit is required. For instance, if your dog has grabbed a bite or two, it won’t suffer any serious issues. But, if they have ingested more, you need to try to induce vomiting.
The instance where a dog might eat hash brown is either from a random disposal area or you made it in the house. Regardless, you have to see if the hash browns had any toxic ingredients in them.
- Monitor dog’s behaviour
If you think your dog has eaten hash browns, but, you are not sure about it, observe their behaviour. Look for signs of illness or distress. Your dog may suffer from stomach issues, vomiting, excessive thirst, continuous urination, or seizures.
These illness symptoms will vary because the amount of hash brown eaten will indicate the severity and highlight the symptom of the dog. It also depends on the breed, size and age of the dog. Some dog breeds may show signs immediately after ingestion while others may put up a fight for some time.
- Give your dog fresh water
Once you observe any of the symptoms, you can start providing them with fresh water. Keep giving them water continuously, this will help in releasing toxic substances and salt from their body. In addition, this will also keep them hydrated and soothe their stomach. However, make sure the water is fresh and clean, any sort of contamination will elevate the existing issue and your dog will get more sick.
If your dog is having stomach issues or diarrhoea, you can provide them with some probiotics. This will help in handling their symptoms and help in restoring their gut. Using probiotics will also improve their immune system through nutrient absorption.
Further, the probiotics will also help with inflammation and infection issues that are caused because of any bacteria or toxin residing in the hash brown. You can easily find capsules, liquids, or powder probiotics medicines from pet stores.
- Don’t feed food
In contrast with supplying water, when you feel like your dog is suffering from stomach issues and has likely eaten hash browns. It’s best not to provide anything to eat for the next few hours. Allow their stomach to settle.
Withholding food will help in resolving the irritation and also make them feel better. You’ll have to constantly monitor your dog’s behaviour and make sure they don’t end up eating food. Because if they eat, their stomach issues won’t resolve and their condition will get worse. You will see more vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Feed them soft food (A bland diet)
Your dog will show signs of stomach upset after eating hash brown. The high fat and salt content makes their digestive system weak. So, a bland diet i.e. a soft food diet will help resolve the stomach issue and also restore bowel movement.
A suitable bland diet food will include plain rice (boiled) and lean chicken or turkey. Make sure the chicken is without skin or bones. Mix them together in a 50:50 ratio. If your dog has diarrhoea, you can also add some pureed pumpkin or yoghurt to the mix.
- No food treats
You must completely avoid giving any type of food treat to your dog, especially if they have eaten hash brown. Follow the no-food tip I have mentioned. Because these food items will not provide any nutritional benefits and just like hash browns they retain high amounts of salt, fat and preservatives.
So, avoid giving your dog pizza, chocolate, nuts, cheese, chips, or any such items. They will only make their health worse.
- Visit your vet
When there is no improvement in your dog’s health condition, you need to take them for a vet visit. But, if the symptoms are severe from the beginning, you need to take the dog to the nearest clinic for immediate medical attention.
These were some of the aspects you may consider if you think your dog has eaten some hash browns. Looking at the severity, it’s obvious for you to think about preventing this situation. So, how will you do that?
Just like you want to keep hash browns away from your dog, you’ll also want to be careful with turnips. Check out our article can dogs eat turnips to learn more.
Stopping Dogs From Having Hash Browns
Stopping your furry friend from eating any specific food item is difficult. Eating brown will cause issues and if you have to stop them, you’ll have to put in some effort. Here are some of the tips you can consider:
- Keep the hash browns out of their reach
If your dog has managed to eat some food without you noticing in the past, you need to keep the hash brown far away. Because they will grasp the opportunity and grab a bite if you are not present in the house.
So, you must completely avoid leaving the hash brown out in the open. If you are keeping them in the kitchen or on the tables, make sure they are not exposed, keep them contained. In short, keep it on a high shelf or closet to ensure your furry friend doesn’t eat them.
- Provide your dog with a nutritious diet on time
In my experience, the majority of dog owners ignore the aspect of feeding their pups on time. This imbalances the nutrition and also makes their digestive system weak. The irregularity in feeding often makes dogs search for other food items when they feel hungry. They end up eating random food items and you may not even know what they may have eaten.
So, provide them with healthy food and have a proper schedule. This will help in maintaining their health and satisfy their needs. Pick soft and healthy food items if your dog has tummy issues. If you are having trouble deciding on a diet schedule, you can consult a vet or a nutritionist. But, remember, in the attempt to give them healthy food and divert attention from hash brown or other food items, don’t overfeed them.
- Variations in the food treat
While providing a healthy diet is crucial, a dog also craves different food items. They want to taste different food items and this instinct makes them hop onto the food items they see. To satisfy this need, you can try and mix up the recipe.
Use different fruits, and vegetables in the regular diet for providing a variety in the taste. If you are using meat, make sure they are low in fat, salt and have no additional seasoning. There are many recipes you can try at home but, if you wish to serve a commercial food pack, it’s fine. Just make sure the food is safe for your furry friend and has no artificial ingredients in it.
- Continuous supervision
When you have hash browns in your house, you’ll have to continuously supervise your dog. You cannot slip up, otherwise, your dog will eat them. This task is the toughest and if you leave your dog alone, they will grab a bite of the hash browns. This goes for every human food item that is not safe for dogs.
If you see your dog having health issues, you need to consult a vet. You must also share your experience of a dog suffering from health issues after having hash brown with the other dog owners in the community.
- Train your dog not to eat hash browns
The majority of dog owners have leveraged this method and has worked wonders for them. This training is similar to the one you use while training your dog to follow different commands. For instance, using positive reinforcements to encourage a specific behaviour.
You can train your furry friend using cues such as “leave it”, “No”, or “don’t” while they are trying to eat hash brown. If they follow your command, acknowledge their behaviour. Give them some reward or a small food treat.
In addition, you can also try training your dog to ignore the hash brown with a redirecting strategy. Use chew toys or a different food item to lure and shift their focus from hash brown.
- Dispose of the hash brown properly
This may seem like a small aspect but, often owners ignore it. They dispose of the human food items randomly in their bin. If the dog is hungry, it will try and eat the food items present in the trash. This can cause some major health issues.
So, it’s crucial for dog owners to dispose of human food items, especially hash browns properly. If you have ordered hash browns from a restaurant, you should wrap them in a separate bag and secure them. In fact, you need to ensure that the bin you use for disposing of this food item remains sealed. Otherwise, your dog will manage to grab it and end up eating it.
How To Serve Hash Browns To Dogs?
I bet you’ve been waiting for this section. Being a vet, I will not recommend you to feed hash browns to your furry friend but, there is a safe recipe you can use to serve them.
- Take some coconut oil, sweet potato and egg. Shred the potato if you like.
- Mix the oil and shredded potato and use the egg for binding them together.
- Shape the mix into small pieces and place it on the baking sheet
- Bake the mix for roughly 20 minutes and allow the mix to get crispy and bake
- Allow the mix to cool down
Once you follow these steps you will have a suitable hash brown for your furry friend. Make sure you don’t add any preservatives. Now, even though this is a homemade recipe, serving this frequently can cause health issues because the solanine compound in the potato is still there.
While we don’t recommend feeding hash browns to dogs, some owners may be curious about other human foods like pickled gherkins. Check out our article are dogs allowed gherkins for more tips.
Generally, it’s good if you don’t feed potatoes to your dog. But, if you wish to serve them, make sure you cook them. Because a raw potato will contain solanine and is toxic to a dog’s health. Cooking will reduce the toxicity and after baking or boiling them, you can serve it to your furry friend.
No, dogs cannot have tater tots. They are not toxic but, it’s not good for them. This is mainly because tater tots are processed with different preservatives and salt. This combination is often too much for your canine friend and if you serve them with the tater tots, they will show signs of distress and suffer from health issues.
No dogs cannot eat sweet potatoes and hash browns. They contain solanine compound and it’s harmful to their digestive system. It can cause gastrointestinal issues, vomiting and diarrhoea. In addition, it can also damage the liver and in some cases death. So, whether the potatoes are fresh or frozen you shouldn’t serve them to the dogs.
If a dog is receiving hash browns regularly, after some time they will start having some serious health issues. Continuous feeding can lead to severe problems such as obesity, diabetes, or even heart failure. Yes, you read that right, heart failure! A vet intervention will be the only option left and chances are the dog may die. So, don’t feed browns regularly, in fact, try not to feed this food item to your dog at all.
For the safety of the dog, it’s best you take your dog to the vet if you know that they have eaten the hash browns. Still, there are some crucial symptoms that you need to watch out for – your dog will have seizures, they will lose consciousness, feel lethargic and there will be frequent vomiting and diarrhoea issues.
Can Dogs Eat Hash Brown – Final Answer
The solanine compound in the potato is toxic for dogs but, your dog will not have severe issues if they accidentally ingest them. The condition of a dog deteriorates when they eat a whole bunch of them or are served frequently by their owner.
In short, make sure your furry friend doesn’t hash brown. Because even with the homemade recipe, there is always a risk of the dog getting sick. Adult dogs may even face more issues because of their age and certain breeds will also have health issues.
When making homemade hashbrowns for dogs, cooked potatoes are safer than raw. ome dog owners wonder if cooked potatoes are safe. To learn more check our guide on “can dogs eat cooked potatoes” for tips.