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Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes and Gravy? The Benefits, Risks, and Safest Ways to Feed (Answered 2023)

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Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes and Gravy? (The Risks!)You’re wondering if it’s okay to give your dog some of those irresistibly creamy mashed potatoes this holiday season. As a veterinarian, I completely understand. Our furry friends always seem to give us those pleading eyes when we sit down to a home-cooked meal.

The good news is that plain mashed potatoes, in moderation, are perfectly fine for dogs. Potatoes provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that support their health. Just be mindful of butter, milk, salt and gravy, which can lead to stomach upset and other issues.

Focus on giving small portions of low-salt mashed potatoes, hold the butter and gravy.

With a few precautions, you and your dog can safely enjoy holiday meals without tummy troubles.

Key Takeaways

  • Plain mashed potatoes without butter, salt, or gravy are safer options for dogs in moderation.
  • When introducing new foods to a dog’s diet, portion control is important. Only provide small servings of plain mashed potatoes at first.
  • Unsafe turkey leftovers for dogs include gravy, stuffing, bones, and fatty skin. It’s best to stick to lean turkey meat.
  • Dogs have different digestive systems than humans do. Foods like onions, garlic, and foods high in fat or sugar can make them sick.

Are Mashed Potatoes Safe for Dogs?

Are Mashed Potatoes Safe for Dogs
Plain mashed potatoes are reasonably safe for dogs in moderation, but limit the butter and salt you add when preparing them. When feeding your dog mashed potatoes, prioritize boiled or steamed potatoes over heavily seasoned, buttery mash to prevent stomach upset.

Overall, plain mashed potatoes without much added salt or butter can be an okay occasional treat for dogs in small amounts. Just be sure to avoid feeding dogs mashed potatoes too often or in large portions, as the starch and fat content can lead to gastrointestinal issues if dogs consume too much.

In Moderation

You dare not let Rover gorge on Aunt Dottie’s buttery spuds, lest his poor tummy ache come morn.

Plain mashed potatoes offer vitamins, minerals, and energy. But excess starchy spuds bring weight gain.

Instead, add small spoonfuls of plain mashed potatoes to Rover’s balanced kibble. His occasional potato treat protects health while avoiding overindulgence. Limit intake and stick to plain, additive-free mash.

Limit Butter and Salt

Simply slathering on the butter or salt can spell trouble for your pup. While a small pat of butter or sprinkle of salt likely won’t harm your dog, too much can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Butter and salt are high in fat and sodium – ingredients that dogs have a harder time digesting.

Stick to just a teaspoon or two of butter and a pinch of salt per serving. And remember, moderation is key! Thanksgiving comes but once a year, so keep those tasty taters and gravy as occasional treats, not daily staples.

Avoid Onions and Garlic

Despite popular belief, some research suggests small amounts of onions may be okay for dogs, but it is best to avoid onions and garlic in mashed potatoes fed to dogs. They can damage red blood cells if eaten in excess. Onions and garlic contain toxic components that could lead to anemia, vomiting, diarrhea and other issues if large quantities are consumed.

Therefore, keep mashed potatoes free of these elements. Adhere to plain, unseasoned mashed potatoes without onions or garlic to ensure your dog’s safety this Thanksgiving.

Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs

Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs
Let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of mashed potatoes for dogs. Mashed potatoes contain vitamins C and B6, as well as essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus that are beneficial for your dog’s health.

While plain mashed potatoes in moderation can be a safe treat, make sure your dog’s diet is well-balanced. Avoid feeding dogs too many potatoes or adding high-fat toppings that could lead to weight gain or other health issues.

Focus on giving dogs small portions of potatoes that have been boiled or mashed with minimal salt or seasonings. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about incorporating potatoes into a balanced homemade dog food diet.


Vitamin-rich mashed potatoes can supercharge your dog’s health! Plain mashed potatoes contain vitamins C and B6 to nourish your pup. Vitamin C supports immunity, while B6 aids metabolism. The potassium in potatoes also promotes fluid balance and muscle contraction.

Just a few tablespoons of mashed potatoes provide helpful vitamins without excess calories. Of course, gravy or seasoning creates toxicity risks. For nutritional benefits without the dangers, stick to plain, moderate potato portions.

When combined with their regular dog food, potatoes provide balanced nutrition. With care, potatoes’ vitamin richness can energize your dog as part of a complete diet.


You’d do well to remember the potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus minerals mashed potatoes provide pups. While potassium supports muscle and nerve function, magnesium aids bone growth and phosphorus maintains energy levels.

These minerals contribute to a nutritionally balanced diet when incorporated appropriately. Still, overindulging risks upsetting your dog’s stomach. Gravy, in particular, introduces concerning ingredients.

Keep an eye on portion sizes, call the Pet Poison Helpline if you are unsure about safety, and stick to dog-friendly mash without seasoning to avoid discomfort. Most vets recommend limiting potatoes, focusing instead on quality dog food for a strong nutritional foundation.

Risks of Mashed Potatoes for Dogs

Risks of Mashed Potatoes for Dogs
While dogs can eat plain mashed potatoes in moderation, owners should be cautious about feeding their pets mashed potatoes with butter or gravy, as this can lead to weight gain or an upset stomach. Heavy, fatty foods like mashed potatoes prepared with additional fats, oils, or seasonings should be avoided to prevent diarrhea, vomiting, and unhealthy weight gain in your pet.

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Weight Gain

Setting boundaries makes you both happy. While mashed potatoes can be part of a balanced canine diet, it’s crucial to practice portion control. Mashed potatoes are dense in calories and carbohydrates. Overindulging can quickly lead to unhealthy weight gain in dogs.

Consider your pet’s dietary requirements and susceptibilities. Limit mashed potatoes to occasional small servings. Supplement with healthier foods like sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, or pumpkin.

Preventing obesity improves your dog’s longevity and quality of life. Regular exercise is also key.

Upset Stomach

Panicking about Rover upchucking after wolfing down your creamy potatoes? Your pup’s tummy might have trouble tolerating rich fare.

  1. Go easy on portions to avoid digestive distress. An upset stomach could lead to vomiting or diarrhea.
  2. Don’t add butter or heavy gravies, which are hard to digest. Stick to plain, unsweetened mash.
  3. Introduce new foods slowly by mixing small amounts into their regular kibble. Let their stomachs adjust over a few days.

Too many fatty, starchy sides can overwhelm your dog’s digestive system. The holidays are for celebrating, not upsetting tummies. Keep foods bland and mild, with modest helpings of mashed spuds, to keep your pup feeling their best.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Gravy?

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Gravy
Fret not, turkey gravy is a no-go for dogs. While the tantalizing aroma and savory flavors may appeal to your canine companion, turkey gravy contains ingredients that can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system.

Onions, garlic, shallots – common gravy ingredients – are toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even red blood cell damage. The high fat content can also lead to nasty cases of pancreatitis. Even gravies marketed as ‘pet-friendly’ may have excessive sodium levels detrimental for dogs with heart conditions.

Instead, stick to plain turkey meat without skin or bones, along with healthy veggies like green beans. And be sure to keep those gravied plates out of paw’s reach during your Thanksgiving dinner. With a few common sense precautions, you and your dog can enjoy worry-free holiday feasting.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Leftovers

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Leftovers
You’ve gotta mix a little love into feeding your doggie those tasty taters, bacon grease makes everything better.

  1. Stick to plain mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes; no butter, gravy, onions or garlic.
  2. Offer just a bite or two of plain turkey meat, no bones or skin. Make sure it’s unseasoned.
  3. Say no to stuffing, cranberry sauce, pies and other rich, sugary foods. They can really upset your dog’s stomach.
  4. Never feed fatty meats like ham or salty foods that will make your pup thirsty.

While it’s tempting to share all those yummy leftovers, your dog’s digestive system is different than yours. Foods like onions, garlic, spices, sugars and fats can actually make your furry friend sick.


A recipe for disaster lies in those mashed potatoes you’re tempted to share. I’ve seen too many pups come through my office after gobbling down rich foods their tummies just can’t handle. So do your furry friend a favor – stick to kibble, and maybe a spoonful of plain spuds as a special treat.

Because while your pup’s eyes beg for more, too many taters doused in gravy could land her in an ER vet’s care.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.