Chances are that you didn’t feed your dog tater tots on purpose, but if they got into a few that were left out, what should you do? Are tater tots toxic for dogs, and if you do have a few extras, can you feed them to your dog instead of throwing them away?
The truth is that while tater tots usually aren’t toxic to dogs, you really shouldn’t feed them any. There’s a lot that goes into it, which is why we recommend reading the rest of this guide to figure out everything you need to know.
Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots?
While a tater tot isn’t necessarily toxic to a dog, you don’t want to feed them tater tots. The reason is that tater tots are full of ingredients that aren’t good for your dog, and too many of these ingredients can lead to serious health complications.
So, while you don’t need to rush your dog off to the vet if they eat a tater tot or two, you should do your best to keep them from eating them.
What About Sweet Potato Tater Tots?
Experts agree that sweet potatoes are a great healthy snack option for dogs.1 Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in specific vitamins, potassium, calcium, and more. That’s a lot of great ingredients in just one vegetable.
But just because you can feed your dog sweet potatoes doesn’t mean you should feed them sweet potato tater tots. The problem is everything else that goes into the tater tot, including the cooking process.
Sweet potato tater tots are high in salt, fats, and oils, all of which are bad for dogs.
Why Shouldn’t Dogs Eat Tater Tots?
There are quite a few ingredients in tater tots that aren’t good for dogs. Keep in mind that most dogs weigh less than us, so smaller quantities of harmful ingredients can have more serious side effects.
For starters, tater tots are high in salt, and too much salt will have a negative impact on your dog. From there, tater tots are high in fats and oils, both of which can be harmful to your dog. But perhaps the worst ingredient that might be present in tater tots is onions.
Even small quantities of onions and onion powder can be dangerous to dogs, so if your dog ate some tater tots with onions it’s a good idea to reach out to a vet to see what you should do.
Safe Treats for Dogs
While you should do your best to keep tater tots away from dogs, that doesn’t mean they can’t indulge in a treat from time to time. Instead of tater tots try one of these healthy alternatives instead and stick to the 10 percent rule.
The rule states that no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet should consist of treats, otherwise they’re getting too many!
Broccoli is an outstanding treat for dogs. You can feed dogs raw, steamed, or roasted broccoli, just ensure you’re not adding any additional seasonings. We recommend steaming the broccoli to make it easier for them to ingest, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Watermelon is a sweet treat that many dogs love. Remove the rind and seeds before giving them to your dog, and keep in mind that it’s high in natural sugars. It’s excellent as an occasional treat, just don’t overdo it.
Bananas are another sweet treat that many dogs love. If your dog is a picky eater, bananas might be a great healthy choice because of their nutrients. But they’re also high in sugar, so limit how much you give them.
Carrots are full of carotene and vitamins and many pups love the taste. Just keep in mind that carrots are hard and not all dogs do the best while chewing, so cut them up into small chunks before feeding them to your dog.
Who doesn’t love the sweet taste of strawberries? Most dogs will devour them, and they’re high in vitamin C. But just like watermelon and bananas, strawberries are high in sugar, so you need to limit how many of them you feed your dog.
If you have a few tater tots lying around, you shouldn’t feed them to your dog. But if they happened to sneak a few while you were out of the room, you shouldn’t need to rush them to the vet but monitor them closely.
As long as there are no onions in the tater tots, there shouldn’t be any major health implications for your dog, but it’s best to stick with some of the healthier treat options we highlighted for their next treat.
Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock