Image Source: Pixabay.com
Sweet potatoes are often found on the lists of foods that you must eat. They offer loads of health benefits apart from their delicious natural sweet taste. Some love to prepare it with savoury ingredients that counteract the sweet while some love it topped with cinnamon and marshmallows. Whether you like them or not, sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for your health. The health benefits are same for your canines as they are for you. Here are a few benefits of sweet potatoes for your dogs.
How to prepare it for the dog?
- Power foods: Sweet potatoes are fairly good for your dogs as long as you feed them in moderation. They differ from the white potatoes in a lot of nutritional and health benefits. In some of the high quality and branded dog foods, sweet potatoes are being used as “power foods” or fillers, for extra nutrition in the food.
- Helps in digestion: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fibres, which helps the digestive system function effectively. Whenever owners start a diet for their overweight dogs, they feed them with sweet potatoes as snacks or mixed with their food, so that they feel full. Consuming fibers on a regular basis lowers the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
- Strengthens the immune system: Sweet potatoes are very rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a properly functioning and a strong immune system. Older dogs require the right amount of Vitamin C, especially during times of stress, when their levels might be low. With Vitamin C supplements, dogs show greater resistance to diseases and have better chances of recovery from injuries or illness.
- Fights diseases: Research has shown a link between Vitamin C and its ability to fight certain diseases. Hence, sweet potatoes with Vitamin C helps dogs fight diseases like arthritis, cataracts, and glaucoma.
- Rich in antioxidants: Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in your dog’s body. It is essential for your dog’s growth, vision, and muscle strength. It also improves your dog’s hair and skin quality.
- Overall wellness: Sweet potatoes are low in fat and rich in vitamins B6, C, calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. Vitamin B6 prevent certain skin conditions and nerve deterioration. It also helps in formation of red blood cells, which are essential for nutrient and oxygen transportation. All its constituents play a vital role in overall wellness.
Sweet potatoes have to be cooked with the skin peeled off, before feeding it to your dog. Raw sweet potato or the one with skin is difficult for your dog to digest. They might be difficult to chew or may potentially causes intestinal blockage. Depending on the size of your dog, start feeding your dog with small amounts of sweet potato, between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. Start slow and see how your dog reacts. Consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog.