Hash browns are another food item that most dogs are absolutely certain they can eat. Dog owners tend to be less certain. Hash browns aren’t toxic to dogs, of course, but there are some reasons why you probably shouldn’t share them with your dog even when he turns those soulful eyes on you.
Hash browns are finely chopped fried potatoes usually cooked to be slightly crispy on the outside. They are mostly served as a breakfast food. They can be served plain or with many different additions such as onions, ham, cheese, ketchup, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, green peppers, or anything the cook likes. They are frequently served in diners but you can also buy them frozen in grocery stores. In recent years hash browns have become a popular food item at fast food restaurants.
One cup of hash browns prepared at home has 5 percent protein, 43 percent fats, and 52 percent carbohydrates. A one-cup serving contains 413 calories, 54,0 grams of carbs, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 19.5 grams of fat, and 4.7 grams of protein.
Potatoes do provide good nutrients and hash browns are high in vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper, and manganese.
Homemade hash browns are usually considered to be a little healthier than frozen hash browns bought at the store or from fast food place but hash browns are almost by definition a fried food. You can bake them but they won’t have quite the same taste as fried hash browns. Most of the frozen hash browns available are already pre-fried. Hash browns from fast food restaurants are usually deep-fried. The frying adds extra fat which makes them higher in calories. Deep fryer fats can also promote inflammation.
So, despite the nutrients, hash browns are not the healthiest food to eat. They have been called “breakfast French fries.”
Should dogs have hash browns?
If hash browns aren’t especially healthy for humans, it’s not a great idea to give them to your dog. The fats, the calories, and in some cases the added ingredients such as onions are all bad for dogs.
Potatoes can also be a controversial food for dogs. Some dog foods use potatoes, potato protein, and potato starch as ingredients but some owners maintain that their dogs cannot digest potato products. Some dogs can eat potatoes that are baked or boiled but giving your dog fried potatoes is likely asking for trouble, especially if your dog has any kind of sensitive digestion.
Raw potatoes are a definite no for dogs. If you do share any potatoes with your dog, make sure they are thoroughly cooked. Raw potatoes can have a compound called solanine. You have probably seen solanine in raw potatoes. It’s a slight green color under the skin of the potato. Cooking potatoes or cutting out these green areas makes the potatoes safer.
The fats and salt in hash browns can also be a problem for dogs. If your dog really loves potatoes, try making him a small baked potato without any salt, butter or other toppings. Keep it plain. The baked potato has the same nutrients as the potato in the hash browns without the drawbacks.
If your dog is diabetic or overweight, it’s best to completely avoid foods like potatoes because of the carbohydrates and calories that can come with them.
Can dogs eat McDonald’s hash browns?
As one of the fast food kings, McDonald’s has some really delicious hash browns. Here’s the lowdown on them.
One McDonald’s hash brown contains 144 calories. That serving size is 53 grams. The calorie breakdown is 4 percent protein, 54 percent fats, and 42 percent carbohydrates. (We had to search for the serving size. We couldn’t find it on the McDonald’s page)
The hash browns have 2 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fat.
That one hash brown contains 310 mg of sodium. There you have a problem if you are thinking of giving this hash brown to your dog. A dog that weighs 30 pounds only needs about 100 mg of sodium per day. This one hash brown contains three times as much sodium as a medium-sized dog needs in one day. Your dog normally gets all the salt he needs in his diet in his dog food. Dogs that eat too much salt can experience salt poisoning that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, a fever, and seizures. In severe cases it can even lead to death. It is rare for dogs to consume enough salt to actually poison themselves with it but it is possible. They can certainly eat enough salt to become dehydrated.
The calories, fats, and sodium in McDonald’s hash browns mean that they are not a good food to share with your dog.
How many hash browns can you give your dog?
Hash browns are not a very nutritious snack to share with your dog. The calories, fats, and sodium in hash browns make them a bad choice for dogs, especially if they are deep-fried. This is true with both frozen hash browns and fast food hash browns.
If you are making hash browns at home it might be possible to reduce the sodium and fats involved so they aren’t such a salty, fattening problem. In that case, you could probably share a small amount of your hash browns with your dog as long as you keep them plain – no added salt, onions, garlic, or other ingredients that might be harmful to your dog.
How often can you give your dog hash browns?
Don’t give your dog hash browns very often, especially if you are buying them from a fast food restaurant. Most hash browns are loaded with fats and sodium which are not good for your dog. If you are making homemade hash browns and can give some to your dog plain, you could probably let your dog have a couple of bites once per week.
Remember that if your dog is diabetic or overweight, it’s best to forget about sharing any hash browns with your dog completely. Look for a healthier treat.
Your dog probably likes hash browns as much as you do. They are salty, crisply and delicious. However, the fats, sodium, and calories are not a healthy choice for your dog. Hash browns aren’t toxic to dogs but there are many healthier foods you can share with him. If he really loves potatoes, try baking him a small potato and letting him have some plain.