OSCAR Featured Ingredient: Sweet Potato

Created: 12/09/2018 Updated: 27/08/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

diet, Diet & Nutrition, dogs, puppy, senior, skin

This month our featured ingredient is the Sweet Potato. The question is, is it really a potato?! In this article we will find out what the sweet potato is, what is so good about it and how our pet families can benefit from it.

Is the sweet potato a potato, or is it something else?

You say potato, I say potahto! So, is a sweet potato really a potato? Well, they are both starchy root vegetables and the sweet one is called ‘potato’, but that is where the similarity ends. That's right; it’s not even a potato! Now we've got that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family, along with plants such as tomatoes, peppers and deadly nightshade. These plants produce a chemical called Solanine, which is very toxic, even in small amounts, and that is why we can’t eat their leaves or stems (or the potatoes themselves if they have turned green).

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, originate from America and are from the Morning Glory (Convolvulaceae) family. Unlike potatoes, their vines, leaves and flowers are all edible and nutritious. It is believed that there are over 4,000 different varieties of sweet potatoes found throughout the world.

Dog waiting to be fed

What is so good about them?

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of Vitamin A, which promotes skin, coat and eye health along with aiding the muscles and nervous system. Many vegetables that have orange flesh (such as the sweet potato) also contain beta-carotene, which is a fantastic antioxidant that can help to prevent infections and disease. As well as being a great source of Vitamin A, sweet potatoes contain Potassium, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin C. They are lower in fat than the white potato and provide a great source of fibre, not to mention a sweet flavour that is much more palatable for fussy dogs.

How can this benefit my pet family?

As we have just mentioned, sweet potatoes are exactly that; sweet! If your pampered pooch is known to have a sweet tooth, they are sure to enjoy the taste of them. Sweet potato can be added to our pet’s diet in the form of food or treats because it is gentle on their sensitive digestive systems and naturally gluten-free. It is commonly used as an ingredient in grain-free diets and provides a useful (alternative) source of carbohydrate.

We always advise pet owners to consult a vet before feeding sweet potatoes to dogs in case of any underlying allergies or intolerances. Please remember if you do change your pet’s diet, to do this gradually over 7—10 days, so as not to upset the delicate environment of their digestive system.

So, if you have a furry family member with a sensitive tummy, why not try our Fresh Salmon or Turkey & Potato Complete Dry Dog foods? If you think that a wet meat may be a nice change, don’t forget to take a look at our Salmon & Sweet Potato or Turkey & Sweet Potato Complete Wet Dog food options.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.