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Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

By Stacy Painter
published: May 4, 2023 • 2 min. read
basket of fries

The quick answer: It’s complicated, but French fries are acceptable to eat in very small amounts as a rare treat. Too many fries can make your dog sick and negatively affect their health.

Though humans can enjoy French fries, dogs shouldn’t eat them if you want to keep your pup in good shape and help them live a long life. French fries don’t provide any health benefits to your dog, and you should never feed them as a substitute for a nutritious, dog-appropriate diet.

Hazards of sharing fries with dogs

Potatoes, the main ingredient in fries, aren’t toxic to dogs by themselves. However, fries are made by deep frying potatoes in oil, giving them a high fat content. Eating fatty foods can cause painful pancreatitis in dogs. French fries are also loaded with calories, putting your dog at risk for obesity. Just like humans, if dogs gain too much weight, they can potentially decrease their lifespan or develop diabetes.

Fries also tend to be seasoned with a heavy amount of salt. Though a small piece of a fry here or there probably won’t hurt, consuming too much salt can lead to salt poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, insatiable thirst, drunken walking, diarrhea, stomach pain, muscle spasms, tongue swelling, seizures, and in severe cases, death. Salt can even cause kidney damage. It’s therefore vital that you limit your dog’s access to fries, if you allow access at all. 

Many dogs that indulge in fry snacking soon become picky eaters, refusing to consume what is best for them. This only makes things worse and requires a great deal of effort and determination to fix.

If you give a dog fries that have been dipped in a condiment, this also poses a risk. Hot sauce, for example, can cause stomach discomfort. 

Above all, never give in to begging, whining and barking when it comes to unhealthy foods. By feeding your dog a healthy, balanced meal, your pet will benefit in the long run.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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