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Home > Dogs > Can Dogs Eat French Fries? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Dogs Eat French Fries? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Dogs Eat French Fries

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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French fries are one of the most common foods in the world, from the United States to Tanzania. They’re sliced potatoes that are fried, air fried, or baked to create crispy snacks, and they are often packed with fat and calories. They’re generally best enjoyed in moderation. But what about dogs? Is it okay for your buddy to have a bite of your fries?

Plain French fries are essentially just cooked potatoes, so they aren’t toxic to dogs. Most pets won’t become sick if they eat just one or two plain fries. However, there’s no nutritional benefit in giving dogs French fries for dinner.


It All Adds Up

The problem with human foods like French fries is that all the fat, salt, and calories add up over time. A few bites here and there aren’t a big deal,  but it’s really easy to lose sight of just how much human food dogs are eating. Although you may be aware that treats should be limited to about 10 percent of your dog’s diet, it can be difficult to determine precisely how many calories your pet should be eating, much less identify the caloric content of five fries and determine if that fits into your pet’s treat allowance.

French fries are high in fat, which can be difficult for dogs to break down. Eating too much fat at once can cause acute pancreatitis in some dogs, which is a painful condition that often requires medical treatment. Although salt is an essential nutrient that dogs require to stay healthy, too much can contribute to electrolyte imbalances.

Too many fries can also cause some dogs with sensitive stomachs to vomit or have diarrhea. They may recover quickly, but contact your veterinarian for guidance if your dog devours your entire large order of fries while you’re getting a glass of water in the kitchen.

Sometimes Fries Have Dangerous Toppings

Shiba Inu dog eating from stainless steel bowl
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Onions and garlic are toxic to dogs, and it’s common to find French fries served with garlic-infused dipping sauces and aioli. Loaded fries often feature cheese, spicy peppers, and green onions. Fries topped with gravy and onions are another classic snack with ingredients that can make dogs ill.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What About Homemade Fries?

French fries on white plate
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Homemade fries, provided they’re adequately prepared, can be quasi-healthy options. Air frying and baking can produce crispy fries that have far less fat than traditional preparation methods, although both usually require some oil. Just keep raw potato peels away from your dog, as they can contain solanine, which dogs should avoid.

Sweet potato fries are another possible tasty option, with the added benefit of a bit of extra fiber. Just go easy on the oil and let your buddy enjoy their treat without any added salt. If you’re not in the mood to make fries, most dogs are happy to sink their teeth into plain, boiled sweet potatoes. Don’t forget to cut anything you serve your dog into small pieces to keep them from choking.

What Are Some Healthy Alternatives?

Dogs can safely enjoy vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, and green beans, and they can eat sweet treats such as watermelon and bananas. You can also cook turkey, beef, chicken, or salmon to treat your dog to something nutritious and yummy.

Raw and undercooked meat often contains bacteria that can make pets sick, and any meat you serve your pup should be thoroughly cooked. Grilling, baking, and poaching are all easy ways to prepare dishes without adding fat.

Whether you serve your dog meat, vegetables, or fruit, it’s best to serve them plain without any salt, sugar, or spices. Here are some other snacks that are safe to feed your dog:

Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

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Most healthy adult dogs can eat French fries in moderation without becoming ill; they’re not toxic but are unhealthy. There’s likely nothing to worry about if your dog has a few fries, but too many can be harmful to their health. High-calorie human foods often contribute to weight gain, and keeping your dog at an appropriate weight is one of the best things you can do to support your companions’ overall long-term health. So, while a fry now and then probably won’t hurt your dog, there are healthier options, such as plain uncooked vegetables.

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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