Can Dogs Eat French Fries Or Can It Make Them Sick? | Herepup
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Can Dogs Eat French Fries Or Can It Make Them Sick?

Imagine this. Let’s say you picked up some fast food on the way home today. Your dog follows closely behind you, hoping to get part of your delicious smelling meal. Sure, it’s then easy to feed your dog some french fries from your meal since they’re so cute, but should you be doing this?

The answer is no; you shouldn’t. Whether or not your dog can (and will!) eat french fries, they shouldn’t because of the ill effects this can have on their bodies. Though the ingredients in french fries are fairly simple, they are not good for your dog.

Let’s get a better understanding of why your dog shouldn’t be eating french fries by answering some common questions.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

Can a dog eat french fries? Yes.

Should they? No!​

You might say, “But my dog ate french fries and really liked them!” Just because your dog likes a food does not mean it is okay for them to eat.

There are many things that dogs can eat that they should not typically eat, and french fries is on that list:

    • Avocado
    • Onion
    • Alcohol
    • Coffee
    • Candy
    • Gum
    • ...and many more!

Sure, some foods can be safe for your dog to eat in moderation, but they should not eat them frequently, nor should any of these foods (including french fries!) be a regular part of your dog’s diet.

Why Shouldn’t Dogs Eat French Fries?

I keep reiterating that dogs can have french fries, but they shouldn’t. Why the distinction? Because while everything in french fries can, in theory, be processed by your dog’s digestive system, it will have adverse effects on their overall health.

French fries are primarily potatoes, salt, frying oil, and preservatives, especially if you buy them from a fast food restaurant. Each of these ingredients is not-very-good for dogs.

Ask a Vet Question

What’s Wrong With Potatoes?

Cooked potatoes are not actually that horrible for dogs, but they’re very heavy in carbs that are not easily processed. You could easily feed your dog a few bites of boiled or baked potatoes (with nothing added to them) and see no problems.

That being said, potatoes are not commonly fed to dogs because they simply aren’t a good source of carbohydrates for dogs. A limited amount of energy can be processed from the food, so it’s not work giving to your dog.

What’s Wrong With Oil? I Thought That Oil Is Good For Dogs?

When it comes to oil and your dog, it really matters what kind of oil you feed them. Some owners give their dog a tablespoon of an oil high in healthy fatty acids (like salmon oil) every day with their kibble.

But the oil in french fries - frying oil, usually of the canola or vegetable variety - is not good for dogs, especially not in the form and amount that comes in french fries. Frying oil can cause an upset digestive system and lead to unhealthy fat build up.

Additionally, grease left on the fries after frying can cause loose stool. While this won’t hurt your dog on it’s on, it’s inconvenient for you as an owner and can serve as an indicator of bigger digestive health problems.

What’s Wrong With Salt?

can dogs eat french fries

When you eat too much salt, your body needs more fluids, your blood pressure can rise, and other adverse effects can happen. Overall, though, you’ll be okay.

Dogs have a similar reaction to salt as humans, but they can tolerate much less salt. This means that while a bag of french fries might make you thirsty, it could make your dog severely dehydrated.

If a dog gets too much salt in one go, or too much salt over time, they could get salt poisoning. This can lead to seizures, it hurts their kidneys, and they will need hospital treatment. Dogs with salt poisoning can die if not treated with an IV to restore the balance of their blood and to give them good electrolytes.

Salt is really a bad thing for dogs to get too much of, so this is something you need to keep in mind when considering giving your dog a salty treat or if you make their food at home.

Can Dogs Have French Fries Without Salt?

In theory, yes, because salt is the biggest “No” ingredient in french fries. But still, the other problems with ingredients listed above should deter you from feeding your dog french fries.

You Mentioned Fat Isn’t Good For Dogs When Talking About Oil. I Thought Dogs Need Fat?

It is true that dogs need healthy omega fats, but saturated and trans fats are not good for dogs. Overall, a dog’s diet should contain no more than 15 percent fat unless they are on a special diet.

Your dog’s food probably contains just the right amount of fat that they need. If you give them a food like french fries regularly, they will be getting too much fat and too many unhealthy fats.

Are French Fries Good For Dogs At All?

There is absolutely nothing healthy about feeding your dog french fries.

Should I Panic If My Dog Ate French Fries?

That depends! Remember when I asked, “Can dogs have french fries?” The answer wasn’t “NO,” so don’t panic just yet.

If your dog ate just a few french fries, they should be fine depending on their size, tolerance for salt, and the sodium content of the fries themselves. If you have a tiny dog and they ate a whole bag of salty fries, you should call your vet.

If you’re worried, call your vet and let them know how many fries your dog ate along with their size to see if you should take them in for a checkup. If you think they’re okay, just keep an eye on them for the next 12 hours to make sure they don’t show signs of dehydration.

Are There Any French Fries For Dogs?

No, not really, but there are natural sweet potato treats you can get for your dog, or you can make your own at home.

Sweet potatoes are easier for dogs to process than regular potatoes, and they contain many more helpful vitamins. Dehydrated sweet potato or sweet potato treats are low in salt and high in nutritious benefits.

Remember that everything is good in moderation. Sweet potatoes are still rich in carbohydrates, so don’t feed your dog too many of these snacks in addition to their regular diet.

But are french fries good for dogs? No. Don’t feed your dog french fries. Just stick to a healthy diet of fats and salt that comes in foods from any of the best dog food brands out there, and leave the fries for yourself to enjoy!


Dr. Laura Harris is our resident dog health expert. She started to fact-check dog health-related information for HerePup during her internship and contributes since then. Her expertise is in dog nutrition, senior dog care, especially critical care medicine and internal medicine.

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