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I am curious about potatoes being a common ingredient in dog food. What do they actually do for the dog?

We have been going through protein eliminations starting with chicken, the duck and now we are on rabbit.

But, I have the this gut feeling that potatoes might be the culprit to our ongoing problems. I don't know...

I want to remove them from the equation and see what happens.

Potatoes aren't the greatest for humans either, so why would we feed them to our furry friends? ;) Would I actually eat a side of fries with every meal, even if it were a small plate? Nope. Should the dog?
 

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Well, fries are deep-fat-fried, it's not quite the same thing as plain potatoes!

No, I don't think potatoes are any better than any other starch. A dog could certainly have an intolerance to potatoes as well as to any other ingredient. And arthritic dogs (and those with immune issues) may have bad reactions to potatoes because they're nightshades.
 

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Adding potatoes as filler allows companies to label their food as "grain-free", which means the price goes up. Non grain-free foods generally cost less, and have other fillers (grains) instead of potatoes. I don't want to see corn, wheat, or soy (not a grain) in my dog's food, but I don't have a problem with other nutritious grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, etc., as long as the first few ingredients are meat.
 

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Bingo. Whole grains, including wheat, are better when used as a source of energy. The marketing of potatoes in dog food reminds me of Snackwells cookies and the low-fat craze of the 1990's. It won't be long before moderate protein diets with whole grains are back in style again.

I don't think people realize how dangerous a potato can be. A green or sprouted potato can be deadly to a dog. Every potato that comes out of the ground has low levels of Solanine. The low levels are considered safe but with something so dangerous I only trust a few companies handling potatoes. I will stick to low-ash chicken and brown rice with a dash of #1 grade non-gmo corn.
 

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All feed-quality corn in the U.S. is GMO. And almost all of the sweet corn, I think. Roundup Ready, cutworm resistant, etc. What brand do you get that claims to have non-GMO corn?
 

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I don't think they need potatoes, they would do fine without it, and perhaps even better!

I just feed my dog raw meat and bones and found it's the best diet for her
 

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I am not a fan of taters either and would prefer whole grains vs the potato. It's hard to find grain inclusive foods with a 28-34 protein level though...
 

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Hm, okay. i think the only one available locally to me is Precise.


I'm really happy with how my girl is doing on Earthborn's Great Plains Feast, which uses bison, peas and tapioca.
 

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In order to form a kibble, you need something sticky. I much prefer potatoes to grains. Even before switching to raw I fed grain-free kibble, which meant potato was the source of carbs and stickiness.
 

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Which foods are best that have potatoes then, I feed TOTW which has potatoes, is it ok? The dogs seem to be doing well on it but should I be worried? If I have to switch, what should I be looking at in the ingredient list.
 

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I fed TOTW before raw, and my dog did great on it. I've seen TOTW highly recommended here and in many other places as well. No need to switch. Most high quality kibbles will have potato.
 

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I was curious about the potato content in foods as well vs whole grains. I can't really decide which is better or maybe not as good as the other, as every dog is different, so ive decided that when I rotate my kibble ( I feed 3 kinds at a time mixed together) I am going to select a grain-free type that contains no potatoes (like NV Instinct which uses tapioca), a grain-free type that does contain potato ingredients, and also a type that does contain grains such as brown rice or oats. I'm hoping this way, they get a little bit of all ingredients/nutrients and if issues crop up I can eliminate one at a time, etc and also within those 3 different types I feed at one time I use 3 different main proteins, so I will usually have a fish variety, a red meat and a white meat.
 

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I'm starting Horizon Legacy which has peas as a binder instead of grain, potato, tapioca, etc. I fed them Dogswell Nutrisca (used chickpeas as a binder) before and they did AMAZING, the only disadvantage was the price and the availability. Let's see how they do on this!
 
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