The quick answer: It’s complicated, but French fries are acceptable to eat in very small amounts as a rare treat. Too many fries will make your dog sick and affect their health.
While humans are free to enjoy French fries (especially dipped in ketchup and paired with a juicy hamburger), dogs shouldn’t have them if you want to keep them in good shape and help them live a long life. French fries offer no health benefits to your dog, and you should never feed them as a substitute for a nutritious, dog-appropriate diet.
Potatoes, the main ingredient in fries, aren’t toxic to dogs by themselves. However, fries tend to be seasoned with a heavy amount of salt. Salt is highly dangerous for pets. Too much of it 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.
Fried foods have a high fat content, and 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. 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 you dipped in a condiment, this also creates a problem. Hot sauce, for example, can cause stomach discomfort.
Above all, never give in to begging, whining and barking. If you stick to your guns, your pet will benefit in the long run.
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