Can Dogs Eat French Fries? Are French Fries Bad For Dogs?

French fries are not exactly the healthiest meal, even for humans. But hey, we can’t spend all our years eating veggies and fruits.

So we indulge in the sliced wonder, some of us more than others.

Who wouldn’t want to have some french fries while binge-watching that favorite TV series? 

For a meal that’s seen as junk, french fries are celebrities in the world of snacks and fried food.

The yearly estimation of french fries Americans eat gets up to 16 pounds. Now that’s a lot of indulgences. In our defense, it is delicious.

If it is okay for humans to eat french fries, can dogs eat french fries? Is it safe for your pooch?

A cozy picture of you cuddling a lapdog and watching TV doesn’t feel complete if you’re eating french fries while ignoring those pleading eyes and subtle whines. However, it may be for the best.

French fries may not be downright toxic, but it isn’t the best option for dogs, even as an occasional treat.

The risks outweigh the benefits. That a dog will eat french fries does not mean he should. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look into one of America’s favorite junk food to determine if french fries are bad for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries?

If you want a simple answer, then yes, dogs can have french fries.

However, they may not be in good shape afterward. If they help themselves to an excessive number of french fries, they may even encounter health problems.

To begin with, french fries offer very little nutrients to dogs.

The nutritional value of 100 grams of french fries below will make this clearer:

  • Calories: 312
  • Total fat: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Sodium: 210 mg
  • Potassium: 579mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 41g
  • Protein: 3.4g
A Bowl of French Fries

Thankfully, french fries are not laden with cholesterol. However, it has calories, fat, a high amount of salt and carbohydrates.

This mixture spells unhealthy for a dog. A french fry is also poor in protein, which disqualifies it from being a dog’s main diet. 

Some other potential dangers of french fries to dogs are:

  • Obesity: French fries contain a large another of calories and fats, a good recipe for weight gain in dogs.

    Obesity may make a dog look chubby and cute, but the health-related risks are high. An obese dog is vulnerable to joint pain, diabetes, and heart problems. 
  • Stomach upset: Besides the propensity for weight gain, french fries can make a dog’s stomach get upset. The pain is enough to make your dog lie around all day.

    Add the accompanying symptoms of vomiting with diarrhea. The result is a weak, ill dog that needs a veterinarian checkup. 
  • Bloating: In severe cases, french fries can make a dog’s stomach bloat. Bloating is a fatal condition that can bring your dog down in a short time. 
  • Pancreatitis: Another serious medical condition that can afflict a dog eating french is pancreatitis. It is an inflammation of the pancreas and would make any decent pet parent reach out to a veterinarian.

Related: Are Waffles Safe For Dogs?

Are French Fries Bad for Dogs?

It will take a lot of french fries to make your dog suffer from food poisoning, and a little bite may not cause harm to your dog.

However, your dog is better off abstaining from french fries to the utmost. A small taste is enough to unlock a craving for it.

Some dogs can’t tolerate even a bite of french fries. Any dog with potato allergies may vomit or get sick after eating french fries.

Also, it shouldn’t be fed to an obese dog or one with diabetes because of the oil.

This oil contains an unhealthy form of fat. This fat in dogs is the root of bloating, pancreatitis, and diabetes. 

Furthermore, french fries contain a lot of salt, and dogs are not meant to consume the human’s amount of salt.

Your dog may not suffer from salt poisoning (unless he overeats french fries) but salt makes a dog in dire need of water.

It also leads to excessive urination and can damage a dog’s kidneys in the long run.

The seasonings, ketchup, and other spices that accompany french fries are also unhealthy for a dog’s consumption.  

The safest french fries to give a dog are those without salt.

What Happens if my Dog Eats French Fries?

Symptoms often kick in after some minutes, so you should keep an eye on your pet. That he seems okay right after eating french fries, doesn’t mean he is.

If your pooch starts vomiting, showing signs of weakness or pain, urinating frequently, or diarrhea, the french fries are showing some effects.

Contact your veterinarian.

Some symptoms point towards a more severe condition. If your dog’s stomach begins to swell, that’s a serious symptom.

Others include dizziness, breathing difficulties, wobbly movements, seizures, and excessive drooling.

When you see these symptoms, your dog may be suffering from bloating, salt poisoning, or allergies.

All these are serious and require intensive treatment. Left unchecked, they can be deadly.

What Should I do if my Dog Eats French Fries?

Dog eating from a bag in the kitchen

Life will stay normal if all your dog did was snatch a piece of french fry and sprint off with it.

However, your dog may do more than that. You may even be unaware of how many french fries he consumed. In that case, here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep water around: As we’ve mentioned, salt makes a dog get thirsty. To prevent dehydration, ensure there’s water available for your dog to drink.

    He may need more than the usual, because of the dryness salt brings. You’ll know your dog is thirsty when his gums get pale and he becomes restless in his search for water.
  • Separate him from the remaining french fries: Once you discover your dog eating french fries, take away whatever is left and keep it far from your pooch. At least, it will lessen any effect the french fries will have on your dog. 
  • Be observant: Take serious symptoms as an emergency.

How do I Prevent my Dog from Eating French Fries?

The best way to stop your dog from eating french fries is to keep him in another room while you eat.

This would prevent struggling with a begging or mischievous dog. 

If keeping him away isn’t an option, some simple commands will go a long way. Of course, this only works if your dog is properly trained. 

In addition, remove any temptations. Don’t leave your dog alone in the kitchen with french fries sitting on the counter and expect too much from him. He’s got an appetite, after all. 

A final preventive tactic is to get your dog other healthy snacks he’ll enjoy. 

What are Alternatives to French Fries?

A plate of cooked sweet potatoes

With fast food, the safest option is to not share with your dog. The salt and spices used to enhance taste are unprofitable for dogs.

Even their fruits may not be natural or could be treated with herbicides. Homemade meals are best for dogs. 

French fries may be unhealthy for dogs, but a cooked bowl of sweet potatoes is a near-perfect alternative.

Sweet potatoes have fiber which helps a dog’s digestive system. It should be baked or steamed, not fried.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Plantains?

Fried potatoes share the same problems as french fries.

Fruits are good snacks too, but not all should be fed to dogs. Grapes, raisins, and avocado are toxic to dogs while bananas and blueberries are healthy.

You could even cut the fruits into small slices to give it the ‘french fries’ attraction.

Another category of healthy snacks for canines is vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, and green beans are good examples. 

For any food, you wish to add to your dog’s diet, get an expert opinion from a veterinarian or a nutritionist.

Their guidance is necessary, especially for human food.

The expert will give you advice on how to feed fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks to a dog. 

Related Questions

Can I give my dog McDonald’s French Fries?

McDonald’s fries may be your favorite fast food option, but they are unhealthy for dogs. They lack the main nutrients dogs need, such as protein.

Worse, they offer nothing in form of rich nutrients to your dog. Feeding your dog with McDonald’s fries may end up upsetting the dog’s stomach. 

Related: Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets?

Can my dog eat from Chick-fil-A?

In general, Chick-fil-A meals can be eaten by dogs in moderate quantities. Their chicken is a good source of animal protein.

However, avoid feeding your dog anything fried or filled with fat and carbohydrates. 

How many french fries can a dog eat?

It won’t be a problem if your dog eats a little french fry, so tossing one at him won’t affect him. It shouldn’t be a habit though, lest he gets used to it.

Do french fries make dogs sick?

With dogs and fries, it is better to deny than indulge. There may be nothing toxic in a french fry, but too much of it can make your dog feel sick to the point of nausea.

Will fried potatoes hurt dogs?

Fried potatoes aren’t ideal for dogs because of the unhealthy fat in the oil and the level of salt used. Too much fried potatoes will make your dog obese and can lead to salt poisoning.

It may also harm the kidneys or cause bloating. It is better to bake or steam the potatoes for your dog. 

So, Can Dogs Have French Fries?

French fries may be famous amongst humans, but that fame shouldn’t extend to canines.

While it may not be toxic, French fries are not the best option for dogs—even as an occasional treat.

For dogs, many other good treats won’t pose risks to their health. Get them these healthy treats to spice up their diet, and you will have a happy, active dog.

You May Also Like: Can Dogs Have Donuts?

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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