They are a vegetable, so can dogs eat yams? This is what you need to know before you share this side dish with your pet.
In this guide, you will learn the differences between yams and sweet potatoes and discover which types of yams are safe for your pet – and which you should keep away from them.
For ultimate pet safety, I recommend consulting with your vet about all the questions you have about your dog eating yams or sweet potatoes.
Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Before we get into whether dogs can eat yams, it’s really important to understand the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. Lots of people use the terms interchangeably, but there are important differences. They aren’t exactly the same thing.
There is a root vegetable called a true yam. These are cousins to the sweet potato. They are grown in the tropics and range from white to a reddish color. They are mostly sold in specialty stores since something like 95% of them are grown in Africa.
Yams are cylindrical, starchy, and have woody-looking skin. If you see what kind of looks like a sweet potato labeled a “yam” it is a different variety of sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are grown in the Americas. The most popular are orange-colored. There are also white and purple sweet potatoes.
When you see sweet potatoes in a can in the grocery store, look closer at the label. It probably has Yams in large letters and “cut sweet potatoes” smaller beneath it. Almost all canned yams in the store are actually canned sweet potatoes.
Read more about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Yams
Yams – both sweet potatoes and the true yam varieties – are healthy for your dog to eat in moderation. The only thing you really need to watch out for is if the cooked yams contain nutmeg or xylitol – both of which are toxic to your dog.
This guide will look closely at all the different varieties and types of yams and how safe they are for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes Or Yams
Both yams and sweet potatoes are healthy for dogs to eat. Cook them without any extra sugar or seasonings – that’s the safest and best way to share sweet potatoes with your dog.
They are really high in vitamin A and healthy fiber. So they are really good for your dog’s heart and gut health. They are low in natural sugars too, so they are really good for blood sugar regulation.
Are Yams Ok For Dogs
Yes, yams are safe for dogs to eat, as long as they are not made with unsafe ingredients. Don’t give your dog any yams that have nutmeg or xylitol on them since both of those things are toxic for dogs.
It’s also important not to give your dog anything that has too much sugar on it.
The safest way to let dogs eat yams is by cooking them plain with minimal seasonings.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Yams
Do not let your dog eat raw yams or sweet potatoes. The raw vegetables will upset their stomach and could cause intestinal blockages.
Yams are only good for your dog if they are cooked.
Can Dogs Eat Yams Cooked
There are so many ways to cook yams and some of them are safer than others. Let’s look closer at all the different ways to cook yams and whether you should share them with your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Baked Yams
Yes, dogs can eat baked yams as long as they are baked plain without any harmful ingredients. Bake the yams without the skins and chopped in small bites. Let them cool off completely before you give them to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Boiled Yams
Yes, dogs can eat boiled yams. This makes them easier on your dog’s stomach and safer for them to eat. Peel them and then boil them cut up into small pieces and give them to your dog as a fun snack.
Can Dogs Eat Fried Yams
Dogs should not eat fried foods. The oil and grease is not good for a dog’s stomach. It’s safer to bake or boil the yams instead.
Can Dogs Eat Yam Fries
Dogs can safely eat a few yam fries, but how much they should eat depends on how the fries were made. If the yam fries were breaded and deep-fried, they shouldn’t eat very many of them. These are the most unhealthy version.
The best yam fries for dogs are just sliced and roasted without any seasonings or sauces.
Can Dogs Eat Steamed Yams
Yes, dogs can eat steamed yams. Share them with your dog before you add any salt or seasonings to them. They will be soft and easy for your dog to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Yams
Canned yams are usually sweet potatoes that are covered in syrup. Dogs should avoid eating anything that is super sweet or with added sugar. While a few bites of these sweet yams won’t hurt your dog, it’s not a good idea to give them a large serving of them.
Can Dogs Eat Candied Yams
Dogs should not eat candied yams. There is too much sugar in them and this could effect their blood sugar control and cause weight gain. It’s best to boil or bake fresh yams.
Can Dogs Eat Yams In Syrup
Dogs should not eat yams in syrup either. The syrup will cause their blood sugar to spike and then dip. If dogs eat a diet high in sugar and calories, it can cause them to gain weight or be at a higher risk of diabetes.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Yams
Yes, dogs can eat frozen yams, just read the ingredients list before you serve it to them. Do not give your dog anything with nutmeg, cinnamon, or xylitol in it.
Dogs & Yams: Different Types
If you shop in a specialty grocery store, you might see a bunch of different types of yams. These are the all the different varieties of yams and how safe they are for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Purple Yams
Yes, dogs can eat purple yams. They actually have more nutritional value than white potatoes. They are also known as Ube and really healthy for your pet as long as you cook them plain.
Can Dogs Eat Red Yams
Yes, dogs can eat red yams. Make sure they are fully cooked because raw sweet potatoes are bad for a dog’s stomach.
Can Dogs Eat Garnet Yams
A garnet yam is actually a sweet potato. It has brownish-orange skin and bright orange color on the inside. They are less sweet than typical sweet potatoes. Garnet yams are safe for dogs as long as you cook them first.
Can Dogs Eat White Yams
White yams are safe for dogs to eat if you cook or boil them first. They are not sweet like typical orange sweet potatoes, so chances are your dog won’t like them as much.
Can Dogs Eat Yellow Yams
Yes, dogs can eat yellow yams. These types of yams are starchy and dry. They need to be cooked, but even then your dog might not want to eat it.
Can Dogs Eat Japanese Yams
Yes, dogs can eat Japanese yams. They are high in both vitamins A and C. Peel and cook them and then give a little bit to your dog at a time.
Can Dogs Eat Chinese Yams
Chinese yams, or Dioscorea polystachya is a long, tubular plant. It is a perennial, climbing vine. If you peel them and cook them, they are safe for your dog in small amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Korean Yams
Korean sweet potatoes have brownish purple skin with yellow flesh. They are sweeter than American sweet potatoes. If you bake and serve them plain, dogs can eat them safely.
Can Dogs Eat Yam Bean
A Mexican yam bean is actually a jicama plant. Learn more about dogs and jicama in my guide.
Can Dogs Eat Yam Leaves
No, dogs should not eat yam leaves. The only part of the plant that dogs should eat is the yam itself. You should peel and cook it before letting your dog eat it. If your dog eats yam leaves, watch for signs of an upset stomach and call your veterinarian if you notice any bad health changes.
Yams are very healthy for humans and dogs. When you are making yourself a plain yam, it’s safe to scoop some of it out and give it to your dog too.
As always, just keep the toxic ingredients away from your pet and always cook the vegetable completely. If you notice any stomach issues after your dog eats yams or sweet potatoes, call your veterinarian.
More Dog Food Resources
Here are some articles about other human vegetables and whether they are safe or toxic for your dog to eat.
- Can Dogs Eat Beans
- Can Dogs Eat Beets
- Can Dogs Eat Collard Greens
- Can Dogs Eat Fennel
- Can Dogs Eat Turnips
- Can Dogs Eat Zucchini
Find even more articles on human food dogs can and can’t eat here on Spoiled Hounds!
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