Can Dogs Eat French Fries

FurryTips is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
can dogs eat french fries

Today’s question: can dogs eat french fries? Scroll down for detailed answers.

Being a dog owner is one of the most rewarding actions a human may do.  Along with this rewarding act of caring for a dog, is to care for the dog’s health.  One of the easiest methods of caring for your dog’s health is simply by adding vitamins and nutrients to the diet of your dog, either through specially formulated dog food, or human food that has been researched well.  Human food that has been approved by veterinarians as safe for offering pets is relatively small, yet wide as well.

Human food is not recommended as being safe, in general, for all dogs to consume.  All dogs vary in terms of breed, size, temperaments, and stomach tolerance.  Human food may be offered to one type of dog, but not another, or deemed safe to ingest by one vet, yet deemed a choking hazard by another.  Determining the diet of your dog, and whether to add human food to the diet, is a personal decision unique to you and your pet.  When looking to add to the diet of your dog, whole food sources such as meat, carrots, and tomatoes are popular offerings.  These offerings are relatively low on the choking scale, are non-toxic, and low in salt and sugar.  Therefore, the dog should be able to enjoy these foods without issue.

French fries most certainly do not fall into the category of healthy foods.  When looking to offer healthy food supplements to boost the vitality of your dog, French fries should be avoided.  French fries are not for people, and not healthy for our pets. Many people love their French fries, and for a variety of reasons.  While technically the French fry is a vegetable (potato), some may view this food as a healthy alternative to eating regular veggies.  Does the same hold true for dogs?

If you still enjoy having a portion of French fries from time to time, you may wonder if you can share this food with your begging dog too. Can dogs eat French fries? Is it okay for them? The answer is no. Your furry pet should not have French fries for various reasons. Keep on reading to find out why French fries are unhealthy snacks and why they are not recommended for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat French Fries – Not Recommended 

can dogs eat french fries

Your dog might truly enjoy getting this tempting treat; however it is not advisable to feed French fries to your pet. As a human, the French fry is not a good food for ingestion due to the high salt, oil, and fat content.  While the food should be avoided by people, the food may be eaten by people in moderation and when all other nutritional needs are met first.  On the other hand, the dog’s digestive system functions differently than yours, as it digests the foods significantly quicker. The reaction of French fries to your system is relatively low, but the reaction of French fries to the digestive system of your dog is much higher.  The faster digestion can cause stomach issues and pain in your dog.  While your canine friend’s digestive system can process the French fries since they are simply potatoes, oil, and salt, your dog should not have the potatoes and added salt and oils in their diet.

Your buddy’s health does not benefit from having this snack. On the contrary, eating French fires can be utterly harmful.  Even though the dog may chew and digest the French fries, there are other matters in which to consider before deeming the snack healthy and worthwhile for your pet.  Given the low nutritional content, and high fat and salt content, there is not a need for your dog to ingest this food at all. The only reason your dog would digest this food is if you are guilted into offering the fries, or if your dog eats a batch of fries when you are not looking.   Either way, consumption should be avoided.  You dog can gain weight, have high blood pressure, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.  In extreme cases, salt poisoning can occur, which is often times fatal.

The Downside to French Fries

  • Excess salt

One of the main reasons that make French fries a not recommendable dog treat is their excess salt content. You might already know how salt and salty foods, in general, are genuinely harmful to dogs. Your furry pet presents low tolerance to this ingredient. Just as salt causes health issues in humans, the salt content will be hurtful to the health of your dog as well.  If humans have a higher tolerance for salt, imagine what the consequences of a high sodium diet are for a dog whose body is not evolved to tolerate it.  What salt is needed for the diet of your dog is based in the food created for him/her.  Adding salt to the diet via French fries may only due harm to your dog.  Additionally, the sodium content may react negatively as it affects your pet’s health immensely.

As a result to the consumption of salty foods, your furry pal may suffer from salt poisoning. This health condition particularly harms your dog’s kidneys and may even lead to coma. The first warning signs accompanying salt poisoning include diarrhea, lethargy, weariness, vomiting, excessive thirst, and severe convulsions. Consequently, if your dog happens to eat salty French fries or other salty foods, especially in large quantities, the best thing you should do is contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

When contacting your vet, it is best to note the behavior of your dog and why you are concerned.  Coupled with the size, breed, and temperament of your dog, you should let your vet know about how much of the French fries were eaten and how much salt had been on the food.  With this information, a vet may be able to best diagnose potential salt poisoning over the phone and buy you some time before bringing the dog into the dog hospital.

1 small serving of McDonald’s French fries contains 161 mg of sodium, 11 grams of total fats, and 224 calories.

  • Detrimental fats

The next reason you should avoid feeding your furry pet French fries is because they contain detrimental fats. It is no secret that foods rich in fat are extremely harmful to dogs. Still, a healthy, balanced diet encompasses fats as well. According to specialists, a dog’s diet should contain 10-15 percent of fat. Healthy fats include omega-3 and omega-6, and these are essential ingredients commercial dog’s food contains.   Adding fats to the diet of your dog is unneeded, and inhumane in the grand scheme of things.  The fats your dog needs for development are provided, added more will only harm your pet in the long run.

Some may argue that dogs are able to enjoy their French fries because of the oil, if the oil is‘healthy oil’.  However, French fries do not embody healthy fats. On the contrary, this snack encompasses saturated, harmful fats. Thus, French fries are not bad only for our health, but also for our dog’s health. A diet rich in saturated fats will affect your dog’s health negatively. It might lead to pancreatitis and the most common problem nowadays – obesity. Additionally, obesity leads to bone problems.   Obesity may also lead to diabetes in your dog, which was at one time a disease only afflicted by humans.  Now that dogs have begun to have a poor diet and indulge in sugars, fats, and oils, their health problems have steadily gotten worse in lockstep with their owners.  The bottom line is that a healthy dog isn’t an overweight dog. Avoid including bad saturated fats in his diet, including French fries. Read more about the difference between fats here.

  • Excessive weight in dogs

An improper diet and lack of exercise mostly cause obesity in dogs. This creates imbalance between energy intake and its consumption – that means your dog eats more calories than it can burn. You should stick to providing your furry pet with a balanced diet rich in fiber and protein that is also low in fat, especially saturated fat. Obesity can be a real problem; it can significantly reduce your dog’s life span while at the same time raising the risks of other health issues. You want your favorite pet to be around for many years; thus a healthy diet equals a healthy, long life for your furry pet.

What Happens if my Dog Eats French Fries?

If your furry pet has chowed down some French fries you left out on the counter, do not panic. The enumerated health side effects occur if your dog consumes saturated fats on a regular basis. If your furry pet happened to eat a little portion of French fries when you weren’t paying attention, he/se will most likely be fine. Just make sure that it doesn’t happen regularly, though. However, if these French fries were generously salty and you notice the warning signs of a salt poisoning, you should take your furry pal to the vet.


To sum it up, French fries should not be given to dogs. These treats will only trigger various health problems for your dog. Additionally, too many table scraps might lead to your dog becoming picky and not wanting to eat his/her regular, nutritious food. However, offering your canine buddy occasional healthy treats is recommended. There are plenty of better alternatives such as vegetable or fruit treats that are more suitable for dogs. Thus, cross off the French fries from the list of treats for your best buddy. Provide him balanced and healthy diet instead.


Related articles:

Can Dogs Eat Pizza

Can Dogs Eat Onions


Leave a Comment