Carbohydrates, in moderation, can be beneficial to a dog’s diet. Based on NRC guidelines I use 10-15% carbs when looking at total percent of calories, not weight of the meal. The amount of carbs used depends on several factors such as weight, activity level, other nutrients, and health.
I use sweet potatoes for: fiber (helps digestion), energy (especially active dogs), and meeting some nutrient needs. I say “some” because I take into consideration bio-availability of the nutrients sweet potatoes contain. I mostly look at potassium, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin A, and some B vitamins.
1 cup of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes contain:
* Calories: 249 grams
* Carbohydrates 58.1 g
* Dietary fiber: 8.2 g
Vitamins: Vitamin A: 51,631 IU, Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg, Vitamin C: 42 mg, Vitamin E: 3.1 mg.
Minerals: Magnesium: 59 mg, Potassium 754 mg, and Manganese: 0.9 mg.
It’s important to know the amount of carbohydrates your dog is being fed because excess carbohydrates can lead to weight gain (especially if activity level decreases) and excess nutrients depending on the carb source. For example, an unwanted amount of Vitamin A will significantly increase when using too much beef liver and sweet potato in the same meal.
What carbohydrate source do you feed your dogs and why?