The Good and Bad of Potatoes

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Dogs and cats have no known nutritional need for carbohydrates but they can very easily digest and utilize carbohydrates as a source of quick energy. Just like any other baked good, dry pet food must contain a certain level of starch to hold everything together. This starch can be sourced from grain ingredients such as rice, barley and oats or non-grain sources such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and chickpeas.

With the dramatic rise in demand for grain and gluten free pet foods over the past decade, potatoes were a very easy and nutritional carbohydrate source to use in place of rice, barley, and oats. Potatoes are very easily tolerated and digestible for most dogs and cats. They are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, b vitamins and are relatively low calorie. Solid Gold’s high protein and fat, low carbohydrate foods such as Indigo Moon cat food and Barking at the Moon dog food include potatoes to help these incredibly high meat protein formulas form together and maintain consistency. These foods in particular are incredibly digestible and palatable.

Recent concerns about the glycemic index rating of potatoes have led many pet parents to request potato free formulas. The glycemic index ranks foods on how slowly or quickly those foods are digested and absorbed, causing a rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. White potatoes have a moderate glycemic index rating. The glycemic index ratings were based upon tests performed on people eating one food at a time and cannot necessarily be juxtaposed directly on to dog or cat nutrition eating a complete and balanced pet food with many other ingredients. However, it provides a basic guideline that can be helpful for pet parents trying to control higher glycemic index foods in their pet’s diet.

Like any other ingredient, a dog or cat can be intolerant to potatoes or they simply just don’t do well on potato inclusive formulas. Because of this, Solid Gold has focused on removing white potatoes from a few of our existing formulas and developing new potato free formulas for dogs and cats. A few of these new exciting potato free formulas include our new Let’s Stay In line of indoor cat foods and our Lil’ Boss line for small breed dogs, made with turkey.