A dog with a wary expression looking at tater tots, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Tater Tots?

Dogs should definitely not eat tater tots. These tasty little potato bites might be irresistible to us humans, but they're not safe for our furry pals. Tater tots contain ingredients and frying oils that can wreak havoc on a dog's digestive system and overall health.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 25, 2024

Did You Know?

Tater tots contain high levels of fat and salt, both of which can lead to serious health problems in dogs, such as pancreatitis.

Tater Tots



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Allergic Risk


Why Are Tater Tots Bad for Dogs?

Tater tots are loaded with fats, salt, and sometimes even seasonings that are unhealthy for dogs. The high fat content can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and serious condition. Plus, the salt can cause dehydration and sodium ion poisoning. To add to the worries, some tater tots may contain onions or garlic, both toxic to dogs.

How Many Tater Tots Can Dogs Eat?

None! If your dog happens to snatch one off the floor, it's not the end of the world, but it's really important to keep them out of reach. Even just a small amount can cause an upset stomach or other health issues. So, always be cautious about where you leave those tempting tots.

Common Misconceptions

One common myth is that since potatoes are okay in moderation, tater tots must be as well. Wrong! While plain, cooked potatoes can be fine in small amounts, tater tots are processed and contain unhealthy additives. Another misconception is that small quantities are harmless—better safe than sorry with these!

Similar Harmful Products

Many similar foods should be avoided for the same reasons:

  • French Fries: Loaded with salt and oil, equally harmful.
  • Potato Chips: High in fat and salt, they can cause stomach upset.
  • Hash Browns: Often fried and seasoned, potentially toxic additions.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Tater Tots?

First off, don't panic. Monitor your pup for any signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's time to call your vet. Avoid inducing vomiting unless instructed by a professional—sometimes it can cause more harm than good.

In the long term, consuming such harmful food can lead to obesity, heart problems, and digestive issues. Vet bills for treating these conditions can stack up quickly. Having pet insurance can be a financial lifesaver, covering part or all of these unexpected costs and ensuring your dog's health doesn't take a backseat.

Healthy Alternatives

If you want to treat your dog to something tasty without the health risks, consider these options:

  • Carrot Sticks: Crunchy, low-calorie, and loved by many dogs.
  • Apple Slices: Sweet, delicious, and full of vitamins—just remove the seeds.
  • Green Beans: Nutritious and can be a crunchy snack.


Tater tots are a no-go for dogs. They're packed with unhealthy ingredients that can cause significant health issues. Always consult with your vet if you're unsure about feeding your dog certain foods. Better to be safe and keep those tasty tots to yourself, giving your dog healthier alternatives that they can enjoy just as much!