You want to add variety and nutrition to your dog’s diet. And what’s better than adding squash to their menu? But you’re confused if your dog should be eating them. We understand your concern.
Can dogs eat squash?
Squash is very healthy for dogs. It should be included in your pup’s diet. It contains many vitamins and minerals. And introducing them into your dog’s diet can improve their immune system, vision, and cardiovascular activities. However, feeding squash in excess and raw form is bad for your dog.
But, there’s more. If you want to know the best for your pupper, dive into our article to get the details.
What Is Squash?
Squash are bright-colored fruits, sometimes confused to be vegetables. They are delicious and great tummy fillers.
They are also known as ‘Cucurbits’ and include – zucchini, pumpkins, melons, gourds, and acorns.
If you’re looking to grow squash in your garden or backyard, wait for warm climates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow some varieties in the season of winter.
You can also find many types of squash in supermarkets.
Types Of Squash Your Dog Can Eat
Not all squashes are digestible for our pets. We are here to tell you about the best type of squash for your pets.
However, add squash to their diet according to their weight, breed, and allergies. Just like raw chicken, raw squash with seeds is unhygienic and hard to digest for our pets.
The butternut squash is an all-around vitamin-packed option, with a sweet and nutty flavor. Also, it has a long shelf life. It’s a popular fall vegetable.
One cup of this squash contains more potassium than an entire banana! It can be prepared as a soup, roasted, or even as a squash pie. But it’s better to skip added sugar, fats, or salt.
They are also great for your dog’s digestion! If your pup has diarrhea, mixing a small spoon of cooked squash with their regular food will help. Also, it improves the functions of your dog’s muscles, enzymes, nerves, and kidneys.
However, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian if your dog has digestive problems.
Pumpkins are a popular remedy for dogs facing constipation.
It has high carotenoids which enhance skin, eyes, and vitamin E (anti-inflammatory). Its fiber is soluble, which helps in moving things without any adversities.
Pumpkin is rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Pumpkin is a winter squash and has a tough rind. So, after peeling and removing seeds, they can be served boiled, canned, or steamed.
If you’re getting canned pumpkins for your dog, only get 100% pure pumpkins. Mixed pumpkin pies can contain add ons such as xylitol, nutmeg, spices, and added sugar. Nutmeg and Xylitol are toxic to dogs.
This is a sweet vegetable that is great for your dog’s digestive health.
They are high in vitamin B-6 which helps in better digestion and a lustrous coat for your pet. Also, in vitamin C.
Also, it’s got beta carotene that’s great for older dogs. By protecting from failing eyesight. If your dog has diarrhea, acorn squash can help add substance to their bowel movements.
It can play a vital role in preventing hypokalemia, as it has more potassium than a banana.
Acorn squashes are best enjoyed in moderate amounts. Excess feeding of acorn squash can cause calcium oxalate stones. And as we mentioned before, avoid the add ons.
Broccoli is also another source of high beta carotene.
This squash is easier to digest than others. It is a popular snack among dogs that can be eaten both raw and cooked.
It is rich in beta carotene, potassium, and folate. These are vital elements for your pet’s cellular and metabolic condition.
Zucchinis are summer squashes with a chewable rind that can be fed to dogs raw, including rinds and seeds.
After cooking, it may turn soft. Whatever way you serve your dog, make sure to chop them into bite-size portions. To avoid choking.
Benefits Of Squash
No matter how many pets you have or what breed, adding squash to their diets would bring multiple improvements to their health. Here’s a brief overview of all the benefits your fluffs can enjoy!
Vitamins & Nutrients
They are rich in vitamins A, B, and C which is vital for the growth and repair of cell tissues.
It’s also a great source of potassium which is necessary for water retention, nerves, and muscles of your dog.
It also has antioxidants that prevent damage to cells.
Low Intake of Calories
As squash fruits and vegetables have a higher water content, such as watermelon. Hence it contains fewer calories. These are great tummy fillers. So, adding this to your pup’s menu can make them feel a full stomach. But without the calories.
It is also low in fat. If your pup is trying to lose some pounds, pairing this with high-quality proteins makes a balanced diet. Get your vet’s opinion on how much to add to your dog’s diet.
If your dog is diabetic, squashes would be a great addition to the menu. Squash contains high content of fiber which can assist in reducing the blood sugar levels of your dog.
Again, if your dog has digestive issues, fibers would help relieve them from diarrhea and constipation. It does so by regulating the natural action of the intestines.
Risks Of Squash
The few dangers of feeding squash to your dogs are digestion issues, choking, and vomiting.
Feeding your pup raw squash, rinds and seeds can be hard on their stomach which may lead to them choking. It may also further cause vomiting and diarrhea.
It’s best to steam, bake or cook your squash for your dog. With no additional spices, oils, sugar, salt, butter, etc.
Preparing Squash For Your Dog
But also remember, any new food items can upset your dog’s stomach. You do not want to be cleaning vomit every time you introduce a new food.
Hence, it is better to introduce them slowly in small amounts. 90% of their food should be their main meal and the rest 10% should consist of complimentary items:
Step-1: Remove The Unnecessary
Remove seeds and skin.
Step-2: Cooking The Squash
Can be cooked by roasting, boiling, and steaming. Except for zucchini, the squash should be cooked before feeding.
Step-3: Preparing Your Squash
For preparation, you can – dice, mash, or make a puree according to your pet’s liking.
Question: Should dogs eat squash rind?
Answer: No. Avoid feeding them any kind of rind as it is a choking hazard and can even cause gut blockage. But, you can feed them thin rinds on zucchini, but only in bite-size pieces.
Question: Can dogs be fed squash every day?
Answer: Yes, but the amount should be moderated with their meals and body weight.
Question: Are winter squash bad for dogs?
Answer: No, they are okay for your dogs! However, you have to remove the rind and seeds before feeding as dogs cannot digest them.
We part our ways here. Hope we could answer all your questions about feeding squash to your dog.
To summarize, squashes can be fed to dogs and are a great addition to diets. With the right moderations in portions, your pup can get top-notch health!
Until next time. See you!