Can My Dog Eat Squash?

By helloBARK!
Updated on 6 August 2021
Fact Checked

Squash is a popular ingredient with humans, but dogs can also eat this tasty vegetable.

There are a number of varieties of squash that we love to use in different recipes at dinner time.

Dog owners are becoming increasingly conscious about feeding their canines a balanced and healthy diet.

Squash is a versatile food that can cooked in different ways to satisfy the appetites of both humans and dogs.

Not only is squash filling, but it’s full of vitamins and nutrients which are beneficial to your pet.

However, there are some rules to remember if you’re thinking about feeding squash to your dog.

Disclaimer: Before we get into the bones of this article, we must emphasise this isn’t expert content. We recommend talking to your local vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or giving your cat/dog a new type of food to try.

What is squash?

From a botanical point of view, Squash is a fruit but it’s considered a vegetable in food preparation. For the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to squash as a vegetable.

Thought to have originated in Mexico and central America almost 7,500 years ago, it’s a popular and versatile food.

There are two types of squash: summer squash and winter squash.

You’ll probably have heard or perhaps even eaten the main four varieties of summer squash: crookneck, zucchini, straightneck, and scallop.

Winter squash includes but is not limited to the following varieties: acorn, butternut squash, calabaza and hubbard.

What nutrients does squash have?

Squash can be a great vegetable to feed your dog given the nutrients that are found in it.

This versatile food can provide a pooch with Vitamin A, C and K.

Vitamin A can help with weight loss, fight disease and protect eye and skin health.

Vitamin C is found in many vegetables, including Zucchini. It can boost a dog’s immune system as well as promote healing and fighting illness.

Vitamin K is usually in green vegetables and it can help with blood clotting to keep the bones strong.

Squash are rich in potassium, which is a mineral that plays a key role in the dog’s system.

Potassium can control the balance of the body’s cells, it promotes the function of muscles, nervous system and heart.

Not only does squash have potassium but it’s a good source of fiber, which is important to maintain the gastrointestinal system.

Giving your dog some squash as a small snack can help your pup if they’re suffering with a bout of diahrrea.

Can my dog eat squash?

Dogs can eat squash but there are a couple of things to remember. Squash is usually better served fresh rather than frozen or in a can.

They need to be well cooked so they’re not difficult to chew and to prevent an uncooked piece of squash becoming an obstruction in the digestive system.

You may think your dog has powerful enough jaws to chew through a raw butternut squash, but it’s a risk you shouldn’t take or else risk an expensive trip to the vet.

As with any type of food, your dog could have an allergy to squash unbeknownst to you. We recommend consulting your vet before you feed your pup a new type of food for the first time.

Anything to consider?

Golden Retriever has a check up at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever has a check up at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

You should remove the skins from the squash before feeding it to your pooch.

Removing the seeds is another step to remember if you’re planning to give your dog some squash. The seeds of some fruit and veg can be poisonous to dogs if they eat a lot them.

Aside from that, seeds could provide a potential obstruction in your dog’s digestive system, no matter the size.

Whether you’re cooking squash for your own meal with a view to giving your dog some leftovers, or preparing some tasty squash snacks specifically for your dog, you’ll want to make you don’t include any harmful ingredients.

For example, squash that has been flavoured with nutmeg could potentially give your precious pooch an upset stomach.

It goes without saying that you should avoid using salt and sugar and fats where possible to protect your dog’s digestive system.

Butternut squash

Perhaps the most common type of squash that dog owners will incorporate in their dog’s meal or as a tasty snack for their pup is butternut squash.

Butternut squash soup, butternut squash pie or roasted butternut squash cubes are just three ways that humans love to eat this winter variety of squash.

Dogs can also benefit from this nutty fruit but it’s important to make sure it hasn’t been seasoned to prevent an upset tummies.

How to serve squash to your dog

Many dog owners like to use carrot sticks or apple slices as a tasty alternative treat for their dogs. Squash can be utilised in the same way.

A little bit of squash could act as a tasty snack or a treat during some obedience training.

You may want to sprinkle some finely chopped squash on top of their normal dog food to add a little variety and improve digestion.

A number of dog food delivery companies offer recipes that incorporate some squash given the vitamins and minerals the food source contains.

Some adventurous dog owners may cook their dog’s meals at home, so you could include some cooked squash in your own unique recipes.

Again, we must emphasise that you should talk to your vet before making any changes to a dog’s diet.

If you alter their food too quickly, it can have a negative impact on your dog’s stomach and cause some health problems.

The best course of action is to chat to your vet, who’ll recommend how quickly you should introduce new foods.

Anything else to consider?

While the flesh of squash can help your dog’s digestion system, leaving the seeds in or the skin on can be counter productive.

Squash may be fine for your dogs but it’s important to remember some fruit and veg are poisonous to canines.

In conclusion

With millions of people around the globe making a concerted effort to improve their diet by eating more healthy fruit and veg, dogs have more options that ever at meal time.

Pet parents can strive to ensure their canine is getting fresh food on a daily basis. A balanced and healthy diet can give them the best possible chance of a long and happy life.

Squash is a type of food that is becoming increasingly popular with dog owners due to it’s versatility – it can be cooked and used in a number of different ways.

Once the skin is peeled and seeds are removed, the flesh of squash can be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for your dog.

As long it’s chopped into bite-size pieces, your dog can happily enjoy the benefits of squash like millions of humans around the world.

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