9 Powerful Benefits of Squash for Dogs
By Space Coast Daily // May 1, 2022
Can dogs eat squash? What are the effects of squash on dogs? And can eating a particular kind of squash harm your furry friend?
It’s always vitally important to your dog’s health that you know what they can and cannot eat. Additionally, if you learn that something your dog has eaten recently could negatively and dramatically impact your pup’s life, it’s important that you also know what to do at the drop of a hat.
However, in the case of many varieties of squash, you might not have to worry as much as you thought. Did your furry friend recently eat a piece of raw zucchini off the floor? Will anything change? And, again, can dogs eat squash safely?
Yes! Squash can be safe for your dogs!
Can Dogs Eat Squash? Which Kinds of Squash are Safe?
Dogs can actually eat a variety of different squash. According to Whole Dog Journal, dogs can eat “squash of all varieties” safely. Although, this is likely only meant to be done in moderation.
Regardless, don’t worry about spending all of your time typing in “can dogs eat squash?” and then replacing “squash” with all the different varieties of squash you know off the top of your head. Zucchini is safe, as is pumpkin, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash.
Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
When dogs are given squash, there’s actually a wide variety of benefits to it being added to their diet. First and foremost, dogs can gain the benefits of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals when they can snack on squash in moderation.
For example, many forms of squash are high in Vitamin A, which is well associated with supporting the health of the dog’s immune system. There are also some ties to other positives as well, including supporting a dog’s growth through their puppy stages, and supporting good and sharp vision in canines.
Squash is also high in Vitamin C. While one’s first thought with Vitamin C is to jump to immune system health, that’s not exactly what Vitamin C does. This vitamin supports a defensive number of antioxidants in your dog’s body, which can help the immune system function in the way that it needs to.
Vitamin B6, also found in high levels in squash, can also support a dog’s health. It’s believed that Vitamin B6 can support red blood cell levels, the functioning of the dog’s nervous system, as well as regulate a dog’s different hormone levels.
Many squashes are also high in calcium, which can be vital during a dog’s early growing stages during puppy-hood. Calcium is well known for supporting bone strength, muscle health, and the overall development of strength in a dog’s body. Therefore, adding squash to your dog’s regular diet could support proper development early on.
Squash can also help dogs avoid iron deficiency, as many four-legged friends have been known to deal with this. The high levels of iron in squash can also support proper growth and development in dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Squash in a Vegan Diet?
Recently, as veganism has grown in popularity, people have wondered if they can put their furry friends on vegan diets as well. While cats are carnivorous and require meat to maintain proper body functions, dogs are omnivores and can survive on a vegan diet, as long as it is well balanced and properly researched.
Squash can be a very helpful part of your dog’s diet if you do choose to only feed them animal-free products and foods.
However, this is not a decision that should be made lightly. Be sure to do lots of research on the best way to do this, consult a veterinarian, and keep a close eye on your dog’s health. If you notice anything going wrong, make the proper adjustments quickly.
Protein, Carbs, and Fiber
Squash is also in protein and carbohydrates, which are vital macronutrients in any dog’s diet. Making sure that they get enough of both of these, as is appropriate for their breed’s common deficiencies, their weight, and a number of other factors, should be highly considered. Especially if you’re choosing to give them homemade dog foods exclusively.
Additionally, some squashes, like pumpkin, are high in fiber. This can support healthy gastrointestinal activities and bowel movements in your dog, especially if they’re dealing with diarrhea.
Beware of GI Problems
However, there is really only one major problem with feeding dogs squash, especially in abundance. Dogs can have some trouble digesting the squash, so it’s important that you keep an eye on their behavior, especially related to their bowel movements.
If you notice your dog vomiting or having diarrhea, especially after they’ve eaten raw squash, is indicative that the squash has been prepared incorrectly for your dog’s consumption.
And if your dog is having problems with squash even when it’s been prepared correctly, be sure to decrease the amount of squash that they are having or exclude it from their diets altogether. And if you’re especially worried, it can never hurt to speak with a veterinarian.
How to Prepare Squash for Your Dog
Squash that you serve to your dog should never be seasoned or have any added butter or oils. Though this might be how you prepare it for yourself, many seasonings can be toxic for your dog. Therefore, squash is best eaten plain, after it’s been steamed, baked, or sauteed.
Additionally, make sure your dogs aren’t eating the seeds or skin of the squash: these can also be difficult for them to digest.