Can Dogs Eat Squash
When you think about your dog’s diet, it can seem pretty blend at times. Eating the same thing over and over can seem tedious, especially to us. Humans need to have a diverse diet, but dogs are a bit different. They get all the necessary nutrients and ingredients from well-prepared dog food. However, adding some human foods can be an excellent way of “spicing” things up for them.
One veggie we love to eat, especially in the fall, is butternut squash. There is a good reason why this veggie is so popular; it is nutty, deliciously sweet, and it can stay on your shelf a long time without getting spoiled. Butternut squash is versatile, and you can make all sorts of dishes with this delicious ingredient. However, is butternut squash safe for dogs? You probably caught yourself thinking, “Can dogs eat squash?” as you wanted to share some with your dog. Here is what you should know about dogs and squash.
Butternut squash is not only safe for dogs to eat, but it is also delicious and very beneficial. Butternut squash has a similar effect as a pumpkin. It can be very beneficial for dogs with digestive problems. This veggie is packed with healthy nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, before you feed it to your dog, make sure you have taken all the precautions.
Do you want to know more about feeding pumpkin to your dog? Check out this article - Pumpkin for dogs.
Just like pumpkins, butternut squashes are packed with dietary fiber. That is not the only beneficial ingredient, but it is something pumpkins and squashes are known for. All experienced dog owners have plain canned pumpkin or other pumpkin supplements they could give to their dog as soon as they notice any gastrointestinal distress. If you want to know more about the importance of fiber, check out this article - Best sources of fiber. Here is how butternut squash can help dogs.
Butternut squash can help constipated dogs. It is packed with both types of fiber - soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber will help digestion by speeding up the process and helping “move things along.” Vets are not entirely sure why, but the positive effect insulable fiber has on slow digestion is undeniable. You can read more about this problem here - Dog constipation.
Dogs with diarrhea will have to increase their fiber intake. In this case, the insoluble and soluble fiber will work together to soak up the excess fluids in the dog’s digestive tract and add bulk to their stool. Fiber is one of the most important things in the dog’s diet, but it is often overlooked.
The positive digestion effect is not the only way butternut squash will help the dog. As we said, it is packed with other healthy nutrients that will be beneficial for the dog’s overall well-being. The best nutrients in squash are;
- Vitamin A - This vitamin will help the dog’s lungs, brain, reproductive system, and other organs work properly. It is also vital for reproduction, normal vision, and a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin C - One of the most important vitamins in the body, vitamin C will help your dog grow, repair, and produce all body tissue. It is vital for collagen production, iron absorption, wound healing, immune system, and cartilage, bone, and teeth maintenance.
- Potassium - Potassium will benefit dogs just as it benefits humans. It is a vital mineral that helps the dog’s body regulate sodium levels, muscle contractions, nerve signals, and once ingested, it becomes an electrolyte.
Like every other ingredient outside your dog’s regular diet, butternut squash should not be overfed to your dog. Make sure you follow the “golden rule” of giving your dog human food - keep it under 10% of their total daily food intake. When it comes to foods that are so high in fiber, you should play it safe and even lower the total intake to 5%.
Another thing to keep in mind is to remove the parts of the squash that could be dangerous for dogs to eat. Things like the stem and rough outer skin might be hard to digest, so it is best to remove them.
Another popular type of squash is zucchini. You can read more about dogs and zucchinis here - Can dogs eat zucchini?
There are some human foods dogs can eat, and some they should strictly avoid. Most dog owners know about the dangers of alcohol or chocolate, but there are other things that can be very toxic to dogs. Those things are onions, garlic, chili peppers, oils, etc. When giving your dog some butternut squash, make sure you only serve it cooked, steamed, or mashed without any spices.
Humans love adding spices to their food, but dogs should avoid eating spicy food. Spices will cause them an upset that will end up with diarrhea and vomiting. Other things like onions, garlic, or chili are toxic, and the worst cases of poisoning can have tragic endings.
World Dog Finder team