As a loving dog parent, you must be concerned about what is going in their tummy and your dog’s overall health.
Squash is loved by everyone, and your four-legged friend won’t want to miss out on munching this delicious food.
It is a delicious vegetable filled with important vitamins and minerals.
I get asked so many times, can dogs eat squash?
Well, the good news is that squash is perfectly safe for dogs to eat. However, there are a few rules when feeding squash to your dog.
In this blog, we will look at some considerations of giving squash to your dogs. Let’s get started!
What kinds of squash are okay for dogs?
Squash is a plant that is incredibly easy to grow and has dozens of varieties. Although most kinds of squash are mostly referred to as vegetables, they have seeds and are technically classified as fruits.
The squash family is large and extremely diverse. It falls into two main groups: summer squash and winter squash.
- Summer squash: It is harvested in the warm weather months and doesn’t store for long. You should pick summer squash when it’s small, tender, and not fully mature.
- Winter squash: It is harvested in the fall and has a hard rind. This allows it to keep well for months.
Here are some kinds types of squash:
- Zucchini Squash
- Round Zucchini
- Yellow Squash
- Patty Pan Squash
- Cousa Squash
- Tatume Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Dumpling Squash
- Pumpkin Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
All these varieties are safe for dogs to eat. Most dogs will like the taste of squash and will be able to tolerate it.
Just make sure that you remove the seeds before feeding squash to your dog.
A few seeds won’t hurt your dog but large amounts of squash seeds can cause a backup in your dog’s digestive system.
Nutritional Benefits of Squash
Squash is more than just a seasonal tasty treat. It is a nutrient-dense option for any dog and provides various benefits for canines. Squash is packed with nutrients for your dog. It contains:
- Vitamins A, C, E, and B6
- Essential minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium
- Dietary fiber
- Powerful antioxidants – Beta Carotene
Squash nutrition fact
The nutrition facts for one cup of cubed butternut squash, when served raw:
- Calories: 63
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
Let’s have a look at some benefits of squash for dogs:
- Improve your dog’s coat: Vitamin E in squash is great for your dog’s skin and coat. Beta-carotene in squash can play a role in protecting the dog’s skin from sun exposure.
- Good for eyes: Squash is packed with Vitamin A and promotes eye health. The vitamin C and beta-carotene found in squash support eye health and may help to slow the chances of vision loss. It also prevents degenerative damage to eyesight. Squash is rich in vitamin C and can also help prevent cataracts in dogs.
- Immunity booster: Squash is a great source of antioxidants that are integral for your dog’s immune health.
- Stomach soother: Squash is full of fiber and antioxidants. It helps to regulate your dog’s digestive system. The fiber in the squash can help make your dog’s stools more firm and regular.
- Good for heart: Eating squash lowers the risk of heart disease and improves cardiovascular function in dogs.
- Healthier urinary tract: The extracted oils of squash seeds and flesh helps to support urinary health in dogs. Squash seeds also help to dislodge kidney stones. Squash has been found to especially help male dogs suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Energy powerhouse: Squash provides appropriate energy sources that are usable over a longer period. Manganese in squash plays an important role in the actions of enzymes responsible for energy production in dogs.
- Good for diabetic dogs: The fiber in squash can also help lower blood sugar levels in dogs. Squash can be a good choice for dogs with diabetes. However, you should always speak to your vet before changing the diet of a diabetic dog.
- Good for overweight dogs: Squash is low in fat and can be a great addition to the diet of an overweight dog. It provides good nutrition and does not contribute to excessive weight gain. Squash will help your dog to feel full with fewer calories. Speak to your vet about how best to help your dog lose weight.
- Tastes great: Most dogs enjoy the yummy flavor of the squash. It can also serve as a tasty doggy treat.
Risks Of Feeding Squash To Dogs
While squash is a great food for dogs, there are a few things you should keep in mind when feeding squash to your dog.
- A huge amount of squash can give dietary upsets to dogs. A large quantity of squash intake can cause issues like vomiting, nausea, hyperactivity or diarrhea, and intestinal upset.
- Avoid feeding squash products that contain salt, additives, and sugar. They can actually make your dog sick.
- Remember to control the amount of squash in your dog’s diet. Feeding too many squash can cause bone and muscle weakness, due to excessive vitamin A.
- Your dog can also eat it raw, but cooking the squash softens the flesh and makes it easier to consume and digest. Also, squash is tastier when cooked.
- Do not feed the skin of the squash to your dog as it is hard and unpleasant.
When feeding your dog squash, make sure it is cooked and that the seeds and skin are removed.
Some dogs will eat anything you put in front of them including the squash peel.
However, not all dogs enjoy the taste of squash peel. Do not add any seasonings to the squash pieces you feed your dog.
You can consult your vet for a better idea of the amount of squash that you add to your dog’s diet.
Pet Parent Tip: Stop feeding your pooch squash immediately if you notice any allergic reaction or signs of stomach upsets. If you notice any allergy symptoms like itching, swelling, or hives, contact a vet for diagnosis.
Is Yellow Squash Safe For Dogs?
Yellow squash is wider and has more seeds than zucchini. It has a tapered neck with a fat bottom.
Yellow squash is a safe and very healthy food to add to your fur buddy’s diet.
It is also packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, beta carotene, manganese, and many more.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Squash?
Your dog can safely eat cooked squash. However, it must have been boiled or steamed without any added ingredients like salt, garlic, or other seasonings as they can be harmful to dogs.
How Much Butternut Squash Can A Dog Eat?
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash native to America and has recently skyrocketed in popularity.
It is a great source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin C.
Butternut squash is a low-fat, lower-calorie source of carbohydrates with plenty of fiber. Its starchy texture makes it a good and healthier alternative to potatoes.
How much Butternut squash a dog can have will depend on the size of the breed. A large breed could be consuming four times the amount of food as a smaller breed. To determine the right amount of Butternut squash for your dog, you need to work out with the 10% rule. When feeding Butternut squash to your dog, the quantity should stay beneath that 10% limit.
Raw butternut squash is too difficult for your dog to digest. It’s better to serve cooked butternut squash and avoid added salts, sugars, and fats.
Storage of Squash
Here are a few tips on the storage of squash:
- You can place your squash in a cool dark place, like a pantry, for up to a month.
- Do not refrigerate uncooked squash. However, if you peel the squash, it should be refrigerated and can last for 5 – 7 days.
- You can freeze squash after it has been peeled. Simply slice or cube the raw squash and place in air-tight freezer bags. This can last for up to a year. You can also freeze cooked squash.
Butternut and acorn squash varieties seem to store the longest.
How Should You Feed Squash To Your Dog?
Now that you have decided to introduce squash to your dog’s diet, it’s time to know the best way to serve this superfood.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when preparing squash for your fur buddy
- Choose organic squash: It’s always beneficial to opt for organic products for dogs. By choosing organic squash, you will significantly cut down on potential pesticide exposure. Also, organic farming is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
- Always wash your fruits and veggies: You must ensure that your dog isn’t consuming any unnecessary germs. Wash the squash thoroughly because it gets handled by a lot of people and may contain pesticides.
- Remove skin and seeds: For perfect safety, take out the squash seeds and stems before serving them to your dog. Also, you should make sure that you take the skin off. These things can obstruct your dog’s digestive system.
- Raw squash: Once the squash is peeled and deseeded, you can serve it raw or cooked. Cut them into thin slices or small chunks. It’s easier for your dog to chew and prevent a choking hazard.
- Cooked squash: If you choose to cook squash for your dog, the best way is to either roast, steam, or bake the squash. You don’t need to get fancy with your recipe!
- Squash smoothie or puree: You can even prepare a yummy smoothie or puree by blending squash with other healthy fruits.
- Canned squash: You can also give plain canned squash as it is easy to feed your dog and you don’t need to cook it. Make sure to feed unsweetened squash to your dog.
- Skip the seasoning: Your dog’s digestive system is not built to handle intense flavors and seasonings. It’s best to keep squash simple to soothe your dog’s stomach. Your dog won’t mind the lack of seasoning and spices!
There are a lot of dog treat recipes that include squash. You can easily prepare them at home.
If you want to introduce squash to your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to start slowly to see how your dog’s stomach reacts. You can add squash with other ingredients to your dog’s regular diet.
Can Puppies Eat Squash?
Yes, puppies can eat squash. However, squash that you share with your puppy should be given in small quantities.
It’s important to keep in mind that feeding squash to puppies is safe as long as it is seedless, peeled, free of any seasonings, and pureed or cut in very small slices. A large quantity of squash can upset their digestive system.
What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?
Today many pet parents are preparing the food themselves for their dogs. This way, they know exactly what goes into their fur buddy’s diet.
The reality is that some human foods are toxic for dogs to eat. As a responsible dog owner, you must be aware of which human food is safe or toxic for canines.
Here’s a list of some human foods that are safe for dogs:
- Fish including Salmon
- Cheese including Gouda, Cheddar, Carrots
- Apples but not apple cores
- and Cottage
- Green beans
Pet Parent Tip: Any new food should be introduced into your dog’s diet gradually. You must monitor your fur buddy for adverse effects like digestive upsets, food sensitivities, and allergic reactions.
For more information on some great dog nutrition check out my blog on The Best Dog Nutrition For Healthy Dogs.
Human Foods That Are Not Safe For Dogs
Some human foods can be dangerous for your dog to consume! Here are a few foods that are not safe for your dogs to eat:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Grapes and raisins
- Artificial sweeteners
- Macadamia nuts and walnuts
- Onion and garlic
- Coffee and tea
To be safe, try to avoid feeding these foods to your furry companion. If your dog has eaten something it should not have, you should speak to your vet.
For a detailed list and explanations on more foods to avoid please read What Food Is Not Good For My Dog
Dietary Tips For Dogs
Here are few dietary tips that you should know:
- Your dog’s diet should be healthy, well-balanced, and include all nutrients.
- If you’re feeding commercial dog food, it must be safe, affordable, and made with premium quality ingredients.
- Puppies are in a growing stage. They should be given enough proteins to meet their growing needs.
- Overfeeding your dog is not recommended. It can lead to weight gain, obesity, arthritis, joint problems, and other health issues.
- Give appropriate meal sizes based on your dog’s metabolism, age, weight, and activity levels. This will help your dog to remain active and maintain its ideal weight.
- Always ensure your furry pal is well hydrated. Clean and fresh water should be made available to your pooch at all times.
- Make sure to wash your dog’s water and food bowls very often.
- While introducing a new food, always start slowly and make adjustments accordingly.
- You must know the best diet for your dog should be consulted with and elaborated on the recommendations of veterinarian.
If you feel your four-legged friend is getting a little on the chunky side you may want to have a read of Doggie Diet Tips To Get Your Dog Back In Shape.
Final Thoughts Squashed!
The benefits of squash make it a wonderful food to include in your dog’s daily diet.
The bottom line on feeding squash to dogs? Moderation is the key. Just be sure that squash should be only given to your dog in a small amount.
Remember that too many squash can cause an upset stomach, even in healthy dogs.
It is better to avoid feeding squash to sick dogs as it might worsen the medical condition.
Always feed your dog a diet that meets their nutritional needs.
We wish your dog stays happy and keeps wagging its tail.
If you have any questions about squash, please do let us know. We would be glad to hear from you.
“May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”
Founder of Our Dogs World 101