Squash is the name for five vegetables under the curcubit or the gourd family. It also goes by pumpkin or gourd, and many praise it for its vast nutritional benefits. Squash is a must-have vegetable if you are into the healthy-living lifestyle. Besides the flesh that comes in many color variations, the seeds are also edible.
Can my dog eat squash? Yes, your dog can eat squash and take advantage of its nutritional value.
There is a lot more to know about dogs and squash. If you are curious about this information, you are in the right place, as we will take an in-depth look at this subject.
Nutritional Benefits of Squash
Squash is safe for dogs, packing several nutrients your dog requires to be healthy. If well-prepared, you should not worry about your dog having a bite. A look at squash’s nutritional value will convince you to share it with your fuzzy friend regularly.
The following are nutrients in this vegetable family and their roles.
At a value of 0.64-grams, squash is not the best source of proteins for your dog but can complement other dietary sources. Protein is crucial for muscle growth, hormonal function, and tissue repair.
Many people are avoiding carbs, and even your pet doctor may advise you to limit your dog’s serving of this nutrient. Nevertheless, it is suitable for heavy-set dog breeds that need plenty of energy.
You cannot overlook the significant role fiber plays in your dog’s diet. The primary role of dietary fiber is to aid in digestion and reduce the instances of constipation. Additionally, it promotes the growth of gut microbes, improving the food absorption rate.
Squash is one of the best sources of vitamins, boasting of vitamins A, B2, C, and E, which are necessary for a sound immune system. A decent serving of pumpkin ensures that your dog is resilient to ailments.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and deals with oxidative stress from free cell radicals. The result is reduced chances of cancer and premature aging.
An occasional bowl of pumpkin will supply your dog with minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper. Calcium is necessary for bone and teeth formation. Iron comes in handy for oxygen transportation, while manganese provides blood clotting factors and enhances hormonal functions.
In summary, below are the general benefits of your canine eating squash.
- Aids in weight loss
- Promotes optical health
- Improves skin and hair health
- Strong and healthy bones, muscles, kidneys, and liver
How to Prepare Squash for Dogs
A thing to keep in mind is that your dog can eat all the five types of squash. Preparation is a crucial step in feeding squash to dogs. When you get the vegetable, start by washing it and removing the stalk. Cut it open and remove the seeds.
Can my dog eat raw squash? Yes, dogs can eat raw squash, but you must peel the tough skin away and chop it into smaller pieces to avert choking.
If you decide on cooking squash for your pup, put the chopped pieces in a pot and steam or boil. Do not add salt, oil, or spices. Let it be plain, as these additives can harm your pet. Serve the squash when soft.
Even better, add some milk or broth to the squash and mash until smooth. It is an excellent way to feed old, young, and sick dogs. You may also puree squash and use it as a topping to the standard good quality dog food.
Are Squash Seeds Good for Dogs?
The seeds contain nutrients like vitamin K, manganese, and zinc. Despite their impressive nutritional content, your dog can develop tummy upsets or choke if it eats too many seeds. For safety, feed it deseeded pumpkin. This vegetable tastes sweet, so your dog will warm up to it quickly.
As with any new food introduced to dogs, begin with small quantities and watch your dog’s reaction. Plus, talk to your vet to ascertain whether it is an ideal food for your dog.
Risks of Dogs Eating Squash
Let us look at some potential dangers of your dog eating squash.
You shouldn’t give pumpkin to your dog if it is allergic to it. Symptoms include coughing, bald patches, hives, stomach upsets, chronic gas, wheezing, and ear infections. Talk to your veterinarian when you notice any of these signs for immediate action.
2. Choking and Blockage
Pumpkin skin and the stalk are the main culprits behind choking and intestinal blockage, which can be fatal if not dealt with promptly. The seeds can also cause these issues. Always remove the skin, seeds, and stalk as a preventive measure.
3. Tummy Upset
Uncooked pumpkin can be tough on your canine’s tummy, especially if it is the first time it has had this food. Cooking squash is the solution to avoid such troubles.
Many people consider squash a super vegetable due to its vast nutritional content. Your dog can have a hearty serving of this vegetable and benefit from its protein, mineral, vitamin, and fiber composition.
Preparation is simple, as you can serve it raw. Steaming, boiling, and roasting are other ways to ready squash for your canine.
Wash, remove stalk, deseed and peel the pumpkin before preparation to eliminate choking risks. Contact your veterinarian beforehand to ensure your dog is not allergic to squash.