You might have heard a number of times that squash is helpful for dogs with an upset stomach. Yes, this yellow vegetable is best known for its ability to aid digestion.
This is why pumpkin, which is a type of squash, is often pureed and given to dogs with diarrhea. In general, squash has a nutritional content that is beneficial for digestion.
Given that it’s good for the digestion, you might be wondering if it’s fine to add squash to your pet’s regular diet. It is packed with a myriad of health benefits so why not, right? Before you do, better read this post first.
Can Dogs Have Squash?
In moderate amounts, yes, it is. All varieties of squash are safe for dogs. Regardless if it’s acorn, pumpkin, or zucchini, your dog can safely delight in them.
Squash is definitely safe for canines as long as it was cooked and prepared without the seeds and the skin. It’s actually a versatile ingredient because you can do so many recipes out of it. You can use squash for making both sweet and savory dog treats.
Squash should always be served to dogs cooked, although you can offer it to your pet plain raw or steamed. Raw squash can be harsh on the stomach because it is hard to digest. Your pooch could suffer from bouts of diarrhea if he accidentally ate uncooked squash.
Risks of Feeding Squash to Dogs
Not all vets and pet health experts recommend pumpkin for dogs for soothing their stomachs. The Raw Feeding Advice and Support group believe pumpkin could create the opposite effect to canines because it’s given for both diarrhea and constipation.
If you are doubtful about giving pumpkin or any type of squash to your sick dog, better consult your vet first. He or she will need to check if your dog is suffering from either constipation or diarrhea before deciding to recommend some pumpkin.
What about the seeds? They are not toxic to dogs so there is no reason to panic if your pet accidentally ingested a few even in raw form. In fact, some dog owners dry squash seeds and offer them as a healthy treat. Still, most experts do not recommend doing it because a lot of the seeds can cause blockages in the digestive tract.
The Best Types of Squash for Canines
There are many varieties of squash. All of them are packed with nutrients but these are the best-tasting ones that your fur baby will surely like:
- Acorn squash – a versatile type of squash, the acorn squash can be used in so many dishes because it can be baked, sautéed, and roasted. It is sweet and bit nutty and is often used as stuffing in many recipes.
- Butternut squash – Can dogs have butternut squash? Yes, definitely. The sweetest variety of winter squash, the butternut is ideal for making puree and soup. It is known for its creamy and dark-orange flesh.
- Pumpkin – sugar pumpkins and those in the heirloom varieties have the best flavor. This vibrant orange flesh is often used for decorations but they are suitable for cooking and baking.
- Zucchini – a type of summer squash, zucchini is one of best squashes for baking and grilling.
- Spaghetti squash – can dogs eat the yellow squashes from this variety? Yes, some pets can even eat it raw but we still recommend that you cook it first before serving it to your fur baby.
Benefits of Squash to Canines
Squash is already considered a superfood. With a myriad of vitamins and minerals, there is no doubt it is one of the best vegetables one could ever have. Aside from being super healthy, it is also super delicious.
It supports heart health. Squash contains nutrients that are all good for the heart including folate, magnesium, and potassium. Squash, regardless if it is summer or winter squash, is one of the foods with the highest folic acid content. A cup of acorn squash contains around 88 mg of magnesium when cooked. Meanwhile, a cup of zucchini has as much as 323.6 mg of potassium.
It contains lots of Vitamin C. Squashes, especially the summer squashes such as zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan, are known for their rich Vitamin C content. Although dogs can produce their own Vitamin C, giving them foods rich in this nutrient will not hurt. In fact, this vitamin helps in iron absorption and in antioxidant function. This makes squash a food for boosting immunity.
It is helpful for a healthy vision. We all know yellow vegetables like squash is best known for their Vitamin A content. Squash also has a great deal of beta-carotene which helps in reducing the oxidative stress in the eyes.
It maintains a healthy bone structure. Squash helps your body absorb calcium. That means it can also help in keeping the bone structure healthy while improving its density.
It helps regulate blood pressure. The potassium content of squash is also beneficial for maintaining the levels of blood pressure in the body. Almost all types of squashes but especially acorn squash, contain high amounts of potassium.
Dog-friendly Squash Recipes
Butternut Squash Frozen Fun
This frozen treat is a low-fat treat for dogs. You can even give this a healthier twist by using plain Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt because it has less sugar and more protein. If you want to serve it a little sooner, you can pour the mixture into an ice cream maker instead of popsicle molds in the freezer. You will only have to wait for half an hour for them to be ready! Here’s how to make this fun treat for your pooch:
- In a food processor, blend a whole of a package of frozen butternut squash puree and 4 cups of plain yogurt.
- Add 2 tablespoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Pulse until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Pour in popsicle molds and put in the freezer for two hours.
- Scoop before serving to your dog.
Winter Squash Dog Muffin
You are free to use any kind of winter squash for this muffin dish. You can use kabocha, butternut, sugar pumpkin, spaghetti squash, Hubbard, delicate, or acorn squash. If your pet is lactose intolerant, you have the option to use any lactose-free alternative like almond milk. Here’s how to make this muffin treat infused with the deliciousness of winter squash:
- In a mixing bowl, combine a cup of rolled oats and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour.
- Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl, put 1 and ½ cup of peeled and cubed winter squash and 1/8 cup of water.
- Cook in the microwave on high, stirring and testing its softness after every minute.
- Remove from the microwave once the squash is already tender.
- Transfer the squash in a blender then add an egg, 1 tablespoon of corn oil, and ½ cup of milk. Pulse until it becomes a puree.
- Pour the puree in the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Scoop generous amounts into muffin pans sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven once they are a little golden brown. Allow to cool before serving to dogs.
Baked Zucchini Dog Biscuits
Zucchini is a staple in weight-loss plans mainly because of its low-calorie content. Let’s add the fact that zucchinis are also among the low-starch veggies, meaning they are ideal for losing weight. Add some healthy twist to your pet’s diet by giving him this zucchini biscuit once in a while.
- Mix a cup of 1 medium-sized grated zucchini, 1cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of molasses in a medium-sized bowl.
- In another bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of oats.
- Put the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Combine until it is slightly thick.
- Roll out the batter in a lightly greased surface. Spread it to about an inch thick.
- Cut using any cookie cutter of your choice.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 35 minutes.
- Remove once the biscuits are slightly brown and allow cooling on wire racks before serving to your pet.
Squash is one of the best-tasting veggies you can safely offer to your buddy. It’s so versatile you can use it in making a lot of dishes but you can also offer it plain because it’s already bursting with natural sweetness. Just be careful with the amounts you serve your dog because too much of it can hurt his stomach.