There are a few things in this world that are impossible to do: Draw a triangle with four sides, lick your own elbow, and hardest of all, ignore a begging dog.
However, sometimes you have to, like when you’re cooking something that’s toxic for them to eat. You already know that some foods—like grapes, raisins, and onions—are absolute no-nos, but what about butternut squash? Can you slip your dog a few strands, or will it hurt them? The answer is…yes! Dogs can have squash, but you’ll still want to know a few things before tossing your pooch a piece!
In the article below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dogs and squash, so you can make an informed decision the next time you’re confronted by puppy-dog eyes in the kitchen.
What Is Butternut Squash?
Is Butternut Squash Safe for Dogs?
Yes, butternut squash is completely safe for dogs to eat. More than that, it’s incredibly healthy for them.
However, you should only feed it to them once it’s been cooked, as raw squash is incredibly fibrous and might be difficult to digest. If swallowed, raw squash could even pose a choking hazard or form a blockage.
Also, you should avoid feeding your pup the peel or seeds, as these are extremely hard for them to digest.
Does Butternut Squash Have Any Health Benefits for Dogs?
Squash is incredibly nutritious, as it’s full of a variety of vitamins and minerals. Here are just a few of the benefits your dog can experience from eating a bit of squash:
Butternut Squash Is a Source of Fiber
If your dog is having trouble staying regular, a bit of cooked squash can help get things moving again. It’s a source of fiber, which is excellent for digestion, while also helping keep your pooch’s weight under control.
Not only that, but it can be effective in stopping bouts of diarrhea. It’s gentle on the stomach, so it’s often used to help calm upset stomachs.
Butternut Squash Is Packed With Beta Carotenes
Butternut squash’s orange color is because it is rich in beta carotenes, the same vitamin A precursors contained in carrots. Dogs can convert beta carotene into vitamin A.
Vitamin A is one of the many important micronutrients in a dog’s diet, as it’s essential for everything from bolstering the health of their immune system to improving their vision.
A little bit of squash should give your pooch a natural boost of vitamin A, and they’ll love you even more for giving them a treat.
Butternut Squash Is Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are incredibly important, as they fight free radicals, which are molecules that are known to cause a wide variety of diseases.
Squash has several different antioxidants in it, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. This can help fight inflammation in the body—and that can be beneficial for conditions ranging from itchy skin to joint problems.
What’s the Best Way to Feed a Dog Butternut Squash?
If you’ve decided to incorporate butternut squash into your mutt’s diet, you have a few options.
The easiest is to just plop cooked squash into their bowl. It’s sweet, and many dogs will gulp it down if given the opportunity. If that’s the case, it’s best not to overthink it, so just give them what they want. Some dogs don’t care for the texture, though, and you may find it difficult to get your pooch to eat squash on their own. In that case, you can bake it into dog treats and slip it into their diet that way.
You can also mix mashed or pureed squash into their food. The kibble should counteract any concerns about texture, while the squash will add much-appreciated flavor to their boring dry food.
Just like with everything else, practice moderation, as butternut squash can have tons of benefits in a dog’s diet, enriching their plates and adding to their nutrition. However, it does not provide them with all the nutrients they need, so the majority of your dog’s food should come from a complete and balanced diet.
What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is completely safe for dogs to eat, provided that it has been cooked. It’s actually healthy for them, and you should attempt to work it into your pet’s diet if at all possible.
Many dogs will eat squash as a treat, or you can mix it into their food to give them a little nutritious boost. It’s especially good when they’re having digestive issues, as it’s full of stomach-friendly fiber.