Sometimes it can be nice to supplement your dog’s standard diet with treats here and there. You might be looking at raw food recipes and wondering what vegetables you can add. Can dogs eat spaghetti squash and if so, is it safe for them?
The good news is that spaghetti squash is safe for your dog to eat and even contains beneficial nutrients that can help your dog feel healthier. It can be used as a substitute for pumpkin.
Let’s find out a little more about this food that might seem like a vegetable but is actually a fruit! We’ll take a look at the good and bad things about spaghetti squash and the best ways to feed it to your dog.
Good Things About Spaghetti Squash
As you can see, it’s packed full of beneficial nutrients.
Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in your dog’s body. This is great for your pup’s eyesight and can help older dogs feel healthier.
Spaghetti squash is also rich in antioxidants, which can help your dog’s immune system function at its best. It can also help your dog’s kidney function and decrease the chance of them suffering from heart failure.
The magnesium in spaghetti squash is required for the cells in your dog’s body to produce energy. Magnesium deficiency can cause weakness, irregular heartbeat, and muscle tremors. Sodium, calcium, and potassium are required for magnesium to function correctly, so the fact that spaghetti squash contains all four of these essential elements means you can feel good about feeding this fruit to your dog — as long as you prepare it correctly!
Just like pumpkin, the high fiber content of spaghetti squash can help your dog’s digestive system. If your dog is constipated, the fiber can help ease any blockages and get your dog’s bowels moving again.
Bad Things About Spaghetti Squash
While it does contain many beneficial nutrients, spaghetti squash also contains relatively high levels of carbohydrates and sugars. You should not give it to your dog if they are on a calorie-controlled diet.
Feeding your dog uncooked spaghetti squash or giving them the seeds or skin can lead to digestive issues. We discuss the best way to feed spaghetti squash to your dog below.
How to Feed Your Dog Spaghetti Squash
Now that you know that spaghetti squash is beneficial for your dog to eat, it’s time to find out the best way to feed it to your dog. You should only ever feed spaghetti squash to your dog when it’s cooked.
While most dogs could probably chomp on a chunk of raw spaghetti squash, they may swallow it whole. This can cause a blockage in their intestines, which can be uncomfortable at best and require veterinary intervention at worst. Even if your dog does manage to chew raw spaghetti squash into smaller pieces or you fed them a small chunk of it, they’re unlikely to be able to digest it as effectively as cooked spaghetti squash.
We recommend removing all the skin and seeds of the spaghetti squash and then either boiling or roasting the squash without any seasonings. You can also roast the spaghetti squash whole or cut into half (with the seeds removed) and then scoop out the flesh for your dog.
The flesh of spaghetti squash forms strings, which can be shredded and mixed into your dog’s food.
Any leftover spaghetti squash can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or used in your own recipes. You can also freeze it and take out a small amount at a time. Placing it in an ice-cube tray allows you to keep portions just the right size for your dog. Allow it to defrost thoroughly before feeding it to your dog.
Start by feeding a small amount of spaghetti squash to your dog and watching them closely to see how they react. If they seem fine, you can feed them more in another 24 hours. We recommend no more than 1 cup of spaghetti squash for a large-sized dog per week. This should be split up into smaller portions fed throughout the week.
Too much spaghetti squash can lead to your dog developing diarrhea, so avoid overfeeding.
Wrapping it up
Spaghetti squash can be an excellent addition to your dog’s existing diet. Many dogs love the taste and texture of this fruit, and the blend of fiber with vitamins and minerals will help your dog feel and look happy and healthy from the inside out.
Remember to just feed small amounts at a time, while your dog’s digestive system adapts. It’s best to feed your dog cooked spaghetti squash, with the skin and seeds removed.
Feeding a supplement like spaghetti squash should never be a substitute for a correctly balanced diet, so make sure whatever food your dog eats is certified as “complete and balanced” for their particular life stage, and treat any extras like spaghetti squash as a special treat.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay