I love cooking, and my dog loves to supervise me when I’m in the kitchen! He enjoys investigating new smells and occasionally getting a bite of something tasty. However, I always make sure to do some research and find out exactly which ‘people food’ dogs can eat – and recently that’s included butternut squash.
If you’re wondering whether butternut squash is good for dogs, whether it’s safe, and if it’s a good choice for dogs with diarrhea, constipation, or even cancer, pancreatitis, and kidney disease.
Is butternut squash good for dogs? Butternut squash is good for dogs to eat, but you shouldn’t feed them too much. It’s rich in vitamins, fibre, and potassium. It should be served cooked, and not raw, with no seeds (choking hazards) and with no addition such as oils, salts, and flavorings.
To confirm, yes, butternut squash can be good for dogs, but only in moderation, particularly if your dog is overweight. Cooked butternut squash is good for your dog, but do not feed it to them raw, as it can hurt their teeth and digestive system.
So those are the basics, but I wanted to go more detailed with information on the health benefits and whether butternut squash is safe for dogs with medical conditions.
Is butternut safe for dogs and their diet?
As established, butternut squash can be good for dogs and is safe when you examine the nutritional aspects or it once cooked. The nutrition facts per one serving (205 grams) are as follows:
- Calories: 82
- Sodium: 8mg
- Protein: 1.8g
- Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 21.5g
- Fibre: 6.6g
- Sugars: 4g
If you are making a variation recipe, such as butternut squash soup, don’t forget to check all the extra ingredients you are adding. Dogs are safe eating regular butternut squash in moderation when cooked, but it is best to avoid giving them additional sugar, salt, or fats.
Plain food tends to be the healthiest and safest for dogs.
What aspects of butternut squash are good for dogs?
Dogs need variety in their diet, just like people do! Many brands of dog food focus primarily on meat sources and neglect to include enough fruit and vegetables. Squash can supplement their diet and give them some of the nutrients that their regular food might miss… well, low quality dog food anyway.Is butternut squash good for dogs with diarrhea?
Squash is similar to pumpkin; in that, it can help a dog’s digestion. If your dog is suffering from diarrhoea, butternut squash can be good for them. But do try giving them a small amount of cooked squash and add it to their food first to test.
This should help alleviate the symptoms. If you notice the symptoms progressing steadily worse, you should consult a vet, as they may have an underlying problem.
- Butternut squash is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that all support a healthy canine diet. This includes vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fibre.
- Vitamin A works to improve immune function and cell function in dogs. It also supports or helps to maintain their healthy vision.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in dogs. It also works alongside vitamin A to boost the immune system.
- Potassium supports the growth of muscles in dogs. The muscles grow stronger and then the potassium also helps them contract and relax. This is an overall benefit to the dog’s motor skills.
- Fibre, of course, is also an essential part of a dog’s diet. Dogs are omnivores and require a wide range of meat protein and plant matter. Fibre works to maintain a healthy digestive system, preventing both constipation and diarrhoea.
Is butternut squash good for a dog’s constipation?
Butternut squash is also said to be good for dogs with constipation. Vegetables like butternut squash will add fiber to your dog’s diet. But it’s the insoluble fiber that helps as this can cleanse your dog’s digestive tract and bulks up their stool to make constipation less likely.
Is butternut squash good for dogs with pancreatitis?
During my research, it appears that butternut squash could be good for dogs with pancreatitis as it’s low in fat. However, please do seek professional vet’s advice on the best diet for your dog with this condition.
Is butternut squash good for dogs with kidney disease?
Whilst I don’t believe there are any negatives to feeding butternut squash to a dog with kidney disease, this really isn’t my area of expertise. Instead, I would recommend you check out this post on the Dog First website which explains the best diet in cases like this.
Is butternut squash good for dogs with cancer?
For more information on whether butternut squash is good for dogs with cancer, please consult with your vet. Alternatively check out this post on the Animal Cancer Foundation website which details the best diets for dogs with cancer.
Handy Hint: Here’s what you should learn to do in case your dog ever starts choking on food.
Things to keep in mind when feeding a dog butternut squash
Butternut squash, along with potatoes, corn, acorn squash, and peas, has a lot of carbohydrates per single serving. Given in reasonable portions, starchy vegetables can provide your dog with a lot of energy.
However, you should be careful with these foods if your dog is overweight. The carbs will result in additional weight quickly being gained, which is the opposite of what you want. If your vet has mentioned that your dog has a few extra pounds to lose, try giving them half the amount of butternut squash instead.
Fresh, cooked squash is the best choice for your dog. However, if you buy it in a can, make sure to select organic and additive-free. This is the same as if you were to buy puree butternut squash as well.
Otherwise, you may accidentally be giving your dog too much sodium which wouldn’t be good for them.
When introducing your dog to a new food, it is always important to watch closely to see if there are any signs of an allergy. If after eating butternut squash for the first time, you notice symptoms such as watering eyes, runny nose, scratching, or sneezing, your dog may be allergic to it. In this case, do not give them anymore and consult with your vet as soon as you can.
How do I prepare butternut squash for my dog
The most popular method of giving your dog this snack is chopped up and plain. Make sure to remove any seeds and all of the skin before you the food to them. As mentioned before, avoid adding anything additional to the squash, including any seasonings (here’s a safe list).
However, you don’t have to throw the seeds away. After you scoop the seeds, you can roast them and keep them as a snack for yourself!
Some dogs also enjoy eating squash as an addition to their regular food. This way, they are getting their regular meal, plus the tasty added nutrients. You can either mix it into the regular kibble or place a scoopful right on top.
If you accidentally give the dog seasoned squash, it should be okay. The worst that can happen is that the dog will have an upset stomach for a while. If you are concerned about their behaviour after consumption, consult your vet for a more detailed opinion.
Steps to prepare
There are five primary methods of cooking butternut squash for a dog. These include roasting, steaming, boiling, microwaving, and pressure cooking. For dogs, the best way to cook it is either boiling or microwaving. These techniques are quick and do not add additional flavour.
Always remove the seeds!
- Set the oven to 400°F (204°C). The temperature needs to be this hot to release the moisture from the walls of the vegetable.
- Peel the squash before you start to cube it. Then shape the squash into 1-inch by 1-inch cubes with a knife. After this, they are good to go in the oven. If you are preparing the dish only for people, you can add olive oil, spices and seasonings to the pan as well.
- The cook time for this method will be approximately 20-25 minutes. Once you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, you know that they are ready to come out.
- Peel and cube the squash into 1-inch cubes.
- Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. The saucepan will also be fitted with a steamer bucker.
- Add the squash into the basket and cover. You will steam them for about 15 minutes, or until you feel that they are very tender.
- Peel and cube squash into 1-inch pieces.
- Fill a pot with water and add salt. Add squash to the pot and boil for 9-11 minutes, or until tender.
- Make sure to drain the squash very well, or it will become mushy.
- Peel and cube squash into 1-inch pieces.
- Add squash into a microwave-safe bowl and wrap with plastic wrap to contain the heat.
- Set the microwave to high and heat for about five minutes.
- Peel and cube the squash into 1-inch pieces.
- Add the squash into your pressure cooker and turn it on. It will take about 15 minutes for the squash to be completely ready for your dog to eat. Test to make sure it is not too hot before you give it to them.
To conclude, butternut squash is safe for dogs and not toxic. However, as with any food, please always ask your vet about the suitability to feed your own pet.
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Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/butternut-squash-butternut-squash-3597766/