Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash Safely? What Science Says

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: October 9, 2022
© iStock.com/pilipphoto
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Your dog loves you, and you want to do what’s best for them. It’s nice to see you researching foods for your dog. That makes you an incredible dog owner! Can dogs eat butternut squash? Join us as we answer the question and unravel more about the dog diet below!

Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash?

butternut squash
Butternut squash should be a part of your dog’s diet.

©iStock.com/pilipphoto

Yes, dogs can eat squash. Butternut squash is a low-cost, nutritious, and widely available vegetable that is ideal for your pet’s diet.

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Due to all of its nutritional advantages, butternut squash should be a regular part of your dog’s diet. Squash is rich in several vitamins and minerals and can benefit your dog’s vision, immune system, and cardiovascular system by being added to its diet. 

As with anything you feed your dog, you should understand the risks, benefits, and how to serve it to your dog. In this post, you’ll learn all this and find out how much your dog can have daily. Keep reading for your pup!

Benefits of Butternut Squash for Dogs

Squash has numerous health advantages for dogs, just as it does for humans. It is a nutrient-dense food choice for any dog, and 15–25% of a healthy dog’s diet should consist of fruits or vegetables. Beta carotene and folate are only two of the essential vitamins and minerals found in butternut squash. 

The abundance of phytonutrients in squash also helps your dog’s cells operate better and make them more effective. Phytonutrients are incredibly healthy plant-based nutrients. Like antioxidants, they can fight free radicals in your pet’s body, lowering the chances of developing heart disease and other degenerative diseases. Vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B6 are other nutrients found in butternut squash. 

Due to its high water content (more than four-fifths), butternut squash helps add extra hydration. This high-fiber vegetable can reduce colon cancer in dogs and keep their digestive systems in good shape. The actual fiber content aids dogs in maintaining a healthy weight and regulating their bowel habits.

How Much Can My Dog Eat?

You can give your dog tasty butternut squash every day without putting their health in danger or creating any issues. Unless your dog is allergic to these vegetables, eating butternut squash has no negative consequences for dogs. 

There is no set amount of butternut squash that a dog can consume, so limit their intake to a few spoonfuls at most. A medium dog can consume one or two tablespoons of butternut squash daily, while a large breed can consume even more. 

A toy dog should only consume one or two teaspoons per day. Alternately, follow the 10% rule and make sure your dog’s squash treats don’t account for more than 10% of the daily caloric intake that is advised.

Risks of Feeding Dogs Squash

butternut squash 2
To avoid constipation, always take out the seeds in the butternut squash.

©iStock.com/chengyuzheng

It might be challenging for dogs to eat and digest raw butternut squash. Dogs shouldn’t eat raw skin because it’s hard to swallow and could cause them to choke. Squash can be cooked or puréed to lessen this risk and the possibility. Remove the seeds and pulp, or it can cause constipation or intestinal blockage. 

Make sure the squash is always pure because seasonings in butternut squash soup or other squash recipes might cause severe gastrointestinal reactions in your pet. Butter and other dairy products may upset your dog’s stomach and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Carbohydrate content is high in butternut squash. 

Your dog’s body will retain extra carbohydrates and glucose as fat if it can’t burn them off over the day. Avoid going over your dog’s calorie allotment and promote regular exercise to prevent rapid weight gain and obesity, which can cause persistent joint issues and pancreatic inflammation. As long as it’s prepared properly and you feed it in moderation, these risks shouldn’t occur. 

How to Prepare Butternut Squash for Your Dog

Starting with a fresh, organic squash is the best approach to cook butternut squash for your dog. This helps you stay away from harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides for both you and your pet. Put the squash in the microwave for 5 minutes and poke deep holes in the skin with a fork to make it easier to cut. 

Take the squash out of the microwave with oven mitts and let it cool down. Cut the squash in half long ways, scrap out the insides, and throw them away. You can take the skin off or not. Most of the good things for you are in the skin of the butternut squash. When you cook the squash, the skin will get soft and tender.

Cube the squash into small pieces about 1 inch long. Set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, coat the veggies lightly with about a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are soft enough to cut with a fork. Once the squash is cooked, you can give it to your dog in cubes as a treat, mix it into their raw kibble, or mash it up to use in a homemade dog treat recipe.

Conclusion 

While some debate whether dogs can eat squash safely, the reality is that squash is terrific for dogs to eat in moderation. Squash is a good source of vitamins A and C and fiber. It’s easy and cheap to find. Just be sure to scrape out the contents like the seeds before feeding squash to your dog, as those can be harmful. 

It’s essential to cook the squash before giving it to your dog to prevent constipation or blockages. Butternut squash is a nutritious food for dogs. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it is a good source of fiber. You can go all out and make special treats

If your dog is picky, you can blend it and sneak it into their dog food. Your pup will thank you for all your hard work in ensuring their diet is top-notch. You might even get more couch cuddles out of it! So give your dog some squash today; they will love it!

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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