Can dogs eat butternut squash? Yes, they most certainly can. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are suitable for your pooch and butternut squash is one of them. Have you fed your dog pumpkin before? If your dog enjoyed the pumpkin then he is likely to love some butternut squash too. Just remember to cook this fruit (correct, it’s not a vegetable) properly before adding it to his food bowl. Read on to learn about the benefits of feeding your dog butternut squash and how to prepare this squash for your dog.
Which One Is Butternut Squash?
There’s more than one squash out there so don’t worry if you get a little confused. The good news is, your dog can eat almost any squash as long as it is prepared properly.
Butternut squash is the tubular squash with a light beige peel and soft orange flesh. In some countries, a butternut squash is called a butternut pumpkin or a gramma. This particular squash is called a winter squash. This isn’t because the fruit only grows in the winter but rather because it is a fresh product that is easy to store during winter time.
Technically, a butternut squash is a fruit, not a vegetable. It grows on a vine, like berries, similar to a pumpkin. However, in cuisine, the butternut squash is treated as a vegetable.
Why Should You Feed Your Dog Butternut Squash?
All squashes are rich in fibre which can help keep your dog’s digestion running the way it is supposed to be. If your dog’s stool has been a little runny or if Fido seems to have more trouble going to the toilet, a few spoonfuls of butternut squash might alleviate the tummy problems. Only a few spoonfuls should be enough to improve the stool. Too much butternut squash will actually cause the opposite of the desired effect.
Another reason to add fibre to your dog’s diet is when your furry friend is on the heavier side. Overweight dogs and dog obesity is on the rise and one of the factors is a high-calorie diet without enough exercise. If your dog could benefit from a doggy diet, you could try to replace a small portion of his regular meal with butternut squash.
Butternut squash has a high water content which is one of the reasons why it has fewer calories. Also, the dietary fibre in butternut squash will help your dog feel full longer. This way, your pooch can feel satisfied with less food.
Butternut squash is packed with vitamins A, B, C, Beta-Carotene and Potassium. These vitamins and minerals all help to boost your dog’s cell function and immune system.
Potassium, in particular, is a mineral that contributes to strong healthy bones. This makes butternut squash a great addition to the diet of older dogs. Another benefit for your old timer is the Beta-Carotene. Beta-Carotene is the vitamin that gives fruit and vegetables its orange colour and gives dogs and humans a boost in good eyesight.
So yes, butternut squash is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. However, remember that dogs don’t need to eat as many vegetables and fruit as humans do. Stick to a few extra spoonfuls of butternut squash on top of their regular diet. Alternatively, swap out your dog’s high-calorie shop-bought snack with a juicy chunk of roasted butternut squash.
How To Prepare Butternut Squash For Your Dog
In most cases, when it comes to cooking vegetables and fruit for your dog, the simpler the better. Your dog does not need any fancy spices or difficult cooking methods to enjoy eating them. Butternut squash is no different.
The most important thing in preparing butternut squash for your dog is to remove the skin and seeds. Yes, the flesh of a butternut squash is non-toxic but the peel and seeds are not suitable for your dog. The hard skin contains too much roughage for your furry friend to process and the seeds can be toxic. Remember to only serve your dog the flesh of a butternut squash.
Once you’ve removed the skin and seeds, cut the butternut squash into smaller pieces before cooking. When cooking for dogs, use a cooking method that doesn’t require much oil. We recommend either boiling or roasting the squash. Neither method requires added oil and don’t need much monitoring making them quick and easy cooking methods.
After cooking, the butternut squash can be added to your dog’s regular meal. Either cut the fruit into bite-size chunks or blend the soft squash meat into a purée.
How Much Butternut Squash To Feed Your Dog
As with any new foods, butternut squash needs to be introduced gradually into your dog’s diet. The digestive system of dogs is more suited for a monotone diet. By gradually adding new food to their regular meals, you will avoid gastrointestinal upsets.
Another reason to slowly introduce new foods is to check for any allergic reactions. Though butternut squash flesh is not toxic to dogs, it is still safest to monitor your dog after his first introduction to the food.
Start with a teaspoon of pureed butternut squash mixed in with Fifi’s regular meal. She won’t even notice it is there. You can add an extra teaspoon with every meal time until you have reached about one or two tablespoons, depending on the size of your dog.
In conclusion, butternut squash is a healthy extra for your dog’s diet. Just remember that the skin and seeds should always be removed first. Also, to keep your dog’s tummy happy, cook the fruit first so that it is easier to digest. Butternut squash should not be a large part of the doggy meals but rather a few spoonfuls for a vitamin and dietary fibre boost.
For a list of other foods that your dog can eat check out this infographic from Healthline.