As a dog ( a Golden Retriever named Daisy for those humans wondering – and trust me, humans always want to know), I often get asked about what kinds of foods dogs can eat.
The good news is, as a dog that has done a heck of a lot of eating over the years, I know exactly what sorts of foods are good for us, and which ones are not so good…
Dogs have this reputation for being greedy little things that will eat whatever they can get their paws and jaws on. Well, I am here to tell you that this is true. However, that doesn’t mean that we should eat everything, does it?
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In this article, I am going to be focussing on one type of food in particular – butternut squash.
I will be answering all the commonly asked questions regarding a dog’s consumption of butternut squash, such as whether they are allowed it, whether it has any health benefits for them, and how humans should prepare it for them.
So, if you have ever wondered if your furry, four-legged friend can snack on one of your favorite vegetables, this is the article for you.
Is cooked butternut squash good for dogs?
I am happy to start this article by telling you that butternut squash is safe for dogs. Yes, you read that correctly dogs can eat butternut squash.
What’s more is that not only is butternut squash safe for dogs, but it also yields many wonderful health benefits.
In particular, the type of butternut squash that is good for dogs is cooked butternut squash. I mean, sure, they might try and chew on some uncooked squash, and it is not likely to harm them, but it won’t be very tasty, and they could have a hard time eating it.
Uncooked squash is very tough, especially butternut squash. It could even cause your dog to hurt their teeth or jaw and may pose a choking risk – I mean, you humans wouldn’t eat it raw, so don’t let a dog do it.
So, with this in mind, cooked butternut squash is the best choice, and will give the best health benefits. They are full of lots of much needed nutrients for your pooches such as beta-carotene (this is a great nutrient for helping to fight disease), phytonutrients which can help to improve a dog’s cell function, and also lots of fiber and folate to help with their gut function and heart function.
As if these health benefits were not enough, butternut squash can also provide a healthy dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Dogs need these nutrients and vitamins as much as humans as they can help boost their immune system, promote healthy bones, and help the nervous system.
Butternut squash sounds like magic, doesn’t it? And it tastes darn good, too!
Can squash give dog diarrhea?
Lots of different fruits and veggies are harmful to your dog and can cause lots of issues such as diarrhea and sickness.
We understand that you may have the same worries about butternut squash. However, we have some excellent news for you! Not only does butternut squash not cause diarrhea, but it can also actually be used as a treatment for diarrhea!
Of course, if your beloved furry friend does have diarrhea, we always recommend taking them to the vets. Take it from a dog who has experienced the trots before – the vets have the medicine we need!
However, what butternut squash can do is to help our bowels get back to normal, and can be fed to us in small amounts alongside medical advice and medicine if needed. This is because of the positive effect it can have on gut health and your dog’s colon.
It is also an antioxidant and full of fiber to help keep us dogs going to the bathroom regularly!
How do I cook butternut squash for my dog?
Butternut squash is a super versatile vegetable, and whilst it is commonly associated with the latter part of the year as a seasonal fall vegetable, it can be bought all year round!
To make sure you have the best quality butternut squash possible for your pooch, we highly recommend choosing an organic one. This is to ensure that it is free of any harmful growth hormones, pesticides, and herbicides that could possibly harm your pooch.
Of course, as with any veggie, you should wash it before preparing it, as you would for yourself and your family. We mentioned earlier in the article that you should not feed a dog raw butternut squash. You should also ensure that they aren’t given any of the seeds or guts (the stringy bits).
Cooking butternut squash is often seen as quite a task for humans, but we dogs have a tip that could change the way you cook butternut squash forever. All you need is a microwave, a fork, some oven gloves, and a microwave-safe dish.
Simply prick the whole butternut squash with the fork and place it in the microwave for no more than 5 minutes on a plate. Remove it using oven gloves and let it cool.
When it has cooled you will be able to cut it very easily. Discard all of the cuts and seeds, and then you can either boil it or roast it. For both of these methods, you can leave the skin on! Believe it or not, most of the nutrients are found in the skin, and it is safe for dogs to eat when it is cooked.
Avoid the temptation to add oils, spices and flavorings. Dogs prefer it plain, and besides, spices and herbs can make us sick!
If you are roasting the butternut squash, you may want to put a very small amount of extra virgin coconut oil on a baking sheet to ensure it doesn’t stick, but not enough to coat the squash. Roast them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
If you want to boil it simply cut it into cubes for easier cooking and boil it for 20 minutes.
Let the butternut squash cool completely before serving it to your dog. You can mash it with a source of protein such as chicken or well-cooked salmon, or simply mix it with kibble. You may also want to serve it in small bite-sized cubes as a treat.
There you have it. My dog-approved guide as to whether dogs can eat butternut squash.
I am happy to report that not only is butternut squash totally safe for consumption by dogs, but it is also a healthy and delicious treat.
Follow our cooking instructions in the section above, and let your furry friend reap those wonderful health benefits!
Thanks for reading – woof!