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Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Codee Chessher

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash

Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dogs have no qualms about trying anything that falls off our plate, but you might be wondering what’s healthy for them and what’s not. For instance, you’re eating squash and your dog scarfs down some—is that OK or something to be worried about? It’s fine, and even a good thing sometimes!

Many dogs love eating butternut squash because of its mild and sweet flavor, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know it can also have some health benefits for your dog. While they can’t enjoy it in all the same dishes we do, dogs can enjoy some plain cooked butternut squash as an occasional healthy snack.

If you’re curious about what health benefits and how to best introduce butternut squash to your dog, you’re in luck. Read on to know what butternut squash does for your dog, how to prepare it, and more.

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Butternut Squash: Health Benefits for Dogs

Butternut squash is a versatile ingredient for human cuisine used across a wide swathe of recipes calling for the veggie to be roasted, pureed, or mashed. While your dog should get all their essential nutrients from a high quality balanced dog food, butternut squash does contain some health benefits for your pup when fed in moderation.

close up of a dog eating from the bowl
Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

Ingredients & Benefits of Butternut Squash for Dogs

  • High Fiber: Like other squash, butternut squash is high in fiber that helps keep your dog’s digestive system regular as well as helping to regulate blood sugar.
  • Vitamins A, C, and E: These essential vitamins regulate and boost all sorts of bodily functions, from vision, bone growth, skin health, fur health, and the immune system.
  • Essential Minerals: Butternut squash also contains minerals including potassium, iron, manganese, and calcium.
  • Low Calorie: Squash is one of the tastiest low-calorie treats you can feed your dog without feeling guilty that they’ll pack on pounds because of it.

What Other Squash is Good for Dogs?

Butternut squash is far from the only squash out there, and you may even have other types in your kitchen right now. If you’re fresh out of butternut but happen to have a ton of other squash, you might be curious which your dog can eat instead. Let’s explore a few great alternatives to butternut squash that you can substitute for today.

Other Dog-Friendly Squash:
  • Pumpkin: A small amount of pumpkin can add valuable beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals, and fiber for the digestive system.
  • Acorn Squash: This mild, nutty squash is a good alternative to butternut, containing vitamin A for vision health, folate for skin and fur health, and fiber for digestion.
  • Spaghetti Squash: Yet another nutrient-packed squash choice that you can reach for in the absence of butternut.
sliced pumpkin on kitchen board
Image Credit: Dream79, Shutterstock

How to Include Squash in Your Dog’s Diet

While it’s not that bad for you to offer your dog a piece of squash off your plate, it’s far from ideal. Dogs have different dietary needs from us, and many of the spices or seasonings we use can be toxic or unhealthy for them. Two big ones are garlic and onion, which can harm your dog’s blood cells and cause anemia. To help you figure out how to serve butternut squash to your dog, we’ve come up with some handy tips below.

Tips for Serving Butternut Squash to Your Dog:
  • Make It Bland: Steamed or boiled squash helps soften it up, releasing its natural aroma and making it easier to digest for your dog.
  • Avoid Salt & Spices: Dogs don’t need salt or seasoning like we do, and adding them can even be harmful.
  • Remove the Seeds and Skin: Dogs can have a hard time digesting squash seeds, so make sure you thoroughly remove all of them before cooking or serving it to your pooch.
  • Start Small: Try feeding your dog a small spoonful of cooked squash with their food to gauge their reaction and how well their stomach tolerates it.
boiled squash
Image Credit: darksoul72, Shutterstock

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Summing Up

Dogs can’t eat a lot of the stuff we do, but butternut squash is a major exception. Not only do most dogs like it but it also contains health-boosting nutrients and vitamins. However, it’s important to prepare the squash as bland as possible via steaming or boiling and avoiding seasonings of any kind.

Sources

Featured Image Credit: pada smith stockphoto, Shutterstock

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