- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Butternut squash is a popular fall vegetable for good reason: its sweet, nutty flavor, long shelf life, and versatility. If you’re making butternut squash soup, roasted butternut squash, or even butternut squash pie (we hear it’s superior to pumpkin!), you may be wondering if your dog can have a taste of all that squash goodness.
In fact, yes. Your dog can enjoy cooked butternut squash, though it’s best to skip added sugar, salt, or fats. Raw squash is likely to be hard on their digestive system, just as it would be for a human.
Though we have to admit, any dog with jaws powerful enough to hack into a raw butternut squash is pretty impressive! All joking aside, save the squash dog treat for the cooked variety.
Whole fruits and veggies like butternut squash are important for variety in your dog’s diet. Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, and author of the Ultimate Pet Health Guide points out that whole foods are often the best treats for a dog.
Butternut squash, like many other vegetables, is healthy for your dog. In particular, it’s rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. These vitamins and minerals support the health of your dog’s vision, immune system, colon, muscles, and more.
Butternut squash also helps your dog’s digestion, much as pumpkin can do. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, for example, a small spoonful of cooked squash mixed into their regular food can help. Do consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s ongoing digestive issues.
Butternut Squash for Dogs: Serving Ideas
If your dog likes vegetables, you can certainly add plain, cooked butternut squash to their snack rotation. Dogs can eat butternut squash:
- Cooked. Raw butternut squash is too difficult for your dog to digest. Do not feed your dog the seeds or skin, and avoid adding any seasonings.
- As a topping on their usual dog food.
- As an ingredient in a homemade meal that’s balanced with a good source of protein.
While it’s best for dogs to avoid added salts, sugars, and fats, if your dog does nab a bite of seasoned squash from the holiday table, they’ll likely be just fine. If that squash happens to contain nutmeg, it may cause mild stomach upset.
You know your dog best: if you’re concerned about their symptoms after eating butternut squash, don’t hesistate to consult your vet.
Recipe: Dog-Friendly Stuffed Butternut Squash
Do you cook for your dog? If so, you’ll love this butternut squash recipe for dogs. And if not, this just might inspire you! After all, your dog deserves a special dish once a while, don’t they?
This veggie “turdoggen” makes for a gorgeous homemade butternut squash dog treat. It keeps well in the fridge and can be served in slices. Try it as a special addition to the holiday table and beyond. It’s meant as a supplement to your dog’s usual meal, rather than serve as a full meal replacement.
Watch Chef Kiki put it all together in the video below, and find the full recipe at this page.
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