Can Dogs Eat Squash? Benefits and Dangers
Squash can be a great addition to your dog’s diet because it has a high content of Carotene which improves his eyesight. This is especially beneficial if your dog is old and has poor eyesight.
Dogs are carnivorous and therefore, they won’t get the same nutritional benefit from squash as us human beings. The key reason is that they lack the ability to breakdown fruits and vegetables.
Due to this, squash will be digested differently in your dog’s digestive system. This is the reason why dogs don’t utilize all the nutrients available in squash.
Can dogs eat squash safely?
The answer is yes. You can choose to feed a dog squash without it being toxic, harmful, or poisonous to the dog.
If you’re a dog owner and you’d like to feed your dog squash, introduce it slowly in your dog’s diet. This is actually true of any new food you’re introducing to your dog and not just squash.
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Tips For Serving Squash
– Gradually add squash in your dog’s diet.
– Don’t feed your dog raw squash because it’s hard to digest.
– Always remove the seeds and skin.
– Cooking and baking the squash is the best way to make sure it is palatable for your pupper.
Why you Shouldn’t Feed your Dog Raw Squash
Both cooked and raw squash are actually good for your dog but raw squash might be a bit tough for some dogs to swallow.
This can negatively affect your dog’s digestive tract which leads to indigestion and/or stomach ache. Thorough cooking of squash alleviates these issues.
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Health Benefits of Squash For Dogs
1. Great Source of Vitamin A and Carotene
The yellowish color of squash is due to the high content of orange carotenoid pigments which include beta carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Your dog’s digestive system converts beta carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial in promoting healthy skin as well as maintaining healthy eyesight.
Vitamin A also plays a key role in supporting your dog’s immune system and promoting healthy bone growth. In addition, vitamin A as an antioxidant helps in fighting radicals as well as slowing the aging rate.
2. Boosts the Immune System
Dogs naturally produce ascorbic acid or vitamin C. Stress and other conditions minimize their vitamin C levels. Squash contains approximately twenty percent of vitamin C.
Therefore, introducing squash to your dog is a great idea to increase vitamin C levels. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a key role in collagen formation which helps in healthy growth of teeth, bones, skin, connective tissues, and cartilage.
3. Improves Digestion
Squash prevents constipation because it’s a great source of fiber. This is quite beneficial, especially if your dog suffers from diarrhea or constipation.
4. Improves Urinary Health
Scientific research shows that squash oil supports urinary health. In addition, squash seeds help in dislodging kidney stones.
These benefits are important, especially for a male dog suffering from BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
If you’re thinking about feeding your dog Squash then go right ahead. As previously mentioned however, it would be best to cook the squash first before feeding to avoid any potential mishaps.