Many vegetables are not only beneficial and healthy for us to eat, but are also safe to share with our dogs. But can dogs eat zucchini?
Many dogs enjoy vegetables. Although it is not a necessary part of their diet and dogs are carnivorous naturally, vegetables can be a very healthy and tasty treat for them, as long as they’re fed in moderation.
But first, let’s answer the main question: Can dogs eat Zucchini?
As long as your dog isn’t allergic to them, Zucchini is quite a healthy snack for canines. But just knowing this information isn’t enough. You need to know some other precautions as well because as you know, too much of something good could be very bad!
So, keep reading to discover the pros and cons of zucchini for dogs and why you should add it to your dog’s bowl.
Benefits of Zucchini for Dogs
Zucchini, also known as courgette in other English-speaking parts of the world, is summer squash. It grows easily in a northern climate. They are usually mottled green, but similar to peppers, they can also be solid green or yellow.
The skin on Zucchini is also very thin, while the inside of the zucchini is fleshy and soft. They are usually long and thin, but round cultivars also exist.
One of the best benefits of zucchini is that it’s a squash that’s very low on calories. A cup of raw zucchini has about 20 calories and is low in both fat and cholesterol.
This makes it an excellent reward for dogs who get excited about human food, especially for dogs who are obese or need to lose some weight. It will keep your dog feeling full for longer without them eating vast amounts of food.
Zucchini chunks or bites can be an excellent replacement for dog treats that are high in calories, especially during the puppy training stage where treats are non-stop.
However, no matter how healthy they are, you can give up to 10% of your pet’s calorie allowance in treats without upsetting the balance.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 small raw zucchini is packed with:
In addition to the low-calorie count, zucchini is jam-packed with antioxidants, especially in the skin. On top of that, it is rich in vitamins A, C, B6, and K, which are beneficial for your dog’s vision, skin, coat, bone and cartilage growth, metabolism, and proper blood clotting. These are all things that your dog’s body needs in small amounts.
Additionally, Zucchini contains lots of soluble and insoluble fiber which can help to support healthy digestion and maintain your dog’s steady blood sugar levels.
As you know, foods rich in fiber ensure a dog feels full while consuming a low amount of calories, perfect for an overweight dog following a strict dietary program.
How to Feed Zucchini to Your Dog
Like other veggies, Zucchini is considered generally safe for dogs to eat. So, if you think you’d like to introduce zucchini to your dog’s diet, then it’s important to introduce it slowly.
When picking out the perfect zucchini to share with your pup, opt for organic. While you can peel off the skin, many experts recommend leaving it on. Zucchini skin is safe and even beneficial for dogs.
Like humans, dogs can eat zucchini raw or cooked – it doesn’t matter. You can boil the vegetable, steam it, grill it, barbecue it, and eat it raw.
Remember, if you’re preparing your zucchini, be sure not to mix it with any seasoning. Be careful with this, as garlic and onion are toxic for dogs, and an excess of salt and oil will also not be good for their health.
Chop the zucchini into chunks, small enough to swallow. This will help prevent any choking hazards that may occur.
Then, you can mix a few small slices into their main meal to bump up the nutritional value.
Feeding an entire zucchini to a dog is not advisable.
Dogs usually tolerate zucchini well, however, feeding your dog a large amount can lead to digestive upset. Start off by giving your dog a small piece of zucchini, about the size of a piece of their kibble. If they’re fine after 24 hours, you can give them a little more.
Caution for Dogs Eating Zucchini
Usually, zucchini is a non-toxic food that you can safely give your dog in moderation. However, in some cases, zucchini can be extremely bitter and possibly toxic.
That’s due to the cucurbitacins, a class of biochemicals found in plants.
Don’t give your dog bitter zucchinis. If you feed your dog too many cucurbitacins, it can lead to vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and shock.
Vegetables aren’t a required part of a dog’s diet, and they should get a complete and balanced diet from their dog food, but zucchini is a great alternative to high-calorie treats.
Of course, every dog is different, so I recommend you introduce it slowly and try a small piece first before giving larger amounts. The key is to provide your dog with a clean and plain version of zucchini that doesn’t have additives and preservatives in it.
Take care with your dog, and as always, speak with your vet to make sure it’s okay to incorporate new food into your pet’s diet, especially if it’s human food.