Zucchini might be among the least popular vegetables, but it’s still a veggie that offers loads of vitamins and minerals. Dog owners who like including this in their diet may find themselves offering some to their pup. The question is: Can dogs eat zucchini? Is zucchini safe for dogs?
As you probably know by now, giving your dog people food isn’t always a good idea. Fact is, some of the foods we eat bring more harm than good to your pet dogs. What about zucchini?
If you’re a zucchini fan or if you’re growing some in your garden and you’re looking for popular posts that talk about zucchini and its potential benefits and downsides to dogs, there’s no need to look further. Dog Food Guide gives you all the nitty-gritty details about zucchini, its effect on your dog’s health, and much more.
Must-Know Zucchini Facts
While zucchini may not be like your all-time favorite potato, carrots, or corn, it has a mild flavor with a bitter-sweet taste that makes it oh so versatile. Often served cooked, zucchini can be fried, steamed, grilled, boiled, and barbecued. It can even be baked into baked goods like bread.
Unknown to many, this Italian-born veggie is actually a fruit – think berries. Also known as “courgette,” zucchini is a summer squash that can grow up to a meter long. Its colors range from green to yellow to orange.
How Is Zucchini Nutrition-Wise?
This humble vegetable (or fruit) may not look like it, but it actually packs a punch nutrition-wise. Yes, you read it right. Zucchini is brimming with nutrients and provides 12 health and nutritional benefits, as mentioned by Healthline.
So what vitamins and minerals do you reap whenever you eat a cup of courgette? Aside from getting an additional dose of fiber, water, and antioxidants like beta carotene, zucchini also contains the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Although dogs already get all the nutrients they need from their regular dry food or wet dog food; there's no harm in letting your dog eat vegetables – as long as it’s done in moderation and given as an occasional treat. Is zucchini one of the non-toxic human foods your dog can eat? The short answer is YES.
Dogs can eat zucchini. So, if you’re planning to give your dog a special treat, you can give your dog zucchini – both the fruit and the zucchini flower. But don’t overdo it and decide to give your dog a zucchini-only diet. Like any human food (fruits and vegetables included), you must feed zucchini with caution.
Although it’s generally safe for doggie consumption, mindlessly feeding this to your dog can still result in an emergency visit to the vet.
Is Zucchini Good For Dogs?
With all the important vitamins and minerals this vegetable-slash-fruit contains, pet owners will be glad to know that zucchini is a healthy snack that offers a couple of benefits not only to humans but also to your dogs. Here they are:
Great for Weight Management
Did you know that a cup of raw zucchini contains around 20 calories? Besides its low-calorie count, zucchini is also low in cholesterol and fat.
So, if your overweight dog is like most dogs who enjoy eating greens and stuff, this food item makes a great substitute for high-calorie treats. It can give your dog the feeling of fullness without adding inches to your dog’s waist.
You might want to add zucchini to your dog’s diet whenever your dog is constipated. This fruit is filled with water and insoluble and soluble fiber, making zucchini handy when it comes to reducing constipation hazards. Besides helping food pass through your dog’s gut quickly, feeding your dog zucchini can also firm up your dog’s stool.
Boosts The Immune System
Despite dogs’ ability to create vitamin C on their own, adding antioxidant-rich foods to your dog’s diet might be beneficial, especially if your dog is feeling stressed or a bit under the weather. Good thing zucchini contains that and more.
Besides vitamin C, zucchini also contains plant compounds like carotenoids – antioxidants that can help fire up your dog’s immune system and protect your dog from harmful free radicals.
Possible Dangers Of Feeding Zucchini To Your Pet Dog
Although most dogs can eat zucchini safely, giving it the wrong way poses problems. What harm can possibly happen if your dog eats zucchini? There are two hazards worth noting.
Feeding your dog the whole zucchini is a bad idea. You’ve probably noticed that many dogs aren’t fond of chewing. This makes swallowing large pieces a big problem, especially for small dog breeds. The pieces can get stuck in your dog’s throat and block your dog's airways.
Despite being low in calories and having low sugar content, when eaten in large quantities, zucchini can also wreak havoc in your dog’s stomach. You can expect your dog to experience tummy problems if your dog eats a lot in one sitting.
How To Feed Zucchini To Your Dog The Right Way
Now that you know all the risks, let us discuss how these treats should be given to your dog. Doing it the right way, after all, equates to a safe and pleasurable zucchini-munching experience for your pup.
Pick The Right Zucchini
Young and tender zucchinis taste best, so make sure to pick those for your pal. It must also feel firm to the touch. More importantly, select the ones that don't taste bitter. Bitter-tasting zucchinis can be harmful to your dog.
Serve It Plain & Unseasoned
You can give your dog raw and cooked zucchini. However, if you plan to give your dog cooked zucchini, you might want to boil or steam in instead of frying it. Doing away with onion powder and other seasonings is also your best course since these are harmful to your dogs” health. Don’t worry. Your dogs will still love it.
How about zucchini bread? You might want to keep this out of your dog’s reach. This usually contains sugar, flour, and artificial sweeteners. Eating too much can increase your dog’s blood sugar or result in weight gain and other health problems.
Cut It Into Bite-Sized Pieces
Since giving this to your pal whole is a No-No, make sure to serve this to your dog in small pieces, especially if you have a small breed dog. This will remove the risk of choking and ensure a happy, satisfied dog.
When introducing any new food to dogs, it’s always wise to do it slowly. Start by giving your dog small amounts. This way, you can check if your dog’s tummy can tolerate it or not.
Portion Control Is Key
Since this should only be an occasional treat, you need to follow the 10% treat rule. What is this? This means that treats should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
How Much Zucchini Is Too Much?
The amount of zucchini your dog can eat will depend on your dog’s size. Small dogs will do with just 1-2 teaspoons, while larger dogs can be given 1-2 tablespoons.
Popular posts on the web all say that zucchini is safe for dogs, and they’re all correct. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, zucchini is indeed a healthy treat for your pup.
As always, though, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek expert veterinary advice before anything else. At the end of the day, your vet is the best person to talk to about your dog’s health and nutrition.