Broccoli, strawberries, carrots, and bananas are fruits and vegetables that are safe for your dog. But what about zucchini? Can dogs eat zucchini? The answer to that question is yes, dogs can eat zucchini. Also known as courgette, zucchini is a summer squash belonging to the Cucurbitaceae plant family, alongside cucumbers, spaghetti squash, and melons. Because of its low calories, it is safe to say that your pup can eat this green vegetable.
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What Is Zucchini?
Although zucchini is considered a vegetable in a culinary context, botanically, it is a young fruit and classified as a type of a berry/fruit called a ‘pepo.’ This crispy and sweet berry is an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It is also low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol which makes zucchini a healthy vegetable. Researchers have also been studying Cucurbitaceae plants ( in which zucchini belongs to) for their potential health benefits in pharmacological research. The research shows that cucurbitacins found in Cucurbitaceae plants like zucchini possess anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-tumor properties.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium squash (196g) contains:
|Total Fat||0 gram|
|Saturated Fat||0 gram|
|Total Carbohydrates||7 grams|
|Dietary Fiber||2 grams|
So, is zucchini safe for dogs? This summer squash is safe for dogs when fed in the right amount. Zucchini is the best alternative to high-calorie treats like milk bones. A cup of cut pieces of this long courgette contains only about 20 calories. It can also be an excellent food for dogs suffering from diabetes because of its low fat and cholesterol levels.
How Is It Beneficial for Dogs?
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants fight off the free radicals from your pup’s body. They prevent long-term health damage and also slow down the aging process.
Similarly, the soluble fiber found in zucchini is also beneficial for your four-legged friend’s health in various ways. For instance, it helps in the digestion process. The fiber diet also indirectly provides weight loss benefits in your pooch. How? It keeps their tummy satisfied with less food, giving your dog a feeling of fullness. Thus, they consume less food. Furthermore, this courgette, when mixed with water, helps in reducing constipation by softening your dog’s stool.
Limitations on Feeding Zucchini to Your Dog
As a responsible owner, you should always be cautious about the amount of any food you serve to your furry friend. The same is the case with zucchini. Even though this summer squash has low fat and calories, you cannot feed it to your canine daily. Moderation in serving is key. Many experts recommend the 10% rule, that is, treats shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of your dog’s diet. This way, you can figure out the right amount of this squash to give to your dog. The right amount zucchini also depends on your pup’s size. Your vet can identify the exact amount of zucchini according to your dog’s age and size.
Do keep in mind that too much of this squash in one serving can cause digestive problems.
Even though adding zucchini to your canine companion’s diet might not seem like a problem, feeding them anything new can potentially upset their digestive system. Thus, observing your dog each time you offer a new food item can be a good idea to stay on the safe side.
Can Eating Zucchini Kill Dogs?
Well technically no, but there are high chances of choking if zucchinis are served with large pieces and it can upset your canine companion’s tummy if fed in such immense amounts. There are no death records of dogs due to high zucchini consumption to date, but it’s better to take safety measures from home rather than rushing your dog to the vet.
Is Zucchini Toxic to My Dog?
If you have zucchini growing in your backyard and you’re worried that its flower and leaves might be toxic, then save your breath. All parts of this green, young squash are non-toxic. The flowers of the zucchini plant are edible and are often cooked or fried for human consumption. When it comes to your dog, they are on the safe side as well. You don’t need to panic when you see your pooch munching on some fresh zucchini flowers.
However, you might need to be cautious about bitter zucchinis. Such courgettes can be toxic to your dog. The biochemical that makes these vegetables bitter is usually found in the roots, leaves, and stems. Buying zucchinis grown in a healthy environment is a way to avoid bitter ones. And if you aren’t yet sure about their flavor, you can always taste a small slice before you serve a plate to your pup.
Serving Zucchini the Right Way to Your Dog
Zucchinis are best served to dogs when they are plain. It means raw zucchini, or cooked without seasonings or any additive is safe for your pooches to enjoy. Similarly, steamed pieces of this green berry are ideal for dogs who cannot chew properly. Since the skin part of the vegetable contains more fiber, make sure that you peel off the skin before you let your pup chomp on them. A high fiber diet can actually do more harm than good to your dog’s digestive tract. Also, avoid feeding any fried ones with oil, garlic, or onions, as they can be bad for your dog’s health.
So, what about other zucchini products like zucchini bread? It might not be an ideal move to serve your dog baked zucchini. If necessary, keep your baked goods far from your pup’s reach. Since such food contains unnecessary and harmful ingredients like xylitol, they can be toxic to your dog’s overall health.
Note: Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. When consumed in even small amounts, Xylitol can lead to low blood sugar, liver failure, seizures, or even death in dogs.
Zucchini is one of the safest and healthiest vegetables for dogs. It is packed with nutrients that have significant health benefits to your canine. This sweet summer squash is a perfect snack when served raw or steamed with no seasonings.
Would you like to know about what food your dog can and cannot eat? Check out our website for more information.