Saturday, January 27, 2024

Can Dogs Eat Squash? What Types of Squash are Safe For Pets?

Can dogs eat squash? What types of squash are safe for dogs and cats? Squash can be a healthy, tasty food to add to your pet's diet.  Summer squash (zucchini, crookneck) are low-calorie and a good source of calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Winter squash (butternut, spaghetti, acorn) are a good source of vitamins A and C and dietary fiber. Both summer and winter squash offer great nutritional value for cats and dogs. Summer squash, such as zucchini and yellow crookneck can be added to your dog's meals to help them keep off extra pounds. Adding squash into your dog's regular diet, can improve the overall nutritional content of your pet's diet and help them feel more satiated.

Benefits of Squash For Dogs

High Fiber
Does your dog have IBD or digestive problems?  The fiber in squash is great for your dog’s digestive system as it can help relieve both constipation and diarrhea.  The added fiber helps to regulate the natural wave action of the intestines.  Pumpkin contains fiber and is available in cans that you can mix into both cat and dog food.

Low In Calories
Squash are a naturally low-calorie food due to its high water content. By adding squash to your dog's diet it can help them feel full without adding many calories.  When mixed with a high-quality protein, squash can be a part of a well-balanced diet for those pets trying to lose weight.

Vitamins and Nutrients
Winter squash, such as butternut, spaghetti, or acorn, are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. They also contain folate, omega 3 fatty acids, and B vitamins.  

What Types of Squash Can Dogs Eat?

Butternut Squash- is a very versatile vitamin-packed vegetable that has a sweet, nutty flavor.

Pumpkin- a flavorful and fiber-rich, helpful for pets experiencing diarrhea or constipation.

Zucchini- this tasty squash can be eaten raw or cooked and some dogs like to eat as a snack

Acorn Squash-a naturally sweet vegetable which is helpful for a healthy digestive system.

How To Prepare Squash For Dogs

Squash can be a delicious addition to your dog's diet, but must be prepared the correct way or your pet can experience significant digestive problems. 

Step 1: Remove the seeds and skin from the squash. They are very hard on your dog's digestive system and can cause irritation or blockage.

Step 2: Cook the squash before feeding (except zucchini).  You can cook the squash in a variety of ways including roasting, steaming, and boiling. 

Step 3: Prepare the squash to be fed. It can be either diced, mashed or, pureed depending on your pet's preference. 

The Pumpkin is a miracle food that offers many benefits for cats and dogs. The high fiber content adds bulk to the diet, helping your pet feel full and lose weight.  It also greatly helps pets with digestive problemsPumpkin is high in fiber and helps to regulate the natural wave action in your pet’s GI tract. Pumpkin can help cats and dogs with both constipation and diarrhea. Pumpkin is a nutrient powerhouse containing Vitamins A, C and E that you can mix directly into your pet’s food. If your pet has diarrhea or other digestive problems, pumpkin can help.

                            How Much Pumpkin To Give Your Pet?

How much pumpkin to add? It all depends upon the size and sensitivity of your pet. Always start slowly because too much pumpkin can have a laxative effect. For cats and small dogs, start with 1/2 teaspoon per meal and big dogs can start with about a tablespoon per meal. Be sure to check with your veterinarian first if your pet has diabetes or is especially sensitive.

Can Cats Eat Squash?

Cats are more particular in their tastes and tend to prefer winter squash.  A small amount of pureed pumpkin or butternut squash such as 1/2 teaspoon mixed into a  cat's meal can provide valuable nutrients.  Winter squash, such as butternut, spaghetti, or acorn, are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. They also contain folate, omega 3 fatty acids,  and B vitamins.  Cats will sometimes eat pumpkin and butternut squash in small amounts if it is mixed into their food.

For more pet nutrition tips, please visit

Author:  Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist

Updated 1/27/2024