Can dogs eat zucchini?
What vegetables can dogs eat? Is zucchini among them? You should know that dogs are facultative omnivorous animals, which means that their main source of food should be meat and fish, but they can also eat foods richer in carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits to a lesser extent.
Zucchini is a vegetable full of properties that can be beneficial for our canine companions, but how to offer it? If you want to know if dogs can eat zucchini or notwhat benefits it provides, dosage and contraindications, continue reading this article by ExpertoAniamal.
Is zucchini good for dogs?
Zucchini is a plant of North American origin that belongs to the pumpkin family, that is, to the Cucurbitaceae family. It grows at ground level in a bushy way and its fruit is edible, which is what we really know as zucchini. Due to the versatility of its cultivation and ease, it has allowed it to spread throughout a large part of the planet, being one of the vegetables most consumed by humans. But can dogs eat zucchini? Yeah, zucchini is a vegetable that your dog can eat, but in moderation.
Zucchini can be good for dogs because of its many benefits and nutrients, but it’s also contain cucurbitacinswhich are compounds found mainly in the leaves, stems and roots of the plant, which give a bitter and certain toxicity for our dogs when they penetrate the fruit. For this reason, the consumption of zucchini by your dog should always be moderate and taking into account the conditions that we will discuss in this article.
You should keep in mind that the main food your dog needs is that made specifically for the canine species, since it ensures all the nutrients and daily energy that a dog requires for growth, development and maintenance of its vital functions. Within these specific foods for dogs we find feed, but also homemade food prepared by veterinarians specialized in nutrition. Choosing one diet or another will vary depending on your needs, but in all cases it must be of quality. Learn what dogs eat in this other article.
Benefits of zucchini for dogs
Zucchini is a vegetable with a suvae flavor as long as it is not bitter due to the content of the compounds that we have mentioned in the previous section, cucurbitacins. This vegetable is packed with antioxidants like carotenoids, compounds that fight against free radicals that cause aging and oxidative stress because they damage the DNA and cells of your canine companion.
Zucchini also help digestion due to their high water content, preventing constipation and softening the stool. In addition, they contain fiber both soluble, to feed beneficial bacteria due to the short-chain fatty acids they create in the intestine, and insoluble, which reduces constipation by increasing the bulk of the stool. All this prevents intestinal diseases such as colitis, irritable bowel or leaky gut.
Zucchini is also a source of vitaminshighlighting the contribution of A, C, K and B6, and minerals important for the body such as copper, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. Another benefit of zucchini for dogs is that it has low caloriesso if your dog is overweight it will not hurt him, moreover, it will satisfy him due to its water and fiber content and it will not raise his sugar level due to its low glycemic index.
How to give zucchini to my dog?
Zucchini can be offered to the dog in various ways because it is a fairly versatile vegetable. Of course, you should know that the contribution of zucchini with respect to the usual diet of your dog should not be more than 10%whose dose, therefore, will depend on the size of the animal.
Although it is not the most common in zucchini that we can buy in supermarkets, some may contain seeds that we must remove before offering them to our dogs. Likewise, it is convenient avoid offering bitter zucchini by the toxic cucurbitacins.
That said, how do you give zucchini to a dog? we should always remove the skin and wash it to eliminate as much as possible the pesticide compounds and dirt that it may have. Once this is done, we can administer the zucchini in different ways, such as the following:
- Raw: raw zucchini contains higher amounts of vitamin A, and can be divided into small portions or grated on top of its main food (as long as it is homemade food, since it is not appropriate to mix feed with natural food).
- Cooked: cooking zucchini can make it easier to eat by making it softer, so you can add it to your usual food (if it’s homemade) or try offering it on its own.
- baked: zucchini can also be baked in the oven and your dog will enjoy its benefits and all its flavor.
- Grilled: Although the amount of oil used is minimal, this way more fat is added, so it will be more appetizing for your dog, but you must take into account those extra calories.
- shredded: Whether cooked or raw, you can mash zucchini to make a paste or porridge and offer it to your dog along with his home-cooked food for easier ingestion.
Side effects of zucchini for dogs
Zucchini is a safe vegetable and suitable for dogs, you just have to be careful to avoid giving them the most bitter zucchini due to its content in cucurbitacinssome compounds that can produce gastrointestinal toxicity in our canine companions. These toxins can induce symptoms in our dogs such as excessive salivation or sialorrhea, nausea, lethargy, disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea, which can end in a shock. For this reason, you should avoid bitter zucchini so that your dog does not suffer these symptoms and can enjoy the flavor and benefits that zucchini gives it in all its forms.
Contraindications of zucchini for dogs
As we have just discussed, we must pay attention to its flavor to do not offer those that are bitter. When this flavor is present in a zucchini, you should avoid giving it to your dog, as it can make him unwell and he may reject it due to its unpleasant taste. In this sense, you should know that the largest courgettes are the ones that are most likely to contain these toxic substances that give them a bitter taste, so it is best to opt for the smallest, firmest and softest courgettes. Likewise, you should always test it before giving it to your dog.
Zucchini is also not indicated for dogs that are going through a diarrheal processsince it facilitates intestinal transit and can worsen this clinical symptom.
Now that you know that dogs can eat zucchini in moderation, don’t miss this video where we talk about fruits:
If you want to read more articles similar to Can dogs eat zucchini?we recommend that you enter our Home Diets section.