Yes, dogs can eat zucchinis in moderation. The vital nutrients in zucchini make it suitable not only for you but also for your dogs. In addition, there is no toxic substance that stops you from giving it to your dogs. Instead, zucchini has so many health benefits that can help your dog in many ways—thinking about adding zucchini to your canine’s diet? Scroll down to know more about zucchini and dogs.
What Is a Zucchini?
Zucchini or courgette, a summer, cylindrical squash harvested when it is immature, is technically a fruit. It is a berry formed from the zucchini flower. However, zucchini has ancestry in America but was grown in Northern Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century. It belongs to the family of cucumber and melon. Mexicans prefer zucchini flowers to zucchini bulbs. Zucchinis are used in soups, quesadillas, bread, and pan-fried tortillas.
Are Zucchinis Safe for Dogs?
Zucchinis are safe and can be fed to your canines as treats in one of these forms – raw, steamed, or cooked. Dogs may love the taste, flavor, and texture of zucchini. Do not peel zucchini as they are rich in antioxidants. Provide your pets the fruit along with its skin.
However, just because you are approved to give zucchinis to your furry mates, it doesn’t mean that you can provide them with some dog-toxic ingredients like garlic and onions. In addition, any amount of food that is good for humans need not be suitable for pets. So, it is always best to try small amounts for the first time. Consult your vet before feeding any new fruits or vegetables to your dogs.
Note: Raw zucchinis might be difficult for stomach-sensitive dogs to digest. Hence, boil, steam, or ferment the zucchini to soften it and make it digestible to your dog.
Why Is Zucchini Good for Dogs?
High-Water Content: Zucchinis increase the hydration levels in dogs. This helps them keep their energy high. This can be useful for dogs participating in dog sports and make up the energy levels.
Zucchini aids in digestion: The high insoluble fiber and high-water content flush the digestive system, making the dogs constipation-free.
- Phosphorus keeps your dog’s kidney healthy. When it is combined with minerals such as calcium, it maintains your furry friend’s overall health.
- Magnesium produces energy and supports the movement of muscles.
- Manganese guards your dog’s body functions against free radicals that cause cell damage.
- Vitamin C helps get the body rid of harmful free radicals, saves your dog against viruses and bacteria, reduces inflammation, and helps to reduce cognitive aging. However, dogs can synthesize vitamin C on their own, in their liver.
- Vitamin A helps in reducing premature aging, promoting good vision, immunity, and fetal development. Beta-carotene in Zucchini makes it a rich source of Vitamin A in your dog’s diet.
- Zinc is a crucial element of your dog’s diet since it helps them have healthy skin and fur, as well as a healthy thyroid and immune system. Dogs, like other animals and humans, cannot generate vitamins and minerals on their own. Therefore, they must eat foods that contain them.
- Vitamin B6 promotes heart health, bladder health and supports amino acid metabolism. Vitamin K aids in proper blood clotting.
- An antioxidant-rich fruit, zucchini has a type of antioxidant called carotenoids seen in plenty, which provides good heart health and prevents chronic diseases in dogs. Antioxidants develop overall health, reduce the risk of cancer, infection, inflammation and avoid bleeding in dogs. In addition, the skin of zucchini has the richest source of antioxidants. So, they make a great addition to your pet dog’s meals.
- Copper is necessary to grow bones, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin in dogs (the protective covering of nerves). Copper also aids in absorbing iron, making it an essential component of red blood cell activity. In addition, it contains soluble fiber, which increases good bacteria and improves gut health. It prevents diseases like irritable bowels, leaky gut, colitis, and other gastrointestinal tract problems.
- Weight Loss: Zucchini contains fiber. It gives a feeling of fullness and reduces hunger. A cup of raw zucchini has 17-20 calories. In addition, it is low in fat and cholesterol, which makes it a good choice for obese dogs.
- Zucchini has a Low-Glycemic Index: Zucchini doesn’t increase blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, research is done on the potential benefits of cucurbitacins for therapeutic use to cure inflammation, cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
Why Is Zucchini Bad for Dogs?
Zucchini can be exceedingly bitter and potentially poisonous in rare situations. Cucurbitacins, a biochemical found in plants, are to be blamed.
Bitter Zucchini: The bitterness in the zucchini comes from cucurbitacins. Consuming too much of that would cause:
- Abdomen irritation
How Many Zucchinis to Feed Your Dog?
Dogs under the age of six weeks have undeveloped digestive systems and may be intolerant to raw or solid food.
Your dog’s food should contain 10% fruits and vegetables, but if they are ill or anxious, you can give them more. All you have to do is find out what 10% of your pet’s diet is and keep within that range. Consider the following scenario:
- You have a big dog who consumes four cups of food every day. Allow 0.4 cups of zucchini every day for them.
- You own a little dog who eats one cup of food every day. Each day, allow 0.1 cups of zucchini.
- Large pieces of zucchini may pose a choking hazard for dogs. Chop the zucchini into small pieces or steam it to soften it for dogs. This avoids difficulty in chewing.
- Zucchinis are digestible by dogs.
How to Feed Zucchini to Your Dogs?
Here are some points to consider while feeding zucchinis to dogs:
- Zucchini is good when it is immature and tender
- Choose a zucchini that is smaller in size. Ensure zucchinis are firm and not squishy.
- Wash the zucchinis thoroughly before feeding to get devoid of pesticides or fertilizers.
- Cut off the zucchini stalk.
- Blend, steam, and boil for digestibility.
- Dice it into small pieces.
Some methods of serving zucchinis to dogs:
Blanching: Boil water and submerge sliced zucchinis. This keeps the nutrients and crunchiness of zucchinis.
Steaming: Steaming vegetables can help soften vegetables. Steaming can be done by using stove top steamers or using a microwave.
Pureeing: Put the pieces of zucchini in a blender and blend well till it is pureed. You can store it in the fridge in an air-tight container. It is also better to pour the puree into ice trays and use it while preparing dog biscuits. During summer you can also give them some popsicles as summer treats.
Homemade zucchini dog treats ideas
The same ingredients used for dog-safe biscuits are used for zucchini dog-safe biscuits as well. Along with dough, you can add other ingredients in moderation, like peanut butter, pumpkin puree, and add oats flour to make it healthier and provide an occasional treat.
Dog-safe baked zucchini:
You can bake zucchinis and serve them to your dogs as treats. One benefit of baking zucchinis is storing them in air-tight containers as dried and using them even when unavailable in the markets.
Other DIY dog treats ideas:
- Banana zucchini
- Peanut butter zucchini
- Spinach Carrot and Zucchini Dog-biscuits
- Zucchini Fries
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I give my dog leftover zucchini?
No, dogs should not be given leftover zucchinis or table scraps since they might have some dog-toxic ingredients like seasonings, oil, garlic, onion, and spices.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini Bread?
No, dogs should not eat zucchini bread since it may contain too much oil, butter, sugar, and sometimes nuts that are hazardous for your dogs. However, you can try homemade zucchini bread with dog-safe ingredients and serve them safely to your furry friends.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini with Skin?
Yes, dogs can eat zucchini with skin. They are rich in antioxidants.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini Flowers?
Yes, dogs can eat any part of the zucchini plant, for it is rich in nutrients.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Zucchini?
Yes, dogs can eat raw zucchini. This is because they contain a richer source of vitamin A than cooked zucchini.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Zucchini?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked zucchini, but ensure that they are not seasoned or fed with preservatives or additives.
Can Dogs Eat Other Zucchini Products?
No, dogs should not be given any zucchini products since they may contain added additives, preservatives, xylitol, salt, sugar, and seasonings such as garlic, onions that are harmful to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini Plants?
Yes, dogs can eat flowers and leaves of zucchini. All parts of the plant are safe for dogs.
Arriving at the judgment, your dogs can eat zucchinis. Zucchinis are filled with vitamins and minerals in considerable quantities. They are low in calories, too, so they can be a superfood for your dogs. However, always consult your vet before feeding any new food for the healthy lifestyle of your dogs.