There’s nothing more difficult than resisting puppy dog eyes while you’re cooking. However, sometimes it’s hard to know if what you’re cooking — like acorn squash — is safe for your pooch to eat.
Luckily, in this case, it’s perfectly fine to share your dinner with your dog.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you need to know before you give your pooch some squash. Below, we’ll walk you through the risks and rewards of feeding your dog this delicious fruit.
Can Dogs Eat Acorn Squash?
Acorn squash is perfectly safe for dogs to eat. In fact, it’s full of important nutrients like beta carotene and vitamin A, so you shouldn’t feel bad about offering it to your pup.
The beta carotene makes it an especially good treat for older dogs, as it can protect against failing eyesight. If your pup is already having problems with their peepers, you may want to consider mixing in cooked acorn squash with their dinner.
Acorn squash is also high in fiber, so if your dog is having problems going regularly, adding squash into their diet can help get things moving again. It can also help give their bowel movements more substance if your dog has been suffering from diarrhea.
There’s more potassium in a single cup of squash than an entire banana, and low potassium levels can cause diseases like hypokalemia.
Are There Any Dangers to Feeding Your Dog Acorn Squash?
Acorn squash isn’t toxic, so you don’t need to worry about poisoning. However, there are potential risks that you should be aware of.
You should always cook the squash before serving it. Raw squash can be difficult to digest, causing digestive problems for your pup. This isn’t a big deal, as most dogs won’t eat raw squash, anyway.
You may want to remove the seeds and skin as well. These won’t hurt your dog, but they can make digestion a bit more difficult. In rare cases, they may be capable of causing a potentially deadly intestinal blockage as well.
Be careful of how you cook the squash. Generally speaking, you should steam it without adding any seasoning. If you’re offering your pup squash that you’ve cooked for your own consumption, make sure it doesn’t have toxic ingredients like garlic or onions, and go easy on the salt and butter.
How Do You Convince Your Dog to Eat Squash?
Many dogs have no issue wolfing squash down, as it’s naturally sweet. In fact, many pups will view it as a delicious treat.
However, if your dog turns their nose up at the sight of squash, you may have trouble convincing them to eat it. Resist the urge to tempt them by adding butter or other fatty foods.
You can try mixing it in with their kibble; the more you mix it, the finer it should become, which may be less off-putting to your pet.
How Much Squash Is Safe to Feed Your Dog?
Typically, you should try to get your dog to eat about a tablespoon of squash per day or so. However, don’t start with that much right away, or you risk upsetting your dog’s stomach.
Instead, start with a teaspoon or less, and gradually increase it over a period of two weeks or so.
Once your dog starts tolerating it in their food, you can start feeding it as a standalone treat.
So, What’s the Verdict? Is Acorn Squash Safe for Your Dog?
If you’ve been wanting to share your acorn squash with your pup, the good news is that you can do so without worry that it will harm your pup. As long as you serve it fully cooked and remove the seeds and skins first, it should be completely safe.
In fact, acorn squash can be excellent for your dog’s health in moderation. It’s full of important vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants; it’s especially good for older dogs, as it protects against vision problems.
Not all dogs enjoy the taste of acorn squash, but if you can convince your pup to give it a try, they’ll have a treat that’s both healthy and delicious.
Featured Image Credit: Left: otsphoto, Shutterstock, Right: Pixabay