Can Dogs Eat Zucchini? What You Need to Know!

It seems that canines have as diverse of pallets as we do. They often tend to enjoy foods that we might not expect, and sometimes they dislike foods that we thought they’d like. Zucchini is a green vegetable that offers a variety of health benefits for people. And as it turns out, it’s perfectly safe for dogs as well. In fact, it might even offer your pup some health benefits too, making it a great occasional treat for any dog. But you don’t want to overdo it. Like all things, moderation is key.

Divider 1

Is it Safe to Feed Zucchini to My Dog?

For humans, most vegetables offer some health benefits. But it’s not always the same for our favorite pets. Vegetables like onions and garlic might be great for us, but they can be downright detrimental for our dogs. This leaves many dog owners wondering about what other vegetables might be harmful for their furry friends.

young Jack Russell Terrier dog near bag with organic herbs and vegetables_simonvera_shutterstock
Image credit: Simon Vera, Shutterstock

Luckily, zucchini is one of the safest vegetables you could feed your canine. It’s one of the vegetables that vets often recommend feeding to your dog as a treat. But vegetables should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Even vegetables like zucchini that are completely safe for dogs to eat shouldn’t be a staple in their diet.

Are There Benefits to Feeding Zucchini to My Dog?

This is one vegetable that’s packed with health-boosting nutrients. It’s full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it’s very low in calories, so it won’t contribute to weight gain. A cup of zucchini contains only about 20 calories.

Likewise, zucchini is very low in fat and cholesterol. While your dog is likely getting all the nutrients they need from a balanced diet, zucchini is a great way to offer your dog a treat that won’t negatively impact their health. Many canine treats are loaded with fats and calories that can help make your dog overweight. And especially if your dog is already overweight, zucchini offers an excellent substitute to high calorie treats that aren’t helping your dog’s health.

Zucchini
Image Credit: outsideclick, Pixabay

Are There Risks to Feeding Zucchini to My Dog?

You’ve certainly heard the saying; everything in moderation. Well, that definitely holds true here. While eating too much zucchini isn’t going to cause any lasting damage to your dog, it can lead to upset stomachs and even diarrhea.

There’s also another risk related to feeding your dog zucchini; choking. Zucchini is a hard, fibrous vegetable, especially when raw. Take care to cut it into very small pieces so that your dog doesn’t have any chance of choking on it. We definitely don’t recommend feeding your dog a whole zucchini ever.

How Much Zucchini Should a Dog Eat?

As mentioned, vegetables should make up only about 10% of your dog’s total diet. And we wouldn’t recommend using zucchini to fill that entire 10%. Instead, it’s best to offer zucchini to your dog only occasionally or as a treat. It’s the perfect alternative to high-calorie, fat-laden dog treats that you often find in pet stores.

How Should I Feed Zucchini to My Dog?

While zucchini is perfectly safe for your dog, you’ll want to avoid any kind of seasonings, flavorings, oils, or other additives. All of these can have adverse effects on your dog. Some seasonings are very high in sodium, for instance. Also, oils and other fats can contribute to excessive weight gain.

You can feed zucchini to your dog raw. Just make sure you cut it into very small chunks so there’s no risk of your dog choking on it.

Alternatively, you can offer your canine zucchini that’s been steamed or cooked. But as mentioned, make sure there are no seasonings, flavorings, or other additives on it. When cooking for people, zucchini is rarely left without some type of flavoring, so make sure that you cook zucchini for your dog separately if you plan on going this route.

French Bulldog eating zucchini
Image Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay

Divider 3

Conclusion

Zucchini is perfectly safe for your dog to eat and can be a great treat to replace the commercial treats you find in stores that are full of excess fat and calories that your canine doesn’t need. Just remember that your dog’s diet should contain no more than 10% vegetables. Also, ensure that the zucchini is plain with no seasonings, salts, flavors, oils, or other additives that can reduce the treat’s overall healthiness.


Featured Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay