Most of the time, a pet’s diet is limited to kibble and occasional human food scraps from the table.
But maybe your dog is interested in veggies from your garden, or you just want a safe and healthy snack to feed your furry friend. You can even give your dog supplements to ensure they’re getting optimal nutrition, such as our InnovetPet Multivitamin Soft Chews
Good news: zucchini is the perfect option for giving your dog a healthy snack. In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why this veggie is a safe and healthy snack for your dog.
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Some veggies such as garlic and onions are harmful to dogs, even in small portions.
You may be wondering: can dogs eat zucchini safely?
The answer: zucchini is one vegetable that is not only perfectly safe but beneficial to dogs.
Dogs can eat it raw or cooked, frozen, sliced, and many other ways. Many dogs even enjoy this veggie as a treat or on top of their typical food. The point is, zucchini is perfectly safe to feed your dogs.
Just because it is safe doesn’t mean you should feed your dog large amounts of it. Just like any other human food, there are things you should know before trying to feed your dog this veggie.
There are several benefits of eating this veggie as a human, but your pup can benefit from eating this food as well.
Packed with Antioxidants
Zucchini is packed full of antioxidants, which are plant compounds that protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause long-term harm to the body, both in animals and humans. Free radicals can not only damage cells and DNA but speed up the aging process. Carotenoids give the vegetable its color and protect against free radicals.
Zucchini is filled with water, which can help aid digestion and lessen constipation. This food is also packed full of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), further aiding digestion. Insoluble fiber draws water into the stool, while soluble fiber feeds beneficial bacteria that create short-chain fatty acids in the gut. These acids reduce the chance of gut disorders like colitis.
Zucchini has many beneficial nutrients. It’s rich in manganese, lutein, and vitamins A, C, and B6. This food also contains magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
There’s a reason most weight-loss diets encourage eating zucchini as a snack. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and high in water. This food helps your dog feel full and reduces hunger. Plus, it’s a low-glycemic food, so it will keep your pet’s blood sugar low.
Vet advice varies, but you should not feed your dog veggies if they are under 6 weeks old. Dogs under 6 weeks old have digestive systems that are still developing and may be sensitive to raw or solid food.
Your dog’s diet should be 10% fruits and vegetables, but you can feed them more if they are sick or stressed. All you must do is figure out what 10 percent of your pet’s diet is and stay at or beneath that limit. For example:
- You have a large dog who eats four cups of food a day. Give them no more than 0.4 cups of zucchini per day.
- You have a small dog that eats one cup of food a day. Give them no more than 0.1 cups of zucchini per day.
The amount you feed your pet will vary, but giving your pet zucchini every day will benefit their health.
There are many ways you can prepare zucchini for your pets. Zucchini will taste best when it’s young, so if you can grow it, you should. If you purchase zucchini at the store, make sure to buy it when it’s small and firm.
Cooked, steamed, and raw zucchini is all safe for dogs to eat. However, you should not season zucchini for your pet. Their taste buds are different from ours, so raw zucchini or a lack of seasoning will not be an issue. Plus, some oils, salts, garlic, and onions are harmful to pets. Do not feed your pet zucchini that is prepared with any of these ingredients. You should also avoid zucchini bread and other baked goods that have this veggie.
You can prepare the veggie in many ways to add variety to your canine’s meal:
- Grilled or baked with no seasoning
- Sliced thin and frozen as a treat
- Shredded raw and added on top of their typical dinner
- Blended in a blender and mixed into kibble
- Chopped into small pieces and added into their food bowl
- Steamed or boiled (remember to cool it down before feeding)
If your pet is picky about their food, you can add raw or cooked zucchini to homemade dog treats made of peanut butter or pumpkin. These are yummy (and sneakily healthy) ways to add veggies to your pet’s diet.
Raw or cooked zucchini is a safe, yummy, and healthy snack to give your pet. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also aids in digestion, so their gut is healthy.
Finally, it’s easy to prepare. Simply cut off the stalk, prep it in one of the ways we’ve listed above, and add it to your pet’s diet.
Remember, vegetables shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s total diet. Follow the advice we’ve given above, and your pet will be happy and healthy thanks to this hearty food.