With all of the veggies available on the market, deciding upon which veggies to include in your dog’s diet can be overwhelming! You like zucchini and have a batch on hand, you might be thinking to yourself, “Can dogs eat zucchini? ”
Amidst the now everyday practice of solely feeding dogs unhealthy processed dog foods, , it is only a select few who take out the time and energy to prepare healthy, nutritious snacks for their pets. Modern dog food is loaded with additives, preservatives and flavorings, and is often recalled for either bacteria within the bag, poison within the food, or potential deaths that have occurred and are linked to the food processing. So, kudos to you on having decided to be a part of the elect! Caring for your dog is much more than simply providing a roof, water, and kibble. Providing a balanced diet deemed safe is just as important as vet visits, regular exercise, and affection.
The trick to healthy eating is always to keep it simple. So, all you need to do is to incorporate a few vegetables, like zucchini, into your dog’s everyday diet. Dogs are known to eat just about anything-including their vegetables. Adding a few in with the everyday kibble can be a treat on occasion, as well as the needed nutritional boost.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Yes, dogs can eat zucchini! Zucchini is easily grown at home, on a farm, or bought from a market or grocer. Finding zucchini and preparing the veggie is relatively easy and low cost, make this green food an easy go-to veggie to have on hand. Most everyone likes zucchini and there are many ways in which to prepare it! Dogs will eat zucchini raw, cooked, baked, fried, and when in bread. There does not seem to be preference at all, which makes your job that much easier. Zucchini has many health benefits for dogs, such as nutritional content, possible weight loss aid, and health of skin and fur.
A type of squash, zucchini serves as a good source for various nutrients, including:
- Vitamin C
In addition to being full of nutrients, zucchini is also low in calories, providing an average of 2-3 calories per slice. So, if your dog is overweight and needs to cut back on the snacks, zucchini can serve a healthy, nutritious replacement. The zucchini can be offered in bite size bits, or circular thin bits resembling a cookie. Your dog will think he or she is getting a cookie, but reality is the dog is having a low calorie, low sugar, natural treat to act as appetite suppression.
Fur and Skin
A shiny coat is essential to making your dog look happy and healthy. A happy dog will often give out a glow starting from the hair fibers and going down to the non-split ends. When asked as to what is needed for this perfect glowing coat, most veterinarians will answer “good nutrition”. In this regard, zucchini has been tried, tested and proven and will undoubtedly do wonders to keep your dog’s fur and skin healthy and his coat glowing,
Simple dog food offers the majority of the nutrition your dog will need, however, dog kibble does not go above and beyond in the vitamin department. You may also be looking for additional supplements to offer your dog to ensure a long, healthy life, and a healthy sheen to the fur. Shiny, soft fur is often a sign of healthy skin. The healthy skin is the start of the healthy fur, laying the foundation for a good look. Also, healthy skin will be less likely to become itchy, develop a rash, or become infected. Dogs do not have much help in the skin scratching areas that humans do, so dogs are often left to chewing their skin in attempts to stop the itch. The chewing can lead to cuts and abrasions, pain, and infection. By treating the source, the skin, you treat the whole dog and ensure health from the outside, in.
Method of Zucchini Preparation
There are several ways to prepare zucchini for your dog. Zucchini may be prepared steamed, barbecued, boiled, baked, grilled or even fried. Zucchini bread is also a popular choice, although the flour and sugar in the bread may not be a good addition to the diet of your dog. Alternatives may be found for a healthier version of zucchini bread that both you and your dog may enjoy!
The possibilities are endless really, and if you do not feel like doing any of these food preparations, you can even add the zucchini to your dog’s diet raw. No need to ‘prepare, cook or bake’ the zucchini as listed above. Simply wash the zucchini and cut in cubes or slices. Zucchini may also be shredded and used as a topping to their favorite kibble. Do keep in mind that frying food is unhealthy. The oil can raise blood pressure, cause weight gain, as well as other side effects. Since adding the veggie into your diet is supposed to be a benefit, and since you do not want to do more harm than good, it is better to stick to the healthier methods of preparation. Offering zucchini is the raw state is the best method of feeding your dog this veggie. When cooking and preparing the zucchini, the minerals may become lost by way of heat. Fed in a raw state, your dog will receive more vitamins and minerals from the zucchini, which is the ultimate goal anyway.
Another fun idea is to cut it up and freeze zucchini to be used later as a cool summer treat. Almost everyone, including your dog, will love a Popsicle or frozen treat on a warm day. Why not add a veggie to a summer treat and sneak in the nutrients needed for a healthy diet? The zucchini in a frozen state will offer hydration also. In a frozen state, the zucchini really can do no wrong.
If you do not want to take the simple route in bringing veggies into your dog’s diet, you can always put in more effort. Of course you can also simply cook zucchini and add it to your dog’s meal; recipes often allow you to choose what vegetables you wish to add. You may also make an extra batch of zucchini for the dog when you are preparing your own meals. Having extra on hand that will not be wasted is always a good thing. Just make sure you do not cook zucchini, or other veggies, with onions or garlic if you plan on serving your pup. Onions and garlic are dangerous for dogs for dogs to ingest. Lucky for pet owners, most dogs do not have a preference for seasonings and flavors other than meat.
Detriments of Zucchini
There really are no detriments of zucchini when looked at from a health point of view. The worst that can happen is that your dog may not like the taste. Your dog might find the texture and flavor distasteful, particularly if your pup is a picky eater. Therefore, it is suggested that you start off with small amounts so as to make the addition of zucchini to your dog’s diet easier. Try adding it to kibble or pasta and see how s/he reacts. If your dog actually eats the zucchini and does not have a reaction, you may be able to add the veggie to more dishes without complication. After your dog eats the zucchini a few different times, you may be able to offer the veggie raw and your dog will eat the veggie and associate the taste with pasta from the night before
On the off chance that your dog is allergic to zucchini, it is important that you take it to a veterinarian immediately. Whenever you add something new to your dog’s diet always start off with very small quantities and increase the amount gradually, all the while observing your dog carefully for any signs of distaste or an allergic reaction.
Changing up Your Dog’s Diet
We love changing up our diet, in fact, even having to eat the same food two days in a row seems terribly monotonous to us. So, it is no surprise that we apply the same logic to our dogs, thinking that they too must get tired of eating the same dog food every day. The truth is that this is not the case. Dogs have a very poor sense of taste and as a result do not need their diet constantly changed out of boredom. In fact, too much change may actually upset their digestive systems and cause more problems for you.
Therefore, while adding moderate amounts of zucchini to your dog’s diet, holds no detrimental effects and may in fact serve to provide nutrition to your dog, it is important to remember that there is no need to constantly change your dog’s diet. If what you are already feeding your dog works, why change it? That said, if you are unhappy with your dog’s current diet and do not think that it provides enough nutrition then zucchini is a good choice to add to your pet’s daily meal.
Yes, dogs can eat zucchini. A nutritious vegetable, it has numerous health benefits and is a good addition to your dog’s diet. Moderation is of course essential and you must remember to observe your dog carefully for any signs of a negative reaction, particularly his bowel habits. But, other than that, you can easily grow some zucchini to feed yourself and your dog or even buy it from the market as it is normally very inexpensive.