There is an ongoing trend of feeding our beloved pets special diets to optimize their health. However, as dog parents, we must keep in mind that their digestive system is different than ours and we need to be careful what we put in their bowls. We believe supplementing a dog’s diet is in their best interest for a more balanced meal, but good intentions can lead to detrimental results if pet owners are not educated. So, can dogs eat spaghetti squash or not?
Pumpkin, which is in the same family as squash, are known to be very beneficial to firm up a dog’s stool. Vets and breeders often recommend feeding your dog a small amount of fruits in the squash family in meals when your pooch needs more fiber. It’s okay if your dog is on a grain-free diet. Without the grains, your dog may need spaghetti squash even more for extra fiber.
Today, we’re going to address whether it’s safe to feed your dogs spaghetti squash.
Is It True Dogs Can Eat Spaghetti Squash?
Can dogs eat spaghetti squash? The answer to this question is a loud and resounding – YES! Similar to pumpkins, spaghetti squash is a very healthy additive in your dog’s diet. So yes, dogs can eat spaghetti squash. You can feel free to add a spoonful of spaghetti squash to his daily meals. The benefits of feeding your dogs spaghetti squash include supplemental amounts of vitamin A, C, potassium and of course, fiber.
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Now that you know your dog can benefit greatly from this healthy food, let’s take a deeper look at the benefits spaghetti squash can yield for your dog’s digestive system.
Benefits of Spaghetti Squash for Your Dog
We touched upon some vitamins and minerals your dogs can get from spaghetti squash, but do the benefits stop there? No, they do not! Read on to find out what else this superfood can do for your dog.
Added Vitamins and Minerals
With small amounts of spaghetti squash, your dog can get more vitamins and minerals which include vitamin C and A, and potassium as well as magnesium. These substances are essential for your dog’s immune and digestive system to function properly. Beta-carotene, a chemical rich in carrots is also present in spaghetti squash.
Beta-carotene contributes to the amount of vitamin A your dog ingests and also helps maintain their eyesight. If your parents have ever told you that carrots can help your eyesight, they were telling the truth this whole time thanks to the beta-carotene!
A dog’s eyesight is one of the areas that deteriorates fast he ages, but with supplemental amounts of beta-carotene or vitamin A throughout his life. If you offer your dog spaghetti squash his eyesight will be maintained more so than dogs who don’t eat spaghetti squash.
If your dogs eat spaghetti squash, they will have more energy and be less prone to catching colds and have stronger immune systems compared to dogs that don’t have spaghetti squash as a part of their regular diet.
There are also amounts of copper and folate found in spaghetti squash that serve to optimize the absorption of other substances in your dog’s meals.
Helps Their Digestive System
Winter squashes, summer squashes, and other types of squashes plus pumpkins are great for people with digestive issues, and they can help dogs too. Spaghetti squash contains a ton of fiber, so if you notice your dog starts to have a runny stool or soft stool, the fiber can be used to firm it up in no time at all.
On the flip side, if your dog is having problems with bowel movement, you can push through that intestinal blockage with the help of spaghetti squash. Basically, if your dog has bowel and health problems, spaghetti squash is here to save the day.
Enhances and Protects their Immune System
As a superfood, spaghetti squash can protect your dog’s immune system and give it the boost it needs to keep your fur baby healthy and happy. Spaghetti squash contains a ton of antioxidants that will strengthen your dog’s natural immunity, keeping him strong against viruses and bacteria.
How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash for Your Dog
Pumpkin, butternut squash and of course, the star of today’s conversation, spaghetti squash, are beneficial, but will there be problems if too much is given to your dog, and do you need to remove the seeds? Let’s talk about the risks that entail feeding your dog these foods and what you can do to prepare it safely.
We would consider cooking the squash. Dogs can handle a raw diet much better than we can, but before you let your dog eat spaghetti squash, you should cook it. Dogs eat food quickly by gulping it down. Spaghetti squash is soft and may invoke your dog’s curiosity as they try to figure out what it is. Your dog may be a little bit tentative when the spaghetti squash first touches his tongue, but give him time to figure it out for himself.
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Cooking the squash will help firm it up a bit so it’s easier for your dog to chew and process. It may also slow down fast-eaters, so cooked spaghetti squash is more recommended than feeding them raw.
We often like to add seasoning and spices to our food, and we may think plain spaghetti squash is very bland, but it’s full of novelty to a dog who is used to plain and dry kibble. For this reason, we don’t suggest adding seasoning or spices to cooked squash, even a small amount is advised against. Salt, pepper, and other spices are not known to do your dog any favors and some have also been known to be toxic to dogs and cause health problems.
Another thing to do is to remove the seeds in the spaghetti squash. Seeds in most fruits are harmful to dogs. For example, seeds in apples contain cyanide, which can prove to be fatal if not removed. So yes, dogs need you to remove all the seeds in spaghetti squash before feeding. Squash and pumpkin contain a lot of seeds, but thankfully they are all contained in the middle so it’s relatively easy to remove them.
Once you have successfully eradicated the spaghetti squash of any seeds, remember to dispose of them carefully. You don’t want your dog to pass by the leftover seeds and gobble them up. Just keep in mind the seeds are a fatal part of the spaghetti squash and should never be included in your dog’s diet.
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Can dogs eat spaghetti squash shell? No, they shouldn’t. Some fruit peels can contain healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals and have health benefits, but not in the case of spaghetti squash. Do not feed the shell or peel of the spaghetti squash to our dog. Feed your dog spaghetti squash without the seeds and without the peel, just the meaty part of the fruit will do.
When feeding your dog cooked squash, give him a small amount at a time. This rings true for all additional human foods you feed to your dog. Feed your dog in small amounts to yield health benefits. They don’t need a lot of anything to feel the difference, so make sure you don’t overload their system. Too much can actually cause more issues than health benefits.
How to Offer Your Dog Spaghetti Squash?
Don’t prepare too much spaghetti squash just in case your dog doesn’t like it. Give your dog just a little taste. We would also advise against using the fruit as a dog food topper unless you plan on preparing it for every meal if your dog likes it. A picky eating dog is trained into the habit. If you constantly spoil your dog with a lot of people food, he’s no longer going to be interested in his own food.
Instead, think about giving the spaghetti squash to your dog as a snack or treat. If you cook your own
Once you have cooked the raw squash, spoon a little bit into your dog’s bowl and see how he reacts. Give him time to sniff it out, lick it a bit and pick it up and spit it out a few times. This doesn’t automatically mean he’s not interested. These are the actions of a pup who is being cautious about the new item in his bowl and he’s testing it out. Unless your dog walks away and doesn’t come back to the food bowl in a few minutes, just let him suss it out.
If your dog loses interest and walks away, then you know he isn’t into the squash. Just like people, a dog has his own food preferences and maybe your pup just doesn’t like the soft and gooey texture of spaghetti squash. If your dog eats all the spaghetti squash you offer him, then it is a human food he is willing to accept. You can then consider feeding it to him regularly but in trace amounts.
Dogs have their own food, but on occasion, they can benefit from having a taste of human food to round out their diet. Spaghetti squash is a very healthy option to include in their meals from time to time as both a treat and a supplement to boost their immune system, strengthen their digestive system and maintain their overall health throughout the course of your pup’s life.