If you own a pet, then you know that food is an integral part of their health and growth process. Different types of pets have very different dietary requirements for which the owner must be aware of. Unlike humans who need a variety of sources to be healthy, animals can get all they need to grow from one type of food source. For dogs, the typical source of food will be meat because that is what they would eat if they were in the wild. With domestication came alternatives, which are mainly used as snacks, treats, or rewards. The meat contains proteins that are the primary ingredient needed for dogs’ growth. However, depending on factors like your dog’s weight, age, and dietary requirements, it might become necessary to include other types of food. These alternatives will serve as supplements and may contain vitamins and other nutrients needed to solve a health issue at the time. The different food types include fruits and vegetables which may not be essential for the dog’s diet but are also not harmful. Some are outright bad for dog health due to come components. There is always a conversation on whether fruits and vegetables should be avoided at all costs in a dog’s diets or not. In this article, Zucchini will be the main focus, and by the end, you will know if it is right for your dog or not. So if you’ve ever asked the question ‘Can dogs eat zucchini?’ then stay tuned for the answers.
What Exactly is Zucchini?
Zucchini (plural for Zucchino), is a very versatile vegetable that grows to about one centimeter in length and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are shaped like a cucumber and are harvested while still premature. It has thin skin and is referred to as ‘marrow’ in Britain and ‘baby marrow’ in South Africa. Zucchini can be put in the same category as pumpkin and squashes since they are both produced through selective breeding. Zucchini is considered as a fruit botanically and is the swollen portion of the ovary of the zucchini flower. The plant originated in America in the 16th century and was later introduced to Italy in the 19th century. Zucchini is mostly used for food, especially when the seeds are soft.
Immature zucchini is indicated by an attachment of the flower, which also shows it is fresh and they also tend to have a sweeter flavor. Large zucchini contains a lot of fiber and can be anything longer than one meter. The mature zucchini is more suitable for cooking in bread. The difference between zucchini and cucumber is that the cucumber is eaten raw while the former can be cooked or consumed raw as well. Zucchini can be grilled, stuffed, baked, steamed, fried or barbecued. The raw option will be to make it into a salad, and the skin is left intact in both cases. Many different countries have their unique ways of preparing and consuming the vegetable, with or without spices and herbs. This provides evidence of the versatility of the plant in cuisine alone.
Zucchini And Your Dogs’ Diet
- Is it harmful to your dog?
Usually, dogs can tolerate the vegetable, and it does not contain any harmful or toxic substances for them. It can pose a problem however when seasoning is added to it. Spices like garlic and onions are harmful to dogs, and so you should pay attention to what you use for cooking the zucchini. The parts of the zucchini, including the flowers, are not toxic for the dogs to consume. So if you’ve ever found yourself asking ‘can dogs eat raw zucchini?’ The answer is yes.
- How much can your dog eat?
Zucchini is supposed to be a treat for dogs and should in no way substitute their main meal. The size of the dog will determine how much it can eat, but ideally, 10% of the vegetable in its diet is enough. Even though it is low in calories, overfeeding the dog with the plant can cause digestive problems. This is primarily because the digestive system of dogs is not built for that kind of food. Large chunks of zucchini can also be choking hazards for your pet, so it is best to cut it up before serving it. You can even steam it to make it easy to chew, but be careful not to add any spices.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
- Calorie content: Generally, Zucchini is low energy food, meaning it is low in calories – one cup contains 19 calories. That amount of calories is relatively small compared to other vegetables like broccoli and Brussel sprouts. The versatility also allows you to have it in many forms, so you don’t get bored with it.
- Heart health: First of all, low calories are generally better for heart function, and zucchini also contains other nutrients to support the heart. It contains potassium, which is known to control blood pressure by reducing the adverse effect of salt in the body. You will be at a lesser risk of developing heart disease if you include zucchini in your diet. You will also be able to curb diseases like stroke if you consume the vegetable.
- Contains antioxidants: Zucchini contains vitamin c, which is a useful element in the protection of the cells. Its antioxidation properties help improve function in the cell lining as well as lower blood pressure and protect against clogged arteries.
The issue of feeding fruits and vegetables to dogs is quite simple. It is not necessary for your dog to have those food groups in their diet. However, due to circumstance, it won’t hurt to give your dog a little, that’s just how much it should eat. Moderation is a significant factor when it comes to vegetables because too much can hurt the dog. One right way is to observe the animal anytime you include the plant in its diet. Also, the veterinarian is the best person to inform you more about what will work and won’t work for your dog.
- Toxic and Dangerous Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat – Pets WebMD
- Can Dogs Eat Zucchini? – Cuteness