Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash?

Group of butternut squashes

Butternut squash is a fall favorite ingredient. It’s tasty and sweet, and it can be cooked in many ways.

What’s not to love about it, honestly?

Be that as it may, an important question arises — can dogs eat butternut squash?

Dog owners know just how much dogs love human foods. Most of us would gladly share our food with our canine friends too. However, we need to make sure it’s safe for them first.

Continue reading, as we’ll answer all your questions in the next couple of paragraphs.

Can Dogs Eat Butternut Squash Safely?

Right off the bat — yes, dogs can eat butternut squash. And not just that — it is quite good for them.

However, there are some things that you need to pay attention to. The squash needs to be prepared properly for it to be safe for dogs.

Although us humans eat the butternut squash raw, dogs can’t do so.

Raw squash is really difficult for dogs to digest, which is why you need to cook it first. You can do so by boiling or baking it.

Also, the skin and the seeds are generally edible, but they are not recommended for dogs. That’s why you need to clean it as well.

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the squash and cooked it through, you’ll need to chop it up into small pieces. That way, it’s easier for your dog to digest.

Besides that, avoid putting any seasoning on it.

After you’ve done all that, you can serve it to them as is, but you can also mix it with their regular food. You can mix the squash with a protein that your pupper likes to eat. That will make it much easier for them to get used to it.

Long story short — it’s best to serve your dog fully cooked butternut squash without any seasonings, chopped and mixed with a protein it loves. That way, they will get all the benefits from it and have a balanced meal full of vitamins.

Are There Any Toxic Parts That Should Be Avoided?

The butternut squash is quite healthy, and you should definitely consider giving it to your dog. Still, not every part of it is edible. This is the case with almost all fruits and vegetables out there.

As we’ve said before, dogs shouldn’t eat the seeds and the skin of the butternut squash.

Small amounts are fine, but it’s not recommended.

People can eat both the skin and the peel safely. However, we usually throw these away before cooking it. You should prepare it the same way for your dog.

Most of the things we can’t eat, the dogs can’t eat either. They are no different from us in that way.

​The Seeds

Image of butternut squash seeds on cutting board

The butternut squash seeds contain cucurbitin, an amino acid, and cucurbitacin, which is a plant steroid.

Ingestion of too much of these compounds will lead to poisoning. The worst part is that the ‘safe amount’ of seeds that a dog can ingest has not been determined yet. Basically, there’s no way to know what is actually too much.

Another issue with the seeds is that they can be a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs.

Even if your dog swallows them fully, they can still cause issues. For example, they can obstruct the dog’s digestive tract. This can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems.

There’s no need to feed your dog the seeds. After all, there are plenty of nutrients in the flesh itself.

The takeaway from this is that it’s best to avoid seeds altogether. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

​The Skin


Your dog shouldn’t eat the skin of the squash either.

Pumpkins, squashes, and other fruits from the pumpkin family are usually harvested during the fall season. And during the fall season, they are often used as decoration.

Because of that, harvesters make sure that the fruits look nice on the outside, even if that means coating them with a bunch of chemicals. These chemicals can be poisonous when ingested.

Of course, not everyone will do so, but it is a common practice.

That’s why you need to make sure you remove the skin and the gourd of the squash before serving it to your dog.

What Are the Benefits of Butternut Squash for Your Dog?


The butternut squash is as good for dogs as it is for us humans.

The butternut squash is a rich source of:
  • ​Vitamin A
  • ​Vitamin C
  • ​Potassium
  • ​Fiber

Vitamin A is good for the teeth and bones, and it does wonders to the immune system. It’s also crucial for good eyesight.

Vitamin C also boosts the immune system. Besides that, it prevents cardiovascular disease and eye disease.

Potassium is an electrolyte, and it has plenty of health benefits. Some of those are maintaining consistent blood pressure and pH levels in the body.

Fiber, as we all know, helps with digestion and prevents constipation.

All in all, butternut squash is highly nutritious and it’s healthy for both people and dogs.

What Are the Side-Effects of Your Dog Eating Butternut Squash?

In all honesty, the side-effects of eating butternut squash are almost non-existent.

It has plenty of benefits and its side-effects are rare.

As we’ve said, butternut squash contains a lot of fiber. That’s why, in some cases, eating a lot of it can cause cramps, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. Make sure your dog doesn’t overeat on it, and it’ll be fine.

Also, because it’s so full of potassium, it may cause problems with dogs that have a certain condition. If your dog has heart or kidney issues, it’s best to avoid the butternut squash completely.

Of course, let’s not forget about the inedible part of the squash that we’ve mentioned earlier. If your dog eats the skin, seeds, or the gourd, there are some risks. For example, the seeds are a choking hazard and the peel can be full of chemicals, even poisonous.

Just a quick reminder — clean the squash thoroughly before giving it to your dog. Also, let it cook all the way. In the end, don’t forget to dice it.


So what have we learned today?

Can dogs eat butternut squash?

The answer is absolutely yes.

It’s even recommended that they do. The butternut squash is full of vitamins and minerals that will only make your canine friend stronger and healthier.

However, make sure you clean it and cook it properly beforehand.

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