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Healthy or Toxic: Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?

Sometimes a little vegetable in the bowl is not wrong for a balanced, animal-based nutrition concept. However, not every variety is equally well tolerated by four-legged friends. Therefore, when feeding, dog owners often wonder which vegetables are suitable for dogs. This post provides an answer to the question of whether dogs are allowed to eat zucchini.

Zucchini for Ddogs in Brief

  • Zucchini belongs to the cucurbit family and can contain the toxin cucurbitacin;
  • Poison ingestion causes vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness in dogs;
  • Commercial zucchini do not contain this toxin;
  • Cucurbitacin is easy to recognize for humans with its bitter taste.

Can Dogs Have Zucchini? Not Always a Good Idea!

Zucchinis are full of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are ideal sources of vitamins in animal nutrition and are easy to digest. At least if they were bought in stores. If the zucchinis come from your own cultivation, it can happen that they contain the toxin cucurbitacin. This is heat-resistant and hardly soluble in water. In humans, the substance irritates the stomach lining and causes nausea. Diarrhea and food poisoning can occur. In dogs, cucurbitacin causes vomiting, diarrhea, profuse salivation, drowsiness, and, in the worst case, death. Zucchinis that contain this toxin must not be fed under any circumstances.

Feed Zucchini for Dogs with or without a Shell

Another toxin can be found in the skin of the vegetable. This is called malonic acid and is a cell poison. It can mainly be found in a dark green outer skin. If you are wondering whether dogs are allowed to eat yellow zucchini, the answer is “yes”. Yellow and light green zucchini is often considered to be “malonic acid-free”. To be on the safe side, it is still advisable to peel the zucchini for the dog. The question of whether vegetables for dogs should be raw or cooked depends on the variety. Zucchinis are easy to digest raw and cooked. However, some dog owners have found that steamed vegetables are more digestible.

Our Recommendation: Taste the Zucchini First and Then Feed It

In general, the answer to the question of whether dogs are allowed to eat cooked zucchini can be answered with a “yes”. It is important that the vegetables come from the trade. Then dogs can also eat zucchini raw. However, under certain circumstances, vegetables that have been bought may also taste bitter. This is due, for example, to incorrect storage or fluctuating temperatures. Therefore, it makes sense if the mistress tastes whether the vegetables are okay before feeding them. Our tips for doing this look like this:

  • Since people can taste the toxin relatively quickly, you should always act as a taster. If the vegetables taste bitter, humans and animals do without the zucchini;
  • Basically, it is advisable to only use zucchini from the market. If the vegetables are home-grown, it may be that they contain the toxin;
  • If the dog has eaten such a zucchini or an ornamental squash, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

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