As one of the many veggies safe for dogs, zucchini offers several health benefits to your furry friend. When fed as part of a balanced diet, this human food—which boasts a high water content—makes a nutritious, hydrating, low-calorie treat for your pup.
We spoke with expert vets to get the 4-1-1 on feeding zucchini to your dog, including how much is safe to feed your dog, the benefits of feeding zucchini, how to include zucchini in your dog’s diet and a few health and safety considerations.
Before incorporating any new foods into your dog’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a safe addition to your pet’s diet given their health, diet needs and current medications. Your vet will tell you if your dog can eat zucchini and the appropriate serving size.
How Much Zucchini Can My Dog Eat?
When introducing any new food to your dog, gradually add zucchini to your dog’s diet—and carefully monitor for digestive issues.
When it comes to quantity, limit to no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake. It should serve as a small supplement or a treat, not a staple. The quantity your dog can safely eat also depends on other factors such as their regular diet, size and age.
Zucchini is low in calories, with each medium zucchini containing about 33 calories. So, with the 10 percent rule in mind, follow these guidelines:
Very small dogs (10-20 pounds)
1–2 pieces (1/4-inch thick)
Small dogs (21-30 pounds)
1–2 pieces (1/2-inch thick)
Medium dogs (31-50 pounds)
2–3 pieces (1/2-inch thick)
Large dogs (51-90 pounds)
3–4 pieces (1/2-inch thick)
Very large dogs (91+ pounds)
handful of pieces (1/2-inch thick)
How to Feed Your Dog Zucchini
Grate It or Chop It
Use It as a Food Topper or Super Snack
If raw zucchini doesn’t upset your dog’s stomach, you can grate the zucchini and jazz up their regular kibble by topping it with the grated veggie.
You can also chop it up into small pieces and offer it as a crunchy snack.
Make It More Easily Digestible
Any of the standard cooking methods will work: boiling, steaming, roasting or grilling.
Just remember not to add any seasonings such as salt, pepper or spices, as they are not dog-safe.
Make a Cool, Healthy Treat
Slice raw zucchini into medallions—or cut it into bite-sized pieces—and put it in the freezer.
Frozen zucchini makes for a cool, refreshing treat for your pup, especially in the summer.
Make This Easy, Three-Ingredient Snack
Do not–we repeat, do not–feed your dog zucchini bread. This human food is not Fido-friendly.
Instead, follow these instructions and bake your own dog-safe zucchini snacks:
- Wash and slice zucchini into medallions.
- Press the slices between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the round pieces in a single layer on it.
- Brush the pieces very lightly with egg yolk. You don’t need much.
- Grate freeze dried dog treats over the top.
- Set the oven to 155 degrees and bake ‘em low and slow for about three hours.
Blend Up Dog Safe Veggies For a Slushy Snack
Toss those in the blender along with zucchini and pulverize them into a nice slushy “drink” for your doggo.
Benefits of Zucchini for Dogs
Our vets give another unanimous “yes” in response to the question, “Is zucchini good for dogs?” The health benefits of zucchini for dogs include:
- Zucchini is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, lutein, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. These promote a strong immune system, stronger bones and a healthy coat and skin.
- Zucchini’s fiber content is high, and that supports a dog’s digestive system. The vegetable can lower the possibility of constipation by helping keep your dog regular.
- Zucchini is full of antioxidants, which help protect your dog from free radicals. What are those? The short explanation is that free radicals are harmful, unstable molecules; so, the more antioxidants, the better.
- Zucchini is a low-glycemic food. This means the sugar content is low, and it won’t cause your dog’s blood sugar to spike.
Risks of Feeding Zucchini to a Dog
While zucchini is safe, there are a few potential issues to keep in mind, including:
- Gastrointestinal troubles: Offering your dog a large amount of zucchini can lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting. As such, limit your pooch to no more than the recommended amount.
- Choking hazard: Your pup could choke on raw zucchini—or even cooked zucchini if it’s not served in small pieces. Make sure to cut it up into bite-sized pieces no matter how you serve it; and if you have a small dog, err on the side of caution when deciding how big is too big.
- Bitterness: It turns out large zucchinis can have more of a bitter taste than smaller ones. And bitter zucchinis can cause an upset stomach. So be on the safe side and stick to small ones.
FAQs about Zucchini for Dogs
Can dogs eat raw zucchini?
Can dogs eat cooked zucchini?
Can my dog eat the zucchini skin?
How many zucchini slices can I give my dog?
Are zucchini and summer squash the same thing?
Now that you know dogs can eat zucchini, make a grocery store run and work this healthy veggie into your dog’s diet. Remember to start slowly and to only offer small pieces. Check out some other fruits and vegetables safe for dogs.
Expert input provided by Dr. Alex Crow, MRCVS, a veterinary surgeon at Buttercross Veterinary Centre in Nottinghamshire, U.K., and a writer for SeniorTailWaggers.com.
More foods dogs can eat: