Squash is packed with vitamins and minerals that will help your dog fight off disease (including cancer). The potassium in pumpkin is good for blood pressure. And there is lots of iron to help your pet have healthy blood.
Small amounts of pumpkin are good to give to dogs with constipation or diarrhea. The water and high fibre content both help to regulate your four legged friends bowels.
But what types of squash should you use? And how can you get your dog to eat it?
Many dogs will eat pumpkin by itself - either raw (in small amounts) or cooked. You can use canned varieties - but avoid pie fillings as they contain lots of spices and sugar.
Remember to introduce a new food to your dog slowly. Try a little bit first and make sure he doesn't have a bad reaction to it.
Because pumpkin is filling, it is good to use for dogs that are overweight - it will fill them up quickly without too many calories. There are only 49 calories in 8 ounces of canned cooked pumpkin!
One way to make squash dog treats is to freeze pureed or canned pumpkin in ice-cube trays - and feed your dog a frozen cube as a treat. Mixing the pumpkin with yogurt first makes a nice creamy treat.
Unsalted/plain pumpkin seeds make a great treat. They are a natural cure for parasites. You can grind the seeds and add the powder to your dogs food or treats - or just feed them as a snack. If your dog is small then do watch for choking on the seeds.
What about pumpkin rind?
Yes - this is safe for dogs too. Dogs will chew on a chunk of rind just like a bone. Leave some flesh attached to the rind for a great healthy treat. But don't give your dog the stem or leaves as they contain tiny hairs that will irritate him.