Dogs can get a lot of good nutrients from vegetables.
Chayote is nutrient-dense and readily available.
But can your pup eat it?
And how do you introduce it to them?
Keep reading to discover:
- 3 dangers of giving chayote to your dog.
- 9 benefits of giving chayote to your dog.
- A step-by-step method for preparing chayote for them.
- PROVEN: A study finds how chayote can help kill bone cancer cells.
- And many, many more…
Table of contents
- Can dogs eat chayote?
- How much chayote can dogs eat?
- How to prepare chayote for dogs?
- 9 benefits of giving chayote to your dog
- 3 dangers of giving chayote to your dog
Can dogs eat chayote?
Dogs can eat chayote. It provides essential minerals and vitamins. It has antioxidants and lots of fiber. It also promotes weight management, smooth digestion, and heart health in your pup. But it can cause indigestion. Cooked, it can lose a few of its nutrients. Dogs might also might dislike it.
How much chayote can dogs eat?
Dogs can eat about a ⅛ cup of chayote every day.
Don’t make it the only source of food. Too much can give your dog stomach problems like:
You can give chayote as part of their daily meals. Mix it in with their kibble or source of protein.
How to prepare chayote for dogs?
You prepare chayote for dogs following these steps:
- Peel the vegetable.
- Take out the seed.
- Cut it into little pieces. Especially if it’s your dog’s first time to eat it. Or they’re picky eaters. This will hide the chayote in their food. They won’t even know it’s there.
- Boil or steam the chayote for about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t add seasonings or salt. This can cause toxicity in dogs.
- Mix the cooked chayote into their kibble or their protein.
If your dog doesn’t like to try new foods, you can mix the chayote with their favorites.
Or you can add a variety of fruits and vegetables to their meal.
Just make sure that your doggo’s food meets the requirements.
Let your vet advise on their proper diet. Because every pooch is different.
They need to look at a dog’s:
- Overall health.
- Physical activity rate.
Talk to your vet about what you can add.
9 benefits of giving chayote to your dog
Chayote (Sechium edule) is a green vegetable with white flesh. It’s a type of squash.
And it’s part of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae. This means it’s in the same family as:
The fruits and vegetables that belong to this group are all safe for dogs.
And they come with great nutritional benefits.
According to Food Data Central of the USDA, 3.52 oz (100 g) of cooked chayote has:
|Protein||0.02186 oz (0.62 g)|
|Carbohydrate||0.17954 oz (5.09 g)|
|Fiber, total dietary||0.0987 oz (2.8 g)|
|Calcium||0.00045 oz (13 mg)|
|Magnesium||0.00042 oz (12 mg)|
|Phosphorus||0.00102 oz (29 mg)|
|Potassium||0.00610 oz (173 mg)|
|Sodium||3.5274e-5 oz (1 mg)|
|Vitamin C||0.00028 oz (8 mg)|
|Niacin||1.48151e-5 oz (0.42 mg)|
|Vitamin B-6||4.16233e-6 oz(0.118 mg)|
|Folate||0.000634931 oz (18 µg)|
|Vitamin E||0.00493 oz (0.14 mg)|
|Vitamin K||1.6579e-7 oz(4.7 µg)|
|Traces of minerals||about 2.13407e-5 oz (.605 g)|
Yes, it has lots of nutrients. And it’s a great addition to support a healthy, balanced diet for your doggo.
But what exactly is it providing for your dog?
Are there any side effects to eating it?
#1: Promotes cell growth
One of the abundant vitamins in chayote is folate.
This is very important for your dog’s health. As you soon will know.
Folate is responsible for helping enzymes function well.
According to My Pet Nutritionist it helps in:
- Forming DNA.
- Rapid cell growth.
- Building new proteins.
- Controlling blood levels.
- Forming white blood cells in the bone marrow.
It performs a very important function. This is why it’s very essential to pregnant doggos.
“How does folate help my pregnant dog?”
When a momma dog has a folate deficiency, it will severely affect the puppies.
They will have abnormalities. In short, they won’t grow properly, as this study proves.
2 groups of pregnant Pugs and Chihuahuas became part of the experiment.
These 2 breeds are prone to lip and/or palate clefts (CL/CP).
Group 1 was the control group. They had a traditional diet.
And Group 2 was the experimental group. The dogs took folic acid supplements from the start of their heat. To the 40th day of their pregnancy.
The results showed that Group 2 had higher levels of folic acid than Group 1.
And for the Pug puppies in Group 2, only 4.76% had the CL/CP. While in the Chihuahua pups, only 4.8% had deformity.
Compare that to Group 1 Pugs (10.86%) and Chihuahuas (15.78%).
This study shows that a folate supplement will help puppies develop normally. Even in those breeds who are prone to developmental defects.
#2: Provides essential minerals
Chayote is rich in 5 essential minerals, even after it’s cooked.
“What’s the use of these minerals for my dog?”
They help your dog’s body to function normally.
Dogs don’t need a lot of sodium. But NAP states it’s essential for:
- Acid-base balance.
- Regulation of osmotic pressure.
- Nerve impulse generation and transmission.
Next, calcium is important for growing bones and teeth.
But did you know that it also helps with blood coagulation? Very important for wound healing.
Potassium has almost the same functions as sodium. And it also helps with enzymatic reactions.
Magnesium plays a very crucial role in hormone secretion and function.
Aside from that, it stabilizes the nerve and muscle membrane.
Keeps everything from collapsing in a floppy mess.
Finally, phosphorus helps your dog in these functions:
- Range of motion.
- Skeletal structure.
- Energy metabolism.
- DNA and RNA structure.
#3: Provides antixodants
Chayote is rich in Vitamin C.
How does this benefit dogs?
The AKC tells us that it’s an antioxidant. Vitamin C is essential because it:
- Reduces inflammation.
- Gets rid of free radicals.
- Slows down cognitive aging.
Now, dogs don’t need a lot of this vitamin in their diets. As their liver makes its own.
This is also why Vitamin C tablets or syrups aren’t sold much in pet stores or by vets.
But there are times when they need supplementation.
The important thing to remember here is not to overdose.
Most dog parents will think that their dog needs a lot of it. And buy supplements over-the-counter.
But you don’t need to do that.
Tufts recommends that you enrich their diet by adding fruits and veggies. Like the chayote.
It’s healthy and you don’t have to worry about causing an excess of Vitamin C.
#4: Good source of fiber
As with most vegetables, chayote has a lot of fiber.
When you cook this vegetable it provides 0.09876 oz (2.8 g) of dietary fiber per 3.52 oz (100 g) of chayote.
This is soluble fiber which is important for their gut health.
PetMD says that the good bacteria in the large intestine use it as food.
Basically, they break it down into fatty acids which are energy sources for cells there.
It may also promote the growth of good bacteria, as it’s a prebiotic.
Warning: Too much fiber can have non-nutritive effects on your pooch.
This study says that a large amount can affect how they absorb nutrients.
Too much can delay food from entering the small intestines.
It can also create a gel around the carbohydrates. This will affect blood sugar levels.
And an excess of fiber causes reduced absorption of Vitamin A.
#5: Takes care of doggo’s heart health
A dog’s heart has so much to do (aside from loving their dog parents).
So take care of it by feeding your pooch a diet that supports good heart health.
Interesting fact: Mexican traditional medicine uses chayote extract to treat cardiovascular diseases.
And this study shows how chayote helps the heart.
It contains compounds called secondary metabolites. These help the plant with certain functions.
But in dogs, this can help with lowering blood pressure by helping blood vessels to widen.
Chayote also has an important secondary metabolite called polyphenols.
It lowers the risk of chronic inflammation. Which Healthline says also decreases the risk of heart disease.
#6: Helps with high blood sugar levels
The fiber in chayote helps to slow down digestion.
And this prevents blood sugar levels from shooting up or going down.
The AKC says that this helps better management of diabetic dogs.
In fact, many vets recommend a high-fiber diet for these dogs.
“How do I know if my dog has diabetes?”
Diabetes happens because your dog’s body can’t use glucose.
This happens because there is a lack of insulin. It’s required to transfer the glucose from the bloodstream to the cells.
The AVMA states that diabetes causes increased thirst and peeing.
Here are other early signs:
- Weight loss.
- Cloudy eyes.
- Recurring infections.
- Increased/decreased appetite.
Take your dog to the vet for testing if you notice these signs.
Your vet will test for hyperglycemia or high levels of glucose. And glucosuria or levels of glucose in urine.
You might also want to check out: Why Is My Dog Suddenly Peeing A Lot (In The House)? 27 Tips
#7: Makes weight management easier
Do you have trouble controlling your dog’s weight?
Is your pooch always hungry and they can’t control themselves?
In this case, you can use high-fiber foods such as chayote.
Dr. Beth Flickinger says that a fiber-rich diet lets your dog feel fuller.
She continues that fiber is calorie-free. So even if your dog eats a lot they’re not consuming additional calories.
Weight management is important. VCA warns dog parents that even 5 lbs over their ideal weight is dangerous.
It puts your dog at risk of:
- Joint injuries.
- Heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure.
- Some forms of cancer.
Note: Fiber is good for your dogs. But every dog is different. Some may have sensitivities to different kinds of fiber.
Always consult with your vet before adding fiber sources to your dog’s food. Or before switching them to high-fiber dog food.
Watch other vet tips for weight loss in this video:
You might also want to know: 9 Ways To Deal With A Dog That Is Always Hungry
#8: Promotes digestive health
Your dog’s digestive system performs one of the most important functions.
It extracts and absorbs nutrients from their food.
And it also cleans your dog’s body. By making it possible for dogs to poop and pee.
So how do you help keep it in working order?
By making sure that your dog has enough fiber in their diet.
You can do this by adding chayote into their food.
“How does chayote help my dog’s digestive system?”
I talked about how it’s a source of energy for the cells in the intestine and how it makes your dog manage weight.
There’s another benefit to it.
Tufts says that it keeps the digestive process at an optimal pace.
This is why it’s important to know just how much fiber your dog needs.
Without it, constipation will be common. Because things get stuck inside.
And too much fiber can result in diarrhea. Or inflamed bowels.
#9: Helps against cancer
Now, I want to start this with a disclaimer.
This type of diet doesn’t guarantee a cancer-free life for your dog.
But a healthy, balanced diet can lower the risk of cancer in your pooch.
Remember also that diet isn’t the only factor that causes this disease.
According to Dr. Lisa Weeth, the following also contribute:
- Owner lifestyle.
- Sunlight exposure.
- If they’re spayed or neutered.
There is evidence that foods with antioxidants can help.
But AKC advises dog parents to start antioxidant supplementation early. As it’s not as effective in older dogs.
“How does chayote help prevent cancer?”
Chayote contains myricetin. This is a polyphenol found in plants.
And it’s known for its antioxidant properties.
And this study, it’s shown that it literally causes the death of bone cancer cells.
Canine osteosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor. VCA says that it happens when there’s an abnormal production of cells.
Most dogs with this cancer don’t recover.
But there may be a way to stop it.
The researchers found that myricetin stopped the cancer cells from multiplying. And it increased apoptosis. Or the death of the cells.
In short, myricetin could be an alternative treatment for dogs with bone cancer.
Note: Don’t rely on antioxidants to treat your dog’s illness. They should supplement the treatment your vet prescribed.
3 dangers of giving chayote to your dog
#1: May cause indigestion
This is something that happens when dog parents add something new to their dog’s diet.
Sometimes, they add too much. And it irritates their dog’s stomach.
This can cause diarrhea or vomiting. Because your dog’s stomach isn’t used to it.
So try giving chayote in small amounts. And increasing that little by little.
Remember to have a variety of fruits and veggies in your dog’s diet.
Don’t rely on chayote alone.
#2: Cooked chayote loses some nutrients
This happens in all vegetables. Unless you eat them raw.
But the important nutrients are still present. And you’re making it more friendly for your dog’s stomach.
It’s advised to cook chayote before giving it to your dog.
This makes it softer. So it’s easier for your dog to chew.
It also takes away the raw taste. And it blends in easier with other meal ingredients.
#3: Your dog might not like it
There are those times when you try to make meals healthy and tasty.
But your dog just doesn’t want to eat.
This can happen when you put chayote in their meal. And it turns out that they don’t like it.
You can use the same method as in danger #1.
Feed it gradually to your pooch. So that they get used to the taste and texture.
Another tip is to mix it well with their food. This helps to mask the taste.
And you can also add some beef bone broth to their food
The chayote is simply great for your dog.
But if you can’t get them to eat it here are other veggies they might like:
- Steamed broccoli.
Read next: Can Dogs Eat Quince? 7 Health Benefits + 3 Dangers