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Chayote, Choko, or Mirliton is a light-green, pear-shaped vegetable with multiple shallow furrows that run vertically on its surface. Scientifically, it is referred to as Sechium edule and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Native to Mexico and Central America, Chayote has a mild flavor and a somewhat crunchy texture that resembles a blend of a potato and a cucumber.
Like other vegetables, Chayote comes in different varieties, which are often differentiated by color and texture. You are likely to find green and white shade Chayotes or those with smooth or spiky textures. The seeds of Chayote are edible and are often roasted or fried.
Although chayote is not very popular, it packs a plethora of health benefits. To begin with, it is a potent source of dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin C and Choline. Additionally, it doesn’t contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol, and that’s why it is believed to promote a healthy weight.
For more information about benefits and other nutritional facts about Chayote, see this video:
Can dogs eat Chayote? Is Chayote safe for dogs?
Yes. Chayote can be fed to dogs without any problem. It is safe and non-toxic to dogs. If anything, many dog parents have fed their dogs other types of squash (like acorn, butternut, summer, and spaghetti) without any problem.
As hinted above and from the Mercola video, Chayote squash is good for your dog’s health because:
- It is packed with plenty of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, manganese, and Vitamins A & C. Learn about the role that different minerals and vitamins play in your dog’s body here: Plain Food Is No Longer Enough: 23 Vitamins and Minerals to Add To Your Homemade Dog Food
- It contains antioxidants, which can help your dog fight inflammations and kidney disease.
- It can boost your dog’s immune system and improve his vision as he ages.
- It can improve your dog’s cardiovascular functions and keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.
Like any other vegetable, however, some dogs may exhibit certain side effects after taking Chayote. These may include self-limiting diarrhea and vomiting. Nonetheless, the side effect always goes away on its own within a short while.
Best Practices for Feeding Chayote to Your Dog
- If you are feeding Chayote squash to your dog for the first time, introduce it gradually over time so that your dog can build up tolerance. Remember that feeding your dog any new food in moderation is the best way to avoid potential digestive issues.
- Most vegetables are best fed to dogs after they have been properly cooked or boiled because dog’s digestive systems aren’t always great in processing raw vegetables. You should do the same with Chayote for dogs. Boil or cook Chayote before giving it to your dog to avoid issues such as stomach aches, gas, bloating, and constipation that are often associated with giving dogs raw vegetables.
- Although the flavor and texture of Chayote may be distasteful to your dog, don’t be tempted to add seasonings or toppings as these can cause toxicity in dogs.
- Remove the seeds from the Chayote before giving it to your dog as they could irritate his stomach.
- While feeding Chayote on its own to a dog isn’t bad, a choosy dog may not like it. So, it is recommended to add it to chicken/bone broth or a meal that your pup loves or craves eating.
Chayote is not only safe for dogs but can also be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. Like other vegetables, however, it is important to serve it properly and in moderation, particularly when you are still introducing it to your furry friend.