Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

When it comes to your dog’s diet, figuring out what human foods are safe for your pet can be daunting. Luckily when it comes to pumpkin, you don’t need to worry. Pumpkin is a great source of dietary fiber for your pet. Whether fresh and raw, canned or cooked, pumpkin is a perfectly safe and healthy food for your dog.

How do you feed pumpkin to your dog?

Dogs love the sweet taste of pumpkin and most dogs have no problem eating it. Canned pumpkin will usually contain more fiber and nutrients than fresh pumpkin, so it should be your first choice when introducing pumpkin to your dog’s diet. However, fresh pumpkin is also healthy and can be used.

Here are three simple ways to make pumpkin a regular part of your dog’s diet.

  • Mix a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree into your dog’s normal food.
  • You can sprinkle some roasted pumpkin seeds on your dog’s food or on their doggie treats.
  • You can make a healthy pumpkin latte for your dog by mixing some canned pumpkin puree with warm water, then adding a splash of plain yogurt to the mixture.

How much pumpkin should your dog eat?

When you start feeding your dog pumpkin, one or two tablespoons of pureed pumpkin at mealtimes should be sufficient. Use one tablespoon for small dogs and two or three for bigger dogs. It is best not to feed your dogs more than four tablespoons at a time.

What are the health benefits of feeding pumpkin to dogs?

  1. 1
    Pumpkin is a great source of fiber for your dog and will help their digestion. If your dog is prone to bouts of constipation, incorporating pumpkin into their diet will help remedy the problem.
  2. 2
    Pumpkin seeds can help in deworming your dog. They contain the amino acid cucurbitacin, which is an effective deworming agent.
  3. 3
    When it comes to essential vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is packed with them. Vitamins C, K, E and A are essential for your pet’s skin and coat. Pumpkin delivers these vitamins and essential amino acids, leaving your pet with a healthy and shiny coat.
  4. 4
    Pumpkin is a moisture-rich food, meaning that it helps to hydrate your dog and boost fluid intake. If you feed your dog a lot of dry foods such as kibble, complementing it with a few tablespoons of pureed pumpkin is healthy.
  5. 5
    Pumpkin is recommended for dogs because it has been found to boost urinary health. The natural oils found in pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can help remedy incontinence in dogs by improving their urinary health.
  6. 6
    Weight loss can be a concern for dog owners whose pets are on the heavier side. Pumpkin helps in this case because it is fiber-rich and filling while being low in calories. This means that replacing some of your dog’s food portions with pumpkin may help them lose weight and reduce their appetite.

Which types of pumpkin are unhealthy for dogs?

Natural and organic pumpkin is the best type of pumpkin for your dog. Whether canned or fresh, a wholesome pumpkin meal should be free of artificial flavors or preservatives. Here is a list of things to avoid when feeding your dog pumpkin.

  • Pumpkin pie filling is packed with fat and sugar which may cause digestive problems for your dog.
  • Avoid pumpkin with artificial flavors and spices.
  • Avoid pumpkin products laden with preservatives.

Take-away

Pumpkin is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will boost your dog’s health. If you decide to start feeding pumpkin to your dog, start slowly with a tablespoon or two of pureed pumpkin until your dog gets used to it. Since it is naturally sweet, dogs love the taste of pumpkin and most will eat it easily. Healthy, natural foods will improve your pet's overall health and making them part of your dog's diet will leave you with a healthier and happier dog.

Shelly

Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me shelly@mylargedogs.com