As autumn rolls around and the leaves start to change, you might find yourself surrounded by all things pumpkin. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pies, it's a flavor many associate with the cozy season. But what about our furry companions?
Can dogs eat pumpkin? In this blog, we'll explore the various parts of the pumpkin — including the flesh, seeds, guts, and stems — to help you make informed decisions about incorporating this fall favorite into your dog's diet.
Pumpkin is a Nutrient-Rich Treat For Dogs
Pumpkin flesh is safe for dogs and can be a nutritious addition to their diet.
According to the American Kennel Club, pumpkin is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate your dog's digestion.
Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
Let’s look at a few of the benefits of feeding your dog this nutrient-rich treat during the fall season and throughout the year:
- Digestive Health: Pumpkin is known for its digestive health benefits. If your dog has a sensitive tummy, pumpkin has been shown to help with diarrhea, constipation, and other common gut issues.
- Weight Management: If your dog needs to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight, pumpkin can be a great addition to their diet. With about 50 calories per cup, it’s low in calories. Your dog will feel full without going over their recommended calo.
- Nutrient Boost: As noted above, pumpkin is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to your dog's overall health. Vitamin A, for example, is good for vision and your dog’s immune system.
- Tastes Good. Most dogs enjoy the taste of pumpkin, making it a good choice for picky eaters or anxious pups. Feed it with their regular kibble to encourage them to eat, give it as a reward during training, or use it as a distraction during stressful situations (like the vet, fireworks, or thunderstorms).
How to Feed Your Dog Pumpkin
While pumpkin is considered a safe, healthy treat for dogs, there are a few things pet parents should consider.
- Whether fresh or canned, pureed pumpkin is usually your best option to avoid large chunks that may cause issues for your pup.
- Use plain pumpkin — no added spices or sweeteners.
- A small amount goes a long way — usually 1-2 tablespoons is enough for a small dog and up to 4 tablespoons for a large dog.
- Moderation is key — pumpkin should be given as a treat, not in place of your dog’s typical food.
- If you’re making homemade dog treats, consider adding pumpkin in place of butter or other oils.
Other Pumpkin FAQs
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look at a few other common questions pet parents have regarding this beloved fall treat.
Can Dogs Have Pumpkin Seeds?
While you may enjoy pumpkin seeds as a tasty snack, they’re not a great option for your canine companion. While they contain some beneficial nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats, they can also pose some risks for dogs.
The main concern with pumpkin seeds is their hard shell, which can be difficult for dogs to digest. Chewing on hard seeds can potentially lead to dental issues, like cracked teeth. And swallowing large amounts of seeds can cause blockages.
Can Dogs Have Pumpkin Stems?
While they may look like good chew toys, pumpkin stems can be sharp and pose a choking hazard for dogs. They’re generally not considered safe for pets.
Are Pumpkin Guts Good For Dogs?
Steer clear of pumpkin guts (the slimy, stringy interior). Pumpkin guts can be challenging to digest and may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or blockages for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Cheesecake? Pumpkin Bread? Pumpkin Ice Cream? Pumpkin Donuts?
Just like humans should enjoy these treats in moderation, the same goes for your dog. While a small amount of these goodies usually won’t “hurt” them, they are high in sugar, fat, dairy, and spices, which can cause gastrointestinal issues, weight gain, and other issues for your pet.
Generally, your pup should avoid these sweet treats. If you want to share pumpkin with your furry friend, plain, cooked pumpkin in small quantities is your best bet.
Give Your Dog the Very Best
When used appropriately, pumpkin can be a tasty and beneficial addition to your dog's meals, especially during autumn.
If you’re looking for natural, healthy ways to improve your pet’s diet and overall gut health, you’re our kind of pet owner. In addition to pumpkin, consider adding Maya Pet to your pet’s daily routine.
Maya Pet is the world’s first anthrobiotic — an all-natural supplement with 10 Smart StrainsTM of good bacteria that actually regulate your pet’s digestive system and immune response. And unlike typical pet probiotics, there are no added ingredients that can make diarrhea and other symptoms worse.
Learn more and give it a try today. It goes great with pureed pumpkin treats!