Your Ultimate Guide to Dogs and Pumpkin

If your dog is anything like ours, as soon as food drops on the floor, they come and gobble it right up. So, what happens if you are carving your pumpkins and you drop some pieces on the ground?

Can my dog eat pumpkin?

You may wonder if your dog can eat those pieces of pumpkin… well, guess what… your dog CAN eat pumpkin! How awesome is that, and believe it or not, pumpkin is a superfood for your dog! Keep reeding to find out if your dog can eat the insides of a pumpkin and pumpkin seeds…

white dog standing next to three pumpkins

Health benefits of pumpkin the superfood

Pumpkin can help your dog get over diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, dehydration, urinary tract infection, upset belly and it’s even good for helping to lose a few extra pounds.

IMPORTANT: If your dog has any of these symptoms for more than 24 hours, you should contact your vet to make sure there aren’t any serious health issues to consider.

Pumpkin is filled with great vitamins and nutrients, including Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Zinc.

  • Vitamin A helps promote healthy eyes
  • Antioxidants boost the immune system
  • Vitamin A and zinc create healthy skin and coat
  • Fiber helps with both constipation and diarrhea
  • Fiber and water content can help with weight loss
  • Cucurbitacin found in pumpkin seeds paralyzes and eliminates worms from the digestive tract
white lab puppy with a pumpkin hat

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Pumpkin for dogs

Pumpkin is not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Your dog can benefit from canned pumpkin puree all year round.

Here are several ideas on how to add pumpkin into your dog’s diet:

It’s important to note that not all pumpkin is created equal. When I talk about pumpkin, I’m talking about PURE pumpkin; NOT the sugary filling you buy to make your pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

You can buy canned pumpkin at the grocery store that is pure unsweetened pumpkin puree. This is a great option if you want to give your dog some pumpkin with his daily food.

Organic air-dried pumpkin

I recently found Native Pet’s air-dried pumpkin with apple and pumpkin seed. It’s the perfect for adding to your dogs food or making homemade pumpkin treats. It contains only organic ingredients and is sourced and packaged in North America.

Simply mix with equal parts cold water, and it turns into a delicious pumpkin puree. We just made frozen dog treats with it and the dogs love them!

Native Pet is offering the Rescue Dogs 101 community a generous 20% OFF coupon code, so make sure to enter RD101 to save on your next order!

Can dogs eat the insides of a pumpkin?

I hear this question every year around Halloween, can my dog eat the guts of a pumpkin. The answer is yes, BUT… If you give your dog fresh pumpkin, make sure he’s not eating the pumpkin that you carved yesterday or last week. Carved pumpkins will start to decompose quickly and can become moldy… making your dog sick instead of healthy.

It is safe for your dog to eat the insides of a fresh pumpkin… and remember in moderation! Do not let your dog eat the entire pumpkin, he will likely end up with diarrhea and very bad stomach ache.

Even better, and you are feeling adventurous, try making your own pumpkin puree! I found this easy to follow directions for homemade pumpkin puree.

How much pumpkin to give a dog

Add 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin with your dog’s food to help with diarrhea. As with anything, too much of a good thing can turn bad. I recommend slowly adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet, 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. Then gradually increase depending on the size of your dog.

Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health.

Dogs and pumpkin seeds

If you are wondering if pumpkin seeds are safe for your dog, the short answer is YES! 

According to DogsNaturally, “Pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid called cucurbitin, which paralyzes and eliminates the worms from the digestive tract.”

If you drop a few when carving your pumpkin, he can eat them raw. But anytime after that, make sure to roast the seeds to keep them fresh for longer (about a month). Raw pumpkin seeds will become spoiled quickly without roasting. Seeds that are unsalted for your dog is best.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is very easy. Simply wash them, removing the pumpkin flesh as best as possible. Spread them out on a roasting pan, and put them in a preheated oven at 300° for about 20-25 minutes. You can roast a batch for yourself with some olive oil and salt and a plain batch for your dog.

 So let’s recap:

  1. Yeah! Pumpkin is healthy for your dog all-year-round.
  2. Pumpkin is filled with great vitamins and nutrients.
  3. Feed your dog only fresh or canned pure pumpkin; avoid sweetened pumpkin pie filling.
  4. Pumpkin seeds are healthy for your dog too! (As long as they are unseasoned, no salt).
  5. Pumpkin can help with many temporary health issues, but always consult your vet if you have questions or concerns.

Check out some of these healthy homemade pumpkin dogs treat recipes on my Homemade Dog Treats Pinterest Board.

Do you have any creative ways you feed pumpkin to your dog? I would love for you to leave a comment below and share with us…

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About the Author Debi@RescueDogs101

Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society.

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