Pumpkins are everywhere in the fall… but are they safe for your dog? 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 carve your pumpkins and you drop some pieces on the ground?
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 actually a super food for your dog!
Pumpkin is filled with great vitamins and nutrients, including Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Zinc.
Now, it’s important to note that not all pumpkin is created equal. When I talk about pumpkin here, 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.
If you give your dog fresh pumpkin, make sure he’s not eating the pumpkin that you carved yesterday or last week. Your carved pumpkin will start to decompose quickly and can become moldy… making your dog sick.
If you are feeling really adventurous, try making your own pumpkin puree! I found this easy to follow directions for homemade pumpkin puree.
Yes, your dog can eat pumpkin seeds too. 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 rancid quickly without roasting. But make sure they are unsalted for your dog.
Our dogs, Bear and Ginger, are going to be so happy that we get to share our pumpkin seeds with them this year. Yum, yum!
Roasting seeds are 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.
It’s sometimes hard to remember which foods are bad and which are good, so I’ve put together a cheat sheet for you to download and post on your refrigerator for reference.
Pumpkin is not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving time. Your dog can benefit from canned pumpkin puree all year round.
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.
As with anything, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. So add pumpkin to your dog’s diet slowly, 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. Then gradually increase depending on the size of your dog.
P.S. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, make sure to read Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips for Your Dog
P.S.S. If you haven’t downloaded our free Dog Health Record printable yet do it NOW!
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Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... were she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local rescue and the Dane County Humane Society. Sign up for our free resource library! It is jam-packed with valuable resources that you will use throughout your journey.... all for FREE!