Pumpkin is jam packed with micronutrients, vitamins, fiber, and prebiotics, all while being delicious and nutritious. It's no wonder pumpkin is such a popular ingredient among dog owners! Can dogs eat pumpkin? Is pumpkin good for dogs? Can dogs have pumpkin seeds? These are common questions we've heard from pet parents. From the benefits of pumpkin for your dog on how to feed & store it - we’re breaking down all your questions in this guide.
6 Benefits of Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
There are so many reasons why pumpkin is one of Fall’s favorite superfoods, other than the obvious deliciousness of it, so much so that the benefits of pumpkin for dogs has us wondering why it isn’t offered more often in pet food. Yes, whole, raw or fresh cooked pumpkin for dogs is best, but if you aren’t able to get your hands on any then plain canned pumpkin puree without the spices will do the trick.1. Healthy treat alternative
Being naturally low-calorie means that pumpkin can be offered as a great treat without the worry that your pet's meals are going to become nutritionally imbalanced or that they would gain unwanted weight.
2. Great for dogs with constipation or an upset tummy
Using pumpkin for dog diarrhea and an upset tummy is the easiest “at home fix” you could possibly have. Because it has a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber this makes it an effective at home remedy for both dog constipation and dog diarrhea. One or two scoops of plain canned pumpkin will quickly soothe their tummy.3. Healthy weight gain & management
Pumpkin for puppies & adult dogs can aid in boosting their weight if you notice they may need a few extra pounds added on. It will also simultaneously help your dog maintain that healthy weight since the fiber in pumpkin can help your dog feel fuller for longer periods of time.
Fun fact - around 90% of pumpkin flesh is water! By adding pumpkin as a topper with your dog's meal this can help combat dehydration resulting from moisture-deficient commercial dog foods, aka kibble. Additionally, it improves digestion by increasing the gastric juices in your dog's digestive system that are essential to their gastrointestinal health.5. Provides essential fatty acids
One of our favorite questions to answer is “Are pumpkin seeds good for dogs?” The seeds in a pumpkin are rich in Omega-fatty acids and can be fed fresh and raw or lightly roasted. Make sure there is no salt on the pumpkin seeds!6. Boosts the immune system and helps ward off disease
Some holistic veterinarians may suggest adding pumpkin to your dog's dinner to aid in the prevention of intestinal parasites, supporting the healing or urinary incontinence, and in some events even dislodging kidney stones.
The pulp from pumpkin is high in vitamins, natural antioxidants, beta carotene, potassium, and lutein which support eye health, healthy skin & coat, and can be an overall immune system support.
Your Pumpkin FAQs Answered
How much pumpkin can I give my dog?
Knowing how much pumpkin to feed a dog might seem overwhelming, but it’s a pretty simple formula that goes hand in hand with knowing your dog.
Start with a small amount of puree, offering no more than 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of dog.
Small dogs may eat anywhere between ½ - 1 teaspoon a day while large dogs can safely eat up to 4 tablespoons in a day.
Alternatively, if you are traveling and you know your dog might get an upset tummy there are freeze-dried and dehydrated options available for your pup.
Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
Dogs can absolutely eat pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of Omega-fatty acids and can aid in your dog's overall health. You can give your pup raw pumpkin seeds or lightly roasted - our recommendation is roasting the seeds at home, but if you are unable to then make sure you buy seeds without oils, salts, or any type of seasoning.
Is canned pumpkin for dogs ok?
Yes, plain canned pumpkin is safe for dogs to eat at the recommended daily amount. Do not serve your dog pumpkin pie filling or other canned pumpkins with additional spice - this can make them sick. Plain, canned pumpkin is the safe option for dogs.
Can dogs eat raw pumpkin?
Dog’s can eat raw pumpkin, but make sure you are not overfeeding with it. Whole, raw pumpkin is not dangerous but giving too much can cause digestive upset.
Can dogs eat pumpkin pie?
You never want to offer your dog pumpkin pie. There are spices and ingredients that could be harmful to your pup. Best to stick to plain, natural pumpkin. If you are looking to add a little zest to your dog's meal and want to offer them some festive cheer check out our fun pumpkin recipes for dogs here.
How pumpkin can help dogs with upset tummies or diarrhea
Pumpkin and dogs with an upset tummy or diarrhea go together like peanut butter and jelly… apologies for the visual. Pumpkin has a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber making it a powerful and easy home remedy for dog constipation and dog diarrhea.
Soluble fiber creates a gel in the digestive tract which helps firm up any diarrhea or loose poo
Insoluble fiber attracts water into the stool which makes it softer and easier to pass - this is particularly useful if your dog is constipated. It can help promote bowel health by keeping your pup regular.
Pumpkin is a great source of dietary fiber and can go far in supporting your dog's overall gut health.
How to Feed Pumpkin to Your Dog
Looking for some inspiration on how you can add this superfood into your pups meals? We’ve got 5 tips on how to feed pumpkin to your dog. Just remember that even though pumpkin is healthy it should be fed in moderation, just like you would other foods and treats.
- Canned (unsweetened) cooked or pureed pumpkin can be mixed into your dog’s regular food no matter what they eat. Fresh, kibble, raw, dehydrated, wet - you can add it to any meal.
- Stuff some pumpkin puree into a Kong toy for a fun, interactive treat. Pro tip: freeze it so it lasts longer.
- Do you bake homemade dog treats? Use pumpkin as a substitute for fats or butter.
- Pumpkin seeds - roast them (without oils, salts, or seasoning) and offer them as a treat (these can be fun to use when teaching trick training).
- Grind the roasted pumpkin seed up and sprinkle them over your dog’s meal.
How to Store Pumpkin for Your Dog
If you have leftover pumpkin, storing it can be a breeze.
- Freeze pureed pumpkin in an ice tray for convenient use and easy treats.
- If you are using pumpkin puree, store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will be good for a few days.
- Chop up your whole pumpkin into little cubes and freeze them, feed accordingly
- Pumpkin seeds can be kept in an airtight container and stored on the counter
Featured Fresh Recipe: Pumpkin No Spice for Dogs
Gently cooked fresh food has many benefits for pups and not just for those who are holistically inclined. Holistic health means looking at the entire picture using conventional and alternative methods. Kafka’s Organic recipes were made with holistic health in mind to aid and support dogs and cats that strictly conventional diets are not able to sustain. With superfood ingredients, like pumpkin, present in our recipes, we take “healthy dog food” to a whole new meaning.
We created Pumpkin No Spice for dogs who suffer from temporary bursts of digestive upset, dogs with sensitive tummies who have a hard time changing their diet, and for dog pawrents who need a healthy meal alternative that supports their dogs longevity.
Who Pumpkin No Spice is Great for:
- Dogs with temporary digestive upset, bloating and/or diarrhea
- Sensitive tummies
- Pawrents looking for holistic meal options
- Seniors dogs who may suffer from GI issues
- Dog’s needing to gain a little weight
How Pumpkin No Spice Helps:
While our recipe contains beef and pumpkin, we also add a gourd that has been called the Clark Kent of the winter veggies. The kabocha squash is home to a superhuman (in this case superpup) amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.
When you mix a few superfoods together, cook them at low temperatures so that your recipe retains all the nutrients you end up with a super meal. This super meal supports your dog's digestive system, boosts immunity and is an easy, and seamless way to get your pup some added nutrients.
Of course, we’re pretty partial to pumpkin since it’s one of our fave Fall superfoods but if you’re unsure whether pumpkin is a safe option for your pup or if your dog is having digestive issues that pumpkin can’t fix, be sure to call your veterinarian.