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Fall always brings visions of cozy sweaters, cool weather, and pumpkin spice. But pumpkin isn’t just for fall, and it’s not just for us humans! Pumpkin for dogs is a wonderful way to boost your dog’s nutrition.
Adding pumpkin to your dog’s food provides a whole host of health benefits. Read on to see why pumpkin for dogs is such a great food to add as a regular part of their meals.
Can Dogs Have Pumpkin?
If you’re wondering if dogs can eat pumpkin, the answer is yes! Plus, many dogs love the taste of pumpkin puree and will happily eat their meals when it’s mixed in. Even our picky boy Rico loves the taste of pumpkin!
What Are The Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs?
Did you know pumpkin is actually a fruit?! That’s right! Because it has seeds inside, it’s classified as a fruit. Pumpkin is super tasty and is packed FULL of beneficial nutrients. Even though pumpkin is mostly water, it’s got tons of vitamins and nutrients.
Beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, along with helping their muscles and nerves stay strong. And just like carrots, it’s known for boosting eye health!
Vitamin C keeps your dog’s immune system running well so they can fight off illnesses. Plus, pumpkin contains iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These are all key to a well-rounded diet for your dog’s health.
Pumpkin Is Great To Manage Your Dog’s Weight
If your dog is looking a little thick & curvy, substituting 2 tablespoons of pumpkin for ¼ cup dog food helps your dog feel fuller for a longer period of time.
The fiber in pumpkin helps them lose excess weight without them feeling like they’re starving all the time. It works well even for our skinny boy Rico by keeping him full and boosting his nutrients.
Use Pumpkin for Constipation in Dogs
Pumpkin is a perfect way to add fiber to your dog’s diet, which improves the quality of their poop.
Plus, the water content of pumpkin resolves constipation by loosening up the stool and letting them get back to a normal, unconstipated poop cycle!
Use Can Pumpkin As A Dog Diarrhea Remedy
Amazingly enough, pumpkin helps with both diarrhea and constipation. The fiber helps add bulk to stop diarrhea. It also slows digestion, which gives their bodies a chance to settle and firm up the poop.
Dogs who eat a good amount of quality fiber also experience less blood sugar spikes, which is especially important in diabetic dogs.
Giving your dog pumpkin at the first sign of an upset stomach may help it settle before getting to the point of diarrhea or constipation.
What Form Of Pumpkin Is Best For My Dog?
Pumpkin is beneficial for dogs when served either raw or cooked. Just make sure the raw pumpkin is nice and fresh. No leftover Halloween pumpkins for our fur babies! Leftover pumpkin can be full of mold, bacteria, and other yuckies.
If fresh pumpkins are in season, you can dice it up raw for your pups, or you can roast it in the oven and mash it up. It can even be added to homemade dog food! Click here for our favorite dog food recipe.
Is Canned Pumpkin Good for Dogs?
By far, the easiest way to serve pumpkin to your dog is by getting canned pumpkin at the grocery store.
Canned pumpkin actually has more concentrated nutrients than fresh pumpkin due to the water reducing during the cooking process.
Keep in mind that you need the stuff that says 100% pure pumpkin.
You and definitely want to avoid getting pumpkin pie filling, which has tons of spices and sugar added to it.
How Much Pumpkin to Give a Dog Daily
When deciding on how much pumpkin for dogs, it’s important to start small and increase gradually. In addition, keep your dog’s size in mind.
Small dogs may only need a tablespoon a day or even less. Larger dogs can benefit from 2 tablespoons each meal, while giant breeds might need even more.
I always recommend checking with your vet to discuss the amount for your specific dog.
How To Store Canned Pumpkin For Dogs
Pumpkin only stays fresh for a few days, so it’s important to store it well. After opening, store pumpkin in the fridge in a separate container, or seal the can with a lid.
Divide extra pumpkin by putting 2 tablespoons worth into an ice cube tray and freezing it. Then thaw as needed. This is also a good process for storing fresh pumpkin for dogs.
Once it’s frozen, you can store the pumpkin blocks in a bag. Just pull out a block when you need it and let it thaw before serving to your dog. Or try leaving it frozen for an icy treat on a warm day!
Can My Dog Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
There are plenty of benefits to using pumpkin seeds for dogs. Pumpkin seeds have great amounts of an amino acid called cucurbitacins.
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins.
The cucurbitacins inside unsalted pumpkin seeds can kill intestinal worms inside your dog’s digestive tract. Research is also showing an added benefit of cucurbitacins having anti-cancer properties!
To give your dog pumpkin seeds, first, remove the seeds from the shells. Place them on a baking sheet with a very light drizzle of olive oil to keep them from sticking. Stay away from salt, as dogs don’t need extra sodium.
Roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned. Keep a close eye on them, as ovens vary and they can go from roasted to burnt quite rapidly!
It can then served whole, crushed, or ground in a coffee grinder! It all depends on how your pup prefers it. So, can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? Absolutely!
Fun Ways To Give Your Dog Pumpkin
If you want to make pumpkin a more fun part of your dog’s day, there are a ton of ways for them to view it as a treat so you can let dogs eat pumpkin!
One of our favorites is to add alternating scoops of all-natural peanut butter and canned pumpkin to a Kong toy. I seal the ends with a small piece of deli meat and then give it to Roxy & Rico.
To make it even more refreshing, I’ll freeze the Kong for 20-30 minutes on hot summer days so they can enjoy it longer.
Special occasion? If you’re in the mood to bake, how about whipping up a super easy, yummy cake for your dog? Here’s our top cake recipe Roxy & Rico adore!