Dog Health, Pet Tips

Pumpkins For Dogs

September 8, 2022

Fall is right around the corner!  After an especially hot summer, I’m more than ready to usher in spooky season.  Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, if your town is anything like ours you’ve been finding yourself starting to be surrounded by the symbols and decorations of the season.  Almost no other Halloween symbol is as widely recognized as the Jack O’Lantern.  Carving pumpkins is a lot of fun – but did you know that fresh (and plain canned) pumpkin can also be a beneficial addition to your dogs’ diet?

dogs pumpkin

Pumpkin for Pets!

It’s true!  Pumpkins are high in fiber, making them a popular ‘go to’ home remedy for digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation (Yes both!).   It’s good for both herbivores, such as rabbits, and carnivores, such as dogs and cats.  Many pets seem to enjoy the flavor of pureed pumpkin, and just a small amount mixed in with your pet’s regular food can be enough to help improve digestive upset.

Pumpkins are composed of about 90% water.  Feeding an ill pet small amounts of pumpkin can be a great way to not only give them some much needed nutrients, but it can help prevent dehydration as well.

Nutrition of Pumpkins…

dogs pumpkinSpeaking of nutrients – Pumpkins are a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, iron, and Vitamin A.  These nutrients can help support general health, the immune system, and may even help to prevent some types of cancer!  Natural oils present in pumpkins are thought to help support urinary health.

Fat Fighting Properties…

Obesity can be just as problematic for pets as it is for people. The high fiber content in pumpkins means that it produces a full feeling when consumed.  If your dogs are on a diet, a small amounts of pumpkin mixed in with their regular food can help them feel full without consuming an excessive number of calories.  Pumpkins can even be used to make healthy, home cooked pet treats.

Preparing Pumpkin for Dogs

Now that you know some of the benefits of pumpkin in your pet’s diet, you might be wondering how to prepare it.  Fresh pumpkins can be cooked and pureed, or you can purchase canned 100% pumpkin puree.  Remember that pumpkin pie filling is not the same as plain canned pumpkin!  You’ll want to look for a brand that doesn’t have any added sugar, spices, preservatives, or other ingredients.  Pumpkin pie filling may taste great in a pie, but the added ingredients can cause stomach upset in pets.

dogs pumpkin

Comment below!  Do you feed your pet pumpkin?  What’s his/her favorite way to eat it?  I always keep a few cans of pumpkin around at our house.  It does seem to help when my dogs experience GI issues.  Especially around the fall holidays, I like to make my boys homemade treats that contain pumpkin.  It’s an easy, fun way to include them in our holiday celebrations while, at the same time, giving them something that’s potentially beneficial to their health!

dogs pumpkin

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  • Reply Jana Rade October 24, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    When we have pumkin or other squashes, I do share with my dog. I don’t get it specially for her as she has enough fibre and vitamins overall.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 26, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      I’m sure she appreciates you sharing every once in awhile! 🙂 My dogs have a health diet too, but my senior boy Kitsune has always had a really sensitive stomach, and a little bit of canned pumpkin mixed in with his regular food does seem to help him feel better faster when his tummy is off.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein October 25, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I give Layla the fruitables pumpkin in her food daily and she loves it, its really good for her plus it is has other vitamins in it also so it balances out her home cooked food.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      Very cool! I think my boys tried a sample of the fruitables pumpkin once and liked it. I usually just use canned pure pumpkin, though, since it’s cheaper and easier for me to find locally.

  • Reply The Dash Kitten Crew October 26, 2020 at 3:10 am

    I try our cats with pumpkins and they look as though I am feeding them toxic waste * sigh * Pumpkin seems such a healthy and safe thing for a dog to eat though, and I did not know it was helpful when a dog needs hydration!

    PS LOVE the outtakes. They had me in fits of giggles!!!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 26, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks! I’ve never tried feeding a cat pumpkin but yeah, I’d imagine they wouldn’t take to it as easily as dogs usually do. I’m glad you liked the outtakes! They were making me laugh too, so I just had to include them.

  • Reply Rebecca Sanchez October 26, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Pumpkin and squash is so good for dogs! I often use it in their homemade food. Also in their treats. I feel it’s one food that I eat that I can share with them!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 26, 2020 at 3:26 pm

      Same. I have a really simple pumpkin treat recipe that I make over and over again because both my dogs really enjoy it, and I know the ingredients (pumpkin especially) are pretty good for them.

  • Reply Beth October 26, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Our dogs love pumpkin! I make treats with it sometimes, but they also enjoy a dollop of it with their meals.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 27, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      My Kitsune especially loves it, even plain. I’m going to make my boys some pumpkin treats for Halloween this week. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply Britt K October 26, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Pumpkin is a BIG hit in our house. We regularly make treats with pumpkin for both our dogs and our cats, plus we often put it on our dogs’ food. My girl suffers from IBD and including pumpkin in her diet helps us to manage it.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 27, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      I’m glad it helps your girl! My Kitsune has a super sensitive stomach and pumpkin has always helped his tummy too.

  • Reply Angela Schneider October 26, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    I usually only give Bella pumpkin when she has stomach upset. I should give it, or any kind of winter squash, to her much more often, since it’s so good for her. And she loves it!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack October 27, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Kitsune does too! Lately I’ve been adding a bit to his meals because he’s been on a diet, and it seems to help him feel a bit fuller without being super full of extra calories.

  • Reply Homemade Halloween Treats for Your Dog – Paw Print October 14, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    […] while I’m baking them because they smell so similar to (human) peanut butter cookies.  Pumpkin has quite a few health benefits for dogs, including being high in fiber.  It’s a common ‘go to’ ingredient for […]

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