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Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins?

With the fall season in full swing, everyone’s favorite fall flavor is making its annual comeback to tables around the nation. When those puppy eyes look your way, you may be wondering – can dogs eat pumpkins?

A dog with pumpkins in the background.

Most dog owners can agree that it can be hard to resist giving in to that sweet face when they want a piece of your snack. But before giving your furry friend a bite of your meal, it’s important to consider whether or not your food is safe for dogs.

Keep reading to find out everything you should know about giving dogs pumpkins!

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins?

Yes, dogs can eat pumpkin! Pumpkin is actually a superfood for dogs, and can be a very healthy addition to their diet. However, just like with any food, moderation is key.

Dog food with boiled pumpkin.  As a dog owner, have you wondered can dogs eat pumpkin?
Dog food containing boiled pumpkin.

The healthiest and safest way to incorporate pumpkin into your dog’s diet is by opting for plain, canned pumpkin. When buying canned pumpkin for your pup, make sure to purchase pure pumpkin.

Canned pumpkin pie filling is very different, and contains various spices and additives that can give your dog an upset stomach. Be extra aware of the presence of Xylitol – a type of sugar that is extremely toxic to dogs. Unfortunately, this means no pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving – sorry doggies!

Although edible, raw pumpkin is much harder for dogs to digest. The stem and leaves of a pumpkin plant should never be given to dogs, as they are covered in small prickly hairs that can irritate a dog’s mouth and intestines.

A dog holding a slice of pumpkin in its mouth.

After giving your dog pumpkin for the first time, it’s important to keep an eye on them – just as you should when introducing any other new food. If you notice any sort of odd reaction, make sure to call your vet for advice on what to do.

Wondering if dogs can eat pumpkin seeds? Check out our article on all you need to know about feeding dogs pumpkin seeds!

Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a nutrient-rich fruit and contain high levels of Vitamin A, E, and C. Pumpkin for dogs is great for supporting eye health, stimulating digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting healthy skin and fur.

High levels of potassium help regulate metabolism and blood pressure, and support muscle health. Pumpkins are also an excellent source of iron, which aids blood cells and increases energy.

A black lab chewing a section of pumpkin.

Giving pumpkins to dogs experiencing tummy troubles can be a great way to help your pet feel better. Pumpkins are a great source of fiber, which can be very beneficial for aiding constipation and diarrhea in dogs.

Fiber can also help a dog feel fuller for a longer period of time, making pumpkin a great option for dogs who might need to lose a few extra pounds. The high fiber content acts as a prebiotic, meaning it supports beneficial bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract to promote digestive health.

Pumpkins are also low in calories and sodium, two things that dogs should try to avoid an excess of!

How Much Pumpkin Can a Dog Eat?

How much pumpkin to give to a dog depends on its size. The general rule of thumb when giving pumpkin to dogs is one teaspoon of pumpkin per 10 pounds, per meal.

A husky eating a section of pumpkin.

Pumpkin for dogs is great for fiber, but eating too much fiber can make it hard for your pup to absorb protein and other vital nutrients. This can cause deficiencies, and ultimately do more harm than good.

When giving pumpkin to a dog for the first time, it’s best to start small. If your dog responds well, you can always gently increase the quantity later on.

Ways to Feed Your Dog Pumpkin

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Giving pumpkin to dogs as an incentive during training can be a great way to incorporate this superfood into their diet!

A teaspoon of pumpkin is a great way to give your furry friend some extra nutrients while teaching them fun new tricks, especially with puppies.

Being such curious creatures, most dogs have no problem eating new things. The exciting new smell of a pumpkin is likely to interest your pup enough to get them to lick the pumpkin right off the spoon! Most dogs like the taste of pumpkin, but if you need creative ways to give pumpkin to dogs, here are a few ideas to get your pooch to love pumpkin just as much as you do.

The easiest option is to mix canned pumpkin into your dog’s usual wet or dry food. Pumpkin for dogs can also be placed inside a KONG Toy or similar product – giving your pup the fun challenge of getting the pumpkin out of the hole!

If you like baking, pumpkin makes a great fat substitute and can replace butter when making dog treats. Not only does this reduce fat and add health benefits to your dog’s diet, but also your pet is sure to love you for their new tasty treat! For even more nutrition, try adding natural peanut or almond butter for additional flavor in your homemade pumpkin dog treats.

Pumpkin bacon dog treats.
Pumpkin bacon dog treats.

If you can’t find plain pumpkin puree in stores or find that whole cans of pumpkin are too much for your pet’s needs, this pumpkin powder for dogs is a unique alternative. The pumpkin powder has all the same benefits as canned pumpkin and can be sprinkled on top of dry food or mixed with water to create a puree.

The Relationship Between Dogs and Pumpkins

A chocolate lab chewing on a pumpkin.

So, can dogs eat pumpkins? Absolutely! Making sure to moderate the intake of pumpkin in your dog’s diet is the best way to ensure that your pet reaps the benefits of this tasty treat.

Want to know more about pumpkins? Check out our pumpkin plants page for more on this festive fall favorite!