In the United States, pumpkin pie is a traditional family favorite. This dish is so well-loved that it is often served up at celebratory events, such as Thanksgiving. During the fall, pumpkins are cooked in a variety of ways. As this is such a popular ingredient in American homes, it is something that you may have considered sharing with your dog. Like any new ingredient that you introduce into your dog’s diet, it is important to know whether it is safe to feed it to your dog or not. So, is it safe for dogs to eat pumpkin? Here is what you need to know.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pumpkin?
Purina says that raw pumpkin is a safe food for your dog to eat in small portions. In its raw form, pumpkin isn’t very digestible, so large quantities could lead to your dog experiencing some digestive discomfort, but only in the short-term. There are some examples of dogs eating whole pumpkins after stealing them believing that they were a toy. Although it might give them a tummy upset, it will not cause them any long-term health problems.
What About Cooked Pumpkin?
Cooked pumpkin is easier for your dog to digest, so this is the better option for dogs. They will benefit from all the nutritional properties of pumpkin without experiencing any digestive discomfort. You can easily cook some pumpkin at home to feed to your dog. Just remove the flesh and add to the pan with a little water and simmer. Do not add any flavorings or sweeteners to the pumpkin mixture. Natural canned pumpkin is also fine for dogs. However, it is worth noting that you should avoid canned pumpkin pie mix. This is because additional ingredients are added to the pumpkin, such as sugar and spices. These can cause a tummy upset, and the sugar is also bad for your dog’s dental health.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
You may also have wondered whether it is safe to give your dog pumpkin seeds. Some people are wary of doing this after being told to avoid pips and stones in other fruits. This is sometimes because of a choking risk and sometimes because the pips, seeds, or stones contain a harmful substance. However, that is not the case with pumpkin seeds. Dog IDs says that it is perfectly safe for your dog to eat pumpkin seeds, and they even suggest that pumpkin seeds are a natural remedy for parasites. They recommend that you wash and roast them to give to your dog as a healthy and tasty snack. Another way of serving them is to roast them and then grind them into a powder to add to their regular food.
Are There Any Benefits to Feeding Your Dog Pumpkin?
According to iCalm Pet, there are some health benefits for dogs in including pumpkin in their diet. First, it is a fabulous source of fiber for dogs, which means it is good for a dog’s digestive health. There is also evidence to suggest that the oils in pumpkin flesh and seeds are good for urinary health. The nutrients in pumpkins offer dogs many benefits. It is high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, both of which are good for skin and coat health. This food is also high in vitamin A, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium. Some studies suggest that these nutrients can contribute to reduced incidences of cancer. Finally, pumpkin is a great food for dogs who need to lose weight, If you are helping your dog to tackle obesity, replacing some of their regular food with some canned pumpkin is a good option. It will give them a lot of nutrients and make them feel full.
Are There Any Restrictions on Feeding Pumpkin to Dogs?
Although raw and cooked pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are generally safe for dogs to eat, there are some restrictions and warnings to consider before feeding this food to your dog. Some of these considerations include:
- Diabetes – Those with dogs with diabetes need to take extra special care with regards to the food they give to their dogs. If your dog is diabetic, you should check with your vet before introducing new foods such as pumpkin into their diet.
- Renal disease – Likewise, those with dogs who have been diagnosed with chronic renal disease should check with their vet before feeding pumpkin to their dog.
- Allergies and intolerances – In theory, a dog can have an allergy or intolerance to any food, although pumpkin is not a food that typically causes an issue. However, it is worth noting that if you feed pumpkin to your dog and they develop a tummy upset or display any symptoms associated with allergies and intolerances, you should not give them this food again.
- Added ingredients – If you are giving your dog canned pumpkin, always check that it is a natural product that does not have added ingredients, such as sugar or spices.
- Rotten pumpkins – You wouldn’t eat a rotten pumpkin yourself, so do not feed a rotten pumpkin to your dog. It is possible that eating a rotten pumpkin will give your dog food poisoning. Throw a rotten pumpkin away immediately to avoid the risk of your dog stealing it and making themselves unwell.
Is it Safe to Give Your Dog Pumpkin? – The Final Verdict
Both pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh are safe for your dog to eat and have some health benefits. Only give raw pumpkin in small quantities to avoid a tummy upset. You can give your dog cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin if they do not have sugar and spices added. Pumpkin seeds can make a great treat for your dog if you wash and roast them. You should always speak to your vet before giving your dog pumpkin if they have diabetes or chronic renal disease. Do not feed dogs rotten pumpkin.