Welcome one and all to the latest installment in the Keep Doggie Safe food series. If you’re new here, that’s our recurring series where we present our research into whether or not it is safe for dogs to eat certain foods. It’s finally fall, so this installment will be focusing on pumpkin.
So let’s get down to it. Can you feed your dog pumpkin? The short answer is “yes!” Both canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin are great sources of fiber and other essential nutrients, but surprisingly canned pumpkin actually contains a higher concentration of nutrients and more fiber than fresh pumpkin. The fiber content in pumpkin makes it a great home remedy for bouts of doggie diarrhea as well.
Remember how I said the short answer to the question of whether dogs can eat pumpkin was “yes?” Well the longer answer to that question is also “yes, but there are a few things you may want to keep in mind".
Firstly, you should avoid giving your dog too much pumpkin since it is so high in fiber. While a healthy amount of fiber is good for your dog, an excessive amount of fiber could actually lead to digestive discomfort and could inhibit the proper absorption of other foods.
Secondly, pumpkin also contains Vitamin A. Generally speaking this is not a bad thing, but in too high amounts can become deadly. Don’t worry too much about this, because the amount of Vitamin A needed to cause harm to your dog is about 10 to 1,000 more than you will probably feed your dog at one time, but be mindful of this when feeding your dog pumpkin.
If you are opting to use canned pumpkin over fresh pumpkin, do not use anything that has been artificially sweetened, as it may use Xylitol which is very deadly to dogs. If you decide you must sweeten the pumpkin, you can use cinnamon or honey which are both natural and safe for your dog to ingest.
Additionally, there are a ton of different recipes that use pumpkin to make healthy homemade dog treats. We took the liberty of including them in this article for you to try.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Mix pumpkin and yogurt together in a bowl
- Divide the mixture evenly into an ice tray or molds
- Freeze for 24 hours
- Pop the treats out of the mold and put into a freezer bag for storage. You can also leave them in the ice tray if you have space in your freezer!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large banana mashed
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 3 cups of whole wheat flour more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone baking mat.
- Mix the pumpkin, mashed banana, and beaten eggs together until well combined.Add the flour and mix until combined. Use more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
- Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough to approximately 1/4" thickness and use a small dog bone cutter to cut out treats.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet an inch apart.
- Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Place on a cooling rack, and let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last 2-3 weeks.
So overall, pumpkin is a great, and healthy snack for your dog. It is packed with vital nutrients and has a high dietary fiber count which is great for digestion. However, as with any food, it is best to not go crazy feeding your dog pumpkin, as you may upset their stomach, and the fiber can cause digestive issues when present in too high of a concentration in your dog’s system. Treat pumpkin like a healthy snack, and don’t go overboard and you’ll be perfectly fine.
Thanks for reading, and join us again in the next installment of the Keep Doggie Safe food series!