Its that time of year again where you can find a pumpkin anywhere you look so you may be left wondering, can my dog eat pumpkin?
The short answer is YES – Pumpkin is incredibly nutritious, easy to prepare and has almost no side effects.
Pumpkin is very nutritious for dogs. But be careful, not all pumpkins are created equal.
The pumpkin that you carve for Halloween, for example, is potentially full of mould and bacteria after it’s been sitting on your front porch for several weeks. It’s not a good idea to feed any pumpkin you are using as decor to your dog. Don’t take the risk.
Instead, use seeds and the flesh of FRESH pumpkins.
Why is Pumpkin so Healthy for Dogs?
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
Pumpkin provides a natural source of many beneficial vitamins and nutrients:
Potassium – an electrolyte essential for muscular contraction and recovery from activity.
Vitamin C – one cup of pumpkin contains at least 11mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital for its antioxidant and immune system supporting effects.
Beta-Carotene. – beneficial for preventing cancer. Just look at a pumpkin’s bright orange colour. You can literally see how rich it is in beta-carotene.
Zinc – will help improve skin and coat.
Vitamin A – which is important for your dog’s vision health.
Dog Weight Loss:
Dogs love the taste pumpkin so getting them to eat it should not be a problem.
In addition to being chock full of nutrition, pumpkin is a low-calorie food. This makes it a great treat for overweight pets who need to cut out processed treats that are high in calories and sodium. A tablespoon of pumpkin makes a delicious and nutritious treat for pets!
Pumpkin contains nearly three grams of fibre for a single cup serving size. Fibre helps to promote a sense of fullness and reduces the physiological urge to consume larger volumes of food.
Pumpkin For dogs Upset Stomach
Additionally, fibre can help with your dog’s constipation. As your dog gets older, constipation can become a more frequent and severe problem. Increasing fibre levels can help to create more stool bulk. This helps to stimulate your dog’s colon wall and promotes contraction of the muscles responsible for moving stool from your dog’s digestive tract.
Pumpkin as a Pre-Biotic
Pumpkin contains fibre which can serve as a pre-biotic for good bacteria to grow in the gut. This is why canned pumpkin is often recommended as an at-home remedy for diarrhoea.
Increasing your dog’s dietary fibre will help if your dog is suffering from diarrhoea. Pumpkin flesh contains soluble fibre, which will help slow your dog’s digestion and can help manage diarrhoea by absorbing water.
Changes in food or your dog eating something that he or she shouldn’t can make them prone to large bowel diarrhoea (a condition known as colitis).
Serving Size of Pumpkin for Dogs With Diarrhea:
Add a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) of Pureed pumpkin to your dog’s regular meal to help keep them regular or to help your dog with indigestion or an upset stomach.
Urinary Health Benefits of Pumpkin:
Pumpkin seeds have been found to be high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This helps keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy, plus the oils in pumpkin flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. Dogs with urinary incontinence, in particular, may benefit from a little pumpkin in their diet.
Moisture Benefits of Pumpkins
Pumpkin is composed of 90% water.
Pumpkin can be a healthy addition of moisture to any dogs diet.
Drinking water or the addition of moisture-rich foods (pumpkin) to your dog’s diet can help reduce this dehydrating effect. Adding pumpkin to your dog’s meals and or serving it as a healthy snack can help to promote an increased state of hydration for your dog.
How many pumpkins Should I Give My Dog?
A good amount to start with is feeding your dog 1 or 2 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin. Start with this amount per day, depending on your dog’s size.
Pumpkin for Dogs Side Effects
Any time you introduce something new to your dog’s diet, even if it’s healthy, you need to do so in moderation to see how your dog reacts to the new dietary addition.
By starting with too much pumpkin, canned or otherwise, you can actually cause diarrhoea. Too much of a good thing, in this case, fibre, can actually cause some undesirable digestive problems such as; intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. This generally occurs from consuming too much fibre too fast.
To avoid these undesirable effects, simply incorporate small amounts of pumpkin slowly to your dog’s diet and work your way up to a dose that your dog is comfortable with.
This will allow their bacteria that they have in their digestive tract to adjust to the increased fibre.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, but we recommend that you first clean and roast them. Do not serve them raw.
Cleaned and baked pumpkin seeds are an all natural, delicious snack for your dog (they’re good for you too).
Pumpkin seeds have been found to be high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. Pumpkin seeds are also used as a natural remedy for parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. Cucurbitin, an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds, acts as a natural de-worming agent.
Pumpkin seeds also help dislodge kidney stones. Plus, the extracted oils of pumpkin seeds are beneficial to the urinary tract.