Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

May 05, 2021 3 min read

french bulldog with carved pumpkins

As autumn quickly approaches, the leaves rapidly changing colors and falling to the ground, you likely want to partake in more fall activities. Apple picking is fun enough, but pumpkin picking is another joy altogether. Not only can you grab a fresh pumpkin, bring it home, and carve it into a jack-o’-lantern, you can also cook that pumpkin and its innards. 

You’ll want your dog to join in on all your fall festivities, sharing sliced apples with you and sniffing your pumpkin as you gut its innards and prep it for Halloween. However, your dog seems interested in the pumpkin you’re prepping. It doesn’t seem fair to just let them sniff it. Question is, can dogs eat pumpkin? 

Pumpkin is actually great for your dog! Whether on its own or infused into natural dog chews, your dog can enjoy pumpkin for all its taste and nutrients. 

But what makes pumpkin so great for your dog? 

Why We Love Pumpkin

Pumpkin is excellent for your dog’s health, as it is packed full of vitamins and nutrients that will boost your dog’s overall health. The many healthy nutrients contained inside a serving of healthy pumpkin include: 

  • Vitamin A for your dog’s vision and immune system
  • Vitamin B6 for a stronger immune system
  • Vitamin C for collagen synthesis and enzyme production
  • Vitamin E for antioxidants and protection against free radicals
  • Calcium for your dog’s bones and teeth
  • Copper for healthy nerves and red blood cell production
  • Fiber for digestive regularity 
  • Iron for an increase in oxygen flow 
  • Lutein for the betterment of your dog’s skin and coat 
  • Manganese for connective tissues and bones 
  • Potassium for healthy muscle contractions and nerves
  • Riboflavin to increase daily energy

puppy in pumpkin patch truck

How Should You Serve It?

Pumpkin can be served in a number of ways, but there are a few that are most preferred. First, you can roast fresh pumpkin you pick up while pumpkin picking. Once roasted, you can slather it onto bully sticks and reward your dog with them. 

Treat Your Dog to All-Natural Bully Sticks

How should you roast them? Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. While it warms up, prep your pumpkin by scooping out all the innards — particularly the seeds (which you can save and roast for yourself to enjoy later). Once the oven is heated, pierce the pumpkin's flesh with a fork and place it into the oven either on a sheet or a glass dish. After 45 minutes, the pumpkin is ready for serving. 

Once ready, you can either serve it as is (make sure it’s softened) or blend it inside a food processor to create a paste. 

Now, you may be wondering: where’s the salt, pepper, and oil? While those are essential for any pumpkin you may eat, you should avoid adding salt to food you make for your dog. If you want to add anything, cinnamon goes great and is healthy for your dog. 

Keeping that in mind, you shouldn’t feed your dog prepared pumpkin that contains any additives. 

dog sitting with pumpkins

Plain, canned pumpkin is the best option when it comes to adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet. When shopping for canned pumpkin for your pet, be sure to get the plain pumpkin. But you should watch out for what type of canned pumpkin you're buying. 

You want a natural canned pumpkin — as is, no additives. Avoid canned pumpkin pie filling. Not only will this contain a variety of spices, but it will also include a lot of salt and sugar — two things your dog should not be consuming. 

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for how much you’re feeding your dog. While canned pumpkin has many natural ingredients that are great for a dog’s health, especially their digestive system, too much can be toxic. As with most foods, feed it to your dog in moderation.

This fall, let your dog enjoy the fall festivities alongside you. Take them apple picking and pumpkin picking. Once you’re done, treat them to some fresh apple slices and roasted pumpkin. It’s a seasonal treat they’ll look forward to every year.

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