Welcome to “Can My Dog Eat That?,” our new series that answers some obvious (and not-so-obvious) questions about what your dog can and can’t safely eat. Read on!
It’s the spookiest month of the year! And while our festive orange gourds can be a year-round delicacy for pups, there’s no better time to ask the question: Can my dog eat pumpkin?
The answer is a hearty oh yeah. Your dog should definitely not be afraid of pumpkin. Not only is pumpkin not harmful (in most cases), but it’s considered a superfood by many.
Pumpkin is high in fiber, which aids in digestion. It also offers plenty of antioxidants, which help support a healthy immune system. And it’s packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A can support healthy vision, while the high levels of vitamin C are another boost to the immune system. Meanwhile, magnesium supports easy digestion and zinc helps the skin and coat look and feel good.
Pumpkin has quite a few other gourd qualities for pets and owners. Plain, canned pumpkin with its gentle blandness is a popular stomach-soother if there’s an upset tummy in the (dog) house. In addition, the fiber levels in pumpkin can help stem the flow of doggy diarrhea. That fiber can also be a factor in weight loss; since pumpkin is filling, you can supplement a dog’s diet with it so they won’t make so many visits to the food bowl.
Good for Your Dog, with Some Caveats
As with everything you feed your dog that doesn’t come directly from a pet food bag, preparation is everything. Though raw pumpkin isn’t bad at all for your dog on a nutritional level, there are some physical dangers. Letting your dog chew on an actual pumpkin can mean choking hazards from chunks. Big chunks of raw pumpkin are harder to digest than cooked pumpkin, as well. And finally, stems and raw seeds aren’t good for your pup. So avoid using pumpkins as chew toys!
The best way to offer pumpkin, next to as an ingredient in your pup’s favorite dog food, is canned, cooked, 100 PERCENT pumpkin, NOT filling for pumpkin pie. Pie fillings contain sugars and other ingredients that can upset a dog’s stomach, contribute to obesity, or worse.
When feeding your dog any food, moderation is important. Check with your vet before offering any non-dog-food treat and feed according to your dog’s size, age and weight. While largely good for your dog, pumpkin is a high-calorie, high-fiber food, and too much of either thing is no good.
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The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.