Pumpkin is Good For Dogs! How Much?

Well its fall and pumpkins patches are on every corner. I love fall and seeing all those festive gourds lined up makes me happy.

With all of this excess pumpkin inventory its good to know that pumpkin is good for dogs. It’s a nutritional food so they can eat it on a regular basis…and it will…help them lose weight!

Most dogs love the slightly sweet taste and pumpkin has a lot of water, vitamins, and is a low cal treat.

What types of Pumpkins can I use?

There are lots of fall decorations out there for sale….but you want eating pumpkins or even canned pumpkin. fresh is the best though because what your dogs don’t eat now you can freeze for later.

Don’t use decorative gourds and don’t use pumpkins that you have used as jack-o-lanterns. Whether you’ve burned a candle in side of them. If they are carved, then bacteria starts to set in and your dog shouldn’t be eating it.

If you’ve had them outside for weeks or months and the shell is firm and has not been compromised then you should be good to go….as long as the pumpkin isn’t rotted.

Nice big Halloween pumpkins or pie pumpkins are perfect.



What’s The Best Way For Dog’s To Eat Pumpkin?

You can go with canned pumpkin…its very nutritious and its super cheap this time of year. Good time to stock up. Just be careful not to accidentally buy Pumpkin Pie filling that has all the spices, sugar, and corn starch added. You want plain 100% real pumpkin.

Since it is already pureed its easy to give a few table spoons mixed with your dogs dinner. They will love you for it!

The best way to enjoy pumpkin for people and for dogs is to get them fresh.

Your dog can eat raw pumpkin just fine…. I stay away from giving them the rind just because its harder to digest. But if they get some its no big deal.

As with any raw vegetable — use common sense and give it in moderation…that way you avoid tummy troubles.

The majority of the pumpkin you will want to feed your dogs is cooked pumpkin. Slightly boiled or steamed is a way to cook…but the best way is to bake it. Cut in half and scoop the seed…bake at 400 for about 45 minutes.

When its cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and mash it up. You can use a food mill, emulsion blender, or food processor. Put the flesh in strainer and place over a bowl to catch all the liquid.

You’ll get about two cups of liquid as it drains. Keep the liquid for soup later or use in smoothies or you can feed it your pets.

Why Are Pumpkins Good For Your Dog?

Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol. This big fall gourd is loaded with beta carotene, and magnesium.

The fiber in pumpkin can act as a binding solution through a pet’s digestive tract, absorbing excess water and therefore helping pets with diarrhea and constipation.

Pumpkin is the true equalizer for digestive issue. A good dosage is about 5 Tablespoons twice a day so straighten out their gut.

You also can let your dog eat the seeds fresh…they are full of fatty acids and vitamins which help your pet keep a shiny coat and healthy skin. The seeds are also loaded with antioxidants that help promote urinary health.

If you plan on giving them to your dogs later…(or eat them yourself)…be sure to toast them in the oven to store them so they don’t spoil.

Your dog can slim down with pumpkin too! Dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin.

Weight Management- If your companion needs to take a few pounds off... you can reduce a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full and they’ll be eating fewer carbs…and the pumpkin taste won’t leave them feeling disappointed.

Make your own Pumpkin Treats

Ingredients for Dog Peanut Butter Pumpkin Treats

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (no added sugar)
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit . Mix ingredients together until blended.

Spread dough a 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper.

Cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Feeding Pumpkin to Your Dog

The best way to store leftover pumpkin is in the freezer. It will only last about a week in the refrigerator.

You can scoop your leftover pumpkin into an ice cube tray, freeze, pop out the cubes and store in a freezer bag. Thaw one out when you need it.

Mix with a spoon to blend any separation of water, and refrigerate any leftover pumpkin cubes to serve at mealtime for your dog.

If you don’t want to have to get pumpkin cubes from the freezer every day…measure out a week’s worth of pumpkin portions into small freezer containers.

Put these in the freezer and take out one container at a time to thaw and serve to your pet throughout the week.



Pumpkin is Awesome

Pumpkin is not a common allergen. That makes it a great substitute for dogs that are allergic or sensitive to grains, proteins, fruits, or other vegetables. It’s an all natural filler and super candidate to swap out other ingredients in recipes.

One cup of cooked pumpkin actually contains more potassium than a whole banana….and it has fewer calories!

Since pumpkin is packed with beta-carotene and antioxidants – you can count on this delicious treat to help promote a healthy immune system in your dogs…especially in older pets.

So don’t save pumpkin for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Keep your eye out for great canned pumpkin deals at the store and give you bet a nutritious treat and supplement all year round.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions or experiences to share please leave them in the comments section below.

45 Comments on “Pumpkin is Good For Dogs! How Much?”

  1. My dogs LOVE pumpkin! I’ve also read that the pumpkin seeds are great for killing off intestinal parasites, so you get a double duty vegetable. We like to mix the puree and juice with their dry food. It softens things up and they feel like they’re getting quite the treat. I’ve also made “pumpkin leather” by dehydrating the puree or even strips of baked pumpkin and that’s a fun, chewy treat for them, too.

    1. So happy your pooches get pumpkin—so funny how they enjoy it.  I’ll have to try them in the dehydrator.  I usually do sweet potatoes and apples in there for them.    They now also sell ground pumpkin seed to treat for internal worms…it’s just easier to store this way and you only a teaspoon added to their chow.

  2. Hey Tim! 

    Thanks very much for this informative blog! I had no idea that pumpkin was actually good for dogs. I have two dogs and I think that I will see if they like the pumpkin next time we have some available. 

    One of our dogs actually needs to lose weight… how do go about using the pumpkin to help with the weight management side of things?

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    1. Hi Shane-  Its true-dogs love pumpkin.  When I bring them home now, my two dogs know what the they are so they get excited.

      For weight management…it’s easiest to just replace part of their normal food at meal time with an equal part of cooked pumpkin.  I would start with replacing about 1/4 of the meal.  It’s very filling and vitamin rich so its a great supplement.  They like the taste and the texture.   I also give my dogs sweet potatoes (cooked) as well and they love them too.

      If you decide to make pumpkin a regular part of their diet…getting canned pumpkin is the way to go because so much of the work is done for you.  I found a case of pumpkin with dented cans (not expired though) last year at a store for 10 cents each.

      I used all of it for my dogs and to bake holiday pumpkin cookies and brownies.   Winning!

  3. What a lovely treat to give your dog – I’ve never heard of them eating (or indeed enjoying) pumpkin before! 

    The one concern I would have with my dog is what portion size to give – especially if he hasn’t eaten it before? I mean, the last thing anyone needs is a dog with an upset stomach leaving presents all over the home! 

    I’m also led to believe that even though pumpkin is sweet to a dog, it’s relatively low in calories – could it be used to substitute a dog meal that has weight issues?

    1. Really good points Chris…on how much.   Its always a good idea to go slow when introducing a new food to your pet…like you said….you just never know “the end” results.  Ha!

      Pumpkin actually is a very good weight management food….you can use canned pumpkin and just replace about a 1/4 of their meal with the same amount of pumpkin…you can increase it in a few days.  It fills them up so they feel satisfied…but only good calories.   As you noted is has a slight sweet taste to them….but it has a lot of flavor (yummy to dogs) and fiber (they love the texture).

      Its such a good stabilizer for the gut that it clears up both diarrhea and constipation…so it will make them more “regular”,

  4. This is news to me I did not know that dog could eat this that means that they can now relieve all that vitamins that this veggie has to offer. It is good to know that we can have our dogs eating and living healthy so they can be their best. I am sure that your readers will find what you are sharing to be very helpfully and interesting I must say.

  5. Wow, I never thought about giving my dog pumpkin. I tried other veggies, but he just won’t touch them. Let’s see if this time it will be different- I’ll give it a try, he definitely needs some fiber and nutrients. I’ll let you know how it went. Thank you very much for sharing.

  6. That’s great!  I didn’t know that dogs would even eat pumpkin.  I love pumpkin and squash so it’s good to know that it’s good for my pet as well.  I have tried other veggies for my dogs, but have never tried pumpkin.  Thank  you for the information on this 🙂  And thank you so much for the recipe, too 🙂  

  7. I’m a huge dog lover and I just adopted a German Shepard puppy recently. I didn’t, however, know that they could eat pumpkins because it had not come to mind. Now I can even visualize the market there is for it as well as the benefits for including it in a dog’s diet. I’ll definitely be trying it when my puppy is old enough!

    1. Yes there is a lot of pumpkins grown for decoration….we used to eat them as a kid when my grandmother would make pies and cookies from them.  She used to roast pumpkin slices with olive oil, salt, spices and brown sugar.  So good…but never see anyone talk about those types of things.

  8. Who would have thought to feed dogs pumpkin. I suppose it makes a lot of sense for an overweight dog, rather than wheat. Our dogs love apples, but I must admit I haven’t even thought to give them pumpkin. Maybe our chubby staffing can lose some weight on some pumpkin each day  

    I am definitely going to try some of those Pumpkin treats as they look simple to make. A great alternative to dog biscuits. 

  9. This is a brilliant idea! My dog also eats different kind of vegetables like cucumber or carrots, so I guess he will at least try the pumpkin. You made a really good point with weight control, because that’s one of his weak points. Pumpkin is also good for the prostate and the bladder, so especially for older male dogs a perfect remedy as well. The recipe is awesome. Can’t wait to give him this treat. 

  10. Wow!! is good to know that dogs can eat pumpkins. I liked that you offer a recipe for cooking it to dogs… I haven’t seen here people cooking for their pets, only buying cans of foods, those are also good, but is better what you suggest, cooking for your pet. At this time we can find a lot of pumpkins in markets. Have you heard about the beneficial of sweet potato? we call it “boniato” I liked your post, thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Maria- yes we eat a lot of sweet potatoes.  The Boniato sweet potatoes are the one with white flesh right?  

      We use the red ones and my dogs love them.  I’ll boil them and add to their food….I also use my dehydrator to dry them out along with apples for their dog treats.  The dry dog food I use to mix with the food I make for them is based on sweet potatoes.  Never a tummy problem or weight problem

  11. wow, I never thought to give pumpkin to my dog before. I wonder if she would eat it? She doesn’t typically go for fruit and veggies. The benefits sound really great though, so it would be worth giving it a try. I have some that I need to do something with soon—guess my pup will try some then!

    1. I will bet that your dog will enjoy it!  It’ll be an interesting treat for her.  When I cook some for my dogs…they get excited now because they know what’s coming.  I try to get a bunch at a discount at the end of the season and I freeze a bunch that I use throughout the year.  Good Luck!

  12. I knew that eating pumpkin was good for people, but I didn’t realize how good it was for our dogs too! I’ve never given my dog some pumpkin before, but now that I know about it, I will have to mix some in with her dinner.

    My parents actually grow some pumpkins in their garden each year, so I’m going to see if maybe I can get a freshly grown one the next time I see them. 

    I think that anytime we can eat food that is close to nature, it’s much better for our bodies. And that philosophy goes for our dogs too! 

    1. Thant’s right Nick…when we eat food that is not heavily processed we always win.   I think when people use food as a decoration (like pumpkins) we end not wanting to eat them.  Grab one of those pumpkins from your parents and eat it with your dog!   I bake chunks of mine (for me to eat) with sugar and salt and brown sugar….its good grilled too with savory spices.   And it makes the best winter soup…..good luck!

  13. Tim, wow I didn’t know about dogs and pumpkins! Haha, I remember carving pumpkins for Halloween when I was in the US, but I only had a dog when I was living outside of the US. So, over here pumpkins aren’t that popular so never tried feeding him pumpkins. But I feel like this is a great food for dogs especially this season. I remember how much pumpkin we carved and threw away. What a great way to not waste but also feed your dogs at the same time!

  14. I really wish that I had read this article years ago, or known how pumpkin can help with your dogs gut.  My husky cross is the fussiest eater I have ever seen, but she loves pumpkin.  I only started giving it to her in the last few years when she was having diarrhea.  Considering she doesn’t like any veggies, she absolutely loves pumpkin.  Now, she’s 10 and has serous health issues.  But while she’s still with me, I think I will try putting a scoop of pumpkin in her food rather than expensive wet food, and see how that goes over.  It also really does do wonders for diarrhea!!  Thanks for sharing all of this info.  I may even try cooking up some of those treats – I’m sure she will love them!! 

  15. I give my dog, and even my cat, a few tablespoons of organic pumpkin every other day.  I use a can though.  After making a morning smoothie, I share what is left over with my pets. They love it, and I find that it helps them poop easier. 

    I don’t want to give them too much, don’t want them going the other way!  

    Pumpkin has a way of helping pets if they are constipated or have diarrhea. It keeps their tummys balanced. If your pet is not feeling the best, I suggest you try it. But like this article says, get pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling or the like.

  16. Hi, I have given my dog pumpkin to help with diarrhea, and to add more fibre to her diet.  My dog loves it.  I usually buy the pure pumpkin in a can, but a can lasts quite a long time.  I like your suggestion of freezing it in an ice cube tray, I will have to try that.  I also had no idea that the seeds could be given to dogs too, that is great.  Thanks for the great information.

  17. That’s surprising. I wouldn’t have thought of pumpkin as a food that dogs might like, but some dogs eat all kinds of things. It’s handy to have a recipe for dog treats with pumpkin in them. The more foods that we can make for our pets and ourselves from scratch, the more we can be assured that we’re eating healthy ingredients. And dog treats are something that not a lot of people would think of making themselves. 

  18. I’m glad you made it extremely clear that the best way to get these pumpkins is when they are 100% fresh. I tend to avoid all can foods now as much as possible, so I will go with the season, and make the best use of what the season has to offer, and then keep the rest for latter using great food preservation products.

    The pumpkin seeds are also another treasure, which I’m glad you mentioned in your post. It’s also very good for human beings. I used to detest pumpkins when I was much younger, but why? And now reading your post, even though it was meant for dog feeding, I think I need to start getting used to pumpkin again.

    I enjoyed reading your post. I seriously have to start taking pumpkins too, and enjoy with the dogs. LOL.

  19. Hi Tim,

    Honestly, i’m really in Love with your post,I must recommend that!

    I never knew that pumpkin can be too useful. Most times, I’m always feeding my dog with Barley meal, the dross of wheatflour, or both mixed together, with broth or skim’d milk, So it’s always expensive for them to depend on it.

    But today is my first time oof hearing about How PUMPKIN can be good for dog’s freshness.

    it’s really an opportunity to know that pumpkin is good for dogs. Yes.

    Thanks Very Much for this informative Post TIM!

    REGARDS

  20. Hey Tim!   Loved the information about the pumpkin for dogs.  I’d previously fed our goldendoodle pumpkin and had for some reason forgotten about adding to his food.  The peanut butter pumpkin treats sound great – will get my granddaughters to make him a batch….and by the way, if you freeze the treats as well, you can take them out for a few minutes to thaw and then give your pet a delicious treat anytime! Well written article – thanks for the reminder!  All the best!

  21. We just got a dog recently and I haven’t had a chance to go and review things that are good for her and that I should be feeding her.  This website has a lot of really good info based on experience with older dogs.  Our dog is only about 9 months old, but I’m guessing that pumpkin would be good for dogs at any age.  She’s already starting to get a little chunky so I may start using this as a snack.  🙂

    1. Pumpkin is a great weigh management food.  It’s well-balance and the fiber and water content keeps the digestive system in sync…they always feel satisfied after eating so they aren’t always hungry.  A couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin is a great way to start.  It’s everywhere this time of year…and really cheap.

  22. This is great article on the benefits of pumpkin for your dogs. My wife and I cook our dogs meals weekly so I look forward to adding pumpkin to the mix. I like that pointed out that it helps their digestive system and can help them lose weight. This is an important factor for a lot of folks who feel their pets are an important family member. Great article, keep up the good work!

  23. Hi Tim,

    this is so interesting. I don’t have dogs, but I like the fact that they can eat pumpkin and that they love it. I love pumpkin myself, yet didn’t know that it is good for a dog. 🙂

    I will tell this information to my friends who have dogs, they never mentioned it, I’m curious if they tried it. Probably not, but maybe they forgot to mentioned it.

    Thanks, I can’t wait to share this info,

    Strahinja

  24. We have a 14-week old puppy and have been giving him a tablespoon of pumpkin a day. He has lost some of his “baby” fat and is looking very good! The previous owner would fill the food bowls and let the puppy just eat and eat, so he got pretty chunky! 

    I am wondering, are there any dog foods that you are aware of that contain pumpkin? Or is is best to just give him the tablespoon that we’ve been doing? He really loves it and has had no problems with diarrhea since we began this regimen. He had the diarrhea pretty bad when we got him. We think because he was eating adult dog food and as much of it as he wanted.

    Thank you for sharing your insights on pumpkin and I look forward to your replies.

    Best wishes,Karin 🙂

    1. So glad to hear your puppy is growing nice and strong and it sounds like you have found something that is working well for you…and him.  As long as you are mixing his pumpkin with a good well-balanced food you’re on the right track.  I love to make my own dog food…and my guys do so well on it.

      If you ever want to try a good zero grain food…I have tried the Natures Recipe mix with Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin.  It’s pricey…but it is really nutritious and an excellent option for some.

  25. Wow. I never would have imagined dogs can eat pumpkin! It totally makes sense to offer such a healthy treat. Can you follow the same guidelines and use squash? I don’t personally have a dog but there are certainly lots of dogs in my extended family. I can’t wait to ask them about trying this. Do you know if canned pumpkin is a high/low calorie food?

    1. Squash is perfectly fine for your dog…but they can eat to much.  So it’s not the same as pumpkin.  Don’t let you dog eat the flowers or the plant itself for squash and zucchini.

      Pumpkin is one of those vegetable/fruits and you dog can eat far more of this than squash.  Many high end dog foods that focus on zero grain will use pumpkin or sweet potato for a base.

      Canned 100% pumpkin is a great all around food and is a low calorie option (because of the fiber and water) for weight management.

  26. HI

    Thank you for this informative and interesting article.

    Who knew?  I didn’t 

    This is the first time that I am hearing about feeding dogs pumpkins.  But it makes a lot of sense

    This is something that I need to put on my dogs menu because it could cut down on my vet bills is my dogs digestive tract is working well it will make for a healthier dog.  Also with the added fatty acids and vitamins, I really can not go wrong.

    And on top of that it will be a great way to manage his weight.  This is good stuff.

    Thank you also to the added bonus of the Pumpkin Doggy Treats recipe which I will be trying this weekend.

    Just thought I could also make a puree to add to his dried food. YAY.

    Thank you 

    Jennifer

  27. I wish I would have come across this article about a month ago! 

    My poor papa dog, Sam, is about 10 years old, and he was having the worst case of runny poohs, as I call it, that I have ever had to deal with! 

    I put him on just rice and ginger root for two weeks and still he would get the poohs back if I fed him his normal food. It was sad and aggrivating as he didn’t always make it outside.

    I finally swithced his food to one that contained no grains just Salmon and Peas. This is not the cheapest, and having three labs, I had to switch all of their food. If the girls didn’t eat all of their food Sam would try to come clean up, so to speak. And yes poohs again. 

    Do you think that pumpkin and rice would be a good combination for runny poohs? Or should I just stick with the pumkin?

    This article was so very helpful to me. 

    1. Hey Stacie,

      Sounds like you’ve have runny poohs in your pet family for some time now.  Sorry, that’s not fun for anyone.

      I was wondering if your dog also might suffer from anxiety or separation issues?.  These psychological factors can really upset their poor little tummies.  Sudden changes in the household can do this…new people in or favorite people out…etc.

      Just like in people…when we internalize stress…it comes out eventually in undesirable ways.  Just bringing it up as it could be some external factors that are setting off the rumblings.

      Making your own dog food is awesome…..great job!   As for the diet…pumpkin is full of vitamins, water, and fiber….so it’s good to help keep Sam hydrated, get nutrition, and take care of his diarrhea (works just as good with constipation).  As far as rice goes…limit it to no more than 30% of the meal.   White rice for upset stomach in this case…..normally I would use brown rice for a dog with a healthy gut.   It has more nutrition…less risk of allergic reaction.  You can also add eggs to the pumpkin and rice…boil or scramble (non stick pan no oil or butter).  

      He may have other medical issues going on… so I can’t give much advice beyond that.  He may have some other imbalance going on..or may have been exposed to something to make him ill.  You may want to check in with your vet if this diet doesn’t help to clear him up soon.  Hope this helps.

      Best of luck!  Tim

  28. Pumpkin is good for dogs  how much . This was a very informative article it gives me something new to try with my dog I have never had a new that you can feed your dog pumpkin now that I do I am going to try this. And I’ve noticed that you mention my dog may you lose some weight  from eating pumpkins which I think would be a good idea. I never knew that dogs naturally loves pumpkins and  I am really ready to try it .

    Thank you again for this wonderful post and I appreciate the new information.

  29. Tim thanks for sharing this suggestion. I had never thought of feeding pumpkin to dogs! It is very helpful too that you share why pumpkin is so good for dogs as well. Our household unfortunately lost our older dog some years ago. We currently have 2 kittens about 6 months old and one of them needs a weight management plans, I wonder if pumpkin is good for cats too as you have suggested for dogs? But I will also bookmark this page as we will get another dog, probably a rescue dog which means they may be older and in need of a weight management plan!

    1. Hi Fleur- yes, good news —-pumpkin is good for cats too. They only need a teaspoon or so. Thanks for reading and for checking in.

  30. This is great! I’ve been reading a lot about calorie density for humans (that is, eating lots and lots of calorie-dilute foods to be pleasantly full and help induce weight loss), but it seems like it’s also a great idea for dogs too! As I was reading your article I was wondering about the seeds because it seems like they would be a great source of protein and fats. You did mention that they could eat them raw. Then you mentioned to roast them for later. So, I just want to make sure…dogs are OK to eat roasted pumpkin seeds? I was just a little unclear there. 

    And I’m assuming pumpkin spiced lattes are out for dogs. lol 😉

    1. Great  question about pumpkin seeds.  Your dog can eat them raw – great healthy treat- I don’t think you should give them a whole pumpkins worth at once (and I know- you know that)..so to save the rest for later you can toast so they don’t spoil.  I hope I explained that well.

  31. Hey Tim,  

    This is really interesting!  I had no idea that those big orange pumpkins were even eatable for a dog!  Now I learn that it’s even good for them.  I have a standard poodle (about 60 lbs) that has a very sensitive stomach, but she does need to lose weight, so I wonder if giving her some cooked pumpkins would be a good or bad thing.  How much should I use if I do decide to try and replace some of the fat she eats with pumpkins?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Denis-  cooked pumpkin should not cause a negative reaction to your girls tummy, but you’ll want go slow.  I would recommend sticking with canned pumpkin and start with replacing a few tablespoons of her meal with the same amount of pumpkin.  I’m sure her food is high quality but I would double check her recommended feeding guidelines on the packaging and make adjustments if you are giving her any treats between meals

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