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Food & Diet

Of Pooches and Pumpkin Patches: Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins?

At A Glance

Are you considering giving your dog a taste of pumpkin this season? Pumpkin, a popular ingredient in many dog foods and treats, is known for its health benefits. But can dogs eat pumpkins as is? The answer is yes, but it's important to know how to properly prepare it.

  • Avoid giving dogs the stem, and leaves of the pumpkin, as they can be toxic.
  • It is best to prepare the pumpkin for your dog by pureeing or cooking the flesh.

Last Updated on: July 3, 2023


Whether it’s pies, soups, stews, or salads, pumpkins lend a touch of comforting goodness to any meal.

A bite of pumpkin at any time of the year takes us right back to the coziness of fall. Surely you’d like to share this experience with your four-legged friends. But can dogs eat pumpkins?

Are they safe for our four-legged friends to munch on? Well, let’s dive in and find out if this fall staple can be a “howl”oween treats or a scary no for our canine companions.

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Is Pumpkin Good For Dogs?

Generally, pumpkin is considered safe and the benefits of pumpkin for dogs are well known. Dr. Priscilla Bowens, DVM, MPH, says, “Pumpkin is definitely healthy for dogs as part of a well-balanced diet. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, lycopene, and dietary fiber.”

It can help mitigate the symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation in dogs. Additionally, it is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy addition to a dog’s diet.

Pumpkins can also help soothe irritated anal glands, which can be an issue for some dogs. It is important to note that pumpkins should be given in moderation and should not replace a balanced diet.

However, ensure the pumpkin is pureed or canned and not a store-bought pie filling that contains added sugar and spices. This is harmful to dogs.

Risks Of Giving Pumpkins To Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins - Risks Of Giving Pumpkins To Dogs

We’ve established that pumpkins are a healthy treat for your dog. But does that mean they can chow down on as many pumpkins as they like? Can dogs eat carving pumpkins, especially after Halloween? Well, yes and no.

While pumpkin is generally safe for dogs to consume, there are some potential risks to be aware of.

Eating too much pumpkin can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea, so it’s best to feed them to your dog in moderation.

Also, can dogs eat pumpkin insides? Sadly, that’s a no, too. Pumpkin seeds might pose a choking hazard, especially for puppies and dogs of small breeds. And the stems and other parts can be toxic to dogs because they contain a compound called cucurbitacin, a compound that causes stomach upset and other issues.

Symptoms of pumpkin poisoning in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. In severe cases, it can also lead to serious issues, like kidney or liver damage.

How Much Pumpkin Can A Dog Eat?

The appropriate amount of pumpkin for a dog to eat will depend on its size, weight, and overall health. As a general guideline, it is recommended to start with small amounts of pumpkin (a teaspoon to a tablespoon) and gradually increase the amount, depending on how your dog reacts.

For adult dogs, a good starting point is about one teaspoon per ten pounds of body weight per day, but it is always better to check with a veterinarian before adding any new food to their diet.

It is also important to note that pumpkin alone is not a balanced diet for your dog and should only be given as a supplement.

Consulting a vet can help you determine the appropriate amount of pumpkin to give your dog based on their individual needs.

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Pumpkin

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins - How To Safely Feed Your Dog Pumpkin

According to Dr. Andrew Miller, a Locum Small Animal Vet, “Raw pumpkin is safe for a dog to eat, but it is harder to digest and it could make some dogs sick. You might find your pup suffers vomiting or diarrhea if they eat a lot of raw pumpkin.”

How to Cook Pumpkin for Dogs?

It is essential to know how to cook pumpkin for dogs so that your little fur ball can chomp on it. Here are a few simple pumpkin recipes you can follow:

Pumpkin Puree

Simply puree cooked or canned pumpkin and mix it into your dog’s food. However, ensure that the canned pumpkin has no added or artificial sugars and spices as they could be challenging for your dog to digest.

Easy Pumpkin Treats

  • Mix together 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 cup of oats, 1 egg, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Roll into small balls and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.
  • Let them cool down, and watch your pooch gobble up the treat within seconds!

Pumpkin Yogurt

  • Mix together 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Freeze in an ice cube tray for a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Pumpkin Stew

  • Cook diced carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin in chicken broth.
  • Mix in some cooked ground meat.
  • You can add this to their kibble or let them have it as a meal.

4-ingredient Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats

  • Mix together 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and 1 egg.
  • Roll into small balls, flatten lightly, and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

Remember to always consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes and serving these recipes to your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Give My Dog Raw Pumpkin?

It is generally not recommended to give dogs raw pumpkins.

According to Jaye, an animal rights activist, “Pumpkin is a superfood for dogs. It is very nutritious and can help with both diarrhea and constipation. It is better served cooked than raw, and best puréed for digestion.” This helps dogs to digest and ensures that they are not consuming any harmful compounds.

What Part Of The Pumpkin Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs can eat the flesh of the pumpkin. The flesh of the pumpkin is used in most pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin products.

It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is a good source of fiber which can aid in digestion. Also, avoid giving dogs store-bought pumpkin pie filling.

Can Dogs Eat Whole Pumpkins?

It is not recommended to feed dogs whole pumpkins. Whole pumpkins can be difficult for dogs to digest, and the rind of the pumpkin can be particularly tough for them to chew.

Eating anything besides the flesh of the pumpkin can cause an upset stomach. Additionally, the stem of the pumpkin plant contains a compound called cucurbitacin, which is toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Dogs should not be fed pumpkin pie as it contains ingredients that are harmful to them. Pumpkin pie typically contains sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices which are toxic for dogs.

Not to forget, the crust of the pie is made of flour and butter, which can cause an upset stomach or even food allergies.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

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