Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? Super Foods for Dogs

By Claudia Kawczynska, May 2020
can dogs eat pumpkin and pumpkin seeds?

Yes, dogs can eat pumpkin, both the pulp and the seeds. The pulp is low in calories, and its blend of soluble and insoluble fiber makes it an effective remedy for diarrhea and constipation alike. The seeds (ground and added to oatmeal and honey) are a traditional remedy for tapeworm. Plus, pumpkin is low in sodium and exceptionally high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, carotenoids, potassium and Vitamin C; it also has some calcium and B-complex vitamins. And, it can be used as a fat substitute when making dog treats. 

How to Add Pumpkin to Your Dog’s Diet

Pumpkin is very versatile. You can mix it into your dog’s meals, use it as a topper, add it to baked treats or stuff it into a Kong-type food toy. Steam and mash fresh pumpkin, or take the easy way out and used canned pumpkin (organic, if possible). If using canned, read the label carefully to be sure you’re getting 100 percent pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which has salts, sugars, mace and nutmeg (that can be toxic to dogs). Stock up on canned pumpkin during fall and winter holidays, when cases are often less expensive.

A Simple Pumpkin Treat Recipe For Your Dog

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat or oat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsps. peanut or almond, butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Thoroughly combine ingredients.

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Drop treat-sized “cookies” onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes or so.

How to Prep Raw Pumpkin for Your Dog in an Instant Pot

Here is an easy, foolproof prep method, using an Instant Pot.

Calorie Count | Pumpkin pulp: 7 Kcals/1 oz. 

• Place a small, 2.5 lb. pumpkin on the trivet that comes with the multicooker (if the stem is long turn it upside down, to face the bottom).

• Add 1 ½ c. water.

• Cook for 13 minutes on high pressure.

• Let the pressure release naturally.

• After about 20 minutes, carefully remove the pumpkin using tongs (it can be messy, so have a bowl handy). Cool before handling.

Cut the pumpkin in half; scoop out the seeds, reserving them for other uses; spoon out the pulp; discard the skin. At this point, the pumpkin is essentially pureed (dogs don’t mind the stringy bits), but you can use a food processor to puree if desired.

 

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds contain a wide variety of antioxidant phytonutrients and are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and calcium (important for bone formation). They are a good source of healthful oils and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Dry/roast, then grind them in a food processor, powerful blender or food grinder. As with any new food, start slowly when introducing them to your dog’s meal plan.

Calorie Count | Pumpkin seeds: 126 Kcals/3.5 oz.

Quick Tip: Prepping Pumpkin Seeds

Put seeds and the stringy pulp that sticks to them in a strainer and rinse, picking off as much of the “string” as you can. Dry, then put them on a sheet pan in a 300°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. After they cool, grind the seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender. Store in a glass jar.