We are officially in pumpkin season!  You may be wondering as you guzzle your PSL from Starbucks…can my dog enjoy the magic flavors of fall, too?  Yes, yes they can.  Pumpkin is good for your dog.  In fact, there are many health benefits for dogs eating pumpkin.

Advantages of Pumpkin

pumpkin and dog

The flesh of a pumpkin is high in soluble fiber. It  is a natural remedy for both diarrhea and constipation. The fiber in pumpkin also helps feed beneficial gut bacteria, which will improve your dog’s intestinal health.  If your dog is suffering from loose stool, the pumpkin helps by absorbing excess moisture and adding bulk to their daily poop.

Pumpkin is also low in calories, which also containing essential vitamins and minerals.  A pumpkin has a high concentration of Vitamin A, a beta carotene.  This is a powerful antioxidant which helps boost your dog’s immune system.  Carrots are also a very good source for beta carotene.  So skip the high calorie treats for your pup and swap it out with a few carrot sticks.

A Diet Plan

pumpkin and dog

Nobody wants to go on a diet, including your dog.  But introducing pumpkin into your dog’s diet, can aid in their weight loss program.  Because pumpkins have a high moisture and fiber content, these orange orbs are amazing to kick start their healthy eating habits.  Simply by replacing a portion of your dog’s regular food with canned pumpkin can help your pup lose excess water and weight.  Plus, all the fiber in the pumpkin will keep them full, so they aren’t missing the extra calories.

Is All Pumpkin Created Equal?

pumpkin and dog

You can choose to do pumpkin treats, canned pumpkin and even pumpkin supplements for your dog. When choosing plain pumpkin from a can, make sure you choose 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling or anything with sweetness or spices.  One can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.  But for lasting power, grab an ice cube tray and portion out the pumpkin in cubes.  A pumpkin ice cube is a fun treat!

If you happen to live next to a pumpkin patch or grab a fresh pumpkin from the store, you can cook it at home for your four-legged friend.  Simply poke a few holes in a pumpkin and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. After cooling, you can cube or puree for a tasty dog treat.  Raw pumpkin is safe for dogs, but the flavor and texture improve after baking.

Pumpkin seeds can also be eaten by dogs, raw or cooked.  Just avoid salting and adding oil to the seeds if you roast them.

The Right Amount

pumpkin and dog

Start slow.  Add one to four pumpkin tablespoons per meal to your dog’s diet. Always start with small quantities to avoid adding too much fiber. If you have doubts about the amount of pumpkin to add to your dog’s diet, always consult your veterinarian.

You can add pumpkin to your dog’s daily food routine.  Just make sure to keep your dog hydrated. Go by weight in terms of the maximum amount of pumpkin to feed your dog: small dogs can have a teaspoon or so per day, while big dogs can handle a tablespoon or two.

Pumpkin Recipes For Dog

dog chef