Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

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Dogs Eat Pumpkin

New pet owners may be confused about what type of food to feed their pets. This is because there are lots of information on the internet which is enough to confuse a beginner. While some people choose to feed their dog canned food, others prefer to give them homemade meals.

If you plan to make homemade dog food, you need to know what dogs do and do not eat. In today’s article, we will answer the question “can dogs eat pumpkin?” as many beginners are requesting this information.

Pumpkin for Humans or Dogs?

Both the fruit and its seeds are superfoods for humans. Research shows that they hold important nutrients for dogs, too. Therefore, it is safe for your dog to consume the seeds and raw or cooked fruit. But you still need to see your vet to know the percentage that is healthy for your buddy’s diet.

You can find pumpkin for dogs in plain canned form. It is convenient and healthy provided you use the 100% canned puree. It is important to note that when used as a pie filling, pumpkin becomes unhealthy for dogs. The product includes sodium and unhealthy sugar.

Consider purchasing the unsalted, raw seeds for dogs. You also need to discuss with your vet to know the quantity that will be appropriate in the dog’s diet. Typically, this is based on its weight.

Every dog has a preference, so you need to observe your dog to know what they like. Some of them prefer the plain fruit; they will eat it that way or as a mix in their regular meal. Others prefer eating it as snacks. However, you can ground and add them to their food if the dog refuses to eat only the snacks.

Benefits of Adding Pumpkin to Dog Food

The following are benefits of adding pumpkin to dog food:

1. Natural Cure for Parasites and Worms

The seeds contain cucurbitin, an amino acid that paralyzes and eliminates parasites from the digestive tract of dogs. You can feed them the whole seeds or grind them. For treating worms, you can give a quarter teaspoon for each 10 pounds body weight, one or two times daily.

When you use pumpkin seeds in place of the vet’s dewormer, it allows you to worry less about overdosing or under-dosing, as well as side effects like allergic reaction, diarrhea, or vomiting. Pumpkin is a very safe dewormer. It also contains amino acids, quality protein, and other nutrients.

2. Encourages Digestive Health

The flesh of this fruit has a high soluble fiber content which makes it a good remedy for constipation and diarrhea. The fiber helps to feed the good gut bacteria, thereby, improving intestinal health. When used as a diarrhea medication, it absorbs excess moisture and adds bulk to the dog’s stool. 

Also, when used in constipation cases, the high fiber and water content help to ease the problem and aid smooth digestion. All you need is a small quantity of pumpkin to get your buddy feeling well again. For small dog breeds, you can start treatment with 2 teaspoons daily while larger breeds can take 1 or 2 tablespoons. 

Ensure you include the fruit or the seeds in your dog’s daily diet. This will help to keep them healthy, even if they are not currently suffering from constipation or diarrhea. You may want to read this article to see the steps involved in treating dog diarrhea with pumpkin.

3. It is Filling

Pumpkin is a good way to add bulk to your buddy’s diet without unnecessary calories. The additional fiber it contains helps your dog to feel fuller for a long time. You may even reduce the normal amount of food you serve, and your dog will feel full.

You can substitute a quarter cup of dog food with 1 tablespoon pumpkin. Your buddy won’t miss the additional calories; they will probably appreciate the additional variety the fruit provides.

4. Encourages Urinary Health

The seeds and flesh of the fruit contain oils believed to encourage urinary health in dogs. Those suffering from urinary incontinence might see improvements when they consume the fruit as part of their daily diet. You only need to give them a small amount to start seeing the benefits.

5. High Level of Vitamins and Antioxidants

Pumpkin contains carotenoids, chemicals that are responsible for the strong orange color of the fruit. They are also beneficial antioxidants. The seeds are particularly noted for diverse and high antioxidant levels. The antioxidants can assist in slowing down the aging process, fighting inflammation and related diseases, and protecting eye health.

Additionally, the fruit contains several minerals and vitamins including vitamins C and A, magnesium, and zinc. Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining the health of the immune system while vitamin A is good for healthy vision.

The vitamin C in a pumpkin diet benefits dogs suffering from mobility and joint problems. Also, magnesium helps the entire dog’s body and supports the health of the nervous system, bone, and vision. The zinc contributes to healthy coats and skin. 

How to Make a Simple Dog Treat with Pumpkin

The recipe below will show you how to make a simple treat for your canine buddy.

Ingredients

  1. 3 tablespoons almond or peanut, butter
  2. Three quarter cup pumpkin puree
  3. 2 eggs
  4. Two and a half cups oat or whole wheat flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to about three hundred and fifty degrees.
  2. Combine the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Place treat-sized cuts on a baking sheet lined with parchments.
  4. Bake the cookies for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

You may want to visit https://www.pawculture.com/lifestyle/recipes/6-ways-to-prepare-pumpkin-for-dogs/ to get more recipes for your dog.

Bonus Tip: How to Prep Pumpkin Seeds

Since you have read this far, we thought we should give you a bonus tip for your canine friend. To prep pumpkin seeds, do the following:

  1. Place the seeds and their stringy pulp in your strainer, then rinse.
  2. Pick off the string or sticky substance as much as possible.
  3. Preheat your oven to about three hundred degrees.
  4. Place them on your sheet pan and dry the seeds.
  5. Leave them in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Grind the dry seeds in your blender, food processor, or coffee grinder.
  8. Store the ground in an air-tight container or glass jar.

Conclusion

Dogs can eat pumpkin because it is nutritious and beneficial to their health. It can also be used as a natural alternative treatment for worms, urinary incontinence, diarrhea, and constipation, among others.

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