can i give my dog pumpkin

Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

Raising a dog entails a handful of responsibilities. As a dedicated pet owner, you have to ensure your furry friend receives the right nourishment to grow up healthy and happy.

There are plenty of foods that dogs can and cannot eat. Nutritious as they may be, not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for canine consumption. But, is it okay for dogs to eat pumpkin?

In short, yes! It is safe to give your dog some pumpkin. This fruit can be a healthy new snack for your pup, especially during the festive holiday season. Still, you must always exercise caution and moderation when feeding your dog pumpkin treats.

How Is Pumpkin Good for Dogs?

Pumpkin is not only yummy and low in calories, it is also a nutrient-rich food that is healthy for humans and dogs. Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for canine growth. Here are some of the nutrients that can pumpkins contain:

  1. Potassium – An essential mineral your dog needs. Potassium helps maintain the efficient functioning of your dog’s nerves, muscles, and enzymes. The nutrient also regulates the acidity of bodily fluids.
  2. Beta-carotene – A powerful antioxidant that’s converted into Vitamin A when ingested. Vitamin A – Helps keep your dog’s eyes, skin, and immune system healthy.
  3. Vitamins C and E – Vitamin C aids in wound healing and collagen production, while Vitamin E prevents cells from rapid aging.
  4. Iron – an essential component of hemoglobin in the blood. It also regulates your dog’s body temperature.
  5. Calcium – keeps your dog’s teeth and bones strong and healthy.
  6. Fiber – helps in facilitating smooth bowel movements and preventing constipation.

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Health Benefits of Pumpkin

  • Promotes Digestion

Pumpkin contains plenty of fiber and water, which promotes smooth and healthy bowel movements. If your pup has a sensitive stomach or struggles with constipation or diarrhea, the fiber-rich pumpkin can combat their tummy troubles and support proper digestion.

  • Aids Weight Loss

If your furry companion needs some weight trimming, pumpkin is a good low-calorie, low-fat diet option that is chock-full of nutrients. The fiber content also lets your dog’s tummy feel fuller, which means they’ll be less likely to keep looking for snacks throughout the day.

  • Eye Health

Humans aren’t the only ones who need to take special care of their eyes – dogs do too! Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which are essential for keeping your dog’s eyes bright and healthy. Beta-carotene prevents the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration among pups.

  • Antioxidant

Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants such as beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are harmful to your dog’s health. Eating pumpkin may help reduce the risk of diseases caused by free radicals, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

  • Immune Health

One way to make sure your canine pal grows up strong and healthy is to boost their immune system. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin C and E, which can help strengthen immune health by enhancing cellular response and neutralizing harmful oxidants.

  • Skin and Coat

Pumpkins contain Vitamin A and zinc, which leave your pup’s fur soft and lustrous. Vitamin C in pumpkins promotes collagen synthesis, which is essential for maintaining the skin’s elasticity. Its high water content also prevents flakes and contributes to skin health.

  • Parasites

Pumpkins may be able to save your dog’s stomach from parasites like tapeworms. The fruit contains cucurbitacin, a biochemical compound that is toxic to gastrointestinal parasites.

What Type of Pumpkin Is Safe for My Dog?

Both fresh and canned pumpkin is safe for dogs. However, the healthiest option is plain canned pumpkin because it contains more nutrients and fiber than fresh pumpkins.

If you’re planning to buy canned pumpkin, make sure to pick one with 100% pumpkin. Also, make sure to choose one without additives like sugar, salt, nutmeg, and mace because it can irritate your dog’s tummy. Do not choose pumpkin pie filling because it may contain xylitol, which is toxic to canines.

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How Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

It is safe for dogs to eat either raw or cooked pumpkin. However, cooking the pumpkin can significantly improve its texture and flavor. There are lots of creative ways to prepare a yummy pumpkin snack for your pup:

  • Pumpkin Dog Treats

Your pooch will definitely enjoy munching on homemade pumpkin dog biscuits. Here’s a simple pumpkin dog treat recipe with only three ingredients: pumpkin, flour, and egg. You can cut these treats into fun shapes to liven up your pup’s meal times!

  • Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be healthy bite-sized snacks for your dog. However, it is best to clean, peel, and roast the seeds because raw seeds spoil rapidly. You can either give the seeds whole or grind them into powder to mix with your pup’s food.

  • Pumpkin Toy Filler

If your dog enjoys playing with his chew toy, you can make your pup happier by adding a little spicy twist. Mash some cooked pumpkin and mix in a bit of unsweetened yogurt. Spoon the mixture into your dog’s stuffable toy and let them enjoy it!

  • Pumpkin Ice Pops

You can make some tasty dog-sicles by mixing some pumpkin puree, yogurt, and peanut butter in a blender. Pour the mixture into an ice tray, pop it into the freezer, and voila! Now, you have some yummy pumpkin popsicles that your pup will surely enjoy on warm days.

Can Too Much Pumpkin Be Dangerous For Dogs?

Although it is safe to feed your pooch some pumpkin from time to time, too can be harmful to your pup’s health. The excess fiber in your pet’s diet can lead to digestive complications and hinder nutrient absorption. The Vitamin A in pumpkins is also toxic to dogs when consumed in large amounts.

The amount of pumpkin that you can give your dog depends on your pet’s size and breed. Smaller dogs may eat a few teaspoons a day, while larger dogs can handle a few tablespoons. It is best to discuss proper portions with your veterinarian so you can prevent complications.

 

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References

5 Ways to Feed Your Dog Pumpkin. (n.d.). Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/5-ways-feed-your-dog-pumpkin/85920

Arnarson, A. (2019, July 29). Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained

Bigley, J. & Permenter, P. (2020, April 11). Pumpkin Dog Ice Cream Recipe. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.dogtipper.com/recipes/2019/06/pumpkin-doggie-ice-cream-recipe.html

Burke, A. (2018, March 02). You Can Use Pumpkin to Treat Dog Diarrhea. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-pumpkin-help-with-dog-diarrhea/

Chevtchenko, A. (2019, August 13). Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs + Pumpkin Dog Treats. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://petcentral.chewy.com/benefits-pumpkin-dogs/

Clancy, M. (2020, May 15). Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? Is Pumpkin Safe For Dogs? Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://dogtime.com/dog-health/55615-can-dogs-eat-pumpkin

Dyck, A. (2020, October 02). 10 Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://blog.homesalive.ca/health-benefits-of-pumpkin-for-dogs?hs_amp=true

Fontein, C. (n.d.). Health benefits of pumpkin for your dog. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.smartypawshealth.com/blogs/all/health-benefits-of-pumpkin-for-your-dog

Grzybek, M., Kukula-Koch, W., & Tomczuk, K. (2016, September 1). Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity and Composition of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seed Extracts—In Vitro and in Vivo Studies. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037735/#__ffn_sectitle

Proud Dog Mom. (2020, August 28). Food Facts: Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.prouddogmom.com/pumpkin-benefits-dogs/

Pumpkins: Health benefits and nutritional breakdown. (2020, September). Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610

Raman, R. (2018, August 28). 9 impressive health benefits of pumpkin. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pumpkin#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

Taylor, S. (2017, September 21). Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds? Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://topdogtips.com/can-dogs-eat-pumpkin-seeds/

Trang. (2019, September 06). Pumpkin Dog Treats. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://wildwildwhisk.com/pumpkin-dog-treats/

Ware, M. (2019, November 1). Pumpkins: Health benefits and nutritional breakdown. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610

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