Benefits Of Pumpkins For Dogs

Benefits Of Pumpkins For Dogs

It is pumpkin season with Thanksgiving and Halloween holidays just around the corner. So we thought it might be a great idea to look at the benefits of pumpkins for dogs. 

With pumpkins in season its good news for dogs because pumpkin is a very healthy and delicious food that most dogs enjoy. If you haven’t already discovered how great pumpkin is you will want to soon add it to your canine’s diet. It is a kind of superfood that has many health benefits. It’s also affordable and easy to source. 

Here are some of the benefits of pumpkin for dogs and ways we can get pumpkin into their diets.

Pumpkins Are Packed With Goodness

This orange fruit is packed with essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A (beta-carotene), potassium, vitamin B, C and E, iron, phosphorus, folate and magnesium. Your dog’s metabolism and muscle growth can be given a boost from the potassium and vitamin A will help with eye health. Plus you can expect your dog’s coat to be even shinier and healthier with a diet that includes pumpkin. 

Pumpkin is low in fat and rich in immune-boosting nutrients. It really is a wonder food for dogs. 

Pumpkins are also rich in fiber which will help keep your dog regular and help with digestion. They also have high water content. 

How Should Dogs Get Their Fix Of Pumpkin

Many dogs like to eat cooked pumpkin. It is tasty and soft so easy to eat. Some dogs will be happy to eat it alone or mixed with their regular diet. For dogs on a raw food diet pumpkin is an important ingredient due to the many health benefits that come with it. It really can boost up the goodness contained in each meal so you can be sure your dog is getting enough nutrients needed for growth and wellbeing. 

You can source fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin for your dog. If you buy canned pumpkin be careful nothing is added such as sugar or spices as your dog could end up with an upset stomach. Pumpkin pie filling is a definite no-no. 

One to four tablespoons a day should be plenty for any sized dog. Try mixing it with peanut butter or yogurt for a tasty treat. Or if you enjoy cooking you can find homemade dog snack recipes with pumpkin as the main ingredient online. 

But your dog might not like eating pumpkin fresh or canned. Or after a while, it might just grow tired of the same taste. There are other ways to get the super healthy pumpkin into your pooch.

You can buy pumpkin powder as a supplement for your precious pooch. Just sprinkle some of the healthy powder on your dog’s food. If your dog is especially fussy you can mix it into the food or water so the taste will be disguised. 

You can buy pumpkin power online, at pet stores and supermarkets. You can also get chewable dog treats packed with pumpkin goodness. 

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Your dog can have too much pumpkin. Since it is rich in fiber too much pumpkin can cause constipation or digestive issues. Also if your dog gets too much vitamin A the body can’t process it which can make your dog very sick or be fatal. If your dog has too much vitamin A it may suffer from nausea, lethargy, tremors and lack of appetite. Seek medical attention if your dog is displaying these symptoms. 

Every dog is different so when you give your dog pumpkin monitor its reaction and stool consistency to know if you’ve given too much. If so cut back the amount you feed your dog. 

Don’t give your dog any pumpkin stem or skin as it isn’t easy to digest and may cause stomach pain. If you think your dog has digested too much pumpkin goodness make a trip to your local veterinarian for advice. 

Interesting Facts

  • Sweet potato is also high in fiber and a similar consistency to pumpkin. But it’s almost double the calories so if your dog is prone to putting on weight pumpkin is for sure the best option.
  • A dose of pumpkin can help with diarrhea and constipation
  • Some dog owners grow their pumpkin patches because their dogs love the food so much
  • A pumpkin has about 500 seeds
  • Pumpkins are 90% water
  • Many people think pumpkin is a vegetable but it is actually a fruit
  • Jack-o-lanterns were originally made with potatoes before someone realized pumpkins were easier to carve
  • The world’s heaviest pumpkin was recorded as weighing over 2,600 pounds – that’s a lot of dog food


Many dog owners will give pumpkin to their dog when it has diarrhea and it is a great remedy. Just remember that diarrhea can point to signs of other underlying health problems. So if the diarrhea is reoccurring it is wise to see veterinarian advice. 

Pumpkin is in season now so it’s abundant and affordable. You can freeze raw pumpkin for up to three months so if your dog loves the taste of pumpkin you might want to get into the harvest season and store some for later. Just peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, cut it up and put the pumpkin in the freezer in zip-locked bags.

So you can see many benefits come with adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet. The winter squash is a great staple food that you can buy in many forms or even grow yourself. So get along to your local farmers market and grab a pumpkin and see if your dog agrees with us that pumpkin is a tasty treat that belongs in the dog bowl.

Ame Vanorio

Ame Vanorio is a former science and special education teacher who has morphed into a freelance writer, specializing in blogs about animals, education and environmental science topics. She is the executive director of Fox Run Environmental Education Center and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation expert. Ame lives on her farm in rural Kentucky with 4 wonderful dogs and lots of other critters!

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