We all love treats made with pumpkin, especially during the fall months so you may be wondering whether pumpkin is good, bad, or just OK for dogs. There are many human foods that are perfectly safe for dogs to eat and provide them with plenty of health benefits. Pumpkins are one of those foods. In fact, pumpkin is an extremely healthy treat for dogs, and it can also be used as a nutritional supplement.
Whether raw, canned, pureed, baked, broiled or steamed, both regular and organic pumpkin is not only safe for dogs but it’s a common ingredient found in specialized commercial dog food blends. Below, we’ll discuss how much pumpkin you can give a dog and what pumpkin actually does for them, helping to alleviate symptoms from upset stomach to diarrhea.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin For Dogs
Pumpkin is packed with nutrients. Cooked pumpkin is high in vitamin A and is also rich in potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure. It also contains vitamin C, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate. Here are some of the many health benefits of pumpkin for dogs.
The vitamin A in pumpkin is essential for healthy eyes. It can help to prevent a variety of degenerative conditions in the eyes, including night blindness.
Dogs need vitamin C for a healthy immune system, and they can get it by eating pumpkin, along with vitamins A and E, as well as many antioxidants that help to prevent various diseases, including certain types of cancer.
Healthy Skin and Coat
Pumpkin contains many nutrients that can help to improve the health of your dog’s skin and coats, including vitamin A and zinc. These nutrients help to keep the coat soft and shiny, and moisturize the skin.
Pumpkin seeds can help to prevent urinary incontinence in dogs. The seeds also contain antioxidants, and they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that assist in dislodging kidney stones.
Adding pumpkin to your dog’s diets will help to increase their fiber intake, which will in turn keep their digestive systems healthy, making it easier for them to pass stool and curing constipation and diarrhea.
Pumpkin is rich in cucurbitacin, an amino acid that is toxic to many dog parasites and can help to expel worms. Add ground pumpkin seed to your dog’s diets to supplement their regular treatments.
Pumpkins have a lot of moisture and fiber, which are both necessary for weight loss. Replace some of their regular food with a few teaspoons of canned pumpkin (up to one half cup for larger dogs) to help them lose weight.
Giving Your Dog Pumpkin
There are many ways that dogs can enjoy pumpkin. You can find plenty of different canned dog foods and treats that contain pumpkin, and there are also a number of pumpkin supplements available. Fresh, cooked pumpkin is a great choice, and you can also give them canned pumpkin.
However, do not give them pumpkin pie filling, as it has sweeteners and spices that are not healthy for dogs, and choose ones specifically formulated for dogs. To start off, you should give your small dogs about a half a tablespoon of pureed pumpkin and larger dogs 1-2 tablespoons.
In addition, dogs can eat pumpkin seeds raw, but they tend to like them better if they are roasted. Like most foods, you should keep it unseasoned if you’re using a homemade recipe as many seasonings can actually be harmful for your pup.
Yes, Dogs Can Have Pumpkin
While pumpkin is very healthy for dogs, it is best to introduce it to their diets slowly, as you would with any other new food. It is also a good idea to discuss any dietary changes with your veterinarian before doing it, and ask for advice about other healthy foods that you can give to your dog.