Pumpkin For Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Pumpkin For Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

As fall approaches, grocery store shelves everywhere start filling out with deliciously sweet pumpkin food items. But before you start sharing your pumpkin spice latte with your furry companion, it's essential to delve into the nuances of this seasonal squash's role in your dog's diet.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits, potential risks, and best practices for incorporating pumpkin into your dog's nutrition, ensuring that your four-legged friend enjoys this autumnal delight safely and healthily. So, let's embark on this journey to discover if dogs can indeed eat pumpkin, and if so, how to do it right.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

Let's start our article off with news pet parents will love to hear. Dog can eat pumpkin, and it can have a lot of health benefits when prepared right. In fact, pumpkin may be one of the best human foods we can give our best furbuddies. That's why in a little bit, we'll tell you how you can incorporate pumpkin into your dog's food on a regular basis.

Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs

There are many ways pumpkins can better support a dog's diet. From helping with dog diarrhea to the potassium in pumpkin supporting your dog's muscles, pumpkin for dogs is a match made in heaven.


Pumpkin is a great treat for help with mild constipation thanks to its high fiber content. Plain canned pumpkin, in particular, is great because canned pumpkin tends to have a high water content while being easy for your dog to digest. A fiber and fluid boost is often just what the veterinarian ordered to get things in your dog's digestive tract moving and grooving again.

Weight Loss

Pumpkin's high fiber content while being low in calories is perfect for helping your dog feel full, and this can be handy for helping them lose weight when you're cutting their calories back.


Pumpkin can be given as either a treat or with their meal when you're looking to help out your furbuddy with mild cases of diarrhea. Pumpkin can help add bulk to soft stools and diarrhea for similar reasons it can help with dog constipation, making pumpkin a go-to when backdoor issues are happening. Giving your dog pumpkin when they have an upset stomach is another great idea.

Supporting Gut Health

With a high insoluble and soluble fiber content, giving your dog a little pumpkin is perfect for supporting good gut health by feeding the beneficial bacteria while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Not only does a supported gut microbiome support a dog's digestive health, but it also supports mood and mental health.

Eye Health Benefits

Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin C can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, while vitamin A can soothe eye inflammation and help retain strong vision in low-light areas. Additionally, vitamin A and vitamin C are great for your dog's immune system thanks to their antioxidant properties.

Skin Health

Pumpkin can help give your dog healthy skin by soothing dry skin, protecting cell membranes, and boosting collagen production.

What Type of Pumpkins Can Dogs Eat?

While pumpkin can have a world of health benefits, to unlock the benefits of pumpkin, you need to make sure you're feeding your dog the right kind. From pumpkin bread to pumpkin dog treats to pumpkin spice lattes, there are a lot of pumpkin foods out there, but not all are safe.

Canned Pumpkin

Plain canned pumpkin or cooked pumpkin puree is probably the best type of pumpkin we can give our dogs. Just make sure there are no added sugars (fake or otherwise), spices, or fillers.


Compared to fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin has a higher concentration of fiber and nutrients. And it's already prepared and cooked, making it extremely fast and easy to give.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese, zinc, essential omega fatty acids, and calcium. This makes them a fantastic treat to give to your dog. Just make sure the seeds are deshelled first, as they can be hard on your dog's digestive system. Roasted pumpkin seeds make for tasty pumpkin treats, just make sure they are unsalted and free of any sugar/spice additive.

Carved Pumpkins and Jack-o'-lanterns

It's generally recommended you avoid feeding your dog fresh pumpkin. Not only do you not want them to get in the habit of eating carved pumpkins for many reasons, but fresh pumpkin is harder to digest and parts like the stem and rind can become choking hazards that can additionally cause intestinal blockages. Small dogs, in particular, should be discouraged from eating raw pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Can dogs eat pumpkin pie? Well, not so fast. When looking to buy canned pumpkin for your dog, make sure it's plain and not pumpkin pie filling, which tends to include sugars and spices that can be dangerous to your dog's health. As such, it's not best that your dog eats pumpkin pie along with not giving your dog pumpkin pie filling.

How Much Pumpkin Can Dogs Eat?

When feeding pumpkin on top of your dog's food, you'll want to treat them as you would with any other treat by following the 10% rule that says 90% of your dog's total calorie needs should be coming from their regular food. Canned pumpkin puree is extremely low in calories, with a cup averaging around 83 calories. Depending on your dog's size, we recommend one to four tablespoons of pumpkin per day.

Pumpkin can be also become a regular part of your dog's diet, and ChefPaw makes it very easy to know just how much pumpkin you can feed your dog.

What if My Dog Eats Too Much Pumpkin?

Rich with health benefits, feeding pumpkin to your dog can support their health in many ways, too much canned pumpkin or another type can mess with a dog's digestion. In most cases, feeding your too much pumpkin will probably only result in diarrhea — but when you feed the right amount, you can help out a dog’s diarrhea problem. Over time, feeding your dog too much pumpkin can result in weight gain.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Pumpkin

There are many ways you can feed pumpkin to your dog. Canned pumpkin can be given straight as a nutritious treat, as most dogs love the flavor of pumpkin. But if yours doesn't, you can mix pumpkin with some plain yogurt, or you use it as a food topper on top of their regular dog food.

Remember to watch out for canned pumpkin pie filling when searching for canned pumpkin to avoid giving your dog a pumpkin item filled with undesired additives.

Creating “Pup-kin” treats for dogs

From yogurt and pumpkin treats to peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats, pumpkin is a fantastic ingredient to use when you're looking to make treats at home. You can go the traditional route with pumpkin treats by baking them, but even just mixing pureed pumpkin in equal parts with another soft ingredient like peanut butter and freezing them overnight in an ice cube tray is a simple but great way to make pumpkin snacks for your dog.

Remember, you always want to use plain pumpkin as additives like salt, add nothing to the health benefits, but can make your dog sick.

Final thoughts on canned pumpkin for dogs

Pumpkin is a great food for our dogs, but remember to make sure you are giving them the right kind of pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is, without a doubt, the best kind to give. Just make sure it's plain! 

Pumpkin can be given as a snack but also incorporated into their regular dog food. And ChefPaw makes that very easy to do.

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