At this point, you’ve probably read or heard from multiple sources that feeding your dog pumpkin is a good idea. And for the most part, this is true.
Not only is pumpkin safe for dogs to eat, but it could also serve as a very healthy addition to their diet. On top of that, pumpkins have a distinct flavor that many dogs seem to enjoy and are a big reason it’s very easy to mix pumpkins in with their regular diet.
Still, as safe as pumpkins are for dogs, there are some things to remember when feeding your dog pumpkins to avoid any health complications and reduce the risks. For example, can dogs eat raw pumpkin?
So, in this guide we’ll be going through the different things you should and shouldn’t do when feeding your dog pumpkin and even a short guide to the different health benefits that pumpkins have for dogs.
Why Should I Feed My Dog Pumpkin?
The main reason people enjoy feeding their dog pumpkin is that it is high in fiber. Fiber is crucial in maintaining a healthy digestive system. On top of that, pumpkin also has a load of different vitamins that are great for your dog’s health such as vitamins A, C, and E as well as zinc and magnesium.
Pumpkin aids in the digestive health of dogs and can also be a great way of fighting off worms and parasites in their digestive tracts.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Feeding Pumpkin To Dogs
When feeding pumpkins to your dogs, safety needs to be your top priority. While it is generally considered safe to feed your dog’s pumpkins, there are still some risks involved. So, to avoid any complications here are some of the basic do’s and don’ts of feeding pumpkins to your pet dogs.
Do: Cook the Pumpkin
While raw pumpkins are safe for dogs, they can be hard for them to chew and eat. Additionally, many dogs seem to prefer the taste of cooked pumpkins, whether this be because of the texture or the taste is unknown. And even if you have to cook the pumpkin before serving it, dogs don’t require an arduous and fancy prep routine for their pumpkins.
One of the best ways to prepare the pumpkin for your dog is by roasting it in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for around 35-60 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Before roasting, it’s best to cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds (which you can save for later).
Once done roasting, you can either cut the pumpkin into bite-sized bits or puree the entire thing to make a sort of “smoothie” for your dog. This will make it much easier for your dog to eat and digest the pumpkin.
Don’t: Give Your Dog Processed Pumpkin
It might be tempting to feed your dog pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin from the grocery store. However, as much as possible, keep your dog away from these pumpkin products. The reason for this is that processed pumpkin products may contain added sugar and other additives like xylitol, which can be very toxic for dogs.
Do: Feed in Moderation
Another thing to remember is to only feed your dog a small amount of pumpkin at a time. You can start by mixing a tablespoon or two of puree into their regular dog food. This is to avoid any complications like diarrhea or nutrient deficiencies from all the fiber.
Don’t: Throw Away the Seeds
As mentioned earlier, you can save the pumpkin seeds, you can roast them and peel them then feed them to your dog. Pumpkin seeds have a wide array of health benefits for dogs as well. However, preparing them for your pet may require a bit of effort, which is important to keep in mind when preparing natural treats for your dog.
Do: Start Slowly
If it’s your first time feeding a pumpkin to your dog, start with a very small amount. You can never fully predict how they will react to the food or if they are allergic, so start very small and see how your dog reacts. From there, you can start to gauge how much pumpkin they can handle and whether it will be a good addition to their diet.
So, there’s a quick list of things you should and should not do when feeding pumpkins to your dog.
However, one thing that you always need to remember before adding anything new to your dog’s diet is to consult your vet first. Your vet knows all the potential allergies of your dog and whether or not they will react well to the new food. So, always follow your vet’s advice when it comes to what to feed your dog, and if pumpkin isn’t the best for your pet, there are a bunch of other fruits and vegetables you and your pet can try out.