There’s so much to love about fall – the colorful leaves, the crisp air, and festivals like Thanksgiving and Halloween! Thanks to Halloween, several pumpkin-themed dishes (e.g. pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread) may feature heavily on your menu during the fall season. As a result, you may wish to spice up your dog’s diet with pumpkin. After all, it would be a nice addition to his usual diet (which usually resembles boring baby food)!

However, you may question, “Is pumpkin good for dogs to eat? Is pumpkin toxic to dogs? How much pumpkin can I give my dog?”

It depends! Some forms of pumpkin are dog-friendly, nutritious, and yummy. Other forms of pumpkin are dangerous to dogs. This article will discuss the forms of pumpkin that are safe for dogs, the forms of pumpkin to avoid feeding your dog, and whether it is ok to give your dog pumpkin every day.

Is pumpkin good for dogs to eat?

Pumpkin is rich in vitamins (e.g. Vitamins A, C, and E) and minerals (e.g. zinc, magnesium). These nutrients are crucial for important functions in the body, including:

Is pumpkin good for dogs with diarrhea/constipation?

Samoyed eating a pumpkin

Pumpkin can help dogs with diarrhea. Pumpkin is high in soluble fiber, which absorbs excess water in the gut. This improves the watery consistency of diarrhea. Pumpkin can also aid constipated dogs, as it contains insoluble fiber that speeds up the passage of food through the gut. However, do note that this advice does not replace veterinary care. If your dog has constipation or diarrhea, please seek veterinary advice. The root cause of your dog’s constipation or diarrhea may be very serious. It may require more intensive treatment than just pumpkin!

Is pumpkin good for all dogs to eat?

Unfortunately, some dogs may be allergic to pumpkin. Allergic dogs may develop symptoms like rashes or diarrhea. Please consult your veterinarian if you think that your dog may be allergic to pumpkin!

If your vet approves of feeding pumpkin to your dog, you may wonder what forms of pumpkin are safe. Read on…

Freshly-cooked pumpkin

Freshly-cooked pumpkin flesh is safe for dogs. It can be baked, boiled, or roasted. You can also feed plain pumpkin puree. Just don’t add other ingredients in the process! 

Plain, canned pumpkin

Plain, canned pumpkin is a good choice, as long as it does not contain spices or other ingredients. As canned pumpkin pie is usually spice-heavy, avoid feeding this to your dog!

Pumpkin seeds

Plain pumpkin seeds are safe for dogs! Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber. They are also packed with minerals such as iron (which is important for red blood cell function). However, please remember to remove the shells from the seeds before feeding them as the shells of pumpkin seeds are sharp.

Is pumpkin toxic to dogs?

Dog eating pumpkin

Unfortunately, some dogs may be allergic to pumpkin. Allergic dogs may develop symptoms like rashes or diarrhea.

At this stage, you may be all pumped up to feed pumpkin pie to your dog. However, do remember that some forms of pumpkin are dangerous to dogs! Scroll down to find out what they are!

Pumpkin with spices (e.g. pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie)

Pumpkin is dangerous if it includes spices. Commonly used spices (e.g. nutmeg, cinnamon) are poisonous to dogs. Pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie are often spice-heavy. Also, they usually contain other ingredients (e.g. chocolate, artificial sweeteners like xylitol) that are toxic to dogs. Therefore, you should avoid feeding them to dogs. 

How much pumpkin can I give my dog?

Dog eating pumpkin

You may think nothing of letting your dog gorge on pumpkin puree. However, pumpkin can be problematic if it is given in excess! Excess fiber – or a sudden increase in fiber – can upset your pup’s gut and cause symptoms like diarrhea. Excess fiber also interferes with nutrient absorption in the gut. This is bad for your dog’s health so that is why it is important to feed your dog a diet that meets AAFCO’s standards for a complete & balanced diet.

Is it OK to give your dog pumpkin every day?

You can feed your dog a complete & balanced food that contains pumpkin or you can contact your vet to help you formulate a diet plan that enables you to give your dog pumpkin every day.

In conclusion, some forms of pumpkin (e.g. puree) are good for your dog. While puree may seem like boring baby food, you are ensuring your dog’s safety by keeping him away from your leftover pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie (that you can feast on instead!)