Pumpkin for Dogs

Pumpkin and its seeds are highly nutritious and palatable for dogs. This page looks at the nutritional values of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, and how they can be used to enhance our dogs' health.

Pumpkin for Dogs Pumpkin is a healthy food that is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains vitamin K as well as a host of minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and copper.

In addition, pumpkin is rich in polyphenolic flavonoid compounds, such as beta-carotenes, zea-xanthin, and more.

Pumpkin is low in calorie (100 grams of pumpkin provides only 26 calories!) but high in dietary fiber.

Pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious. They are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and minerals, such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, and copper. They are also a good source of protein. Interestingly, the unique proteins in pumpkin seeds are the source of many anti-microbial benefits (including anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits).

Pumpkin Benefits for Dogs

Pumpkin and its seeds provide quite a few health benefits for our dogs. For example:

  • Diarrhea/Constipation: Pumpkin is good for diarrhea and constipation! If your dog suddenly develops mild diarrhea, or if she has mild constipation, a tablespoon or so of plain pumpkin usually will do the trick. It is therefore advisable for dog parents to have a few cans of plain pumpkin in the pantry - they really come in handy!
  • Weight Control: Since pumpkin is low in calorie but is extremely filling, it is beneficial for dogs who need slimming down. If your dog is a bit pudgy, talk to your vet and see if pumpkin can be used to replace part of the dog's regular food.
  • Eye Health: The beta-carotenes and zea-zanthin contained in pumpkin are antioxidants that are beneficial to the eyes. They can help protect older dogs from developing age-related macular degeneration.
  • Urinary Tract Health: Oils in pumpkin seeds contain nutrients that can prevent or lower the possibility of kidney stone formation. They also promote and support general urinary health. Dogs with urinary problems, such as incontinence or kidney stones, may benefit from having pumpkin or pumpkin seeds in their diet.
  • Elimination of Worms: Traditionally, pumpkin seeds have been used to treat tapeworms. To treat dogs with tapeworms, use whole raw seeds and grind them immediately before feeding the fine meal to the dog. Depending on the dog's size, 1/4 to one teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds can be given for each meal. Alternatively, feed 1/4 to one teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil to the dog.

How To Feed Pumpkin To Dogs

Pumpkin goes well with cinnamon, which is a powerful antioxidant (one teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries), and has antibacterial and antifungal properties as well. Cinnamon can be used for a variety of gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, and flatulence.

To reap the benefits of both cinnamon and pumpkin for dogs, mix a can of plain pumpkin with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Add a tablespoon or so (depending on your dog's size) to your dog's meal as a topper and this can protect and support your dog's GI system.

You can also sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on your dog's food, or give them as a treat.

Of course, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can be used to make yummy dog treats such as biscuits and muffins.

GR with a rolling pin

Fido's Tips

  • Always use 100% pure and unsweetened pumpkin puree, not the one for pie filling.
  • If you want to feed your dog pumpkin seeds, make sure that they are unsalted.