As a food, the pumpkin seems innocuous enough. It is an ingredient found in several dog foods, treats, and baked goods.
Pumpkin has many health benefits, as well. The delicious gourd provides a ton of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, along with carotenoids. It is a tasty treat for pups and helps to keep them healthy and full.
However, you may be wondering if there is a proper way to feed pumpkins to your dog. There are also different types of pumpkin, like roasted or canned. When feeding a pumpkin to your dog, there are various factors to consider, including the possible risks.
Feeding Raw Pumpkin
Feeding raw pumpkins to your dog is one of those things that you can do, but it is not recommended. Raw pumpkin is hard on digestion. If you intend to give a chunk of raw pumpkin to your pup, ensure that the skin, steam, and seeds have all been removed to help prevent further choking hazards.
Also, if your dog has been snacking on a random pumpkin left outside, they risk ingesting mold and bacteria. This can be very harmful to the dog and cause them to get sick.
Pumpkin in any form is low in calories, including raw pumpkin. However, when pumpkin is raw, it is difficult to digest. Eating raw pumpkin can lead to vomiting, trembling, pain, and intestinal blockage in your dog.
Raw pumpkin is also a choking hazard, as some parts of the pumpkin, including the raw flesh, can be hard to chew and swallow. Also, raw pumpkin has a higher water content, which means it contains less concentrated fiber.
Feeding Pumpkin Seeds
If something you want to feed to your pup is something they can easily choke on or swallow whole, you should probably refrain from giving it to them.
Pumpkin seeds will probably go right through your dog and come out looking the same way that they did going in. However, plain raw pumpkin seeds can become stale rather fast and pose a hazard to your pup.
Cleaning the pumpkin seeds and then roasting them is the safest option for your dog when feeding them. However, there is still a risk of choking.
Feeding Cooked Pumpkin
Canned, cooked, or pureed pumpkin are the best forms of pumpkin to feed your dog. You can visit What The Pup by Spot & Tango to learn more in-depth information about feeding your pup cooked pumpkin. Unless you are preparing it yourself, always ensure that you check the ingredients list.
There should be no spices or additives in the pumpkin you feed your dog. When checking the ingredients of canned pumpkin, you may notice butternut squash. This is okay to give your pup.
You can roast a fresh pumpkin at home, too. Once it is cooked, puree or cut up the pumpkin meat before giving it to your dog.
Never feed your dog pumpkin pie filling, as it contains many things other than pumpkin that are hazardous to your dog’s health. Pumpkin pie mix has sugars and spices that are not good for your pup to consume. It also contains xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.
If you are making a special treat for your pup and want to add a pumpkin spice flavor to it, try mixing in honey and a small bit of cinnamon for a safe and tasty snack.
Risks of Feeding Your Dog Pumpkin
Too much of any food is not good, including pumpkin. All foods should be fed to your dog in moderation.
If your dog eats too much pumpkin, it can cause digestive problems. An abundance of pumpkins can inhibit your dog’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Also, vitamin A can become deadly if too much of it is consumed. This is unlikely to happen, but it is possible and worth noting.
Feeding pumpkins to your dog is a great way to keep them healthy while giving them something tasty to eat. However, it needs to be done properly, or your pup could get sick.
Feeding raw pumpkins to your dog is not recommended, especially without supervision. While it is not toxic to them, it can cause problems like digestive upset, intestinal blockage, or choking. Pumpkin seeds can also be a choking hazard.
The best form of pumpkin to feed your dog is cooked, whether roasted and pureed at home or canned. This is the safest method to serve your pup a pumpkin snack. However, any canned pumpkin should be carefully checked for the ingredients inside, as added sugars, spices, and ingredients in pumpkin pie mixes can be dangerous for dogs.
Always check with your pup’s vet if you are unsure about adding a new food to their diet or if you notice any odd changes after they have eaten pumpkin.