We’re approaching Halloween, and that means we’re about to be buried in a slew of pumpkin spice everything. While we as humans enjoy pumpkin, a lot of doggie parents wonder if pumpkins are something their pets would enjoy. The Bark mentions that dogs can indeed enjoy pumpkin, but it depends on how you feed it to them. Pumpkin can offer many health benefits to dogs, from increased digestive health to helping to manage their weight. However, there are dangers in feeding your dog pumpkin as well. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse comes down to how you prepare it.
Types of Pumpkin for Dogs
Dogs have a unique digestive system. It might be able to handle a lot of raw things, but pumpkin seeds, skin, and stem aren’t conducive to your pup’s digestive tract when raw. Nationwide mentions that dogs can handle canned pumpkin, and are quite fond of it as well. Roasted pumpkin is also edible and digestible by your pup. However, even if you’re using canned and roasted pumpkin, you shouldn’t have any added spices. Ideally, if you’re serving your puppy pumpkin, it should be straight from the can. Before you do that, though, take a look at the ingredient list on the can. If it says pumpkin or organic pumpkin, then it should be okay to share with your four-legged companion. If it comes with fillers, the best choice would be to avoid serving it to your doggie.
Does Pumpkin Help Dogs?
Pumpkin contains many of the vitamins that pups require to grow well. Pharr Road Animal Hospital suggests pumpkin because it offers vitamins A, C, and E, alongside dietary fiber and lycopene. The pulpy, meaty section of the pumpkin also adds water, which is excellent for pets who need extra hydration during the day. Pumpkin’s significant contribution is potassium, which pets need to regulate their blood pressure and help with their metabolism. There are also encouraging data that pumpkin can help both constipation and diarrhea because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
The Not-Safe Pumpkin Treats
As we mentioned before, serving pumpkin to your pet requires it to be prepared appropriately. There are pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored treats that are definitely not healthy for your pet and can even harm them. Anything that contains pumpkin spice should never go into your dog’s treat bowl. If you’re using seeds, make sure they’re peeled and don’t have any spices or salt included with the preparation. Seeds can be hugely beneficial to your pet, but only if they’re taken in moderation. You shouldn’t go over one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per 20lbs per meal. You can safely offer them as a treat once or twice for the week.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy
As pet parents, we all have this soft-spot for our dog. We want the best for them, but it hurts us to see them want something they can’t have. Pumpkin, while it’s not wholly off-limits, needs to be appropriately prepared to ensure that it doesn’t hurt our furry companions. While it might take some effort to get pumpkin seeds done the right way for your pet’s meal or snack, you’ll see how grateful they are when they wolf it down. Sometimes, that’s all the thanks you need.