While humans love the taste of pumpkin, it’s easy to assume that your dog would also love to eat pumpkin. Before you feed your dog raw pumpkin, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. As always, it’s important to make sure any human food that you feed your dog is safe for him to consume. Read further to find out if raw pumpkin is safe for your dog to eat.
Can a Dog Eat Raw Pumpkin?
No. A dog shouldn’t eat pumpkin that is raw for several reasons. While it isn’t toxic and won’t explicitly make the list of foods dogs can’t eat, it is hard for a dog’s body to digest raw pumpkin if he eats a large amount. Although recommended to help with a dog’s digestive issues, when pumpkin is fed raw, it may have the opposite effect.
Before you feed pumpkin to your dog, it’s important to cook it first. Never let your dog eat the seeds or chew on the stem. You will find the stem is hard for a dog to digest and may also cause him digestive issues. While pumpkin seeds are not toxic to a dog, they can pose a choking hazard since they are hard for a dog to chew completely.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Does Eat Raw Pumpkin?
While your dog is not going to get sick from just eating a little raw pumpkin, it is not advised to let him eat an entire pumpkin, which includes the stem and rind. This is far too much fiber to be eaten at one time, which poses a risk for intestinal blockage or abdominal discomfort.
Signs that your dog has eaten a lot of raw pumpkins.
- Abdominal distention
If your dog continues to have signs of discomfort, then you need to call your vet.
Signs of an intestinal blockage
- Obvious discomfort
- Continued vomiting
- Loss of appetite
If you have a dog that shows the signs of a bowel blockage, then you need to call your vet as soon as you can to stop an intestinal rupture, which can lead to his death.
When Is Pumpkin Safe for a Dog to Eat?
When prepared properly, pumpkin offers your dog several health benefits. Many vets recommend that you feed your dog pumpkin to treat diarrhea. Just make sure that the pumpkin is cooked before you feed it to him. Remember that if you add flavors and spices to the pumpkin, it will make it harder for your dog’s body to digest, especially if he already has a sensitive stomach.
Pumpkin desserts and pumpkin pies are not safe to feed your dog. Always stick with natural and simple pumpkin since it already has plenty of flavor and sweetness. You can either grown pumpkin in your garden or just feed it to your dog from a can. Just make sure your dog is able to tolerate the addition of pumpkin in their diet.
Always consult with your vet before you feed pumpkin to your dog to help you determine the right amount to give him. You may also see pumpkin listed as an ingredient in some dog foods due to its nutritional benefits. There are also pumpkin dog treats and pumpkin supplements that you can feed your dog.
Just make sure you do not feed your dog canned pumpkin that has added spices and sweeteners or pumpkin pie filling. The fewer ingredients and additives in the canned pumpkin, the better it will be for your dog. After you have opened the canned pumpkin, you can store it in the refrigerator for three to four days.
If you want to cook pumpkin for your dog, you can find many recipes online to help bake pumpkin and scoop out its insides to make a delicious treat. When you cook pumpkin at home, do not add sugar, salt, or oil. Remember that your dog will enjoy the taste of pumpkin all on its own.
Benefits of Pumpkin for a Dog
There are many great benefits of feeding your dog pumpkin. It contains many nutrients and vitamins that a dog requires for functioning at its best. The nutrients and vitamins that are found in pumpkin are:
Lutein: Lutein helps keep your dog’s skin, eyes, and coat healthy.
Iron: Increasing your dog’s hemoglobin count, iron also helps to promote increase oxygen flow at a cellular level.
Calcium: Calcium is essential for keeping your dog’s teeth and bones healthy and strong.
Vitamin C: This vitamin helps to keep your dog’s enzymatic reactions and collagen synthesis in his body.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A will help keep your dog’s vision working correctly and improve his immune system.
Vitamin E and Alpha-carotene: Helping enzymatic activity, these two antioxidants prevent cell damage that is created from free radicals.
Low in calories, pumpkin is also high in fiber helping your dog feel fuller. It is also a great nutrient-rich treat for a dog that tends to overeat.
Other benefits of pumpkin include adding moisture to a dog’s diet. Since a pumpkin is 90 percent water, you can add it to your dog’s food to give it a healthy amount of moisture. When you feed a dog pumpkin, it can be particularly beneficial for a dog that has a kibble-only diet that promotes dehydration in a dog.
Pumpkin also improves a dog’s urinary tract function thanks to the oils found in the pumpkin’s flesh that contain fatty acids and antioxidants. A dog that suffers from urinary incontinence will see improvement just from adding some pumpkin to his diet.
The high amount of fiber in pumpkin helps to aid in digestion and weight loss. While it gives dogs a flavor that they love, it is also a great snack for a dog that needs to lose weight. By reducing the size of your dog’s food portion and replacing it with pumpkin, your dog can easily drop some much-needed weight.
Pumpkin is well known for helping soothe gastrointestinal issues, and it’s good for older dogs that suffer from constipation thanks to its high level of fiber. With an increased fiber level, a dog will be able to create a more solid stool that will encourage your dog’s color to contract the muscles in its walls to move out the waste from a dog’s digestive tract.
Thanks to a pumpkin’s soluble fiber, pumpkin also helps to alleviate diarrhea since it slows down digestion and stops diarrhea when it absorbs water. Acting as a prebiotic, fiber in pumpkins stimulates the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria that are found in a dog’s intestines. It will also eliminate harmful bacteria growth by lowering pH levels in his stomach and offering the nutrients that the good bacteria need to grow.
Pumpkin also includes significant amounts of beta-carotene in order to fight cancer. A component of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, is helpful when preventing cancers, in particular oral and lung cancers. The orange color of the pumpkin tells us how high antioxidants are in this fruit.
How much raw pumpkin can I give my dog?
None. It is not recommended that you give a dog any raw pumpkin. Raw pumpkin in large amounts can be dangerous for a dog since it can cause upset stomachs and intestinal obstructions.
Can pumpkin be toxic to dogs?
Pumpkin is not toxic for a dog to eat. Raw pumpkin can be dangerous when eaten in a large amount since it can upset his stomach or cause an intestinal obstruction. Cooked pumpkin served a few times a week can be beneficial to a dog thanks to its many vitamins and nutrients.
How do you prepare a raw pumpkin for dogs?
You should never prepare a raw pumpkin for a dog. Cooked pumpkin is a great addition to a dog’s kibble and should be prepared without added sugar, spices, and salt.
Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
Cooked pumpkin has many benefits for a dog. Not only does it contain many nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins that help to improve a dog’s coat, nails, eyes, and teeth, but the fiber in pumpkin also helps dogs lose weight and prevent constipation. It’s well-known for helping to soothe upset stomachs and alleviate diarrhea.