dog with a pumpkin

Everyone knows it’s decorative gourd season, but not all make it from our entryways to the kitchen. Pumpkins are the product of a seed-bearing, flowering plant, and are actually classified as a fruit. However, because they aren’t sweet many of us lump them in with vegetables. Either way, pumpkins pack a lot of flavor, fiber and vitamins. If you’re wondering about feeding pumpkin to your pet, you’ve come to the right place.

About Time

Among the list of safe human food to share with pets, pumpkin ranks pretty high. It’s super nutritious and offers the following benefits to pets:

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • 3 grams of fiber per cup (helps to maintain regular bowel movements and promotes GI health)
  • Excellent source of vitamins Ac, C, and E
  • High in potassium, iron and other nutrients that protect them from age-related illness

Feeding pumpkin to your pet is a great way to add variety to their diet, but it is important not to overindulge them. Too much of a good thing can cause some distress to sensitive animals. Additionally, before feeding pumpkin to your pet, be sure they tolerate it well. 

Increased Awareness

Pumpkins that have been left outside on the doorstep (and in the process of decay) could contain harmful levels of mold and bacteria. These are not the pumpkins that should be used to prepare pet snacks or treats. 

If your pet happens to eat any of your displayed pumpkins, they could experience some trouble (from GI upset to intestinal blockages). To reduce the chances of this happening, display pumpkins and jack o-lanterns on surfaces they cannot reach. 

Processing Pumpkin

Pumpkins should be cleared of vines, stems, and seeds in order to be used in your recipes. The seeds aren’t unsafe for pets, but they can add fat to their diet resulting in softer stools. If they show that they like the taste and flavor of pumpkin seeds, simply offer a few at a time. 

Cooked, pureed pumpkin is easiest for your pet to swallow and digest. Canned pumpkin is also fine, just be sure that you’re not giving them high-sugar and spice-filled pumpkin pie filling. 

Some dog owners receive positive feedback after filling Kongs with pureed pumpkin. You can also mix a few tablespoons of pumpkin in with their kibble, or just spoon-feed them. 

Feeding Pumpkin To Your Pet

One of the best combinations when creating your own pet treats is to combine pumpkin with all natural, Xylitol-free peanut butter

Mix 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour with 2 eggs, ½ cup pumpkin, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon to taste. Roll into bite-size cookies, and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. If your pet likes a chewier treat, pull them out sooner and store in an airtight container.

YUM!

If you have any questions about feeding pumpkins to your pet, please let us know. From all of us at Blue Valley Animal Hospital, we wish you a happy and safe autumn!