So, can dogs eat raw pumpkin?
While this is a raw feeding blog and I write about all sorts of food items that dogs can eat raw, pumpkin doesn’t fall into that same bucket. So no, dogs can’t eat raw pumpkin.
There’s a specific reason for it, too.
Dogs don’t have the enzyme that breaks down plant cell walls. The result is that they can’t absorb all the nutrients the way us humans can. That means that we have to break down the plant cell walls of fruit and veggies for our pups.
How do we do that?
By steaming, cooking, baking and puréeing. I’ll share how I do that with pumpkin, as well as:
- What makes pumpkin nutritious for dogs?
- How long does it take for pumpkin to harden dog stools?
- How do I feed my dog pumpkin?
- How much pumpkin can I feed my dog?
- Can dogs eat pumpkin every day?
- Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
- How to make your own homemade pumpkin puree
- What kind of pumpkins are best for DIY pumpkin puree?
- Where to buy pumpkin puree for dogs
- Is Libby’s pumpkin safe for dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pumpkin?
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What Makes Pumpkin Nutritious for Dogs?
Pumpkin is rich in fiber and is a great source of Vitamins A, C and E.
Vitamin A supports a strong immune system as well as healthy eyes. Vitamin C also supports the immune system and reduces inflammation, while Vitamin E helps defend against oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals.
Additionally, pumpkin also has:
- Beta-carotene (helps create Vitamin A in the body): Great for eye health
- Manganese: Supports various metabolic functions
- Iron: Supports red blood cell formation
- Copper: Helps make red blood cells, skin cells, connective tissue and absorbs iron
- Potassium: Supports a healthy heart, nerves and muscles
Pumpkin Firms Up Dog Stool and Helps Them Poop Easier
All that fiber in pumpkin absorbs water which firms up your pup’s poop when they have an acute case of diarrhea. It also helps your dog poop when they’re constipated.
Over the years, I’ve experienced the powerful benefits of pumpkin purée both in my own dogs as well as my client dogs.
For those of you who don’t know me, I used to work in the professional pet sitting and dog walking industry and have walked, watched and handled 100+ dogs. Whenever they had an acute case of diarrhea, I gave them some pumpkin purée. It helped in most cases!
Last but not least, fiber also promotes anal glad health by helping the anal glands work properly.
How Long Does It Take For Pumpkin to Harden Dogs Stool?
Not long! You should notice a considerable difference in your pup’s poop after the first 24 hours.
You can expect your pup’s poop to be back to normal after 3-4 days of adding pumpkin purée to your pup’s meals.
How Do I Feed My Dog Pumpkin?
You can feed your dog puréed pumpkin either as in between-snack or as part of their (raw) dog food. Even if you don’t feed raw, you can mix some pumpkin purée in with your pup’s kibble and/or wet dog food.
As a matter of fact, it can do wonders as a meal topper for picky (small) dogs, especially if it’s freshly made and still warm. Obviously you can also just warm it up prior to feeding it.
Here’s how I use pumpkin purée with cow hooves for a tasty in-between snack.
And here’s a peek into two of Wally’s raw meals that I added homemade pumpkin purée to:
How Much Pumpkin Can I Feed My Dog?
You can feed your pups one teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight per day if you’re looking to add it regularly.
My pup Wally weighs somewhere between 35-40lbs so he can have 3,5-4 teaspoons of pumpkin per day.
When your dog suffers from an acute case of diarrhea, you can feed them more until their stool hardens. Depending on your dog’s size, you can add 1-4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to their meals. You can also just give them the purée by itself.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Every Day?
Technically speaking, you can give your dog pumpkin every day. However, variety at mealtime is hugely important to ensure that your pup gets access to as many nutrients as possible.
That’s why I would suggest to switch it up with other fruits and veggies. Overall, you can add around 10% of your dog’s daily (raw) dog food allowance in plant matter (veggies, fruit, herbs, nuts and seeds).
Another reason is to avoid ingredient fatigue. That can happen if your dog eats the same food every.single.day. BORING!!
How to Make Your Own Homemade Pumpkin Purée
Besides whole pumpkins, you’ll need the following to make homemade pumpkin purée:
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Spoon to scoop out the seeds
- Oven and baking sheets
- Blender or food processor
- Filtered water or bone broth
- Food storage containers
- Freezer space
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
While dogs can’t eat the rind or the stem of pumpkins, they can eat the seeds! When you’re spooning them out of the pumpkins, put them aside into a sieve and give them a good rinse. Spread them out on a kitchen towel to let them dry.
Pumpkin seeds help get rid of worms from your pup’s digestive system. According to Dog’s Naturally Magazine, they contain the amino acid cucurbitin that paralyzes and eliminates worms from the digestive tract.
You can feed your pup one pumpkin seed per 10lbs of body weight per day, and you can feed them either whole or ground, although ground is said to work better when you’re looking to get rid of worms.
Unlike the pumpkin flesh, you can feed the pumpkin seeds raw. Definitely don’t add any salt to the seeds and don’t feed the salty seeds you can buy at the store.
What Kind of Pumpkins for Homemade Pumpkin Puree?
There is a HUGE variety of pumpkins that I won’t be able to list here in this blog post, but you can check out 91 different types of pumpkin on this garden blog.
The ones I listed below are the most common ones I’ve seen and used for my homemade pumpkin purée:
- Carving pumpkins aka Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins (large, bright orange)
- Sugar pumpkins (smaller, bright orange)
- Red Kuri aka Hokkaido pumpkins (small, dark orange/red)
- Turk’s turban (shaped like a head with a hat or turban, orange with green & white stripes)
- Spaghetti squash (yellow)
And yes, dogs can eat all kinds of pumpkin!
Where to Buy Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
If you prefer to buy pumpkin puree over making your own, you can give your dog canned pumpkin from the grocery store. You should be able to find some at any grocery store near you. They usually keep the puree in the baking aisle.
Is Libby’s Pumpkin Safe for Dogs?
The most common pumpkin puree brand in the US is Libby’s, and it’s perfectly fine to feed to your dog(s). Back when I lived in the States, I always had a few cans of Libby’s in my pantry. Just make sure you grab 100% pumpkin puree and not the pie filling!
The brand Weruva also sells pumpkin purée made specifically for dogs and cats, but the ingredients are literally just pumpkin and water, so you might as well stick with Libby’s.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pumpkin: Bottom Line
So, can dogs eat fresh pumpkin? Not if it’s raw!
As a reminder, dogs can’t break down plant cell walls themselves. That means that we have to roast, bake or cook and purée veggies and fruits like pumpkin prior to offering it to our dogs.
If we don’t, they won’t be able to absorb all the amazing nutrients.
As far as giving your dog pumpkin on a daily basis, it is OK to give dogs pumpkin everyday. You can feed 1 teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight. If your pup suffers from an acute case of diarrhea, you can feed up to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree until their poop hardens.
If you’re looking to feed pumpkin puree on a daily basis, please remember that variety at mealtime is important, and that includes rotating your veggies, fruit, seeds and nuts. That said, you can feed pumpkin puree one week, then feed steamed broccoli the next, followed by steamed shiitake mushrooms the one after that, etc.
You can also make your very own veggie/fruit mix that consists of a bunch of different ingredients. That would be great to add to your pup’s (raw) meals on a daily basis!
- How to Make Pumpkin Puree for Your Dog (& Pumpkin Pancakes for Yourself)
- Add This to Your Homemade Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
- How to Make Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treats