Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Pumpkin is a fall superfood for dogs and cats! It tastes great, has many health benefits and is an easy to incorporate into your pets diet for holistic pet care. It's loaded with essential micronutrients, prebiotics, moisture, and fiber that make it a very nutritious treat for your fur besties. Pumpkin is great for soothing upset stomachs and can be used to reduce diarrhea and relieve constipation. Pumpkin also helps prevent furballs and improves urinary tract health.
Here’s the scoop on how you can safely incorporate pumpkin into your pet's diet. If you need specific recommendations for your pet, please discuss with your veterinarian.
Canned pumpkin (without additives) is the easiest way to incorporate pumpkin into your pet's diet. Be careful to choose canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which can be harmful to your pet.
If you are going to feed your pets fresh pumpkin, you can give it raw or cook it. Cooked pumpkin for dogs is more easily digestible. If you prefer to use raw pumpkin, you should grate it and add it to their meal.
It's easier than you think to render your own fresh pumpkin puree and it's the best source for
pet-friendly pumpkin goodness.
Here's our preferred method: Cut the pumpkin in half. Then, using a large, sturdy spoon, scrape out the stringy pulp and discard. Be sure to remove those seeds (you can save them to dry and roast later). Next, cover and bake the two halves, face down in a shallow dish at 375 for about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Let cool. Finally, scoop out the flesh and discard the stem section and the pumpkin skin. Puree or mash the flesh. It's ready to serve. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you begin incorporating pumpkin (or any new food) into your pet's diet, do so slowly. Always start with small quantities to avoid adding too much fiber and causing an upset stomach. Add 1-4 tablespoons of your prepared pumpkin puree to your pet's meal - that's all it takes. Some pets may like the taste, others may not.
Take care not to let your pet eat the stem, skin, or raw seeds of the pumpkin.
Please do not feed your furry companions leftover Jack-O-Lanterns! A pumpkin that has been standing for a while, can be moldy and therefore toxic. If you want to feed your pet the seeds just roast them first (do not add salt or seasoning) and mix them into their food.
While Autumn marks the season for all things pumpkin, this superfood can and should be enjoyed year-round. And just because your furry family members can’t join you in sipping that pumpkin spiced latte, doesn't mean they should miss out on all the nutritional yumminess this ghoulishly-good superfood has to offer.
We hope this information is helpful and inspires you to find some ways you can help your pawsome buddies enjoy the flavors of fall. If you have any other ways to feed healthy pumpkin to your pets, please share in the comments.