Pumpkin For Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

The short answer is yes, your dog can have pumpkin. Not only is pumpkin a nice change of pace for your pup’s palette, it is also a healthy people food to add to your dog’s diet.

Why Is Pumpkin Good For Dogs?

Pumpkin is great for your dog’s health for a myriad of reasons. It is chock-full of vitamins and nutrients your dog’s body needs to function:

Vitamin A: Helps your dog’s immune system and vision

Vitamin C: Aids enzymatic reactions in the body and collagen synthesis.

Vitamin E and Alpha carotene: antioxidants that regulate enzymatic activiy and prevent damage to cells from free radicals.

Calcium: Keeps your dog’s bones and teeth strong along with supporting cytoplasmic functions.

Iron: Keeps your dog’s hemoglobin count up, aids the flow of oxygen at a cellular level.

Lutein: Aids the health of the eyes, skin, and coat of your dog.

Pumpkin is also full of fiber, which can help dogs feel fuller faster without necessarily taking in too many calories. This makes pumpkin an excellent diet choice for dogs who need to lose a little excess weight.

Pumpkin can also aid digestion for dogs who are experiencing constipation or diarrhea.  If your dog is experiencing these digestive issues, try giving your dog a tablespoon of canned pumpkin mixed in with their normal food.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

What Type Of Pumpkin Is Safe For My Dog?

Plain canned pumpkin is the best option when it comes to adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet. When shopping for canned pumpkin for your pup, be sure to get the PLAIN pumpkin. Canned pumpkin blends, such as pumpkin pie filling with nutmeg and cinnamon, spiced mocha chai pumpkin, or any of the other human canned pumpkin varieties that contain cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other spices can cause severe digestive issues for your dogs or prove toxic for your pup.

How Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

There are lots of fun ways to introduce pumpkin into your dog’s diet. Pumpkin is a great addition to homemade dog food or dog treats. It can also be mixed in with your dog’s normal, store bought food. However you are serving pumpkin to your dog, be sure that you are paying attention to healthy portions for your dog’s dietary needs. Always consult your vet if you are considering introducing anything new into your dog’s diet.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Can Too Much Pumpkin Be Dangerous For Dogs?

It is important not to go too crazy with pumpkin in your dog’s diet, as too much could become toxic. Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotone, which dogs’ bodies convert into vitamin A. Too much vitamin A is highly toxic to dogs.  Don’t let this stop you from introducing this beneficial gourd into your pup’s diet, however. A couple of teaspoons for smaller dogs or a couple tablespoons of pumpkin for larger dogs a day is completely fine.

Do you give your dog pumpkin? Does he like it? Let us know in the comments!