Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? Dogs need their Halloween treats, too!
Imagine this scenario: It’s the morning after Halloween. You wake up to find one of your outdoor decorations, a Jack-o’-lantern, has been half-eaten by none other than your pet pooch.
As you sarcastically reprimand your pet for a job well done on making a fibrous, orange mess on his snout, with seeds hanging on and about his nape, face and quite surprisingly, his ears, you look in bewilderment as to what can only be described by any snotty art critic as a work of Canine Art: Behold! An artistic mess that starts from the porch, streaked in bright orange, spilled pumpkin guts streaming from there towards the lawn, putting the works of an abstract artist like Pollock to shame.
As you ponder some more, you begin to ask the age-old question that any concerned dog owner might have: Can dogs eat pumpkin? The short answer is YES, and as we are about to delve deeper into this topic, its best to understand some considerations that must be put in place before feeding pumpkin to your pet.
Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? Pumpkin guts?
Yes, it’s safe for dogs to eat pumpkin guts. Yes, but the seeds are best to be roasted before consumption. Do not add salt. But beware, there are some parts of a pumpkin that should not be eaten for they may be a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs. These are the pumpkin stem and outer shell/skin. These should be promptly discarded as they may be mistakenly eaten and cause choking for your pet.
Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamins A, C, and fiber. Vitamin A is an important vitamin for dogs as they need sufficient amounts of it to ensure overall health for their skin, fur coat, muscles and nerves. Vitamin C helps in the reduction of free radicals in the body, inflammation, and the overall slowing down of cognitive aging. Fiber helps in constipation and the proper function of your dog’s digestive system.
Dog Constipation and Pumpkins. How does it work?
For any experienced dog owner, having a constipated dog is messy, uncomfortable, and stinky, much like we are when we’re having diarrhea ourselves.
Having mentioned above the factoid that pumpkin is rich in fiber, it is implied that it is an ideal alternative to handling your dog’s constipation as opposed to a visit to the vet. How this works on the scientific spectrum is that fiber-rich pumpkin adds a soluble mass of water-absorbing composite that aids in the digestive flow of stool within your dog’s digestive tract, thereby encouraging the passing of faeces.
A few spoons of canned or raw pumpkin would do the job, although raw pumpkin is much more preferable given that canned pumpkin often contains sugars and all sorts of flavorings and preservatives which are counterproductive in mitigating your dog’s constipation.
How to prepare raw pumpkin for your dog
Pumpkins, much like the way you consume them, need to be assessed and prepared properly before cooking or baking for safe consumption. The same can be said if you intend to feed them to your dog, whether raw slices, canned pumpkins or in the form of pumpkin treats.
If you’re going for the raw slices, the first thing to consider is to ensure that the pumpkins you’re going to feed your dog aren’t rotten or riddled with worms, as these may cause infections and may make your dog sick. Second, you must also check first if your dog is going to eat it.
There’s no sense in buying or harvesting lots of pumpkins and finding out later on that your dog dislikes it. A good practice would be to put a bit of raw pumpkin onto your palm and feed a small portion of it to your dog. If your dog likes it and eats it, chances are it’s slobbering for more! Depending on your dog’s age and eating habits, raw pumpkin can be served sliced, mashed or minced.
Choosing the ideal brand: Your guide to giving dogs canned pumpkin
Much like dogs, pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Some are even canned! If you don’t have the abundance of pumpkins in your backyard or the capability to maintain the freshness of pumpkins for a long period of time, another alternative may be to purchase canned pumpkins to feed your dog.
Canned pumpkins have a longer shelf life, they’re easier to store and are convenient to bring along especially on road trips or hiking expeditions. Prices can range from $3.00 to $8.00 a can depending on size and brand, with some imported canned pumpkins going upwards to $20.00 a can.
If this is the first time you’re considering feeding your dog canned pumpkin, then it is imperative that for the economical sake of practicality to choose the cheapest, smallest brands of canned pumpkins first as a taste test. Buying a can or two of different brands should be adequate to find an ideal benchmark in terms of your dog’s preference.
If your dog has found his preferred canned pumpkin after one or a few tries, then it’s time to purchase more cans of that particular brand. And much like the manners of which we store cans, they must be placed somewhere in a cool, dry place far from the reaching paws of your pet.
We have concluded after what was an extensive discernment on whether dogs can eat pumpkin or not, yet we have discussed that there is more to it than a simple act of feeding your pet. The responsibility of all the nuances as to what kind of pumpkin, how much of it, and why you’re feeding it to them in the first place is rest upon you, the dog owner. Scientifically, pumpkin is a good choice if your intention is to introduce a healthy means of aiding your dog’s digestion and relieving some of its constipation. But if you notice that pumpkin didn’t seem to solve or even help in adding comfort to your dog’s constipation, it is best to consult your pet’s veterinarian to see if there are medications and other means of treatment that you can attempt instead.