Cats & Pumpkin
When prepared correctly, yes, your cat can eat pumpkin! In fact, your cat might already be eating pumpkin in their daily meal.
Many commercial pet food brands include pumpkin as a low-calorie, high-fiber ingredient to keep your cat feeling fuller for longer.
But are all types of pumpkin safe for your cat to eat?
Plain, canned pumpkin is the best option for your cat. Cooked down into its most digestible form and with no ingredients added, your cat can enjoy this treat in moderation without digestive distress.
In its raw form, pumpkin is slimy and stringy. More than texturally gross, raw pumpkin is hard for your cat to digest. It's best to stick with pure canned pumpkin or to cook raw pumpkin down into a pumpkin puree for your cat. However, never feed your cat the stem, skin, or any remains of your jack-o'-lantern.
While roasting pumpkin seeds for your own snacking, forgo the salt and other spices and roast some pumpkin seeds for your cat! Grind the seeds and sprinkle a pinch on top of your cat's meal for a boost of fiber and other vitamins.
At its best, pumpkin pie and canned pumpkin pie filling contain salt, sugar, and milk. At its worst, it might contain allspice and clove, two spices that are toxic to cats. While pumpkin pie is delicious to humans, this is one treat you shouldn't share with your cat. If you know or suspect that your cat has eaten a food that is toxic to cats, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline right away at 1-800-213-6680.
Dogs & Pumpkin
Pumpkin is in fact a superfood for dogs! It contains essential micronutrients and fiber that make it a very nutritious treat. Besides being a natural stomach soother, pumpkin also helps to remove excess water in a dog's digestive tract.
Pet owners have relied on pumpkin for a long time to reduce instances of diarrhea in their dogs. This means it’s good to know how to prepare and serve pumpkin to your pet.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Dog
Pumpkin is a delicious addition to a human diet, but it also has a number of health benefits for your dog. Mineral and vitamin-packed, pumpkin contains vitamins like A, C, and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium. Feeding plain canned pumpkin gives a great boost to your dog’s nutrition.
-Great for digestion. Due to its high soluble fiber content, pumpkin is very good for your dog’s digestion. If you feed your dog some pumpkin, it will add bulk to their stool. This helps reduce issues with diarrhea.
-Prebiotic powerhouse. Prebiotics are essential compounds found in specific foods. Among them are pumpkin and butternut squash. Prebiotics support the presence of important bacteria in the digestive tract. Feeding dogs prebiotic foods is a great way to strengthen their digestive health.
You’re probably wondering now, how much pumpkin should I give my dog?
Add one to four pumpkin tablespoons per meal to your dog’s diet. Always start with small quantities to avoid adding too much fiber. If you have doubts about the amount of pumpkin to add to your dog's diet, always consult your veterinarian.