Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? A Superfood Guide for Your Pup 

autumn food with cleaver knife pumpkin

Pumpkin—the quintessential flavor of fall! From lattes to pies, this bright and beautiful squash is everywhere once the leaves start turning. But while we humans indulge in all sorts of pumpkin-spiced treats, you might be wondering: Can my dog join in on the fun, too? 

a person holding an orange pumpkin on the table

The short answer is yes—pumpkin is not only safe for dogs to eat but also packed with beneficial nutrients that can support your pup’s health in numerous ways. However, as with any treat, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can still cause tummy troubles. 

Let’s dig into everything you need to know about serving up some pumpkin for your pooch.

6 Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs

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1. Low-cal & Low-sodium

Plain pumpkin pulp is naturally low in calories and sodium, making it a guilt-free addition to your dog’s diet. It’s also great for weight management! 

2. Antioxidant Boost

Pumpkin is abundant in beta-carotene and lutein, potent antioxidants that promote eye health, skin, and coat. Additionally, its high levels of vitamins A, C, and E help boost your dog’s immune system.


3. Fiber for Digestion

The unique blend of soluble and insoluble fiber in pumpkin can help regulate digestion, acting as a remedy for both diarrhea and constipation. The fibers also help prevent anal gland irritation.

4. Prebiotic Power

Pumpkin acts as a prebiotic, feeding the friendly bacteria in your dog’s gut. This supports everything from colon function to immunity. 

a pile of orange pumpkins

5. Feeling Fuller

Adding some pumpkin to your pup’s meals can help them feel satiated for longer, aiding in weight management.

6. Superfood Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are packed with omega fatty acids. In consultation with your vet, they may help treat parasites, dislodge kidney stones, and control urinary incontinence.

slice pumpkin

6 Tasty Ways to Feed Pumpkin to Your Dog

While pumpkin packs a nutritional punch, remember it’s still a treat that should be served in moderation. Here are some delicious ways to dish it up:

woman hand cutting pumpkin

1. Food Topper

Elevate your dog’s regular meals with a spoonful of pure pumpkin goodness! Mix unsweetened canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree into their wet or dry food for a nutrient-dense treat they’ll love.

woman hand cutting slice pumpkon with knife wooden board

It’s generally recommended to serve about 1 tsp of pumpkin daily per 10 lbs of body weight. That’s 1 tsp for a 10 lb pup, up to 7 tsp (just over 2 tbsp) for a 70 lb dog. Consult your vet for personalized serving suggestions.

woman hand cutting slice pumpkin

Adding a dollop of pumpkin to your dog’s existing diet is a simple way to boost vitamins, minerals, and fiber. No need for a full menu makeover!

2. Tasty Pumpkin Treats

Who says treats can’t be both delicious and nutritious? Cooked pumpkin makes the perfect high-value reward after a successful training session. Your pup will eagerly perform tricks for a taste of this vitamin-rich snack!

Want to keep your furry friend entertained for hours? Stuff some cooked pumpkin into their favorite puzzle toy and watch them work for their reward. It’s mental stimulation and a healthy treat all in one!

3. Homemade Goodies

If you enjoy baking your own dog treats, here’s a pro tip: swap out the butter or oil in your recipe for an equal amount of pumpkin puree. Not only will your pup adore the naturally sweet flavor, but you’ll feel good knowing they’re getting an extra dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a win-win!

4. Pepita Garnish

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Also known as pepitas, these little green powerhouses are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Roast them in the oven (sans oil, salt, and spices) until lightly toasted and crispy.

For a nutrient-boosting food topper, grind the roasted pumpkin seeds into a fine powder using either a coffee grinder or a food processor. Sprinkle a small amount over your dog’s regular meals. You can also offer whole roasted seeds as a crunchy, omega-rich treat.

dogs puppies to play

5. Frozen Pumpkin Puzzle

Transform a plain pumpkin into a frosty treat that will keep your pup cool, engaged, and occupied. In a blender, combine cooked pumpkin with unsweetened Greek yogurt or dog-safe peanut butter for a creamy base. For an extra flavor and nutrient boost, toss in a few dog-friendly fruits like strawberries or bananas.

Pour the mixture into ice cube trays, lick mats, or puzzle toys for wet food. Pop them in the freezer overnight; then, you’ll get a stash of refreshing, mentally stimulating treats perfect for hot summer days. The combo of licking and problem-solving will keep your pup happily occupied while they enjoy a brain freeze.

6. Pumpkin “Nice” Cream

Treat your furry friend to a doggy dessert that rivals any trendy fall beverage! In a food processor, blend together pureed pumpkin, a splash of unsweetened applesauce, and a pinch of cinnamon until smooth and creamy. Then, pour the mixture into a container that is safe for freezing and refrigerate it for several hours until it becomes firm.

When your pup is ready for a sweet treat, scoop out the “nice” cream just like you would the human variety. For an extra special presentation, serve it up in a dog biscuit “cone” or atop their favorite treat.

6 Precautions of Pumpkin for Dogs

As beneficial as pumpkin can be, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Vitamin A overload

While uncommon, consuming very high levels of Vitamin A from pumpkin can lead to toxicity in dogs. It may also cause a nutritional imbalance, hindering protein and other nutrient absorption. Watch for signs like loss of appetite, vomiting, or lethargy, and contact your vet.

cute purebred puppy resting on green meadow

2. Fiber Overload

The high fiber content in pumpkin is great for regulating digestion, but too much can actually cause diarrhea or an upset tummy. Start with a tiny amount (like ½ tsp for small dogs) and gradually work up to the recommended daily serving.

3. Simple is Best

If you cook your own pumpkin, keep it plain—no added sugar, salt, or spices. When buying canned pumpkin, choose 100% pure pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie filling, which contains additives and sweeteners like xylitol that are dangerous for dogs.

close up photo of toasted squash

4. Raw is Risky

While raw pumpkin flesh isn’t toxic, it can be tough for your dogs to digest and may lead to tummy troubles. Always remove the outer skin, stem, and leaves. It’s best to feed cooked, pureed pumpkin.

5. Puppy Portion Control

Puppies and very small or underweight dogs should only have pumpkin as an occasional treat in very small amounts. Their digestive systems are more sensitive.

woman wearing an apron holding a chopping board

6. Skip the PSL 

Pumpkin pies, pastries, and lattes are off the menu for dogs. They’re high in sugar, fat, and spices like nutmeg, which can be harmful.

More Human Foods Your Dog Will Love 

While pumpkin is certainly a nutrient-packed treat for your pup, there’s a whole cornucopia of other human foods that can offer tasty variety and wholesome benefits. The next time you want to reward your furry friend, consider these vet-approved options:

person petting a dog

  1. Bell Peppers: Crisp, colorful bell peppers are not only a low-calorie snack, but they’re also rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene. Slice them up and offer them raw as a crunchy treat, or mix them into your dog’s regular food for a boost of antioxidants.
  2. Bananas: Creamy bananas are a popular, affordable treat that many dogs love. They’re packed with potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6, which can support your pup’s digestive and nervous systems. 
  3. Blueberries: These tiny berries pack a powerful antioxidant punch, helping to protect your dog’s cells from damage. They’re also low in calories and high in fiber, making them a guilt-free treat. Offer a small handful as a snack or sprinkle them over your pup’s regular food.
  4. Pears: Sweet, juicy pears are packed with fiber, as well as vitamins C and K. Just don’t forget to take out the seeds and core before sharing, as they can contain traces of cyanide. Chop pears into bite-sized pieces for a refreshing, hydrating snack.
  5. Broccoli: Whether steamed or raw, broccoli is a low-calorie, fiber-rich veggie that provides an array of vitamins and minerals. Chop it into small, easily digestible pieces and offer it as a crunchy snack or food topper.
  6. Cantaloupe: High in water content and rich in vitamins A and C, cantaloupe is a hydrating, low-calorie treat perfect for hot summer days. Scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into bite-sized cubes for a refreshing snack.
  7. Cucumber: Cucumbers are a low-calorie, hydrating treat that’s perfect for hot summer days. They’re rich in vitamins K and C, as well as magnesium and potassium. Slice them into thin rounds for a crunchy, refreshing snack that’s gentle on your dog’s digestive system.
  8. Zucchini: This mild, versatile veggie is low in calories and abundant in fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. Grate raw zucchini over your dog’s food for a nutrient boost, or slice it into thin rounds for a crunchy treat. You can also incorporate it into homemade dog treats for an extra dose of goodness.
dog sitting on a bar stool


  1. How many pumpkins can I give my dog per day?

Start small with cooked pumpkin, working up to a max of 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight daily. That means roughly ½ tsp for small dogs and 1-4 tbsp for large dogs.

2. Are pumpkin seeds safe for dogs? 

Yes, as long as they’re roasted without oil, salt, or spices. Pumpkin seeds contain beneficial omega fatty acids. Chat with your vet about using them for specific issues like parasites or urinary stones.

3. Can I feed my dog canned pumpkin?

Absolutely! Just make sure it’s plain, unsweetened pumpkin puree. Never feed your pup pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin with added spices.

4. Is raw pumpkin okay for dogs?

While not toxic, raw pumpkin is harder to digest and more likely to cause an upset stomach than cooked pumpkin. Remove the skin, stem, and leaves first. It’s best to stick with steamed, roasted, or baked pumpkin flesh.

autumn assortment with pumpkins pie

5. What about pumpkin pie for pooches? 

Pumpkin pie is a no-go, even the “natural” or organic kind. The added sugar, spices, and fat from the crust are too much for your pup’s system to handle.

Final Words

Pumpkin is a powerfully healthy treat that most dogs can enjoy in moderation. It’s loaded with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and tummy-taming fiber.

two people holding short coated tan dog 1

Whether you mix it in their food, bake it into treats, or stuff it in a toy, your pup will love the taste, and you’ll love knowing you’re supporting their wellbeing.

Just remember – skip the sugar, spices and pie, keep servings small, and always introduce new foods gradually. If you notice any adverse reactions, cut back the amount or check with your vet. 


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.