Can pumpkin be toxic to dogs? Here’s the Answer

Is Pumpkin Pie Bad For Dogs?

Do not give your dog sugary, spicy pie filling. Pumpkin that is suitable for dogs includes cooked, fresh, or the mashed kind from a fresh real pumpkin that you prepare yourself.

You should never give a dog pumpkin pie filling because it is rich in fat, sugar, and other substances that can cause your dog to become very ill. Dogs cannot process spices and additional flavors intended for human consumption.

Unfortunately, many grocery stores sell plain canned pumpkin right next to the pumpkin pie mix, and there is a very big difference between the two. Additionally, pumpkin products may contain Xylitol or artificial sweeteners that are deadly to dogs.

Most pumpkin pie fillings and mixes contain nutmeg, which contains a toxin called myristicin. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, “If a very large amount of nutmeg is ingested, myristicin toxicity can cause symptoms including hallucinations, disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and possibly seizures. Symptoms can last up to 48 hours. A pet would need to ingest a very large amount of nutmeg, and this is very unlikely to occur if a dog or cat ingests food with nutmeg in it.”

I err on the side of caution and don’t give my dog pumpkin pie, which also contains cinnamon. Again, Pet Poison Helpline says the dose is what makes cinnamon toxic.

Large overdoses of the powder or exposure to the essential oil can lead to low blood sugar, liver disease, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in heart rate. Some dogs who are ingesting the powdered spice directly can inhale the spice.”

How Much Pumpkin To Give A Dog

Most pet parents wish to share pumpkin with their dog as a tasty treat or to increase their fiber intake. Ironically, it would take an inordinately huge amount of pumpkin in your dog’s diet for your pooch to see a benefit.

In her book, Natural Dog, Dr. Deva Khalsa writes of canned pumpkin, “You can add 1/4 to one cup of this into the dog’s food every day. It is an excellent source of fiber, and it works extremely well to prevent, correct, and counteract constipation.”

Dr. Freeman at Tufts, however, says the amount and type of fiber in pumpkin limits its effectiveness as a fiber source.

Most experts say to start slow and see if your dog likes the taste of pumpkin. The typical amount of canned pumpkin as a treat ranges by dog size and weight. Make sure the can only contain pumpkin and nothing else.

Since plain canned pumpkin is about five calories per tablespoon, start with around one tablespoon for smaller dogs and more for a larger size dog.

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 dogs diet, always consult your veterinarian.

Is Pumpkin Good for Dogs? Benefits (and Risks) of Pumpkin for Dogs

With the growing popularity of pumpkin spice everything, you might even see more pumpkin products being advertised to your pup. This is for good reason, as in many cases pumpkin can have some serious health benefits. But before you start scheduling PSL dates with your pup, read on for the deets – when is pumpkin a good idea and when should you hold off!

You might have heard of dog owners using pumpkin as a remedy for a number of gastrointestinal maladies—everything from diarrhea to constipation—but is pumpkin safe for dogs?

In most cases, yes, pumpkin can be a healthy part of a dog’s balanced diet. With its naturally-occurring fiber and rich concentration of vitamins, pumpkin has a myriad of benefits for your pup. However, as is the case with any ingredient you add to your dog’s food bowl, there are some precautions you need to keep in mind.

In most cases, a pumpkin can make a healthy dog even healthier. The popular squash is low in calories to ward off obesity and high in fiber to promote a strong digestive system. Pumpkin is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide your dog with instant energy.

The vitamins and minerals in the orange fruit (pumpkin is not technically a vegetable) provide great benefits for your pup as well.

Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, vitamin E, iron, and potassium. Carotenoids encourage skin health and eye health, while vitamin E acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps with heart function. Iron encourages the production of hemoglobin, and potassium ensures that muscles and nerves work properly.

These benefits of sharing pumpkin with your dog are why we at Ollie add pumpkin to our Turkey Recipe. The pumpkin is mixed with turkey breast, kale, lentils and carrots as well as things like chia seeds and cod liver oil for a delicious and nutritious meal.