3 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Sanchez Great pumpkin

Your dog or cat may be curious about the pumpkins sitting on your front porch. Halloween is now in the past, and your pumpkin may be beautifully carved, but it might also be collecting bacteria. While it’s best they don’t eat that pumpkin, canned organic pumpkin (unsweetened – not pie filling), pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for dogs and cats. Pumpkin can help with the following pet ailments:

1) Digestive Health: Pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber for our furry friends, as well as for us. Pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spice) can help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) to their regular meal is known to help keep them regular. It can also help dogs and cats with indigestion or upset stomachs. I have Labs. Anything is edible to Sanchez and Gina, and I’m sure they would eat it right out of the can if allowed. Most cats are usually a little more finicky.

2) Urinary Health: According to Veterinarians Laci and Jed Schaible, co-founders of VetLIVE.com, pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkin flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer.

3) Weight Loss: Dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin. If you are looking to take a few pounds off of your pooch or kitty, try reducing a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of canned pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.

Raw, Cooked, or Canned?

Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs. (If your dog or cat has diabetes or chronic kidney disease, always ask your vet first.) As far as our healthy pooches go, seeds and flesh of fresh raw pumpkins are safe provided, of course, it’s not a rotten pumpkin that’s been sitting on the porch for four weeks. Pumpkin parts do go rancid very quickly! If you choose to go with canned, make sure it’s organic and doesn’t have added sugar.

More Dog Cookies

Pumpkin Squeak Treats

Sanchez and Gina loved the Pumpkin Squeak Treats I made for them. I was delighted to discover they can be broken into tiny bites, which is always helpful for training. They are quick and easy and your pooches will love them!

“Pumpkin Squeaks” Dog Squeaks (compliments of Protect your Bubble pet insurance)

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (low in sugar)
2 eggs (I used 3 for more moisture)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ingredients together until blended, then spread dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Sanchez and Gina patiently wait for their cookies

Sanchez and Gina patiently wait for their cookies

Do you feed your pets pumpkin? Any recipes you want to share? Thanks for posting a comment below and be sure to join our conversations on Facebook.

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23 Responses to 3 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

  1. R V Risoldi says:

    Learning is lifelong. Longevity is my goal with the health and well being of my service animal. The better informed one becomes the more equippet one is to meet the challenges facing the canine soecies, our modern environment, with the abundant resourses, at disposal and the misinformation presented, as fact. We must be, ever vigilant, in the acquisition of and application of, that information to serve and attend to the needs and benedits derived, there-in/of the subject matter and products of use and care we choose to provide, in the management and offering we are, then inclined to bestowe, on our charges. Through A Dogs Ear, meets a need so many of our companion animals, unable
    e to “speak for themselves” are finding rest and better well being, in their daily lives, because of the people who dedicate their lives, interest and love, into this fine work, in the behalf of and to the hope for those very goals and requirements we seek out and desire to insane the qualities and futures of the lives we cherish and strive to return, that which they give so freepy to us. THANKS YOU. THROUGH A DOG’S EAR. HUG THE BOYS FOR
    US. “Let the Music Play” All Day, all day, all,…

  2. R V Risoldi says:

    To all; I am “legally blind”. My, above post has several errors, in subject body text, botherwise grammatical and typographical. Please, forgive my poor attempt to relate my understanding go and feeling, in the post. It is my sincere hope, that the words reach the hearts and minds of those, seeking the rewards so deserved, by our canine companions. Feel free to alter or remove, any text, which is wrong, inapropriate or off subject. Ty.

  3. Sandra says:

    I feed my 2 cocker spaniels a teaspoon a day of organic pumpkin seeds daily. They love them and the seeds seem to make them feel good all the time.

  4. Leslie says:

    I feed organic canned pumpkin to my dogs every day! And, I’ll start using pepitas for training treats, too! Are pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins interchangeable, either grated raw or baked and pureed? (If never carved and still fresh.) Not for the pie, but for the dogs!

    My Lab rides in the car with much less anxiety now with his “music” playing. Thank you for what you do!

  5. Essie says:

    As a classical pianist for 59 years, one who has worked in Rottweiler rescue for 27 years, and the owner of a dog boarding business who has had a wide variety of breeds as guests, I can vouch for the benefit of classical music. I have classical music playing all day in my home. My own pack of four rescues flop down in a semi-circle behind the bench every time I sit down to practice. DOGS LOVE CLASSICAL MUSIC!

  6. Judy says:

    I’ve been giving me dog pumpkin in place of some of the dog food since the spring and it’s made a big difference. She had gained a little weight, now has lost it and looks wonderful. (Even the vet said so!) And it does keep her “regular”. I look forward to trying the pumpkin squeak recipe. Thanks for the post, Lisa, and of course the awesome music!

  7. Judy says:

    That’s supposed to be “my” dog not “me” dog 🙂

  8. "D" says:

    I have a service dog who was rescued from life in a crate up to two years of his life, kept only to breed, not for service dogs but for selfish people with no real love for dogs, just money. My guy has problems with his bowel suddenly locking up and creating a difficult BM with muscous and blood in his stool. His wt. had also become a problem in winter months as he doesn’t get out as much to play. My vet suggested vegetables to supplement his diet and especially pumpkin to help keep his bowel moving and to soothe it if it does lock up which it seldom does any more. His wt. is much easier to control now as well and his coat is much softer too.
    I mostly give him canned pumpkin, but do occasionally give him neck pumpkin meat that is cooked and mashed. He LOVES his PUMPKIN! Would like to make him home made Christmas treats for one of his gifts. Thanks for the

  9. Carolyn Monnet says:

    Many thanks for your music…we own all of the dog cd’s and with 6 indoor cats may purchase those as well.

    I am a BIG fan of adding pumpkin to the dogs’ food (great for cats too!). I just wanted to add a comment that peanut butter, although it is found in store-bought treats, etc., can be an allergen for some dogs, as can eggs.

  10. Patti says:

    Sometimes my dogs get a little finicky. I put a spoonful of pumpkin on their food, and they gobble it up.

  11. Robin Morris says:

    Just discovered our cocker loves raw pumpkin he was chewing on the lid while my daughters where carving pumpkins seemed very upset when we took it away so we gave him some of the pieces they cut out not to much cause he ate half of the lid.

  12. El says:

    My frenchie loves his pumpkin seeds! He eats them up so fast¡

    • Karen Mitchell says:

      They are of no benefit if you don’t ground them. To aide in digestion and be of benefit to your pooch, they need to be raw organic pumpkin seeds, you know, the ones from a pumpkin.
      Not only can they help prevent and treat internal parasites, on the outside of pumpkin seeds, there’s a tin clear layer which benefits their joints.

      Pumpkin Seed: Give a teaspoon per 4.5 kilo (10 pounds) of your dog’s weight.

  13. Aunt Ruth says:

    My 3 rescues, 2 dogs and 1 cat, love pumpkin. I would love to post your recipe to my pinterest account, but the link at the bottom does not seem to work.

  14. karen bennett says:

    thanks for the recipe it sounds good and i will be sure to try it on my dogs and see if they like it.

  15. Vicki says:

    I have two tiny chihuahua’s that have very hard stools so I will give this a try. Thanks!

    • Cecelia Wood says:

      I have little chi’s myself. Their stools were alway very hard and extremely dry. I’ve added pumpkin to their food. Life for them is so much better. They obviously feel better and are able to do their business in no time. I can honestly say adding pumpkin was a good thing for my furbabies ♡♡♡

  16. Marilyn Leverett says:

    I have two chihuahua so I will definitely try the pumpkin seeds

  17. Lilia says:

    Fantastic work. Through a Dog’s Ear – Music Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Canine Anxiety!
    is worth 5 stars.

  18. legal sounds says:

    This site really has all of the info I wanted concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  19. Lachlan Wright says:

    I found this recipe call Pumpkin squeak Treats
    this Recipe is wrong because in this Recipe
    have Cinnamon. the Pumpkin squeak Treats
    Recipe need to change because Cinnamon is bad for dog

  20. Lisa says:

    My puppy has been eating my pumpkin patch and he poops the seeds!!!

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