Autumn time is pumpkin time. The round vegetables are not only very popular as Halloween decorations, but also as kitchen vegetables. The sweetish-spicy taste is also a pleasure for many dogs – whether pureed, as a soup, or steamed as a snack in between. Some varieties, however, can be dangerous for dogs, because wild pumpkins and ornamental gourds contain poisonous bitter substances. Here you can find out what you need to consider with pumpkin for your dog.
Can Dogs Have Pumpkin?
Good news for all pumpkin fans: Pumpkin is very healthy for dogs. Dogs are by no means pure carnivores because around 30 percent of the diet should consist of vegetables and fruit. Hokkaido, butternut, and co are particularly suitable as a vegetable side dish: Dogs love the taste of the orange pulp, which also contains numerous nutrients.
Which Pumpkin is Good for Dogs, Which One is Poisonous?
Pumpkin is safe for dogs as long as the right variety ends up in your four-legged friend’s bowl. All cucurbits, including zucchini and cucumber, can contain dangerous bitter substances. The so-called cucurbitacins, if consumed in excess, lead to severe or even life-threatening poisoning. Typical symptoms of pumpkin poisoning include:
- Tremors and convulsions;
- Anaphylactic shock up to death.
Wild Pumpkin From the Garden is Bad for Dogs
The dangerous cucurbitacins are mainly found in wild-growing and home-grown pumpkin plants. If you grow pumpkins in the garden, to be on the safe side, do not feed them to your dog. Pumpkins collected in the wild in fields are also unsuitable for dogs, as they can contain dangerous amounts of bitter substances.
Pumpkin From the Supermarket is Harmless
Commercially available pumpkins such as Hokkaido and Butternut are safe for pets, as proper breeding is ensured in professional cultivation. Bitter substances in pumpkins are toxic to both dogs and humans and cannot be killed by cooking.
If a pumpkin tastes bitter, dispose of it immediately and do not feed it to your dog.
Ornamental Pumpkins are Poisonous to Dogs
Ornamental pumpkins, which are also poisonous, are another danger to dogs. The popular autumn decoration must not be confused with the varieties that are suitable for consumption. Place decorative pumpkins in your garden or at home out of reach of your dog so that your playful four-legged friend does not get the idea to play with the pumpkins or possibly eat them. If the dog eats pumpkin, see the veterinarian immediately.
Is Pumpkin Healthy For Dogs?
Yes, winter vegetables are very healthy for four-legged friends. It contains numerous healthy nutrients that contribute to a balanced diet and healthy digestion. These nutrients make pumpkin suitable for dogs:
- Fiber aids digestion and helps relieve constipation.
- Pumpkin contains vital vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin A.
- Minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc ensure an optimal supply of nutrients.
- Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and manganese and are considered a natural remedy for parasites.
- The pumpkin seed oil obtained from the seeds provides the dog with essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
How Can You Prepare Pumpkin for the Dog?
If you want to feed your dog Hokkaido squash, butternut squash, or any other suitable variety, there are several options.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is safe for dogs both raw and cooked. However, since the raw vegetables are very firm, they should be severely chopped or pureed with a little liquid. If the dog is to eat raw pumpkin, test for tolerance with a small amount.
Cooked Pumpkin in the Feed and as a Treat
Most dogs prefer the softer, cooked pulp. You can cut the pumpkin into small cubes and stew it in a little water in a saucepan. Then mix the cubes into the dog food. Pumpkin is also suitable for barfish. The steamed pumpkin cubes are also suitable as a healthy alternative to treats.
Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil for Dogs
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are suitable as food supplements for dogs. Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Chopped or ground pumpkin seeds can simply be mixed into the dog food. You can also mix cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil as a dietary supplement with dog food or barf food in order to supply your fur nose with important fatty acids and vitamin E. Since pumpkin seed oil has an intense taste, only use a few drops.