Although they’re mostly beloved as an autumn treat or a spooky accompaniment to the front porch, pumpkins are packed with vitamins, minerals and overall goodness that makes them all too welcome on the dinner table.
Yet even our pets can enjoy a lot of the benefits of these big orange treats and suffer none of the tricks for it if it’s uncooked too.
Is raw pumpkin good for dogs?
While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to feeding harvest time treats to your beloved canine companion, dogs can eat raw pumpkin, and enjoy a lot of benefits from doing so.
While you won’t need huge quantities of pumpkin to help your dog feel those positive effects, the good news is that there’s no fuss in serving it up or having to prepare it a certain way either.
Raw pumpkin is good for dogs in lots of ways, so feel free to hand it over to a hungry and hopeful looking pooch. Just make sure it’s good and fresh, and in small enough pieces to not be a choking hazard.
While dogs would likely not opt to try and consume pumpkins in the wild, the fact that they are man’s best friend today means that we can help get so much of the nourishment on offer into their systems.
Better still, raw pumpkin has so much to offer that it’s often a better bet versus the likes of pumpkin-flavored foods or super sugary syrups.
Dogs can safely eat pumpkin seeds, so you also don’t need to worry about picking them out of the raw pumpkin flesh you’re trying to hand over to your pooch.
But of course, it likely goes without saying that responsible pet owners ought not to feel the need to entirely replace a dog’s dinner with raw pumpkin.
This is something to consider rather as a supplement to an already balanced diet or the sort of thing you might like to give your dog as an occasional treat that comes free from any major health risks.
Moderation is the key here because, despite all the health benefits present in pumpkins, the fact is that they’re quite the rugged thing to eat at the best of times, especially for canines.
Dogs don’t have the same capacity to process plant-based material like what is found in fruit and vegetables, or even berries and nuts like human beings can.
The trade-off is that dogs can enjoy lots of benefits from much smaller portions of such things though, and raw pumpkin is a great example of that.
Health benefits of raw pumpkin for dogs
Both raw pumpkin and pumpkin seeds contain plenty that’s good for dogs, so there’s no doubting the benefits of adding these kinds of goodies to your dog’s diet.
In fact, as a brief aside, pumpkin seeds contain not only vitamins and minerals, but also fatty acids and lipids, which are very beneficial for your dog’s diet.
In a related thought, raw pumpkin flesh overall is very good for your dog’s digestive process, particularly in terms of easing indigestion in dogs or even combatting intestinal parasites.
Pumpkins are more of a natural remedy than we often realize since it’s become more of a symbol of the fall season than a year-round foodstuff.
But consider keeping raw pumpkin as a year-round treat for your pooch.
Just as Native Americans once used pumpkin pulp to treat wounds and ease a bad stomach, so too can your dog benefit from these recuperative effects.
Raw pumpkin contains plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, all of which helps to keep your dog in the best of health.
You can expect your pet to have bright eyes, a full and rich coat of good and shiny fur, and a good wet nose to show his or her strong health.
And of course, those vitamins don’t just keep your pet healthy, they also help increase resistance to falling unwell in the first place.
Likewise, adding a little raw pumpkin flesh to your dog’s dinner can help him or her enjoy a faster recovery if he or she has been feeling poorly.
Yet what many dog owners turn to raw pumpkin for is to help smooth out digestion in their pets.
There’s a good amount of natural fiber in raw pumpkin that helps even things out inside your dog, both to ease constipation and get things moving, just as much as to soothe and prevent diarrhea.
Knowing this kind of catch-all remedy is close at hand is very reassuring for dog owners.
How much raw pumpkin can a dog eat daily?
As with anything grown in the garden or at a farm, your dog is less inclined towards food like pumpkins than his or her preferred meats and dog biscuits.
Nevertheless, pumpkin is tasty enough that your dog is likely to enjoy it – just make sure not to enjoy it too much!
Between a tablespoon and four tablespoons of raw pumpkin flesh is usually a good amount, depending on the size and age of your dog, as well as their current state of health and digestive efficiency.
Going too far in handing over the raw pumpkin to your dog could cause some stomach upset, as your pet is not built to process such large amounts of food of this kind of material.
Keep these pumpkin doses small though, and you should get all of the perks and none of the drawbacks.
Keep in mind also that, as with any new food in your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to start slow and small.
Introducing any new additions to your pet’s cuisine is often a challenge, especially for rather fussy pooches.
Let your dog sniff at some raw pumpkin and see if he or she likes it before adding it to the meal.
Gradually increase how much raw pumpkin you’re feeding your pet, and likewise smartly reduce it according to his or her health.
What to do if your dog eats raw pumpkin
Dogs are remarkably good at sneaking food they aren’t supposed to have, and any dog owner will tell you that even the most well behaved of animals has this tendency from time to time.
This is especially true if your dog has just found something new and exciting that’s been recently added to his or her cuisine – and decided to take some of their initiative in getting their chops around it.
It could be that your dog has raided the pumpkin patch in the garden, or perhaps found some discarded raw pumpkin pulp put aside after a pumpkin was carved by you and the family.
Luckily, neither the flesh or pumpkin seeds are toxic to dogs, so your pet will not come to any immediate harm from eating it – not that just helping him or herself to things ought to be encouraged, of course.
Things to be aware of here are the potential for choking hazards, especially if there are a lot of pumpkin seeds in what your dog has just eaten.
This is especially the case if your dog has been caught digging into some raw pumpkin – a pet who has been caught will often go for broke and gulp down whatever he or she just got caught with to prevent you from snatching it away.
Just make sure your dog doesn’t make themselves choke in doing this, and all should be fine.
There’s likely very little to worry about in your dog eating raw pumpkin, and as we have explored here, he or she may well do themselves some good in doing so.
Having said that, it’s not recommended that they persist in this behavior – dogs ought to instead rely on what we as responsible owners give them because if left to their own advice they could well eat something toxic by mistake.
If your dog has eaten a large amount of raw pumpkin, it’s going to prove tricky for them to digest, and you could find that he or she gets an upset stomach for the day.
Some dogs react badly to upset stomachs and just throw up everything to purge themselves of it, but it’s just as likely your pet might feel a bit sluggish and glum, keen to sleep off the aches and start the day fresh tomorrow.
What about these foods?
Not only is raw pumpkin good for dogs, but it’s actually far more remedial than we sometimes realize.
The seeds contain plenty of nutrition all on their own, but the flesh of raw pumpkin for dogs is also a very healthy and tasty treat.
There are lots of vitamins and minerals here, but also some valuable aids to digestion to be had – just make sure to keep the amount of raw pumpkin you’re feeding your dog in moderation for the best results.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.