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Is Canned Pumpkin Good For Dogs?

I’ve always been a big fan of giving canned pumpkin to my dogs.

It’s an easy way to add some extra goodness to their diet and all of my dogs have always liked it. 

One thing that I’m not crazy about with pumpkin is the way people use it so freely to try and cure diarrhea. 

Pumpkin can be great for some dogs with diarrhea but it’s also not a cure for many. 

When we were dealing with Leroy’s IBD for 6 years people would always tell me that pumpkin would help. 

Leroy did get pumpkin on occasion but pumpkin would never help with diarrhea caused by his digestive issues.

Pumpkin can be good for dogs but it is not a cure for most. 

I, personally (who is not a veterinarian), think that pumpkin is a good supplement for dogs that have no medical conditions.

I think it’s a great addition to a dog’s diet in moderation but I would never use it to try and cure a condition in replace of medical advice. 

Is Canned Pumpkin Good For Dogs?

Yes!

Canned pumpkin has many great health benefits for dogs, including aiding with digestive health, and is safe to be given to most healthy dogs in moderation. 

Both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin are good sources of nutrients and fiber.

Canned pumpkin has high fiber content and is an excellent source of soluble fiber that also contains beta carotene, essential vitamins and minerals. 

Specifically, it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and iron but it is about 90% water. 

Unfortunately, not all dogs will like the taste of pumpkin so you might have to get creativive if you want them to enjoy the benefits of pumpkin in their diet.

Pumpkin For Dogs With Diarrhea

One of the most common reasons that pumpkin is given to dogs is to help with diarrhea. 

The natural fiber content of the pumpkin helps to slow down digestion by adding bulk to the dog’s stool.

Since there can be so many reasons for diarrhea to occur in dogs it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian instead of relying on pumpkin to be a cure. 

Adding too much pumpkin can actually cause diarrhea and no one wants that to happen.

Pumpkin For Dog Constipation

The Merck Veterinary Manual states that adding 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to the diet of a dog suffering from constipation can help ease mild constipation.

It’s always important to make sure that dogs are well hydrated and have access to plenty of water when you increase the fiber in their food because dehydration can make constipation worse.

How Much Canned Pumpkin To Give A Dog

How much plain canned pumpkin you give your dog will depend on why you’re giving it to them. 

You should always consult with your veterinarian to determine how much canned pumpkin your dog should get and for how long. 

I give 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin to Odin who is 117 pounds once a day and 2 Teaspoons to Finn who is 30 pounds. 

However, I give this on a semi-daily basis and I am not treating them for any specific condition. 

There doesn’t seem to be a set “dose” for small dogs or large dogs in regards to adding pumpkin to their diet, you just have to know your dog and watch their stools but the American Kennel Club suggests adding 1-4 tablespoons to your dog’s food. 

Whenever you add new food to your dog’s diet, always start out on the lower end and gradually increase over time.

What Kind Of Canned Pumpkin Can You Give To Dogs?

100% pure pumpkin is best for dogs. 

There are some specific pumpkin products made for dogs that contain other ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, and apples. 

You want to stay away from pumpkin pie mix because it contains some ingredients that can be toxic to dogs such as nutmeg. 

I always try to use Libby’s 100% Pumpkin because I feel like their consistency is the best. 

It’s not as water-downed as some of the other brands that I’ve used in the past which I think comes down to how they process it. 

Other types of canned pumpkin you can give to dogs are:

  • Fruitables Pumpkin
  • Nutrivet Digestive Supplement (fresh pumpkin + superblend)
  • Nummy Tum-Tum Organic Pumpkin
  • Wervua Pumpkin Pouches (not worth it for a big dog)

Many grocery stores will also carry their own brand of canned pumpkin just make sure that you’re not buying the pumpkin filling.

Canned pumpkin is really hard to find in Ohio right now but I’ve been able to get some at a local grocery store called Heinens. 

It’s their brand but it will work until Libby’s makes it back onto the shelf. 

You can also make your own homemade pumpkin puree with pie pumpkins.

I’ll be making some for the first time this week and I’ll be sure to share how it goes!

Where To Buy Canned Pumpkin For Dogs

You can buy pumpkin at most grocery stores and pet stores. 

You can also purchase a dog-specific canned pumpkin from most pet stores like Petco and Pet Supplies Plus.

Tractor Supply also carries it in their pet health section. (I checked yesterday.)

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Since most pumpkin pie recipes have fillings that contain artificial sweeteners and spices such as nutmeg that can be toxic to a dog, pumpkin pie mix should not be given. 

Can Dogs Have Too Much Canned Pumpkin?

Yes!

Dogs can have too much pumpkin which can lead to diarrhea so use it in moderation.

This means that your dog should not be consuming more pumpkin than actual dog food. 

The best way dog owners can give their dog a tasty treat of pumpkin is in small amounts. 

How To Store Canned Pumpkin For Dogs

Most varieties of canned pumpkin can be stored in the refrigerator properly covered for up to 7 days. 

It can also be stored in the freezer for a few months.

You can store it in the freezer using freezer-safe containers or even ice cubes trays. 

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

There are a variety of ways that pet parents can give their dog a healthy treat of pumpkin.

The list is almost endless when it comes to making homemade pumpkin treats with canned or fresh pumpkin.

I like to keep things as simple as possible and will often just freeze some pumpkin in dog-themed molds and top with a frozen green bean but you can also add some plain yogurt, bone broth, cottage cheese, bananas, or peanut butter to ice cube trays, freeze and serve them up to your dog. 

You can also make some easy baked pumpkin dogs treats and even pumpkin ice cream!

*Pumpkin does contain naturally-occurring sugars so dogs with diabetes should only use pumpkin in their diet under the supervision of a veterinarian. 

 

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Michelle

Friday 21st of January 2022

What is the benefit of buying pumpkin specifically for dogs from a pet store vs plain pumpkin purée from a grocery store? Does the ginger and apple do more or is that for flavor?

Laura

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Never would have thought of this -- I just put pumpkin on my shopping list!

Jen

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Let me know if you find it anywhere!

Tails Around the Ranch

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Canned pumpkin is the new 'toilet paper.' Can't find any here in Colorado either. I mean...none, zilch, nyet as in nada of ANY brand. 😬 I've had to switch to butternut squash (it's texture and taste are similar to the pumpkin) to camoflauge Elsa's anti-seizure meds without her royal highness spitting out the pills. Anything else seems like a direct challenge to her.

Jen

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

I'm glad that it's just not here in Ohio because I was starting to think I was going crazy. I couldn't find it for a few months in the spring and then it was back on the shelves for a few weeks and now it's gone again! I went to over 6 stores looking for it this weekend! That's a great idea to use it to hide pills!

Fenris

Monday 28th of September 2020

Our Lottie has anal gland issues sometimes, for which our veterinarian suggested giving her small amounts of canned pumpkin for the fibre content.

Jen

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Yes! I remember when I worked at the vet that they recommended pumpkin for anal gland issues.

Geri Pariseau

Monday 28th of September 2020

I give it to my Saint daily to help with constipation, also I mix in some chia seeds..... I just wish i had a trick to cut her nails!

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