Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? Yes and no. Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber, protein and fatty acids that can be a great addition to a dog’s diet when added the correct way.
When my kids were little and carving pumpkins at the kitchen table, I was always paranoid that they would make a mess and raw pumpkin seeds would be covering the floor and Sherman and Leroy would be right there waiting to gobble them up.
I don’t know why, but back then I always thought that raw pumpkin seeds were toxic to dogs.
Of course, my kids dropped a few seeds on the ground and of course one of the Newfies ate them but they never had any bad side effects from them.
I think I was more worried about the raw seeds causing an intestinal blockage or one of them choking on a seed but those seeds always safely made it down the hatch and out the other end without any issues.
These days I obviously know that pumpkin seeds are safe for my dogs to eat in small amounts but my kids still panic when they drop one on the floor:)
Are Raw Pumpkin Seeds Toxic To Dogs?
In short, no, raw pumpkin seeds are not toxic to dogs so if one drops on the floor and your dog eats it, most likely they will be just fine.
Just like with pumpkin puree, there are many health benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs but since they can be hard for dogs to digest, so it’s best to ground them up.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber, protein and a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids to help improve healthy skin and coat.
They’re also rich in phosphorus and magnesium and contain copper, zinc, calcium, iron and antioxidants.
While fresh pumpkin seeds can be a healthy snack and add some added nutritional benefits to a dog’s diet, there are also some health risks that dog owners should be aware of before handing them out this fall.
Just like with any new foods, they should be added to a dog’s diet slowly to avoid an upset stomach.
Pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fats, protein and have high fiber content so if dogs are given too much pumpkin, it can upset their digestive system and cause diarrhea or soft stools.
When fed whole, raw pumpkin seeds can also be a choking hazard for small dogs.
Can Dogs Have Pumpkin Seeds In The Shell?
The short answer to this question is, yes most dogs can have pumpkin seeds that are still in the shell but the shell part is hard for them to digest so if your dog eats one, it will most likely pass in their stool and they won’t get any of the nutritional benefits that pumpkin seeds have.
Now, if a dog eats a whole pumpkin- the guts including the pumpkin flesh and all the raw pumpkin seeds inside, this could definitely present a problem like an intestinal blockage so you should probably contact your veterinarian.
Are Pumpkin Seeds A Natural Dewormer For Dogs?
I’ve seen this belief being passed around for years and most licensed veterinarians I’ve talked to have said no, raw pumpkin seeds are not a natural de-wormer.
They may provide some natural dewormer benefits to dogs but additional medication is usually needed.
Meaning, a puppy that is infested with tapeworms will need more than pumpkin seeds to treat them.
Feeding Pumpkin Seeds To Your Dog
If you’ve decided to feed fresh pumpkin seeds to your dog but don’t know what the best way to feed is, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian.
I personally buy organic raw pepitas from the store, toss them on a cookie sheet, bake them and then grind them up and add them to my dog’s food or add them as an ingredient in homemade dog treats.
Grinding the seeds is easier for my dogs to digest so that’s what I do.
I also grind fresh pumpkin seeds in a food processor but you can use a coffee grinder too.
If you roast pumpkin seeds from your carving pumpkin and you just want to roast them up for your dog and not go through the trouble of grinding them or removing the shell, it’s best to skip the butter, oil, salt and sugar and just roast the seeds.
To roast pumpkin seeds for your dog make sure to wash them first.
After you wash them, allow the seed to dry and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp and crunchy.
How Many Seeds Can a Dog Have?
I’m not a veterinarian and I don’t know your dog so I can’t give you an exact measurement
How many pumpkin seeds a dog can have will ultimately depend on the size of the dog.
A large dog can obviously have more than smaller dogs but regardless of size, if your dog has never had pumpkin seeds before, start off slow to avoid any digestive issues.
Do Dogs NEED Pumpkin Seeds In Their Diet?
If a dog is getting a high-quality balanced diet, they don’t need pumpkin seeds added to their diet.
They can be a nice snack when given moderation or an extra ingredient to add to dog treat recipes but a healthy, thriving dog won’t miss them.
I feed plain pumpkin to my dogs all year round because no matter the season, I feel that pumpkin is full of health benefits for my dogs.
Pumpkin contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium and it’s also great for digestion because of its high soluble fiber content.
In some cases, it can help reduce diarrhea but on the flip side, too much pumpkin can cause diarrhea.
Pumpkin is also an easy ingredient to use in frozen dog treats or baked dog treat recipes but always make sure to only use plain pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling mix because it often contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs.