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Pumpkin Puree For Dogs: Benefits, Recipes, Our Experience & More

Tara Maurer

Last Updated: July 1, 2024 | 6 min read | Leave a Comment

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Bowl of pumpkin puree.
Image credit: lovelypeace, Shutterstock

Browse the selection of premium dog food brands—The Honest Kitchen, Open Farm, Orijen, Stella & Chewy—and you’ll likely come across pumpkin in the recipes’ ingredient lists. Pumpkin is a popular superfood for dogs thanks to its low-calorie count and high fiber content. But for those who like the homemade approach to their dog food, you may wonder about pumpkin puree for dogs. Is it the same as pumpkin? Are there any pros and cons either way?

While you should always talk to your vet before introducing human foods to your pet’s diet, pumpkin puree is generally safe for dogs. We’ve included everything you need to know about feeding pumpkin puree to your canine companion.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Puree?

We’ve answered, “Can dogs eat pumpkin?” but what about pumpkin puree? To address this question, we need to take a step back. What, exactly, is pumpkin puree? The answer depends on the manufacturer.

At its simplest, pumpkin puree is mashed pumpkin, which is safe for our pooches. However, some manufacturers add extra ingredients to their canned pumpkin products that may not be dog-safe. Check the ingredient label. If the only ingredient is pumpkin, it’s safe for our pups. Some pet-friendly brands add dog-approved ingredients, like ginger, which supports digestion.

Unlike pumpkin pie mix, canned pumpkin for dogs should not have sugars, spices, or other unnecessary or dangerous additives. Some canned pumpkin brands will add salt, which can be too much sodium for dogs with heart or kidney disease.

What Does Pumpkin Puree Do For Dogs?

Pumpkin is most notably used for digestive support in dogs. Its blend of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber makes it practical for constipation and diarrhea. Research shows that dietary fiber also plays a role in diabetes prevention and control in dogs. It can manipulate the glycemic response to keep blood sugar stable, which also promotes appetite control and a healthy weight.

Pumpkin also contains prebiotic fiber, which supports the gut’s microbiome. Prebiotics act as food for the beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut, aiding in immunity, digestion, and overall gut health.

Additionally, pumpkin offers various other health benefits for dogs, including cardiovascular and immune support.

Is Pumpkin Puree Good For Dogs?

Pumpkin is a superfood that has lots of nutritional benefits for dogs. It’s a great addition to a canine’s healthy diet.

Pumpkin is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, including:

  • Carotenoids: A class of more than 600 pigments found in plants that give fruits and vegetables their distinct yellow, orange, and red coloring. Carotenoids act as antioxidants in the body, fighting free radical damage and slowing down the aging process.
  • Beta-carotene: A carotenoid that can be converted to vitamin A by dogs. Beta-carotene supports the immune system, eye health, and promotes healthy skin.
  • Polyphenols: A class of plant-based molecules known for their anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Polyphenols also help to improve insulin resistance, digestion, blood pressure, and brain function.
  • Phenolic acids: A type of polyphenol that serves as an antioxidant to protect the body from oxidative stress.
  • B vitamins: B-complex vitamins are necessary for your dog’s health. They play a role in the brain and nervous system, help convert food to energy (metabolism), and help maintain healthy body tissues.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and aging. It can directly affect immune cells to boost immunity. Vitamin C also plays a role in collagen production, making it suitable for joint support.
  • Calcium: Calcium is a mineral known for its contribution to strong teeth and bones. It also supports muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone release, and blood clotting.
  • Magnesium: This mineral contributes to hundreds of processes in the body, including muscle and nerve function, energy production, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.
  • Potassium: The mineral potassium supports nerve function and muscle contraction. It also moves nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

When Is Pumpkin Puree Bad For Dogs?

Pumpkin dog biscuits.

While pumpkin is a superfood for dogs, remember that it’s only good in moderation. Too much mashed pumpkin can hurt your pup’s health.

  • Digestive problems: Too much pumpkin puree can cause gas, bloating, and constipation due to the high fiber content.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Excessive fiber can affect the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. Fiber binds with minerals, including calcium, zinc, and iron. Too much can cause deficiencies.
  • Weight gain: As omnivores, dogs can benefit from a certain amount of carbohydrates, but too many extra calories from this starchy culinary vegetable can lead to weight gain.

Our Personal Experience With Pumpkin Puree And Dogs

Feeding my dog, Sally, a small amount of pumpkin puree when she has an upset stomach effectively resolves the issue. I buy 100% canned pumpkin and avoid pumpkin pie filling with added ingredients.

Kimberly Alt, Dog Parent & Writer For Canine Journal

Our dog Lexie had a sensitive stomach and GI issues. We would often make homemade food with cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin to mix in with her normal food to help with bowel movements. Plus, she enjoyed the texture and taste of something new. It can be a bit messy and makes her white snout a bit stained orange, but it seemed to help with her issues, and she gobbled it up!

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Mom & Marketing For Canine Journal

How Much Pumpkin Puree To Give A Dog

When feeding your dog pumpkin, start with 1/2 to one tablespoon at mealtime and increase as needed for desired results. Always start with small quantities, especially if your dog isn’t used to eating lots of fiber. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian.

Mashed Pumpkin For Dogs

While you can pick up a can of mashed pumpkin at the grocery store, some pet brands make puree for dogs. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites.

Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up!

Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up!

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Weruma makes pureed pumpkin for dogs and cats in convenient, recyclable pouches. I like that the variety pack offers four of each selection: plain pumpkin, pumpkin with coconut oil & flax seed, and pumpkin with ginger & turmeric.

Nummy Tum-Tum Organic Pumpkin

Nummy Tum-Tum Organic Pumpkin

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Nummy Tum-Tum’s 100% pumpkin puree is USDA Organic and Oregon Tilth certified. The product is also Non-GMO Project verified. The pumpkins are grown in Oregon using sustainable growing practices. The cans are recyclable and feature a BPA-free liner.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree For Dogs

Ideally, you will use a pie pumpkin, also called a sugar pumpkin, for this recipe. The flesh of this type of baking pumpkin is less stringy and sweeter than that of a run-of-the-mill carving or jack-o’-lantern pumpkin.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut your pumpkin in half lengthwise. Then, use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and strings. For larger pumpkins, cut into large wedges.
  3. Brush the pumpkin flesh lightly with oil, and place the pumpkin pieces flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Pierce the pumpkin’s skin a few times with a fork to let steam escape.
  4. Bake for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let the pumpkin cool.
  6. Scoop pumpkin flesh out of the skin and place it into a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. If you have trouble blending, add a little water. If the puree is too watery, cook in a saucepan over medium heat until the excess moisture has evaporated.
  7. Baked pumpkin will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding pumpkin puree for dogs. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Is Pumpkin A Laxative For Dogs?

Pumpkin puree can be a remedy for dog constipation. Its high fiber and water content helps add bulk and soften stools, making elimination easier. For this reason, it can be considered a natural laxative. Regardless of whether your pooch has digestive issues, adding pumpkin to their diet can help your pet stay regular.

How Long Does It Take For Pumpkin To Work On Dogs?

The effects of eating pumpkin will vary from dog to dog, but you should expect results within the first 24 hours.

Is Pumpkin Puree Safe For Puppies?

Yes, pumpkin puree is safe for puppies. As a general guideline, experts recommend 1/2 tablespoon of pumpkin per 10 pounds of body weight. For Puppies, start with 1 to 2 teaspoons and adjust accordingly for desired results.

Pumpkin Puree Frozen Dog Treats

A great way to introduce pumpkin puree into your pet’s diet is by adding it to DIY dog treats. Our article on the best frozen dog treats shares a fantastic recipe featuring pumpkin puree, peanut butter, coconut oil, and cinnamon.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Tara is part of the Canine Journal team, which has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and writing about anything and everything dog-related. She also has 8+ years of experience in the wellness industry, with experience in pet nutrition and supplementation. For this article, Tara used her experience in health and nutrition to explain the benefits of pumpkin puree for dogs. As a reminder, pumpkin puree should not be used as a meal and should always be fed in moderation.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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