Pumpkin has been a popular dish in Europe since the 16th century. We like to use it in soup, cakes or in salads and enjoy its bright and cheerful colour every year.
The pumpkin is a very nutritious autumn vegetable, not just for humans, but also for dogs. Pumpkins can be harvested well into winter and hardly contain any fat, but provide plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals. Particularly noteworthy are the high potassium content and beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the dog’s body and is important for the eyesight and mucous skin tissues.
Pumpkin also contains an acceptable amount of vitamin C, which provides natural cell protection, supports wound healing and improves iron absorption. In addition to the vitamins and minerals mentioned, pumpkins also contain lots of fibre. Dietary fibre is important for the dog’s digestion and beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract.
Is there a danger to feeding pumpkin to your dog?
But despite all their health benefits, pumpkins can also pose a threat to dogs due to cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins are bitter substances found in pumpkins, cucumbers and other vegetables such as zucchini. These bitter substances are very toxic and can put dogs and people in life-threatening situations.
Fortunately, you can easily tell whether the pumpkin contains too many of these bitter substances. If the autumn vegetable tastes very bitter and is inedible for humans, dogs are also not allowed to eat it. Poisoning can also occur in humans if the proportion of cucurbitacins is too high. We recommend tasting the pumpkin first before offering it to your dog.
If you buy the pumpkin at the supermarket, it should usually not pose a health problem because the bitter substances are already bred out in commercially available pumpkins. If you grow your own, however, be careful.
Will pumpkin seeds and oil work as a food supplement for dogs?
Pumpkins are used to make pumpkin seed oil which contains lots of unsaturated fatty acids and is a valuable source of minerals. But can dogs also eat pumpkin seed oil or pumpkin seeds?
Yes, but in moderation. While the pumpkin seed oil can easily be mixed with the dog’s food and is especially helpful as a supplement to raw diets (B.A.R.F. diets), the pumpkin seeds should definitely be crushed before feeding.
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil can have a positive effect on bladder weakness and prostate enlargement. Pumpkin seeds are a popular natural supportive “remedy” for canine incontinence.
Pumpkin seed oil is also suitable for external use on your four-legged friend, for eczema and dry, flaky skin. The oil is applied sparingly to the affected areas.
As an alternative to pumpkin seed oil, linseed oil for dogs and the omega-3-rich salmon oil for dogs have proven effective in feeding.
Alternatives to pumpkin for dogs
We can definitely answer the question “Are dogs allowed to eat pumpkin?” This garden plant is not only tasty, but also very healthy for your dog. However, if you don’t want to feed your dog pumpkins, you have plenty of alternatives. Cucumbers, zucchini or strawberries are delicious alternatives and bring a little variety to your dog’s everyday food. However, you should only feed fruit in moderation. On the B.A.R.F. menu, it should not take up more than 5%.