Can dogs eat pumpkin?

Autumn is pumpkin time. But are dogs also allowed to eat pumpkin? Yes, they are!  We tell you what to look out for and how you can enjoy the pumpkin season with your dog safely and, above all, rich in vitamins.

Content overview

  1. Is pumpkin healthy for the dog?
  2. Which pumpkins are suitable for dogs?
  3. Is pumpkin poisonous for dogs?
  4. Symptoms of pumpkin poisoning in dogs
  5. In case of doubt: Taste test
  6. Conclusion: Pumpkin power from the supermarket and organic market
Autumn is here and with it finally time for the pumpkin harvest. Whether as pumpkin soup, pumpkin puree, oven vegetables or pumpkin risotto - the colourful pumpkins are more popular than ever in our kitchen. After all, they not only look beautiful and taste really good, they are also extremely healthy. But does that also apply to our dogs' food?

Is pumpkin healthy for dogs?

Yes, pumpkin is also very healthy for your dog. Hokkaido, butternut & co. are true vitamin bombs from which your dog also benefits. The winter vegetable is rich in fibre, contains essential vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E as well as the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Its effect on our dogs' health is just as varied. 

  • Stimulate digestion and metabolism
  • Help against constipation
  • Support the immune system
  • Flush toxins from the body
  • Protect against infections of the bladder tract
  • Help male dogs with prostate diseases
  • Improve insulin regulation
  • Help with weight loss

The same applies to pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, whose anti-inflammatory effect and support for prostate and urinary tract diseases as well as worming have even been confirmed in scientific animal studies.

Which pumpkins are suitable for dogs?

Edible pumpkins such as Hokkaido, butternut, bishop's cap, nutmeg or spaghetti squash are not only a treat for us, but also for dogs and taste good to our four-legged friends pureed, roasted, steamed or baked.

Important: Only buy pumpkins in supermarkets or organic markets. The pumpkins available in the shops do not have any dangerous bitter substances (cucurbitacins) and are therefore harmless for dogs. In the professional cultivation of pumpkin plants, which incidentally also include courgettes and cucumbers, the bitter substances are bred away.

Is pumpkin poisonous for dogs?

Dogs are not allowed to eat all pumpkins. Be careful with pumpkins that you have grown yourself in the garden or that have grown wild in the field. They can contain dangerous bitter substances that are toxic to humans and animals.

You should therefore never feed wild-grown or home-grown pumpkins to your dog! The cucurbitacins can lead to severe and life-threatening poisoning.

By the way: Even cooking cannot kill the bitter substances.

Caution with ornamental pumpkins

Absolutely taboo for your dog are ornamental pumpkins, which are very popular as autumn decorations. They are unsuitable for consumption and highly toxic for dogs. Dogs are not allowed to eat such pumpkins.

 If you do not want to do without the decoration, be sure to place the decorative pumpkins out of reach of your four-legged friend. Otherwise, some playful puppies or curious dogs might get the idea of trying the colourful decorative vegetables. If you notice that your dog has eaten an ornamental pumpkin, please take them to the vet immediately!

Symptoms of pumpkin poisoning in dogs

Ingestion of the toxic bitter substances still contained in wild and ornamental pumpkins manifests itself in dogs - just as it does in humans - primarily in gastrointestinal symptoms. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive salivation

Other signs of pumpkin poisoning may include excessive trembling or convulsions. Anaphylactic shock or even death of the four-legged friend can also be the result.

If your dog shows any of the above symptoms after eating a pumpkin, take him to the vet as soon as possible or inform the animal rescue service.

As first medical care at home, you can give your dog charcoal tablets. The activated charcoal, which you should ideally have on hand in your first aid kit, prevents the toxins from entering the bloodstream.

In case of doubt: Taste test

To make sure that the pumpkin is suitable for your dog and does not contain any poisonous bitter substances, you should try a small piece beforehand. The same applies to courgettes and cucumbers, which also belong to the pumpkin family.

Unlike dogs, we humans have about 9,000 taste receptors and can therefore perceive bitter substances more quickly. Dogs also taste bitter, but unfortunately often too late. Dogs are gourmands and before their taste buds sound the alarm, most dogs have already swallowed the bitter pumpkin.

Conclusion: Pumpkin power from supermarkets and organic markets

The good news is that you generally don't need to worry about dangerous bitter substances in edible pumpkins from the shops. To be really sure - as described - a quick taste test is a good idea.

Professionally grown pumpkin varieties such as Hokkaido, Butternut & Co. are extremely tasty and support the health of your four-legged friend in many ways. Pumpkin is also very suitable for overweight dogs or dogs with allergies or food intolerances and is a healthy addition to the food bowl.

Explore our range of Pumpkin Treats here:

Mini Turkey Training Drops with Sweet Potatoes, Carrot & Pumpkin

Mini Chicken Training Drops with Sweet Potatoes, Carrot and Pumpkin

Chicken Hamburger with Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

Beef Sticks with Pizzle Meat, Pumpkin & Sweet Potato



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