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Top 3 Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Top 3 Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Your dog or cat may be curious about the pumpkins sitting on your front porch. It’s already Halloween, and your pumpkin may be beautifully carved, but might also be collecting bacteria. While it’s best they don’t eat that pumpkin, canned natural pumpkin (unsweetened – not pie filling), pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for dogs and cats. There is good reason that pumpkin is often a top ingredient in higher quality kibble. It can help with the following pet ailments:

1) Digestive Health: Pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber for our furry friends, as well as for us. Pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spice) can help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) to their regular meal is known to help keep them regular. I have labs, so anything is edible to them, and I’m sure they would eat it right out of the can if I allowed. Most cats are usually a little more finicky. It can also help dogs and cats with indigestion or upset stomachs.

2) Urinary Health: According to Veterinarians Laci and Jed Schaible, co-founders of, pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkins’ flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer.

3) Weight Loss: I’ve written about the dangers and commonality of pet obesity. Dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin. If you are looking to take a few pounds off of your pooch or kitty, try reducing a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of canned pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.


As co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

Read more: Basics, Cats, Dogs, Food, Health, Pet Health, Pets, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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1:53AM PST on Feb 26, 2014

Thank you

6:45AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

My golden gets pumpkin mixed into his kibble every meal. He loves it, and it has much to reccommend it.

10:43PM PDT on May 8, 2013

Pumpkin for cats.. new idea.

10:13PM PDT on May 8, 2013

What a great article - I can attest that my 22 yr old kitty Loves cooked, plain pumpkin mixed into her food & it does wonders to keep her regular. My two dogs (border collie & jack russell) also love both the cooked pumpkin & ground pumpkin seeds, & I believe the pumpkin seeds help to expel worms. Thank you, Lisa!

4:07PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

I cut fresh pumkin into wedges about 1" thick at middle part and steam about 6 at a time till soft. These slices go into containers and then refrigerated. My dog gets a slice per day, skin and all, mixed up with a cup of dry food. she loves it.
I recently gave a small piece to a scrawny little kitten and it licked the dish clean.
My dog regularly gets different veg while I'm cooking or after I've eaten. She does eat some fruit too but a bit more fussy on that.

3:08AM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Good article. I can attest to the health benefits of pumpkin for dogs, more specificly, puppies. I have a 9 week old maltipoo who recently had to get her elbow popped back into place. She was under pain meds for a day or two; which caused a lot of additional pain due to constipation. Upon recommendation by our vet, we gave her canned pumpkin mixed with puppy milk...ate it right up! Within hours, she was going with ease. And the poop? Solid. Thanks, pumpkin!

6:41PM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

Pumpkins adds bulk and prevents dogs from "carpet surfing" to relieve overly full anal sacs. It deserves a green star!

7:30PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

GREAT NEWS...every year we've a bumper crop, my dog loves them...roasted from the oven!

12:43PM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Good info for cats!

4:33AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

I've been giving my dog pumpkin when i bake. them. I didn't realize it was healthy for kitties too.

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