Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?Giving your dog some pumpkin as a way to clear up a case of constipation is a popular suggestion for a cure. Being a vegetable, it’s an innocuous way to settle down your dog’s digestive system. Canines are known to bounce back from a bout of diarrhea or just an upset stomach. But is this really true?

Pumpkin is supposed to provide bulk so that they have something to poop out. It’s also helps to lubricate due to the moisture it contains. If your dog has diarrhea, pumpkin can sooth the digestive tract and have a calming effect. Countless dog owners say this does the trick while others say it doesn’t have any effect.

What you won’t hear are reports that pumpkin harmed a dog or worsened a situation. It a good way to help your dog out through a tough time without resorting to prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin? Answer: Yes

This is a time tested remedy that has the support of a lot of different dog owners, as well as many vets.

Dogs seem to enjoy canned pumpkin and if they’ve been finicky about their normal dog food fare, they might happily eat it up. Just be sure to only give them an all-natural variety with no seasoning added. I recommend Nummy Tum Tum because it’s 100% organic and is a specially formulated pumpkin puree for pets.

Some dog owners give their canines pumpkin pie filling or other desserts containing pumpkin but that won’t achieve any noticeable benefits.

Some Signs of Constipation

Diarrhea is easy enough to recognize, and if you see your dog straining to go number-2 that’s a telltale sign they are constipated. There are other signs of constipation in case you don’t catch them in the act. If you’ve noticed that their droppings are small, hard, or dry, or if they haven’t had the same appetite that they used to, it could be because they are backed up.

First, make sure they’ve been getting enough water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation especially for dogs. In the hotter months this is more common, but it can occur year round.

Waiting Game Alternative

What if you’re not keen on the idea of supplementing your dog’s diet with pumpkin? In this case, it can be just as effective to wait constipation out. Since a dog’s digestive system works at a faster rate than ours, you are basically realizing an issue late based on observable symptoms. Seeing your dog straining to go or having loose stools isn’t terribly serious unless it happens over a long period. Usually it’s just a matter of their system stabilizing and soon things will be back to normal.

Perhaps, by the time you give them pumpkin and it makes its way through their system, they may have been fine anyway. In that sense, pumpkin could falsely give you the illusion of working as a remedy, when in fact it had a neutral effect. Sometimes you just don’t know.

When to Call the Vet

If your dog gets constipated and it keeps returning even after giving them some pumpkin, or they have chronic diarrhea, it’s time to at least call a vet. See if they recommend bringing them in or maybe they can give you some advice over the phone.

Your vet will be able to ask the right series of questions to help you determine what the cause of the problems may be. If it can’t be determined, they’ll ask you to bring them in so they can check them out in person and suggest a treatment path from there.

Giving your dog pumpkin is a reasonable choice but there’s no pressing reason to do it unless you believe it in as a digestive fix. Rest assured, there is no strong reason not to give it to a dog. If you have some canned pumpkin on-hand and you notice they’re having trouble, it is worth a shot to try it.

Pumpkin really could provide some soothing relief to them. It may even be a comfort food over their usually dry dog food. They’ll probably love it!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dominika April 12, 2015

We have a 5+ year old English Bulldog. She has skin issues and other allergies. We thought we found a good prescription diet from the vet about a year ago but didn’t know that the food was very low in fiber. We did notice an improvement overall with her skin. Also she wasn’t wasting as much of the food and thought it was because it was a better quality. In fact, it was backing her up which then led to stomach issues and uncontrollable drooling, like she was poisoned.

We’ve been stressed trying to get all this under control for her. We have made many visits to the vet to the tune of $4,000 last year. I begged them for an enema for her. They reluctantly prescribed a stool softener. She now is coming off the vet food and onto a grain-free product that I add water to. I’ve reduced her kibble because she’s not an overly active dog. Who am I kidding, she’s a couch potato.

I give her 100% pure pumpkin, a heaping tablespoon, and add warmish water so that it’s soupy with some pumpkin on top. This is so she’s not just drinking the pumpkin, but getting some more pumpkin which she loves thankfully! It’s a very stressful problem for owners trying to help their animals. While I am an advocate of vets, I remember they are in business and I’m not an ATM. Hope this helps!

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Rose March 8, 2015

Our puppy has bad diarrhea. He was diagnosed with Giardia which we are now treating. I gave him an ice cubes’ worth of pure organic pumpkin, which he loves, and it literally worked over night! We had tried everything for 3 weeks to no avail. The vet originally thought it was his food bugging him since he hadn’t even been outside yet, so we hadn’t tested for Giardia until today.

After giving it to him last night, his stool was solid this morning, as was his second this afternoon. We are thrilled to now know the underlying issue as well as a way to firm it up for easy cleaning. I highly recommend to use this along with veterinary care. I highly support natural methods, but just make sure you treat both the disease and the symptoms.

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Johanna Kershaw October 17, 2012

Two of my Chihuahuas suffer from anal gland problems. I have started giving them canned pumpkin every day. It is very expensive. I bought Metamucil but haven’t given it to them recently. I have introduced more vegetables into their food such as broccoli and cauliflower. They have always eaten apples and raw carrots.

One of my dogs has put on a lot of weight since she has been neutered. I have cut down her food and give her more vegetable but she hasn’t lost any weight. She is lazy and most times just plunks herself down and refuses to move and I end up carrying her. Can you help?

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Terri March 3, 2013

I have a Chihuahua/Terrier mix who is 91 pounds so I can give you a few tips. Small breed dogs are known for having anal gland issues. Basically, you need to keep them drained every couple of months (perhaps more, it depends). I’m not sure if giving them Metamucil is a good idea. Instead, you want to increase their fiber intake as it will help with bowl movements and also with their glands becoming impacted.

Try introducing a teaspoon of Bran Buds. Most common reason dogs scoot (drag their butts across the carpet) is because their glands are full and it’s a bit uncomfortable for them. Typically, most dogs can drain their own just with going poo, but some need a little extra help. The Bran Buds will help keep the stool firm and that should aid it the glands not becoming full (at least not as often).

As far as weight goes, try diet dog food. Speak to your vet and/or even your local pet store about what is a good choice for a dog with weight issues and not so energetic. You could just walk her lots (even if she doesn’t want to go) don’t let her have the opportunity to choose as obesity in animals is very bad for their health. Even perhaps put her on a treadmill going slow for a few minutes every other day. Fruits and vegetables are good for them so long as you stay away from certain ones. Grapes, raisins are very bad for dogs and cause Renal failure (kidney failure). Limit the fruit you do give, as it still contains sugar and calories but as far as vegetables, they are good to go!

Just do a little research about healthy food choices for your pet but fiber is a big thing and if you get on a routine of daily doses, you should see improvement in the anal gland function.

Hope this helps a bit. I’m not a professional on any health issues. If you have any serious concerns, it’s best to see your local vet before introducing anything new to you pet’s diet or embarking on any big changes regarding their food. Good luck!

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Mrs. Blacketer November 12, 2013

I also have Chihuahua’s my oldest little guy (Boo) started having problems with constipation. After a couple of days I began to worry about him. I called my vet he recommended an enema and starting him on pure pumpkin.

My husband had already picked up a couple cans of canned dog food since this usually gives him diarrhea. We went in picked up the enema from the vets office. Which I had to administer 2 different times an hour apart. After giving him the enema we gave him about half a can of food. These are the small cans so that isn’t too much for his size. Within a half hour he finally went to the bathroom. It wasn’t a lot but at least he had a bowel movement.

The next day we got the pumpkin, now we’re feeding him 1 tsp. of pumpkin, 1/3 can of canned food mixed with about 1 tbsp. of crushed dry food each morning. He’s 7 years old and a little on the chubby side so the vet has him on food for his weight.

He’s now going regular and not straining the way he was before. He’s really good about not over eating so I leave him some dry food out along with his water during the day.

I’ve breed and showed dogs for years and usually know what to do for them when such things come up. Although I would like to stress to anyone when your dog is having problems it’s always best to consult your vet first. For us treating our pet’s health is a guessing game. No one knows our dogs health better than our veterinarian.

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