Many dog treat recipes call for pumpkin puree–but do you know just what pumpkin puree is and how it’s different than pumpkin pie filling? Let’s look at how to make pumpkin puree for dogs, how it’s good for them, ways you can use it and even the right kind to buy at the store when you don’t have time to make it from scratch!
I *love* cooking with pumpkin puree–and love that it’s so easy to make homemade pumpkin puree for dogs. Besides the fact that it’s loaded with nutrients, it also creates tasty and moist treats and entrees for our dogs.
Giving Pumpkin Puree to Your Dog
Amazingly, pumpkin can also be helpful for both constipation and diarrhea, thanks to its fiber. Fed along with a bland diet (like chicken and rice), the extra fiber in pumpkin can help soothe your dog’s stomach.
It’s also another excellent food for making your dog feel full, even with diminished meal proportions, if you are trying to help your dog lose weight.
Pumpkin puree has several great health benefits:
- Digestive Health: Pumpkin is a source of soluble fiber, which can help regulate dogs’ digestive systems. It can be helpful for both constipation and diarrhea.
- Weight Management: Pumpkin puree can be a low-fat, fiber-rich filler for dogs’ food, which can help them feel full without adding many calories.
- Rich in Nutrients: Pumpkin is rich in important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Moisture Content: The moisture content of pumpkin puree can also be beneficial for dogs that may not drink enough water.
How Much to Serve?
Some dogs like to lick pumpkin puree right off the spoon; other dogs prefer it be mixed in their meal. (And it’s also a great add-in for dog treats. You’ll find several recipes using puree linked below.)
The amount of pumpkin puree you should give your dog largely depends on its size and the specific reason you’re giving it. Here’s a general guideline, but always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet:
For General Health or as a Treat:
- Small Dogs (up to 15 lbs.): 1–2 teaspoons per day
- Medium Dogs (15–30 lbs.): 1–2 tablespoons per day
- Large Dogs (30+ lbs.): 2–5 tablespoons per day
For Digestive Issues (like diarrhea or constipation):
- Start with the lower end of the dosage for your dog’s weight category. Monitor your dog’s stool and adjust the amount as needed. If diarrhea or constipation persists, consult your veterinarian.
For Weight Management:
- You can replace a portion of your dog’s regular food with pumpkin puree. Discuss this with your vet to determine an appropriate amount, keeping the caloric intake in mind.
Be sure to introduce pumpkin puree gradually to your dog’s diet, especially if they’ve never had it before. This helps you monitor for any adverse reactions and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal upset.
As always, if in doubt, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide specific guidance tailored to your dog’s health and dietary needs.
Can I Just Use Canned Pumpkin?
You can purchase canned pumpkin puree for your dog–but never buy pie filling which includes sugar and spices.
You’ll find both in the baking aisle at your grocery store so be careful to get the one that’s just plain pumpkin.
Which Pumpkin Should You Buy?
The best pumpkins to purchase for pureeing are the smaller pumpkins intended for eating rather than carving. (Not the very small decorative pumpkins.)
What You’ll Need
For this you’ll need:
- 1 large, ripe pumpkin
- 1 baking sheet
- parchment paper
- large knife
- spoon for scooping seeds
Before you start, you’ll need to cut the top off the pumpkin. This is the only difficult part of pureeing pumpkin is in this part of the process: cutting off the top of the pumpkin. Cutting into the pumpkin takes some muscle!
How to Cook Pumpkin for Dogs
- Wash the pumpkin.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Divide the pumpkin into quarters. You’ll need about 1/4 of a pumpkin for this recipe; save the remainder for more recipes!
- Cut the quarter into smaller pieces.
- Scoop out the seeds. Save the seeds to wash then roast!
- Place pumpkin slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake about 45 minutes (the pumpkin flesh should be fork tender)
- Removed from the oven to cool before removing the baked pumpkin skin (and discarding it).
- After removing the outer skin, cut the baked pumpkin into small chunks and toss in the blender, gradually adding water to puree the pumpkin to the consistency of baby food.
- Freeze puree into one-cup containers or in ice cube trays.
Recipes Using Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree also makes a great ingredient in dog treats any time.
On DogTipper you’ll find numerous recipes that include pumpkin including: