Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds 🎃? Are They Safe?
Pumpkin seeds are a yummy, crunchy, and nutritious addition to salads, desserts, and when eaten alone. They’re especially popular during fall when pumpkins are in abundance and we’re all carving them out and eating the leftovers.
But can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
Is it safe for us to give a couple to our pooches to enjoy too? In this article, we’ll have a look at feeding your dog pumpkin seeds, discussing everything from their nutritional value to potential risks, and how to serve them properly.
In Short – Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes! Pumpkin seeds are safe to feed your dog. They’re not toxic and have nutritional value too. They’re full of minerals and vitamins, important fatty acids, and are a good source of fiber (which can help your pup feel fuller for longer).
But, like all human food, moderation is key. There can be some side effects if your pooch eats too many pumpkin seeds.
Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Pumpkin Seeds
As well as them being yummy and adding a different texture to your dog’s diet, there are lots of other nutritional benefits of giving your pup a couple of pumpkin seeds every now and again. Some of them can also be found when giving your dog sunflower seeds.
- Good fiber content. Pumpkin seeds have a good amount of fiber which can help to keep your pup regular and maintain a healthy digestive system. It also helps them to feel fuller for longer which is especially good for pups that are trying to lose weight.
- Rich in omega fatty acids. These healthy acids are an important part of your dog’s diet as they increase skin and coat health.
- Full of minerals and vitamins. Pumpkin seeds contain vitamins K and E as well as potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron which all help boost your pup’s overall immune system and health.
The Potential Risks of Pumpkin Seeds for Dogs
While pumpkin seeds are safe for dogs, they need to be consumed in moderation. Overindulging in pumpkin seeds can cause health issues for your pet.
For instance, they are relatively high in fat, and if your dog isn’t used to consuming them, too much fat in one go can cause diarrhea or stomach upset. In very serious cases, it can cause pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas causing abdominal pain and vomiting.
It’s also worth noting that while pumpkin seeds can boost your dog’s fiber intake, this could potentially reduce the absorption of protein and other essential nutrients, leading to nutritional deficiencies.
Pumpkin seeds can also be very hard which occasionally, and especially for smaller dogs can be a choking hazard. Always monitor your pup when they’re eating and don’t let them eat too much all at once.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?
In general, it is not recommended to feed your dog raw pumpkin seeds. Raw pumpkin seeds contain a compound called cucurbitacin, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.
Additionally, the shell of raw pumpkin seeds can cause intestinal obstructions if eaten.
If you do choose to feed your dog raw pumpkin seeds, make sure they are shelled and only give them in small amounts. However, it is best to stick with roasted pumpkin seeds as they are easier for your pup to digest and don’t have any potential toxins.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Pumpkin Seeds
Yes, dogs can eat cooked pumpkin seeds – in fact, it’s the best way for dogs to eat them. Unlike fresh pumpkin seeds, cooked and peeled pumpkin seeds are easier for dogs to digest.
How Many Pumpkin Seeds Can Dogs Eat?
90% of a dog’s diet should be high-quality, nutritionally-balanced dog food, and 10% can be healthy human treats.
So, how many pumpkin seeds your pooch can eat really depends on how much they eat per day. For smaller dogs, a couple will be enough but bigger dogs can eat more.
Just remember, it should be a treat when you decide to feed pumpkin seeds to your pooch, not a big part of their diet.
How to Introduce Pumpkin Seeds to Your Dog
Before you add anything to your pup’s diet, you should chat with your vet. They’ll be able to advise you on your pup’s specific needs, taking their medical history into account.
If they give you the all-clear, start by giving your dog a small amount of pumpkin seeds. Monitor your dog for signs of allergy, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If they seem to enjoy the seeds, you can gradually increase the amount.
How to Give Your Dog Pumpkin Seeds
There are lots of great ways you can give your dog pumpkin seeds. One of the easiest is to add cooked pumpkin seeds to their regular dog food for extra crunch and nutrition.
Because they’re not wet food, pumpkin seeds are also good dog treats to hide in a snuffle mat (without them making the mat super mucky).
Pumpkin seeds don’t need to be part of your dog’s daily diet, but when mixed with good dog food and other healthy treats, they can make up part of a well-balanced diet.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Dogs can eat pumpkin seeds. Feeding pumpkin seeds to your dog is a great way of getting extra nutrients into their diet. But, like all human foods, moderation is important.
Dogs can have pumpkin seeds as an occasional snack. Because they’re dry and small, they can easily be transported as a healthy treat to reward your pooch for good behavior too. They’re certainly healthier than overly processed shop-bought snacks!
Avoid feeding your dog raw pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seeds with seasonings and salt as they can be toxic or a choking hazard.