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Preparing Leftover Pumpkin for Dog Food

dog pumpkin

It is pumpkin season and most of us have at least one left over pumpkin right now…we all know jack and his fun lantern. There are more things you can do with your jack-o-lantern, or other left over pumpkins than just throw them out.

Pumpkin is a healthy and delicious treat for your dog. It is full of beneficial fiber and vitamins. It is a great laxative….which means if they eat too much that it can be too great of a laxative. It is great for their skin and coat, and overall nutrition. Plus it is good for their mental health because they will love this fall festive treat.

If your jack-o-lantern has been cut open for more than a few days, you may want to use a fresh pumpkin. Once they are cut open they can mold and rot quickly. Feeding moldy pumpkin to your dog is a good way to make them sick. Visually check the pumpkin for signs of mold and rot, feel the insides. The insides should be firm, if they are squishy or spongy, they are starting to go bad.

Pureed Pumpkin

Most recipes call for pumpkin puree. You can even just add it to their food, wet or dry, as a little treat. But skip the can and make your own, it is much easier than you think. Plus you can freeze it easily, so don’t worry about having too much.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the pumpkin in half crosswise instead (ie around the middle).
  • Scoop out the seeds.
  • Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes. When the pumpkin is ready, the skin will be darker in color and can easily be removed.
  • Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin and put it in a blender or food processor.
  • Puree until the chunks are gone. If it is too sticky to blend or puree, add a little bit of water.
  • Store in the fridge or freeze for later use.

Your pumpkin puree is now ready to be used in a recipe, or add a tablespoon or two to your dogs food. Just watch their bowel movements to make sure they are not eating too much pumpkin,. If they become loose or they get diarrhea, then stop giving them pumpkin, or reduce the amount you are giving them.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you are going to give your dogs pumpkin seeds you need to roast them first. I personally love to eat roasted pumpkin seeds but I am always wary about giving them to my dog. Seeds, even roasted, are a choking hazard. Only give your dog one seed at a time. Pumpkin seeds are also constipating. Though pumpkin puree will loosen up their bowels, the shells from the seeds will bind them up. So be wary of how many pumpkin seeds they are eating. The best way to give them seeds is as a powder. Then you can use it as an additive on their dog food.

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean the strings from the seeds.
  • Spread them evenly over a large baking tray.
  • Roast the seeds for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Once cooled, put the seeds in a food processor and grind them into a fine powder. You want to make sure there is very little moisture or your powder will become a paste.

You can store this powder in an air-tight container then use it to sprinkle onto their food as a flavor enhancer, or to firm up their poo a little bit. It is also good in dog treats. Keep an eye on our blog for some great pumpkin dog food and dog treat recipes.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.