Can All Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds Safely?

Can Dogs eat Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are healthy foods for humans, but have you ever wondered about sharing those treats with your furry friends? Pumpkin in dog food is nothing new, but, can dogs eat pumpkin seeds safely? Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients that are as valuable to dogs as to humans.

Dogs can safely eat pumpkin seeds as well as raw or cooked pumpkin. However, the amount you feed your furry friend matters. Therefore, it is always best to check with your veterinarian to determine a healthy amount of pumpkin you can add to your dog’s diet.

Although fresh is best, canned pumpkin is a convenient and healthy option to add to your dog’s food, you should only use 100% canned pumpkin purée, and never the canned pumpkin pie filling. This product contains sodium, sugar, and other ingredients that could harm your doggy dude’s health. When it comes to pumpkin seeds, stick to the raw, unsalted version, but not before confirming the safe quantity for your dog, typically based on its weight.

In this article, we’ll discuss the nutritional benefits of pumpkin seeds as a regular part of your dog’s diet to show you that dogs can eat pumpkin seeds safely. When next you prepare a pumpkin, don’t dump the seeds. Loaded with fiber and a healthy dose of protein, pumpkin seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch and are delicious to boot.

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What is the Nutrient Content of Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds contain loads of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper iron, calcium, and antioxidants. One ounce of the seeds provides 125 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 15 grams of carbs. Furthermore, it contains as much as 5 grams of dietary fiber. Pumpkin seeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and all 9 amino acids your dog needs to live.

What Health Benefits do Pumpkin Seeds Offer to Dogs?

Below is a summarized list of health benefits to dogs.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to maintain healthy skin and coat
  • Omega-3 content boosts cognitive performance and may help prevent cognitive decline
  • Antioxidants protect against free-radical damage and cell oxidation
  • Fiber content improves and regulates digestion to prevent constipation
  • Calcium content supports bone strength and muscle health
  • Iron content protects against anemia and supports red blood cell health
  • Soluble fiber content absorbs water, adding bulk to stools to relieve diarrhea
  • Natural oils protect urinary tract health, helping prevent UTIs
  • It May help dislodge kidney stones and prevent them from reforming
  • Act as a natural dewormer to get rid of tapeworms and other intestinal parasites

The Power of Pumpkin Seeds as Dewormer

Pumpkin seed contains phytonutrient classes like the amino acid cucurbitacin, which has proved to effectively treat parasites like tapeworms in humans. The seeds are equally effective in deworming dogs. Some vets even recommend the use of pumpkin seeds, instead of deworming agents, to deworm dogs. The slightly bitter taste of the seeds is why people say they are toxic, which is true in the case of parasites. The low toxicity levels serve to shut down the worms’ nervous systems, leaving them paralyzed, and then eliminate them.

It takes only small amounts to rid your dog of worms; however, it is best to discuss the safe amount to effectively treat your dog, based on its weight and medical history. It is typically about one-quarter teaspoon for every 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight. You can feed pumpkin seeds ground or whole, and although feeding raw pumpkin seeds are best, you can feed them roasted, but without salt or other seasonings. While treating your dogs against parasites, you will provide them with amino acids, quality protein, and many other nutrients.

Can Pumpkin Seeds Help Maintain Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar?

It is no wonder people call pumpkins superfoods. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Stabilizing blood sugar can help reduce craving and overeating habits in chubby dogs, and can help distribute calories better to help your dog build muscle. Additionally, the pumpkin is saturated with potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and boosts your dog’s metabolism.

Are Pumpkin Seeds Good for Maintaining a Healthy Gut?

Pumpkin is known to ease sensitive stomachs in dogs, and the seeds can contribute to keeping the digestive tract and gut healthy. The seeds are a great source of fiber and are filled with vitamins–especially vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Fiber naturally supports a healthy digestive system, adds a little extra bulk to their stool, aids weight management, and more.

Can these Seeds Support Urinary Health?

Like pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds contain oils that apparently support urinary health. If your dog has urinary incontinence, the condition might improve if you add pumpkin seeds and flesh to your pup’s diet. As with other uses, only small amounts are needed to see benefits.

How Important are Antioxidants and Vitamins in a Dog’s Diet?

The high antioxidant levels in pumpkin seeds help fight inflammation, protect eye health, and slow the aging process and cognitive decline.

A dog’s vision further benefits from the vitamin A in pumpkin seeds, and vitamin C boosts the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin C also benefits dogs with mobility and joint issues.

The most valuable minerals in pumpkin seeds are zinc which promotes healthy skin and coat, and magnesium which provides bone support throughout your dog’s body and further benefits the nervous system and vision health.

Another unique way in which pumpkin seeds can help your dog maintain good health is the vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that provides effective defense against cell damage and disease. It can also assist with fighting inflammation. In turn, vitamin K and calcium are great for strong, healthy bones, and zinc is a renowned immune booster.

How should you prepare pumpkin seeds for your dog?

Now that you know your dog can eat pumpkin seeds safely, you might ask how you can feed your dog pumpkin seeds without too much effort. Although your dog can eat the seeds raw, it is best if they are clean and peeled. The outer shells of the seeds are tough to digest. If you feed your dog some raw seeds from a fresh pumpkin you are preparing for a meal, don’t just store the rest. They go rancid quickly. Storing them roasted would be wiser. You can feed your canine pal roasted pumpkin seeds as a treat, or grind the seeds and add bits to your dog’s meals for their numerous health benefits.

How to roast pumpkin seeds before grinding them to add to your dog’s diet.

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Clean the seeds from the flesh, rinse them, and pat them dry.
  3. Spread the seeds out on a cooking sheet and roast them for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Allow the seeds to cool before grinding them into a fine powder. You can use a coffee grinder or a pepper grinder to grind the seeds.

Many homemade dog food recipes include pumpkin. Adding a teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds to the batch can bring additional health benefits.

Here’s how to waste nothing when carving pumpkins for Halloween by making a

Versatile Pumpkin Purée for Dogs

If you are carving your pumpkin for Halloween, you might wonder what to do with all those slimy pumpkin guts. You might be familiar with cooking and eating the seeds, but those stringy guts can be used to make delicious snacks for your pooch. 

There is no need to waste any part of your spooky decoration. The guts of the pumpkin have many nutrients and are loaded with that pumpkin flavor that dogs love.

Separate the seeds from the pumpkin guts, and toss the guts in a food processor. Blend it until you get the smooth texture you want. You can add a little coconut oil or a sprinkle of cinnamon to boost the nutrition and taste of your pumpkin purée. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the processor, else, leave the seeds out of the blender, but decorate the pumpkin treats with one or two whole seeds.

This purée can be added to your favorite pumpkin dog treat recipes, frozen or baked biscuits. You can even use it as a tasty food topper. Just store it in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for later recipes.

If you would rather save time by using canned pumpkin, make sure it is pure and free of sugar and spices.  Dog Food Care recommends Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Purée, and here are some ideas.  

DIY pumpkin treats using ingredients you can get from the grocery store or already have at home:

Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Cookies

2.5 cups whole wheat or oat flour

2 eggs

3/4 cup Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Purée

3 tbsps. Peanut or Almond butter

Melt all of these ingredients in the oven, mix them up, create small cookie shapes, and put them back in the oven for 30 minutes at 180℉. 

Ready-made pumpkin treats are also an option

Wet Noses Big Bones Grain-Free Pumpkin Quinoa Dog Treat, 2-oz bar 

Pumpkin Topper

Pumpkin Purée (with or without added ground pumpkin seeds) can serve as a topper on dry kibble like 

ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet Duck & Pumpkin Recipe.

This ACANA Singles recipe contains wholesome grains, butternut squash and pumpkin. It is rich in fiber, highly nutritious and supports optimum gut health.

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Mari Serfontein