While many pet owners are content to serve their dog any old kind of food, without paying much attention to the ingredients, there are a number of wonderfully healthy options available as well.
Pumpkin is a favorite fall food for many people, but what many of them may not know is that it can also be a great addition to their dog’s diet.
It’s so beneficial, in fact, that it’s often used as an ingredient in countless dog treats and dog foods!
Especially if you can’t get hold of fresh pumpkin, one of the most popular nutrient-rich fruits comes in the form of canned pumpkin.
Canned Pumpkin, Not Pumpkin Pie Mix
Let’s make one clarification: Feeding your dog a can of pumpkin pie filling is certainly not the same as feeding him canned pumpkin. The former is laden with sugar and a variety of spices, while the latter contains one ingredient only – pumpkin itself.
The spices which are present in pumpkin pie filling can irritate many dogs’ digestive tracks, and the added sweetening isn’t good for them either.
With that out of the way, here are some of the safest canned pumpkin products for dogs.
Best Canned Pumpkin for Dogs
1. 365 Everyday Value Pumpkin Puree
This company prides itself on delivering fresh, organic ingredients that are free from any potentially harmful chemicals. Also, you can be sure that you’re getting the highest quality possible as this canned pumpkin is held to the strict standards of the Whole Food’s Market.
As a bonus, it’s quite affordable, too, so you can provide it as a meal supplement as often as you’d like. Additionally, the can’s lining is BPA-free and there are no GMO ingredients included.
Many pet owners remark upon this product’s easy digestion, reporting that their dogs experience very little to no gas after mealtimes.
2. Happy Belly 100% Organic Pumpkin
While there’s no sugar added to the product, it retains a natural sweetness that most dogs find highly appealing.
Grown in the United States, you can feed this 100% organic canned pumpkin to your dog with confidence, knowing he’s consuming only the finest, most natural ingredients available.
Many pet owners swear by mixing a teaspoon with a bit of coconut oil for alleviating digestive troubles, as well as improving coat health.
A slight caution, however, there’s nothing on the label which says it’s BPA-free and some dogs aren’t particularly fond of this brand’s taste.
3. Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin
Completely kosher and organic, this canned pumpkin provides all-natural, healthy ingredients for both your dog and your own meals.
The pumpkin itself grows in the United States and the lining is certified BPA-free, so you can rest assured of the quality vested in this product.
Also, the puree has a texture that’s highly appealing to dogs, as it’s almost completely smooth and lacking the graininess of some other canned pumpkin products.
The company even utilizes frustration-free packaging, which means you don’t have to worry about receiving dented cans in the mail or struggling to open them up.
4. Libby’s One Hundred Percent Pure Pumpkin
This is a larger can than usual, containing 29 ounces, which makes it a great choice for households with multiple pets as one can will last for at least a few days.
The pumpkins are grown in the state of Illinois and are scrutinized to ensure they meet company standards before being processed.
However, the secret in this product is the usage of a particular pumpkin variety called Dickenson.
Not only does it pack the usual pleasing punch of antioxidants and multiple vitamins, but there’s also a distinct, smooth and naturally sweet flavor that’s sure to please even the pickiest palate.
5. Nummy Tum Tum Pure Pumpkin for Pets
Many canned pumpkin products can be consumed by the owner just as easily as by the pet, but this product is specifically formulated to meet the needs of our furry friends.
Grown in the USA, its smooth, tasty puree is a welcome addition to any meal, helping to optimize your pet’s overall health.
Boasting a BPA free liner, the ingredients are 100% organic and free from any added sweeteners. Simply use a spoonful or two each day and watch the positive effect it has on your dog’s health.
The only downfall seems to be that it’s a little pricier than some of its competitors.
What Are the Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs?
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Canned pumpkin has a wide variety of health benefits for dogs related to:
Bladder Function: The oils contained within pumpkin seeds can alleviate or even prevent urinary tract infections.
Likewise, pumpkin is a great addition to any dog’s diet who occasionally suffers from accidents inside due to an inability to hold his urine.
Stomach Ailments: Pumpkin contains a lot of fiber, which is a necessary ingredient in your dog’s everyday diet.
A high fiber diet not only helps to regulate the digestive tract, but it can also ease symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and painful, hard stools.
It may even discourage dogs from eating their own poop!
Regular consumption of canned pumpkin in the diet helps keep your dog as regular as possible, which is particularly important if he’s on a schedule for potty breaks.
Weight Loss: Does your dog tend to eat a lot or is otherwise a little on the heavier side?
Replacing at least a portion of his everyday canned dog food with canned pumpkin is a great way to cut calories and fat, while still delivering a huge dose of nutrition.
But most importantly, dogs love the taste of pumpkin! This means you can sneak some vitamins and fiber into their diet without worrying about upsetting even picky eaters.
How Much Pumpkin is Safe for Dogs?
Canned pumpkin is a great addition to nearly every dog’s diet, but you must keep in mind that moderation is key.
A little bit goes a long way, so be sure not to give too much. Pumpkin contains a lot of vitamin A, which is necessary for promoting overall health, yet in large doses, it can be quite toxic or even fatal.
Thus, a good rule of thumb to stick by is giving no more than two teaspoons of canned pumpkin per day for smaller dog breeds and younger pups, and just a few tablespoons in larger, adult dogs.
Here are two pumpkin treat recipes your dog will absolutely love:
How to Store Unused Canned Pumpkin?
Canned pumpkin should be consumed within three days of opening.
As you only want to give a little bit to your dog each day, you need to come up with a method for safely preserving and storing the unused portion.
If you only need to keep the remaining portion for a few days (no more than a week), simply cover it up tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
If you need to keep it for a little longer, transfer it into ice cube trays until frozen, then move it to a glass container with an airtight lid and keep cold in the freezer for up to three months.