Picking the best canned pumpkin for dogs can be tricky.
While pumpkin is a favorite fall food for many people, what many pet owners 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, canned pumpkin is one of the most convenient ways to give your dog a healthy serving of this popular nutrient-rich fruit. Unfortunately, not all pumpkin products are created equal.
Stay away from pumpkin pie mix
Let’s make one clarification: Feeding your dog a can of pumpkin pie filling is certainly not the same as feeding them 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 tracts, and the added sweetening isn’t good for them either.
Benefits of pumpkin for dogs
On the other hand, canned pumpkin has a wide variety of benefits for dogs. These include:
Dogs love the taste of pumpkin, so you can sneak some vitamins and fiber into their diet without worrying about them turning up their noses.
Improved digestive health
Pumpkin contains prebiotics and an ample amount of fiber, both of which are necessary for your dog’s digestive health.
A high-fiber diet not only helps to regulate the digestive tract, but it can also ease symptoms such as diarrhea and painful, hard stools. This is particularly important if your dog is on a schedule for potty breaks.
Canned pumpkin contain around 90% water1. This, along with fiber, helps to keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly.
Pumpkin also helps to keep your dog hydrated, especially if they have a tendency to drink less water than they should, which can be helpful in the summer months when dogs are more likely to overheat.
Weight loss support
Does your dog tend to eat a lot or is otherwise a little on the heavier side?
Replacing at least a portion of their everyday dog food with canned pumpkin is a great way to cut calories and fat, while still delivering a huge dose of nutrition.
How to choose the best canned pumpkin for dogs?
The first thing to consider when choosing canned pumpkin for your dog is whether it’s 100% pure pumpkin or not.
Look for cans that specifically say “100% pure pumpkin” on the label, with no added fillers or sweeteners. If possible, opt for organic pumpkin.
If your dog tends to have frequent or persistent stomach problems, then you may want to look for canned pumpkin that also contains ingredients such as ginger or turmeric to help reduce inflammation and discomfort.
Recommended reading: Best Food for Puppies With Sensitive Stomachs
You may also want to consider the size of the can you purchase.
Large cans of pumpkin are generally more economical, but you may only need a small amount of pumpkin at a time, which is where the smaller cans come in handy.
Best canned pumpkin for dogs: our favorite 6 picks
Best overall: Nummy Tum-Tum Pure Organic Pumpkin
Many canned pumpkin products can be consumed by the owner just as easily as by the pet, but Nummy Tum-Tum Pure Organic Pumpkin is specifically formulated to meet the needs of our furry friends.
Boasting a BPA-free liner, this canned pumpkin is 100% USDA organic and free from any added ingredients and sweeteners. It is, however, loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and other antioxidants that benefit the digestive system and overall health of your dog.
The pumpkin itself is sourced from local farms across the country, and its smooth, tasty puree is a welcome addition to any meal, making this the best canned pumpkin for dogs in our book.
The only downfall seems to be the high price point, but with so many benefits, we say it’s worth the investment.
Best for digestive health: Nutri-Vet Fresh Pumpkin + SuperBlend
If your dog is having trouble with their digestion, the Nutri-Vet Fresh Pumpkin + SuperBlend might be the best canned pumpkin for dogs you can buy.
It’s specifically designed by veterinarians to help dogs with upset stomachs, stool consistency, and overall gastrointestinal health.
Besides pumpkin, it also contains other fruits and vegetables that are known for their high nutritional value and digestive benefits. These include apple pomace, spinach, and ginger.
While dogs will likely still need more than just canned pumpkin to help with their digestion, this is a great start.
The long list of ingredients, however, is one of the major drawbacks of this product. Especially if your dog is allergic to a specific ingredient, or is on a special diet, this can be an issue.
Best for puppies and small dogs: Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! Food Supplement Pouches
While not a canned product, Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! Food Supplement Pouches are ideal for puppies and smaller dogs, who may not be able to eat a lot of pumpkin in one sitting.
The product comes in small, single-serving pouches that can be opened and poured over a dog’s regular food, or used as a treat. The added water also makes it very easy to mix and feed to dogs who might be picky about eating solid or too thick pumpkin.
In addition, the pouches are made of BPA-free plastic and are easy to store in your refrigerator.
Unfortunately, the disadvantage of these individual plastic packages is that they create extra waste compared to the cans, which are recyclable.
Best for multi-pet households: Libbys 100% Pure Pumpkin
Libbys 100% Pure Pumpkin is a larger can than usual, containing 29 ounces, which makes it a great choice for households with multiple pets as one 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.
That said, the large cans might not be ideal if you only have one dog as you’ll be left with a lot of leftovers to store.
Happy Belly 100% Organic Pumpkin
Although there’s no sugar added to the product, Happy Belly Organic 100% Pumpkin retains a natural sweetness that most dogs find highly appealing.
The pumpkin grows in the United States and is certified organic, so you can feed it to your dog with confidence, knowing they’re 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 for improving coat health.
A slight caution, however, there’s nothing on the label that says it’s BPA-free and some dogs aren’t particularly fond of this brand’s taste.
Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin
Like most of the products on this list, Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin provides large amounts of dietary fiber and beta-carotene, in addition to potassium and vitamin C.
Here, too, the product is USDA Organic and the lining is certified BPA-free, so you can rest assured of the quality vested in it.
Also, the puree has a texture that’s very similar to the texture of pumpkin pie filling, as it’s almost completely smooth and lacking the graininess of some other canned pumpkin products.
The company even offers frustration-free packaging, which means you don’t have to worry about receiving dented cans in the mail or struggling to open them up.
Some reviews on Amazon have noted that the water content of the product is a little high. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for most dogs.
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 one tablespoon of canned pumpkin per day for smaller dog breeds and younger pups, and up to four tablespoons in larger, adult dogs2.
How to add canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet?
The easiest way to add canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet is by serving it as it is. However, you can also mix it with their regular food or use it in homemade dog treats.
On really hot days, you can even freeze canned pumpkin in ice cube trays and serve it as a cooling treat.
Recommended reading: Keeping a Dog Cool in Hot Weather
How to store unused canned pumpkin?
Canned pumpkin should be consumed within five to seven 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, 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.
While there are many great choices out there, for the best canned pumpkin for dogs, go with Nummy Tum-Tum Pure Organic Pumpkin.
If you’re considering adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet because of their sensitive stomach, then Nutri-Vet Fresh Pumpkin + Superblend is another great choice.
However, always consult with your veterinarian first to see if pumpkin is right for your dog.