Pumpkin is a favorite fall food for many people. What many pet parents 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 many dog treats and dog foods.
Especially if you can’t get hold of fresh pumpkin, one of the most popular nutrient-rich dog foods comes in the form of canned pumpkin. But let’s make one clarification first…
Plain Canned Pumpkin vs Pumpkin Pie Filling
Keep in mind that 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: 100% pumpkin.
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.
What Are the Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs?
Canned pumpkin, on the other hand, has a wide variety of health benefits for dogs. These include:
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 alleviate symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and/or painful, hard stools.
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.
As a bonus, it even helps to deter dogs from eating their own poop.
Weight Loss: If your dog tends 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 the taste and a huge dose of nutrition.
On top of that, it simply tastes great! And dogs love the taste of pumpkin, too. This means you can sneak some vitamins and fiber into their diet without worrying about upsetting even picky eaters.
Below are some of the more popular best canned pumpkin for dogs.
Our Top 5 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.
The can’s lining is BPA-free and there are no GMO ingredients included. As a bonus, it’s quite affordable too, so you can provide it as a meal supplement as often as you’d like. Many pet owners remark upon this product’s easy digestion, as their dogs experience very little to no gas after mealtimes
2. Happy Belly 100% Organic Pumpkin
While there’s no sugar added to this product, it retains a natural sweetness that most dogs find highly appealing. Grown in the United States, you can feed this 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 for improving the coat and overall 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.
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. Additionally, this company 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. These pumpkins are grown in the state of Illinois and are scrutinized to ensure they meet company standards before being processed.
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, this smooth, tasty puree is a welcome addition to any meal, helping to optimize your pet’s overall health.
This product is 100% organic and free from BPA and any added sweeteners. Simply use a spoonful or two each day and watch the positive effect it has on your dog’s digestive system. The only downfall seems to be that it’s a little pricier than some of its competitors.
How Much Pumpkin is Safe for Dogs?
Although canned pumpkin is a great addition to nearly every dog’s diet, 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 each day for smaller dog breeds and younger pups, and likewise, just a few tablespoons per day in larger, adult dogs.
How to Store Unused Canned Pumpkin?
As you only want to give a little bit to your dog each day, you also 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 (up to a week), simply cover it up tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
In case you need to keep it for a little longer, transfer the pumpkin puree 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.