Can my dog eat pumpkin seeds?
Many dog owners choose to feed their dogs fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits as an alternative to processed dog food. There are plenty of organic treats available in the market and even in our backyards for our pets! However, not all of them are safe for canine health. Out of all the treats you can feed your four-legged friend, you might be wondering, “can my dog eat pumpkin seeds?”
If pumpkin seeds happen to be one of your favorite treats, you’ve probably felt the urge to share them with your dog before. As a responsible owner, you must know which foods are toxic to dogs and which foods are safe. So what’s the deal with pumpkin seeds? Can your dog eat them?
Yes, your dog can eat pumpkin seeds!
Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
Dogs can eat pumpkin seeds. They are very nutritious and offer tons of benefits for both humans and dogs. Thus, nutrition experts consider them a superfood.
What are pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family alongside cucumber, watermelon, and squash. They are flat and dark-green seeds enclosed in a whitish husk. They’re commonly roasted and sometimes mixed with other dishes. Pumpkin seeds are a popular ingredient in some Mexican recipes.
These seeds are sometimes referred to as “pepitas” in North America, which means little seeds of squash. Pumpkin seeds are known for their numerous health benefits.
Pumpkin seeds for dogs
Feeding your dogs pumpkin seeds is one of the best ways to help them achieve optimum health. These nutritious little bites are best served roasted and ground. Don’t forget to clean, peel, and cook the seeds to avoid spoilage and unwanted intoxication.
Nutrition of pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are undeniably rich in minerals and other nutrients that are essential for your dog’s body.
Let’s take a look at the nutrients found in an ounce of pumpkin seeds.
- Calories: 126
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
Plus, pumpkin seeds can improve your dog’s digestion. They may also help prevent cancer and heart diseases.
The seeds are also rich in potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper. No wonder these little seeds are deemed a superfood!
7 benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs
Clearly, pumpkin seeds provide many benefits to dogs. Let’s look at how those nutrients boost their health.
- Improve urinary health.
- Serve as a natural deworming agent.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Help ease serious discomfort for dogs with prostatic hyperplasia.
- Promote good cholesterol (AKA “good” fat).
- Enhance cardiovascular health.
- Provide vital minerals.
Pumpkin seeds: A natural solution for worms
In addition to their high nutritional value, pumpkin seeds also act as a natural deworming agent. If your dog has a bad case of intestinal parasites, you can return your chemical-based deworming medicines to the store where you bought them and get your pumpkins out of your vegetable basket! Let’s discuss how pumpkin seeds fight worms.
Pumpkin seeds fight worms
Pumpkins seeds can act as a natural deworming agent for dogs because they contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin. This amino acid can paralyze and eliminate intestinal parasites like tapeworms and roundworms. When you feed your dog pumpkin seeds, the cucurbitacin can kill any worms they have in their digestive tract.
So, you’re sold on the benefits of pumpkin seeds, and you want to give some to your pup. You can choose to feed them seeds in any of the following ways:
- Serve them whole.
- Grind and add them to your dog’s meal.
- DO NOT add salt or other seasonings to the seeds. This can be harmful to your dog.
For every ten pounds of your dog’s body weight, give them a quarter teaspoon once or twice a day until the parasites are gone.
How to add pumpkin to your dog’s diet?
Pumpkin seeds need to be cleaned and roasted before serving to your dogs. Raw seeds spoil very fast and can make your dog sick, so always ensure you cook them before giving them to your dog.
To add pumpkin seeds to your dog’s diet, you can try mixing roasted and crushed pumpkin seeds in your recipes. You can also grind the seeds or feed them to your pup whole.
If you opt to give them pumpkin pulps, make sure to use fresh pumpkin and not the canned variety, which often contains salt, sugar, and preservatives. These ingredients might harm your dog in large quantities.
The pumpkin must be cooked. You can serve it alone or mix it with other dishes.
How to prepare a raw pumpkin for your dog in an instant pot
Making pumpkin purees has never been this easy. Follow these simple steps to create a pumpkin treat your dog won’t be able to resist:
- Cut off the pumpkin’s stem.
- Next, place 1 cup of water in the instant pot. Put the pumpkin inside and cover it.
- Pressure cook for 13 minutes.
- Get the pumpkin out and lightly scrape off the skin using a spoon.
- With that spoon, make a hole at the top of the pumpkin and remove the seeds inside it.
- Put the pumpkin in a big mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
How to prepare pumpkin seeds for your dog
Preparing pumpkin seeds is a surprisingly simple procedure. Just follow these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F
- Get a pumpkin and separate the seeds from the pulp.
- Remove the remaining fibrous pulps from the seeds by rinsing them in a strainer.
- Place the seeds on a pan and roast them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Let them cool afterward and put them in a sealed jar for storage. You may crush them with a coffee grinder or blender if you like.
How much to give your dog?
According to experts, you can give your dog a quarter teaspoon of pumpkin seeds for every ten pounds of body weight daily.
Potential harmful effects of pumpkin seeds for dogs
Pumpkin seeds are not harmful to dogs. However, if they are not properly prepared, they can become toxic.
Salt can raise sodium levels and may lead to serious urinary problems when added to pumpkin seeds. Aside from that, spoiled pumpkin seeds could also harm dogs. To avoid spoilage, the seeds must be roasted and kept in a well-sealed jar to preserve freshness.
There are many kinds of healthy foods we can give to our fur babies. Who would ever think that little pumpkin seeds are one best canine superfoods in the world? For fur parents who want to give the best to their pets, pumpkin seeds are the answer.