Pumpkin is a superfood and it is great for humans. But what about your dog?
If there are seeds lying around and your pup happens to nibble on one, is it a situation of walking right past them without any worry or rushing to get them out of their mouth and if you fail at that, rushing to the vet?
Well, since it is an important question, we won’t keep you waiting. Pumpkin seeds can be good for your dogs with a few conditions, for more reasons than one. Let’s take a look at the ifs and buts.
The Many Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds for Dogs
Pumpkin is a fruit that has a lot of nutritional value thanks to the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants it contains. But it is not the best idea to allow your dog to eat them in the raw form.
When they are prepared, they are not dangerous food to consume. Some even say cooked seeds do more good than the actual fruit itself.
In the raw form, these seeds often have a hard shell but the ones you buy from a store are oval in shape and flat in terms of depth. They are known to help get rid of worms, help with digestion and are just great for overall health.
That is probably why pumpkin seeds are a popular snack product among dog parents. And a lot of vets are recommending them too, precisely for the above-mentioned health benefits.
But also remember that pumpkin seeds are not a substitute for actual medication in case your pup has worms. Take them to the vet immediately and discuss the possibility of a diet that would help.
Now, there’s more. But before that, remember that the shell must always be peeled, the seeds must be roasted and ground if possible.
In this form, you can add it to their regular food and if you don’t know what else to do, there are loads of recipes on the internet. If you don’t have the patience for it, remember that it goes well as a topper or with baked items.
The thing to remember is that while they are not toxic, you must not let your pup go crazy. So, moderate the intake of pumpkin seeds no matter how you cook them.
Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?
#1 Promotes Gut Health
As mentioned earlier, pumpkins have a lot of antioxidants like beta carotene which we will get to in a minute. But this fruit also has fatty acids that are good for your canine’s gut health.
These fatty acids help prevent health problems like urinary tract infection and even alleviate it once the dog has the infection. The oil from pumpkin seeds is good for dogs that have kidney stones. The seeds help dislodge the stones which makes it a good addition to the diet when the problem occurs.
#2 Helps with the Worm Situation
Now, pumpkin seeds are known to help humans when we have parasites like tapeworms in our system. And it is true when it comes to dogs too.
But take that advice with a pinch of salt. As mentioned before, it is not a substitute for medication but vets recommend that you add pumpkin seeds to your dog’s diet when there are worms in their system.
This is because pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacins and certain types of phytonutrients. These ingredients make a substance taste bitter but they are known to affect the nervous system of parasites and help with recovery.
But make sure you don’t give your dog more than a teaspoon of these seeds every day. And yes, before you do any of this, consult your vet who is familiar with your dog’s medical history and can recommend the right dosage so that it is actually helpful to your dog.
#3 It’s Filling
All you need to do is add a few seeds to your dog’s diet. Pumpkin seeds can be very filling and they do not add as many calories either.
So, if your pup seems hungry all the time but you are worried that they are putting on a few extra pounds, it is a good idea to add a few of these seeds to their diet.
They are filling because pumpkin seeds contain a lot of fiber which keeps the stomach full for a longer period of time when compared to regular food. In fact, you can even try reducing their regular diet just a little bit to see if it actually helps them lose those extra pounds.
Once again, just a teaspoon of seeds for every quarter cup of their meal is a good idea. And it’s a nice new addition to the diet for a while which will keep them engaged and excited.
#4 Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
As is the case with humans, pumpkin seeds help with anti-inflammation for dogs too. That is because pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids that make them a good ingredient when you are trying to help them with inflammation.
It is also worth noting here that this is an excellent addition to your canine’s diet if they are senior dogs and are suffering from health conditions like elbow or hip dysplasia and arthritis due to old age.
#5 Has Antioxidants and Vitamins
The deep orange color in pumpkin comes from carotenoids. This is a class of pigments that are synthesized in algae, bacteria and even certain plants.
These are colored molecules that contain the colors red, orange and yellow that many plants have. About 40-50 carotenoids are present in the average healthy human diet and they come from various vegetables and plants.
In pumpkins, they do more than give the fruit its color. Carotenoids come with a whole set of useful antioxidants, one of the health benefits that pumpkins are best known for.
They also help in slowing down the process of aging and securing eye health in anyone who consumes them, including dogs. Pumpkins are also well known for their minerals magnesium and zinc and vitamins like A and C.
Vitamin A is great for eye health and vitamin C is great for its help in strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is also particularly helpful in dogs that have problems with joints or movement.
Zinc is very useful in protecting their skin and coat and is also great for immunity. It is also well known for its ability to help brain activity and regulate hormones.
Magnesium is a great support for their bones, eyes and their nervous system. The antioxidants come from vitamin E which is great in terms of protecting cells from damage and diseases.
Pumpkins also contain calcium and vitamin K which are both excellent for the health of bones. Vitamin K is also great for maintaining bone health in dogs.
Add to that, it is helpful in healing the skin, especially after an injury. Right away, it helps in forming blood clots which are critical when the injury is big.
Vitamin K also does blood cell aggregation which stops the bleeding.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?
#6 May Help Regulate Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
This is a condition where the prostate gland of your dog is enlarged. It is usually seen in male dogs that are older than nine years. Pumpkin seeds might be helpful in regulating the condition and even avoid a lot of discomfort.
But, of course, the quantity of pumpkin seeds must be regulated and you must give this to your dog after consulting with a vet who is aware of their medical history.
#7 Promotes Heart Health
Pumpkin seeds are known to contain vitamins E and K. These two vitamins are very important for good cardiovascular health.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and is known to reduce blood pressure and also keep their cells safe from free radicals.
#8 Contains Good Fats
We know that not all fatty foods are bad for our bodies. We need them to survive.
The same is true for dogs. And pumpkin seeds contain lipids that are actually good for your pup’s system.
Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of mono and polyunsaturated fats that help them reduce the bad cholesterol in their body and give a boost to the good ones. Just like it is for us humans.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Roast Beef?
The Bottom Line
There are lots of good things about pumpkin seeds that make them a great addition to your dog’s diet. They even have health benefits that can thwart certain conditions and ease the discomfort in case you are a tad bit late to the party.
But they are not the same as giving your dog the required medication and must be added to their diet after consulting a vet who is aware of their medical history.
The other key aspect to remember is that, like most good things, too much can turn a good thing into a terrible decision. So, make sure you don’t give more than just a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds to your dog.
It’s for their own good.