You may have heard that you can give your dog pumpkin for constipation. But you might wonder how much pumpkin to feed your dog and whether it’s safe.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, adding some canned pumpkin to your dog’s meal can help relieve mild constipation. Small dogs don’t require as much and should have around one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Ensure your dog is well-hydrated before feeding them pumpkin to minimize an upset stomach.
Knowing how much pumpkin to give your dog is only part of the story. You may also want to know what kind, how often, and what to do if your dog won’t eat it.
Your dog is constipated when it hasn’t produced a stool in a couple of days or if its stool is dry and hard. Straining excessively to poop or painful elimination are also signs of constipation.
Constipation can be the result of many factors, including:
- Advanced age
- Diet lacking in fiber
- Eating non-foods, such as kitty litter
- Sedentary lifestyle
- A side effect of medications
- Metabolic diseases
By minimizing these factors where possible, your dog will become constipated less often.
Pumpkin has a high water and fiber content. This characteristic acts as a natural laxative by softening and bulking the stool, making it easier to pass.
You can feed plain, canned pumpkin to dogs or fresh pumpkin that has been:
Don’t feed dogs pumpkin pie filling or other canned pumpkins with added sweeteners or seasonings. Choose a canned pumpkin that has as few ingredients as possible.
While raw pumpkin isn’t inherently dangerous for dogs, they can have difficulty digesting it. This difficulty can lead to digestive problems like vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
A dog’s digestive process takes about eight hours, so if you feed them pumpkin for constipation, you should see results within 10 hours.
If you’re trying to relieve your dog’s constipation, you can give them pumpkin twice a day. If you’re giving them pumpkin to maintain their digestive health, once a day or every second or third day is sufficient.
Adding a little pumpkin to your dog’s diet can help it stay regular and healthy, even if it has no digestive issues. In addition to fiber, pumpkin contains potassium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E. So pumpkin can be a beneficial component of your dog’s regular diet.
If you’re unable to give your dog pumpkin for any reason, some alternatives can help relieve your dog’s constipation, including:
- High-fiber vegetables such as carrots
- High-fiber fruits such as bananas
- Olive oil
Taking your dog for more walks can also help alleviate constipation.
Giving your dog pumpkin is simple. You can mix it with your dog’s regular food at mealtimes. Pumpkin can also be included as an ingredient in homemade dog treats, though this option works better for daily maintenance and nutrition.
Do Dogs Like Pumpkins?
Most dogs enjoy pumpkin’s flavor and will gladly eat it on its own or mixed with their regular food.
If your dog doesn’t enjoy the taste of pumpkin, try mixing it with their favorite canned dog food. You can also mix a tablespoon of pumpkin puree with a cup of cooked white rice and a cup of cooked or raw chicken. This option is an excellent bland meal for dogs with upset stomachs.
Pumpkin is quite gentle on a dog’s stomach, so most dogs shouldn’t have any problems with it. However, if you know your dog has a sensitive stomach, you can try adding only a little pumpkin at a time and watching your dog closely for any ill effects.
Dogs shouldn’t go more than 48-72 hours without having a bowel movement. After that point, the situation can be dangerous. If you’ve given your dog pumpkin, and it’s still constipated after 10-12 hours, or if it’s been more than 48 hours since its last bowel movement, you should contact your veterinarian.
Contact your veterinarian if your dog shows any signs of pain or illness
Too much fiber from pumpkin can keep a dog’s system from absorbing nutrients in its food and can cause digestive upset. It can also cause the stools to become too loose. Be careful not to overdo the pumpkin in your dog’s diet.
Making pumpkin puree is a simple process.
- Wash the pumpkin, cut off the top, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into quarters.
- Bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until fork tender.
- Remove the skin from the pumpkin and cut the flesh into small chunks.
- Blend the pumpkin, adding water to reach the desired consistency.
Depending on the size of your pumpkin, this recipe will probably make more pumpkin puree than your dog needs. Freeze any extra for future use.
Ice cube trays are a great way to freeze pre-portioned pumpkin puree. Pop the pumpkin cubes out of the tray and store them in an airtight container or baggie in the freezer.
Pumpkin is a fantastic way to help your dog battle constipation. The vegetable is also a great addition to any dog’s diet as it’s tasty and full of nutrients.
Pumpkin is easy to add to your dog’s diet, but always contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s bowel movements.