Are pumpkins safe for pets with diarrhoea?

Whether you find Halloween to be spook-tacular or a snooze fest, we’re sure you’ll agree that pumpkins are part of the festivities.

And with so many about over the autumn months, you may be wondering whether pumpkins are safe for pets? Well, we’ve partnered with vet experts at Joii Pet Care, to bring you answers about the link between pumpkins, pets, and diarrhoea.

So, let’s help your best fur-iends enjoy some Halloween fun, without worrying about an attack of the runs…

Are pumpkins safe for dogs?

Yes, pumpkin is safe for dogs!

However, you’ll need to be careful about the type of pumpkin you feed to your pooch. 

The pumpkin contains four main parts:

  • A stem (or stalk) that attached it to the vine.
  • Hard shell or ‘rind’.
  • Orange flesh or ‘pulp’.
  • Seeds – with stringy fibres surrounding them.

Both the stem and rind of a pumpkin are inedible, which means they aren’t safe for your dog to eat.

While some dogs do like to chew the stem and rind of a pumpkin, they pose risks to pets, such as:

  • Choking.
  • Intestinal blockage – your dog can’t digest pumpkin rind, so, if they do swallow some, lumps of rind can get stuck in their intestine. 

Please note: If your pet has swallowed pumpkin rind, they’ll require emergency treatment from a vet.

Gourd news is (see what we did there?!), your pet can safely eat pumpkin pulp – provided it is baked in the oven before being:

  • Fed as a treat on its own.
  • Added to their usual diet.
  • Pureed and refrigerated (or frozen!).
  • Made into healthy treats, smoothies, ice pops, and healthy pet biscuits.

Safe forms of pumpkin for dogs include:

  • Plain (xylitol-free) pumpkin powder.
  • Plain, pure (xylitol-free) pumpkin puree.
  • Plain (xylitol-free) tinned pumpkin.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds.

If you’d like to feed your pup some pumpkin seeds, it’s advised that you grind them up to prevent the roasted seeds from becoming a choking hazard!

Here’s the amount of ground-up, roasted pumpkin seeds you’re able to feed your best fur-iend:

  • Small dogs can consume 3–5 pumpkin seeds per day.
  • Medium dogs can eat 5–10 pumpkin seeds per day.
  • Large dogs can have 10–20 pumpkin seeds per day.

Pumpkin is not safe for dogs if it is:

  • Raw.
  • Carved.
  • Sugary pumpkin pie filling.
  • Mixed with additives (e.g. salt, sugar, sweetener, etc.).

Remember: There are many pumpkin products available for us humans that contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic to pets and should be avoided at all costs.

Can pumpkins be used to treat diarrhoea in dogs?

Yes – if prepared properly, pumpkin can help ease doggy diarrhoea!

There are many reasons pumpkin might help your pup if they’re suffering from the squits. For example, pumpkins contain:

  • Soluble fibre (breaks down to form a gel-like substance in the digestive system), to help absorb water and firm up soft/runny poo.
  • A prebiotic as soluble fibre, to provide nutrients that nurture healthy gut bacteria.
  • Vitamins, to improve digestive functions.

Provided your doggo doesn’t have an underlying health problem, there are a few ways of feeding a pumpkin that might help them feel better:

  • Tinned pumpkin without added xylitol, salt, sugar, spices, etc.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds without oil, salt, flavourings, etc.
  • Plain pumpkin puree that’s free from any additives (e.g. xylitol, sugar, salt, etc.).
  • Vet-recommended pumpkin supplements.

Please note: Every dog is different, so it’s possible for them to be sensitive/allergic to pumpkins and/or pumpkin seeds. If you notice any changes in your dog after they’ve eaten pumpkin, make sure you speak with a vet. 

How much pumpkin can you give a dog with diarrhoea?

The amount of pumpkin your pooch can safely devour will depend on their individual needs. 

While it’s important not to give them too much to begin with, it’s generally recommended that giving one teaspoon to your dog is enough.

If your pup already likes pumpkin, and is used to eating it, they may be able to manage 1–4 tablespoons on their food.

Please note: Sudden changes to your dog’s diet should be avoided, where possible.

Are pumpkins safe for cats?

Yes, cats can consume pumpkin, too! Many moggies adore the taste of pumpkin, provided it’s safe for them to eat. 

A kitten and a pumpkin on a blanket

Safe types of pumpkin for cats include:

  • Plain, pure (xylitol-free) cooked pumpkin.
  • Plain (xylitol-free) tinned pumpkin.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are safe for pets in moderation. Although pumpkin seeds contain a lot of nutrients (like vitamin K, vitamin E, and iron), it’s important not to feed too many. Eating too many pumpkin seeds can cause health problems in pets. 

If your cat enjoys eating pumpkin seeds, they’re able to have a teaspoon of ground, roasted pumpkin seeds per day.

Did you know? There are oils in pumpkin seeds that can improve your pet’s coat condition and skin health!

The following forms of pumpkin are not safe for your cat:

  • Raw.
  • Carved.
  • Sugary pumpkin pie filling.
  • Mixed with additives.

Also, avoid any pumpkin products that contain:

  • Xylitol.
  • Salt.
  • Sugar.
  • Spices.
  • Oil.
  • Flavourings.

Can pumpkins be used to treat diarrhoea in cats?

Yes – if your cat is suffering from the squits this Howl-oween, pumpkin could help them feel a little better!

Pumpkin’s properties make it a superfood for our feline friends. Thanks to being packed with vitamins and fibre, pumpkin can ease your kitty’s diarrhoea and speed-up their recovery.

As long as your moggy doesn’t have an underlying health condition, they might benefit from being fed:

  • Tinned pumpkin with no added xylitol, salt, sugar, spices, etc.
  • Vet-recommended pumpkin supplements.

If feeding your cat pumpkin for the first time, look out for signs they might be sensitive to it, including:

  • Worsened diarrhoea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Skin irritation and itchiness.

How much pumpkin can you give a cat with diarrhoea?

Your cat’s age, size, and health will have an impact on the amount of pumpkin they’re able to eat.

It’s not advisable to make sudden changes to your cat’s diet, so, start with one teaspoon of pumpkin on their normal food.

Should your cat be a fan of eating pumpkin, they may be able to manage 1–4 teaspoons of pumpkin twice a day. 

How long does it take pumpkin to cure diarrhoea in pets?

Pumpkin will not cure diarrhoea in pets, though it might help to harden stools and ease digestive discomfort.

Every pet is unique, which makes it impossible to know exactly how quickly the feeding of pumpkin might ease their suffering if they have the runs.

For pets who enjoy eating pumpkin, whose diarrhoea doesn’t have a serious cause, it might take anywhere from four hours up to three days to see a difference.

Please speak to your vet – or contact Joii – if you’d like some advice about feeding pumpkin to your pet to manage their diarrhoea.

Visit our blog for more about avoiding the horrors of diarrhoea and vomiting this autumn. 

Does your pet love pumpkins? Get them involved in the fun this spooky season, by checking out our collection of recipes for pet-safe pumpkin treats.

We hope you and your pets have a pawesome Halloween!

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