Yesterday we talked about feeding Pumpkins to dogs and their health benefits. We know it’s a superfood, a fruit that has tremendous nutritional value.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But can dogs eat pumpkin seeds too, or are pumpkin seeds a bad idea for dogs? Let’s take a closer look.
If you ask yourself: “Can I give pumpkin seeds to my dog,” the answer is YES – dogs can eat pumpkin seeds, and they are not dangerous when prepared (do not give raw and always peel).
In fact, pumpkin seeds can be even more beneficial to dogs than the pumpkin itself.
In this article, we’re going to look specifically at the benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs, how they affect dogs and how to feed them, whether pumpkin seeds are bad for dogs in any way, and whether pumpkin seeds are good for dogs to feed them regularly.
What are pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds found in pumpkins. Seeds from a carving pumpkin can have a hard shell, but seeds bought at a grocery store are usually peel-free, oval, and flat.
These seeds contain an excessive amount of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are beneficial for the health of the entire body.
They have been extensively studied in human clinical trials for their numerous health benefits (Phillips et al., 2005).
This is what peeled pumpkin seeds look like:
Like pumpkin itself, dog pumpkin seeds have become a popular snack option with pet owners.
We see veterinarians recommending adding them to dogs’ homemade dog food meals. So are dogs allowed to eat pumpkin seeds on a regular basis? Are Pumpkin Seeds Good For Dogs And In What Ways?
Pumpkin seeds for dogs 101
Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
It is best not to feed your dog raw pumpkin seeds, as these can spoil quickly and go rancid.
Roasted and ground pumpkin seeds are an easy addition to your dog’s food and offer several dog health benefits.
It does take some preparation on your part, but the benefits of feeding pumpkin seeds to dogs are numerous. There are many homemade dog food recipes that also contain pumpkin seeds.
Nutrition of pumpkin seeds
Let’s take a look at the pumpkin seed diet and some proven health benefits of this food. One ounce serving of peeled pumpkin seeds contains the following:
Fiber: 1.7 grams.
carbohydrates: 5 grams.
protein: 7 grams.
fat: 13 grams
Because pumpkin seeds are very high in fiber, they can improve digestion in dogs, leading to weight loss in overweight dogs and better overall health (Burrows et al., 1982).
They also have one of the highest levels of magnesium in any food, which can help dogs maintain healthy bones, regulate blood sugar and pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease in dogs.
Pumpkin seeds have also been studied to help with certain diseases, infections, and worms in dogs (Mahmoud et al. 2002)
Here are some other potential pumpkin seed benefits for dogs and people:
- Prevent different types of cancer (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Improve heart health and prevent heart disease (5, 6, 7, 8)
- Improve sleep (9, 10, 11)
- Reduce inflammation (12, 13, 14)
- Help with bladder health (15, 16)
- Lower blood sugar levels (17, 18, 19)
Overall, pumpkin seeds can be very useful for dogs when properly prepared.
So can dogs eat pumpkin seeds all the time and how exactly will adding this food benefit their overall health? Here’s what you should know.
7 benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs
1. Antioxidants, fatty acids in pumpkin seeds promote urinary tract health in dogs.
The antioxidants and fatty acids found in these seeds are important in promoting urinary tract health and in relieving and preventing urinary tract infections.
Pumpkin seed oil can help older dogs with overactive bladders. In addition, the seeds can help prevent and remove kidney stones.
2. Pumpkin seeds provide a natural way to fight dog parasites.
Pumpkin seeds contain an important amino acid called cucurbitacin that can be used to rid a dog’s body of parasites and worms.
Cucurbitacin paralyzes and clears these intestinal bugs by acting as a deworming agent. It is particularly effective against roundworms and tapeworms.
3. Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties for dogs.
Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can reduce inflammation, making them an important ingredient in the fight against conditions that affect aging dogs, such as arthritis and hip or elbow dysplasia.
4. Pumpkin seeds can benefit dogs with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate enlargement occurs in many males from the age of nine.
Pumpkin seeds can help regulate this condition and prevent it from causing serious discomfort in your dog.
5. Pumpkin seeds have lipids that provide “good” fats to the dog’s body.
Lipids are “good” fats that the body needs to survive. Pumpkin seeds contain many of the two types of beneficial fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
These fats are responsible for lowering bad cholesterol levels and promoting good cholesterol.
6. Vitamins E and K can improve a dog’s cardiovascular health.
As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E protects cells from free radicals and lowers blood pressure.
Vitamin K contributes to proper bone growth and maintenance and promotes the healing of the skin after injuries.
In addition to the formation of blood clots after tissue damage, vitamin K also prevents bleeding through the aggregation of blood cells.
7. Pumpkin seeds contain many minerals essential for a dog’s body to function.
The following critical minerals can be found in significant amounts in pumpkin seeds:
- Potassium for muscle support
- Zinc for immune function, hormone regulation, and brain activity
- Iron, phosphorus, and magnesium for red blood cell function
- Calcium for strong, healthy bone and tooth growth and against cancer
So, can dogs have pumpkin seeds and reap the benefits?
With all of the above in mind, can dogs have pumpkin seeds on a regular basis? Yes, you can definitely make pumpkin seeds a part of your dog’s normal diet.
As long as you prepare it correctly, i.e. not give it raw, but peel, roast and grind it, this food can become a powerful health booster for the dog.
But are pumpkin seeds bad for dogs at all?
Any Possible Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds For Dogs?
There are no direct side effects from giving pumpkin seeds to dogs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind and some things to avoid when feeding them to your pup.
Avoid salt. Do not add salt to the pumpkin seeds as dogs should only eat regular pumpkin seeds.
Adding salt can pose health risks to your dog, especially issues related to sodium levels in the body. Keep the seeds smooth.
Fry them. Be sure to roast pumpkin seeds before feeding them to your pup.
Fresh, raw seeds can spoil very quickly; Roasting the seeds extends their shelf life by about a month (they also taste better when roasted).
Store properly. Pumpkin seeds must be kept in sealed packages as they become highly toxic when spoiled. By using sealed bags, you can keep these seeds for up to six months.
Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?
They are mini powerhouses that are filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Harmful To Dogs In Any Way? Not at all. As long as you prepare them properly, they are perfectly safe for dogs.
Pumpkin seeds should be cleaned and roasted and then added to your dog’s daily diet or as an occasional healthy treat.
Pumpkin seeds improve a significant part of dogs’ body functions and help prevent urinary tract infections and cancer in dogs.
Be sure to store pumpkin seeds appropriately to extend their shelf life and avoid toxicity when they go bad.
Remember that too much of a good can be bad.
So feed dog pumpkin seeds in moderation and slowly add this new snack food to your Fido’s diet if your dog is not already used to it.
Common questions about pumpkin seeds and a dog’s diet
Even with the knowledge that pumpkin seeds have some dog benefits, you may still have some questions about how they fit into your dog’s diet.
Eliminate doubts with answers to the most common questions about this food.
Can Pumpkin Seeds Kill Dogs?
If your dog eats fresh or processed pumpkin seeds, there is nothing to worry about. They do not contain anything toxic.
Just make sure you aren’t giving your dog any processed seeds with additional ingredients. It would be helpful if you don’t overfeed your dog this treat either, as it can mess up his intestines in larger quantities.
Can dogs have pumpkin seeds in their shells?
Don’t worry about seeds getting mixed in with the pumpkin rinse when your dog is having a snack. He can eat peeled seeds or pumpkin seeds with the peel still on them.
Which seeds are bad for dogs?
It would be helpful if you never gave your dog pits, including cherries and avocados, as these are poisonous. It would help if you also avoid nuts, peels, or apple kernels as this poses a risk.
If your dog wants seeds, give them some pumpkin or shelled flax seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds.
What are dogs not allowed to eat?
Dogs cannot eat onions, chives, garlic, macadamia nuts, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, corn on the cob, artificial sweeteners, or cooked bones. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian.