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Pet Care

Are pumpkin seeds and raw pumpkin safe for dogs? Here's what a vet has to say.

If your dog is begging at dinnertime, it can be tempting to "accidentally" drop a little treat under the table. But should you?

Pet care is more than taking the dog for a walk and vet check-ups – it’s also important for pet owners to know which human foods are safe and which are toxic. Some foods are technically not toxic but not beneficial (like oranges) and others, like carrots, could benefit your dog's health.

Here’s what to know about pumpkin products and your pup.

Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?

Don’t worry if your dog has gotten into your stash of pumpkin seeds – they aren’t toxic, says , who owns 143 Veterinary Services in Massachusetts. But that doesn’t mean they should eat them, either.

“(Dogs) don’t break down the shells in pumpkin seeds very well,” Watkins says. “They usually just pass through the GI tract undigested.”

This means the seeds may cause an upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea if your dog eats too many, but in moderation, it’s not cause for concern.

Are pumpkin seeds good for dogs?

Pumpkin seeds have no nutritional benefit for dogs, Watkins says. 

There’s an old wives' tale that pumpkin seeds act as a natural dewormer for dogs with parasites, but Watkins says that’s not the case. 

“It doesn’t actually work,” Watkins says. “If your pet has worms … you really just need to go to the vet and get a de-wormer.”

Is pumpkin good for dogs?

Pumpkin in its purest form is veterinarian-backed. It's a good source of fiber, so you can add a tablespoon of it to your dog’s food twice a day if they have digestive issues, Watkins recommends. It’s also rarely an allergen, so most dogs will tolerate it just fine.

“It is a pretty easy thing you can add to almost any dog’s diet if they’ve got a little bit of diarrhea just to see if it helps bulk up the stool,” she says. 

Just make sure it’s regular canned pumpkin – not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar and other ingredients that may not be safe for dogs. Watkins also cautions against giving your dogs whole chunks of pumpkin, which may take longer to break down and could cause even more digestive issues.

Can my dog eat that?:Human foods that are safe (and toxic) for your pup

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