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Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Pumpkin pie is a staple of the holidays in many homes across America and for a good reason. It is rich and sweet, making it a perfect celebration of the festive season. However, while it is a favorite for humans, don’t plan on making it a regular treat for your dog.

Pumpkin pie can be a very dangerous dessert for your dog. Not only is the sugar bad for them, but the spices present risks. Even worse, some pies are made with artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which can be lethal even in minimal amounts. Due to the potential risks, keeping this dish out of your dog’s reach is best. However, that doesn’t mean your furry friend can’t join the festivities.


Is Pumpkin Safe for Dogs?

While pumpkin pie is not safe for dogs, pumpkin can be—assuming a few stipulations are met. The pumpkin that you feed your dog must be 100% plain pumpkin. That means no added sugars, spices, or other ingredients. Pumpkin pie filling is unsafe due to the abundance of added ingredients inside the mix, which often includes nutmeg, a toxic spice for canines.

You can either feed cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin to your dog. Pumpkin is considered a superfood for dogs since it includes vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Benefits of Feeding Pumpkin to Your Dog

Pumpkin is packed with vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, and it also provides essential minerals such as iron and potassium.

Your dog can also experience digestive benefits when eating pumpkin, as the fiber helps to minimize gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhea. It can also lower the acidity of your dog’s intestines and provides prebiotics that boost the health of your dog’s digestive system.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

Risks of Feeding Pumpkin to Your Dog

Although pumpkin can be a healthy treat for your dog, that doesn’t mean it is free from risks. One of the main issues that can arise when feeding your dog pumpkin is providing them with too much. If your dog eats too much pumpkin, they may consume too much fiber. Too much fiber in your dog’s diet can harm their digestive system rather than support it. It can also impede the absorption of other nutrients, leading to nutritional deficiencies.

Pumpkin is a starchy squash that is high in calories. Feeding pumpkin to your dog in moderation is key, or you may notice your dog gaining a little extra weight. However, these risks can be easily avoided by consulting your vet and determining how much pumpkin is appropriate to feed your dog.

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How Much Pumpkin Can Your Dog Eat?

There is no clear-cut answer to how much pumpkin your dog can eat, as all dogs’ needs differ. However, on average, you can feed your dog no more than 4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal. As always, the best way to determine an exact amount is to consult your vet.

diced pumpkin on wooden board
Photo Credit: Helena Zolotuhina, Shutterstock

How to Safely Feed Pumpkin to Your Dog?

Canned pumpkin and cooked pumpkin are two common ways to feed pumpkin to your dog safely. To properly cook the pumpkin for your pet, remove the seeds, place it in the oven, and bake it until it’s soft.

Beyond canned and cooked pumpkin, you can also feed your dog pumpkin purée. Start by peeling the pumpkin and removing the seeds. Chop it into pieces and place the slices in boiling water, where they will simmer for at least 20 minutes or until tender. Once it is tender, drain the water and mash the pumpkin until it is paste-like. Cool it in the fridge and then serve. Like all forms of pumpkin, make sure that there are no added ingredients or spices.

You can also roast pumpkin seeds and feed them to your dog, assuming that there is no added salt or other ingredients. Roasted pumpkin seeds can be an excellent and crunchy treat for your pup. They can be ground up in your dog’s food, or if your dog is big enough, they can be served whole.

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Common Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

Other than pumpkin pie, there are some common holiday meals that you need to keep away from your dog.

Pumpkin Pie
Image credit: Photoman, Pixabay

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

There’s way too much dairy, fat, and sodium in this meal for it to be safe for your dog, so keep it away from your dog no matter how much they whine. If you give them some, the best-case scenario is explosive diarrhea. If they eat mashed potatoes and gravy frequently, the worst-case scenario is pancreatitis.


Most casseroles are packed with cream, oil, butter, and salt, which are bad for your pup. Even worse, many contain onion or garlic, which can be incredibly dangerous for dogs.


Like casseroles, most stuffing is packed with fats, sodium, onions, and garlic, so keep your dog away from this dish.

Fat, Bones, or Skin off of Meat

Aren’t bones supposed to be great for dogs to chew on? Well, not exactly. Giving your dog the scraps of a turkey may sound like a great way to include your pooch, but in reality, it can lead to gastrointestinal blockages.

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Final Thoughts

Pumpkin pies, like many holiday foods, are unsafe for your dog. However, plain pumpkin can be an excellent treat and can help your dog feel included while you gather around the table for a festive meal. When feeding your dog anything new, start in small quantities so that you do not overwhelm their digestive system and cause gastrointestinal upset, and always consult your vet if you are uncertain about preparing food for your dog.

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