My Dog Ate A Whole Can Of Pumpkin

my dog ate a whole can of pumpkin
Photo by meerkatbaby on Flickr

Did you know that you can now buy your dog a Halloween costume?

And that one of the most popular picks is a pumpkin costume?

Other costumes include a hot dog and one of the Pope if you can believe it…

To continue the Halloween theme, in today’s article, I’m going to look at what happens if your dog manages to eat a can of pumpkin.

Should you hit the panic button? Or breath a sigh of relief?

Let’s find out, shall we?

My dog ate a whole can of pumpkin. What should I do?

The good news is that pumpkin is a healthy treat for your dog to have.

And the worst that could happen is that your dog might end up with a touch of diarrhea or constipation (most likely diarrhea) depending on how their system reacts to such a large amount of pumpkin.

In terms of figuring out what you should do, I think that the best advice is to make sure that your dog has a bowl of fresh water to drink from.

And maybe take them out for an extra walk because the pumpkin might move through their system pretty fast and your dog might need to poop a bit more than normal.

If you can’t take them out for a walk, just watch them carefully for those tell tale signs that they might need to rush out into the yard at short notice.

For my dogs, the sign would be a bit of pacing to the back door to stick their head out of the cat flap, but your dog might well have a totally different way of communicating!

Most bouts of diarrhea and constipation sort themselves without any medical interventions.

For those who opt for an easy home remedy, pumpkin is a popular option.

So what do you do if the cause of the diarrhea is also one of the potential cures?

Let’s find out.


Most cases of diarrhea in dogs will sort themselves out without any need of medical attention or any visits to your vets.

Diarrhea only becomes a problem if it goes on for longer than a couple of days or if your dog’s diarrhea is very watery.

Very severe diarrhea will quickly lead to dehydration which is potentially very dangerous for young dogs and older dogs. 

That is why it is important to make sure that your dog has fresh water. 

Main signs of constipation

If diarrhea is when the body too easily gets rid of “stuff”, constipation is when the body finds it much harder to get rid of waste. 

And if you are worried that this could be happening to your dog, then once again your best option is to make sure that your dog has easy access to plenty of fresh water. 

Next, I want to reassure you some more. 

I’m going to show you that although your dog has taken an overdose of pumpkin, the nutrients and vitamins that are buzzing round their bodies are amazing. 

Nutrition of canned raw pumpkin?

Good news- look at the nutrition which is going into your dog

I have included a screenshot of a 100g serving of canned raw pumpkin.

To state an obvious weakness with these labels, they are based on an adult human and not a dog.

But they do show us general trends. 

As far as canned raw pumpkin is concerned, nearly 90% of it is water.

Like most other vegetables, their power comes from the vitamins and minerals that they contain. Other things to note are that it is very low in calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Pumpkin has a reputation for being a good source of fibre. 

And as you can see, in every serving, there is 3 % fibre.

Well, that is in canned pumpkin.

Believe it or not, there is a large difference between the amount of fibre that is in fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin. 

Fresh pumpkin only has .5%. 

But the goodness in pumpkin goes beyond fibre.

They are also awesome sources of iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and copper. 

Iron is vital for producing red blood cells- which carry oxygen around the body.

Potassium is thought to help regulate blood pressure and help nerves function properly.

Vitamin A is thought to be very important for our eyes and vitamin C keeps body tissue  healthy. 

Copper helps maintain healthy bones and supports a healthy metabolism. 

It could be worse- it could be a can of pumpkin pie mix!

You are in a bit of a panic because your dog has eaten a whole can of pumpkin.

But here’s the thing..

As far as canned pumpkin food goes, a can that contains pumpkin and nothing else is pretty harmless compared to what it might contain.

A quick dash around your local grocery store shows that other cans of pumpkin are also available. 

Such as cans of pumpkin pie mix, which are totally different.

As well as containing pumpkin and water, these cans contain added sugar, salt, spices and other flavourings.

As far as your dog is concerned, there is nothing toxic with any of these ingredients but the presence of all of the added sugar and salt will have consequences.

The main one being that your dog will almost certainly get diarrhea.

How much pumpkin should I feed my dog everyday?

The main use of pumpkin with our dogs seems to be as a remedy for diarrhea.

But, when we looked at the nutrition in a raw pumpkin, it was clear that it can be used for far more.

As a general vitamin and mineral boost. 

And so although the guidelines below specifically relate to pumpkin and diarrhea, use the same amounts to add to your dog’s diet on a regular basis

Pumpkin is a very popular home remedy for dogs with a touch of diarrhea but obviously even for the biggest dogs, no one would recommend that a dog should eat a 15 ounce (425 g) can in one sitting!

In fact looking at the research, pumpkin is used widely as a cure for diarrhea in adult humans and babies too. 

The recommended dose of pumpkin to add to your dog’s meal is between one and four tablespoons (25g to 100g). 

And so a whole can of it is effectively an overdose for any size of dog. 

How to stop your dog from eating a whole can of pumpkin

This is easier said than done.

If your dog stole a can of pumpkin whilst you were busy getting ready for Thanksgiving it is very hard to stop these sorts of incidents at such busy times.  

It is easy to be organised when things aren’t stressful or busy but much harder to be organised when the pace and stress levels start to “get hotter.”

So perhaps your best chance is to stop your dog from becoming a thief in the first place.

And there are three basic elements to your training.

[1] Clean and empty counters

Your first and best line of defence is to not keep anything on any of the surfaces.

This is all about being clean, tidy and organised.

If there is nothing on a surface for your dog to steal, he can’t steal anything. 

But since we can’t all be perfect all of the time, we need some more “hacks.” 

[2] Right time and right place

If you don’t want your dog to be patrolling around the kitchen counter, reward them when they are where you want- such as their bed, 

If you catch them on their bed, give them a treat.

Soon they will associate their bed with treats and not the counter.

[3] Leave or drop

The third tool that you need in your toolkit is that you need to teach your dog to respond to the command “leave” or “drop”.

This is so that if you catch your dog in the act of stealing some food, your dog won’t eat it.

Good luck, 

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!