Too Much Pumpkin For Dogs?

too much pumpkin for dogs
Photo by chris robert on Unsplash

I think that you can feed your dog too much pumpkin in two main ways.

Firstly, you can feed them too much pumpkin in one day.

Secondly a dog can eat too much pumpkin when that is the only vegetable that is added to their food day after day and week after week.

I would recommend that the amount of pumpkin that a dog should get given on any given day, should equal no more than 10% of their total food intake.

And feed it to them for no more than a couple of weeks at a time before moving adding another vegetable into their diet.

Pumpkin is a phenomenal fruit which provides a real boost to your dog’s health- as long as you don’t overdo it!

Why is pumpkin good for dogs?

In this section I want to highlight all the ways that pumpkin is good for your dog.

And to help with this, I have created a chart comparing the nutrition of fresh raw pumpkin and canned pumpkin

100g servingFresh Raw PumpkinCanned pumpkin
Total fat.1%.3%
Water content91.6%90%

When looking at all of these numbers that give us an overview of how healthy a pumpkin might be, none of them are bad.

They all show how healthy pumpkin is.

It is low in calories, low in fat, carbohydrates and sugar- but very high in water content!

What always surprises me is that there is such a big difference between the amount of fibre in canned pumpkin as against fresh pumpkin (2.9% vs .5%)

Why might too much pumpkin might be bad for your dog?

Now in this section, I’m going to surprise you.

And it is not just by stating that too much pumpkin might be bad for your dog.

It is by stating that too much pumpkin might be bad for your dog because they might have an overdose of vitamin A.

You don’t believe me, eh?

Well check out the chart below.

100g servingDaily valueFresh Raw PumpkinCanned pumpkin
Vitamin A333 IU8513 IU15563 IU
Beta carotene3100 mcg6940 mcg
Vitamin B6.15 mg.061 mg.056 mg
Vitamin C9 mg4.2 mg
Vitamin E5 IU01.06 mg
Vitamin K1.1 mcg16 mcg

The chart shows the main vitamins that are present in fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin.

All I want us to focus on is vitamin A and beta carotene.

The daily value column shows the amount of vitamins that a dog should get per 100 g of food that they eat. 

And it can be seen that as far as vitamin A is concerned, it should be 333 IU.

Don’t worry too much what an IU is- it is a unit of measurement.

What you should notice is that the concentration of vitamin A in fresh pumpkin is seventeen times the daily value (500 vs 8513.)

But that canned pumpkin has thirty one times the recommended dose (500 vs 15563.)

Now vitamin A plays an important role in a dog’s body- most of its energy is spent on maintaining healthy eyesight. 

Vitamin A poisoning

But there is too much of a good thing as far as vitamin A is concerned.

There is a condition called vitamin A toxicity, which is when a dog is poisoned by ingesting too much vitamin A. 

Most of the cases that I have read about (such as here and here) involve dogs who have eaten too much fish oil or too much liver, such as raw chicken liver

I can’t find any reports of poisoning related to a dog who has eaten too much pumpkin!

And the amount of vitamin A that a dog would need to consume in order to be poisoned is incredible- even by a pumpkin’s standard.

Vitamin A becomes dangerous for a dog when they are consuming concentrations of it in excess of 333,000 IU/ kg (33,300 IU/ kg.)

This is more than double the concentration of vitamin A contained in a can of pumpkin. 

It is just to make you aware that pumpkin contains vast amounts of vitamin A and that is something to take into account when calculating how much to feed them. 

Should I feed my dog raw or cooked pumpkin?

Before I go on to discuss the ideal portion size of pumpkin to feed your dog, I want to explore this vexed question in a bit more detail.

This is because it seems to be a question that lots of people are asking.

Let’s take a look at a comparison chart between raw and cooked. 

100g servingFresh Raw PumpkinCooked pumpkin
Total fat.1%.1%
Water content91.6%94%

And you’re right if you are thinking that I could have just added the data for the cooked pumpkin onto my first chart.

But that would have made the chart harder to read on a small screen such as your smartphone…

Cooked pumpkin has fewer calories, less carbs and less sugar.

But it has about double the fibre. 

Now, let’s quickly switch to the vitamins.

100g servingDaily valueFresh Raw PumpkinCooked pumpkin
Vitamin A333 IU8513 IU5755 IU
Beta carotene3100 mcg2096 mcg
Vitamin B6.15 mg.061 mg.044 mg
Vitamin C9 mg4.2 mg
Vitamin E5 IU0.80 mg
Vitamin K1.1 mcg.80 mcg

Cooking pumpkin reduces the amount of vitamin A by about a third (8513 vs 5755 IU) and beta carotene by the same amount (3100 mcg vs 2096 mcg).

Should you feed your dog raw or cooked pumpkin?

If I had to choose between the two forms of pumpkin, I would opt for cooked pumpkin- mostly because it has a reduced level of vitamin A in it. 

Having analysed lots of information relating to nutrition it is now time to scratch our heads and work out how much pumpkin we should feed our dogs and how often? 

Can I give my dog pumpkin everyday?

I think that concerned dog owners want an answer to this question after Halloween and Thanksgiving has left their house with an excess of pumpkin. 

And like many leftovers, one of the first things that we think of is feeding them to our dog!

There will be no long term harm to your dog by feeding them lots of pumpkin everyday over a few weeks or a month.

As long as you aren’t feeding them large amounts everyday.

And a good way to work out how much to feed your dog everyday is to calculate how much food they eat (in grams or kilograms) and feed your dog 10% of that amount each day.

So for my dogs who are eating 500g of food per day, the maximum amount of pumpkin that I would feed them is 50 g.

But after a month, I would call it quits. 

Move on to another vegetable if I were you or don’t.

But just make sure that you don’t give your dog any more pumpkin!

How does pumpkin help with diarrhea?

Pumpkin is a very popular home remedy for curing diarrhea.

It helps your dog’s stomach recover in several ways.

You will have far greater success with canned pumpkin rather than fresh pumpkin.

And that is because canned pumpkin contains six times more fibre- which is the first way that pumpkin cures diarrhea.

Fibre helps to bind the contents of the stomach together.

Secondly, pumpkin by its very nature is very simple and bland- like many fruits and vegetables.

The next important quality that pumpkin has is that it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, replacing those that the diarrhea flushed out of the system.

And, I think that another important diarrhea fighting quality that pumpkin has going for it, is that it is around 90% water.

Diarrhea robs the body of water and a portion of pumpkin helps to replenish it!

How much pumpkin should I feed my dog with diarrhea?

I would follow the same guidelines as I have outlined above.

Feed your dog the equivalent of 10% of their daily amount of food in pumpkin.

Now, whether you feed the pumpkin with a bit of their main food or just on its own depends on how severe the diarrhea is.

Remember if the diarrhea continues for more than a day you need to see a vet because of the risk of dehydration. 

How fast does pumpkin work for dog diarrhea?

In most cases of diarrhea, pumpkin should have a soothing effect within eight to twelve hours.

You are not looking for a miracle cure but you are looking for real improvement.

Hopefully the poop will be more solid and the number of times that your dog will need to poop will drastically reduce. 

But if you want to find out more, read this.  

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!