3 ways your dog can help squash pumpkin waste this Autumn
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Every year, over 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK. Of those, 95% are used at Halloween and then thrown away - creating 18,000 tonnes of food waste.
Did you know that in moderation our dogs can eat pumpkin? Not only is it edible for dogs but pumpkin can be used as a remedy for gastrointestinal issues*
These issues include diarrhoea and constipation, yes both!
*If your dog has diarrhoea, the soluble fibre in the pumpkin will help absorb the excess water, resulting in firmer stools.
For a dog that is constipated, the high water and fibre content in the pumpkin will help add bulk and soften the stool, acting as a natural laxative and making the stool easier to pass.
You should always consult your vet for advice if your dog is unwell , but for more information on home remedies and things to feed a dog with an upset stomach this is a great article by Furs n Paws
Because stomach upsets can occur at any time of the year I always have a tin of pumpkin in my cupboard. Always make sure you choose one without any added ingredients. Alternatively, you can buy a pumpkin Digestive Aid for dogs Akela For Dogs make one that smells amazing
“ it also has a low glycemic index, so it slowly absorbs, which helps with upset stomach and digestion”
You don't need to reserve pumpkin for times when your dog is poorly.
In most cases, pumpkin can make a healthy dog even healthier. This Autumnal fruit, yes fruit, it is not actually classified as a veggie, contains vitamins, A, C, and E along with essential minerals iron and potassium.
Pumpkin 3 ways 🎃 🎃 🎃
Your dog can safely in moderation, enjoy pumpkin 3 ways
They can even eat the seeds and some holistic vets will say that this helps with worming too!
Three ways to Prepare
The skin of the pumpkin is not suitable for dogs to eat. So start by peeling, then slice and chop.
A training treat chopper works well to make small raw treats. These small pieces can also be used for scatter feeding.
Autumn is a great time of year for natural snuffling amongst leaves for kibble and treats.
Try this in your own garden where you know there is nothing in the leaves that you would not want your dog to eat.
Keep an eye open during the Autumn winter months for acorns and conkers, both of which are poisonous and can cause blockages if swallowed.
TIP: It is easier to cut the pumpkin into sections, then cut the skin off, or using a spoon to ‘dig’ out chunks of the flesh.
🎃 Boiled Pumpkin
Remove the pumpkin skin it is not suitable for your dog to eat even when cooked.
Boil in unsalted water until it is the texture you require.
As with any veggie or fruit use minimal water and boil for just as long as you need to. This way you avoid losing nutrients.
Consider using the water you boiled it in too.
Use it to slacken off a puree or to soften their kibble. Using veggies cooking water can make kibble more interesting.
If your dog has gone off its kibble, adding warm water can help to bring out the flavours and aroma and make it more appealing and, more nutritious too. ( If you are using the water used to cook your own veggies do not add salt)
I am all about making things easier, so I prefer to bake my pumpkins.
Carefully slice off the top ( as if you are making a lantern) and scoop out the middle. Retaining the seeds if you plan to roast them for you or your dog to enjoy later.
Once the stringy pumpkin 'guts' have been removed just pop it a baking tray and bake. The baking time will depend on your pumpkin size and the tenderness you require.
Once it is out of the oven and cooling it is much easier to remove the skin.
Three ways to use
🎃 Fill & Spread
Once baked or boiled you can decide how you are going to use the pumpkin.
Mashing or pureeing gives you options. Mixing your pumpkin with natural yoghurt makes it easy to spread on Lickmats or to use in an enrichment toy.
Cooked pumpkin freezes well. Freeze it in ice cube trays, or silicone moulds. Once frozen pop them out and store them in a bag in the freezer. The re-usable Prep 'n' Go bags work well for this.
Then just remove what you need when you need it.
This is also a good way to portion control your pumpkin to ensure you are not feeding your dog too much of it at one time.
Approx 1 cup flour
1/4 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
1 tablespoon dog-friendly peanut butter