It’s pumpkin season! My favorite season of all. I just love seeing the bright orange fruit everywhere, especially at pumpkin patches. There’s a local farm here in our neck of the woods in central NC with a huge pumpkin patch that’s open to the public every year.
They also offer a variety of fall attractions like corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin themed playgrounds, picnic areas and concession stands with homemade snacks.
Bonus: You guessed it, they’re dog friendly, so I recently took my pup Wally and his little friend Lila there for a fall walk. We also picked up a few fresh pumpkins while we were there.
The pups loved investigating all the farm smells and walking around on the pumpkin patch, but little did they know that some of these pumpkins were about to be turned into fresh pumpkin puree for them!
Now without further ado, here’s how to make fresh pumpkin puree for your dog, and I’m also including my recipe for pumpkin pancakes for us humans! Please enjoy.
What you’ll need to make your dog’s own pumpkin puree
It’s fairly easy to turn your pumpkins into puree, but you’ll need to carve out at least 90 minutes for one medium size pumpkin, unless you have more than one oven. That time frame includes prep work, roasting in the oven, peeling, blending, portioning, and clean up.
It took me 4 hours to turn my 2 medium and large pumpkins into puree.
Besides time and fridge/freezer space, you’ll need the following:
- A chef’s knife and spoon
- Cutting boards
- Strainer (for the seeds)
- Cookie sheets and/or baking dishes
- Food processor or blender
- Food storage containers
- Marker (for labeling)
First things first: Go pumpkin shopping (ideally with your dog)
You’ll definitely get the freshest pumpkins from a pumpkin patch near you. We picked up 3 pumpkins for just shy of $19, one of which was purely for decorative purposes. The other two made it into the oven and were transformed into delicious pumpkin puree!
If the place is dog friendly, I’d suggest heading there with your pup, but don’t forget to leash your dog and to bring poop bags. Farmers will be more likely to keep their dog-friendly policy if we’re respectful of their property and clean up after our furry lovelies.
Bright orange pumpkins with healthy looking stems taste the best, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for those.
If you can’t make it to a pumpkin patch, you’ll be able to find pumpkins at your local grocery stores, at least during pumpkin season.
If you can, make enough pumpkin puree to hold you over until the next pumpkin season. You can keep it in the freezer up to one year, and it tastes SO much better than the canned grocery kind.
Pumpkins for sale at Walmart
How to make your dog’s pumpkin puree
Once you brought your pumpkins home and you’re ready to get started on the pumpkin puree, do the following:
- Cut your pumpkin(s) in half
- Remove the stem
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp and place pumpkin halves on cookie sheets or baking dishes
- I suggest roasting the pumpkin seeds as well (more on their benefits for dogs below). You’ll have to rinse and drain them, then put them into the oven on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Roast for about 20 minutes.
- Roast the pumpkin halves for 45-60 minutes at 350 F (180 C)
- Let the pumpkin halves cool off for a few minutes, then peel the skin off and blend the flesh until smooth in your food processor or blender. You’ll have to add a little water.
- Transfer the puree into food storage containers. I labeled mine with a black marker and waited until the puree had cooled off before putting it into the fridge/freezer.
How to make your pumpkin pancakes using the pumpkin puree you just made
If you’re lucky, your pup might share some of his pumpkin puree he just watched you make 😉
Here’s the recipe for the pumpkin pancakes:
Key benefits of pumpkin puree for dogs
Pumpkin puree is a low-calorie, low-fat food that’s great to add to your dog’s (raw dog food) diet if he needs to lose some weight because its fiber will help make your dog feel fuller. It helps with upset doggie tummies, diarrhea AND constipation. It’s rich in:
- Soluble fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
How much pumpkin puree can dogs eat per day?
Dogs can eat roughly 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight per day. You can mix it into their food, regardless of whether you feed dry or wet dog food, homemade dog food, or raw dog food. It’s likely to entice a picky eater to eat and can also be turned into a refreshing summer treat.
To achieve that effect, simply portion the pumpkin puree into an ice cube tray or baking molds, freeze, then serve.
What about the pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds help to naturally control parasites such as tapeworms. They’re rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, but also high in fat. Feed 1 pumpkin seed per 10 lbs of body weight per day. They can be fed whole or ground.
I personally like to eat them as an in-between human snack and sprinkled onto my salads.
I like pumpkin puree because it’s great for dogs who suffer from:
- Upset stomachs, diarrhea AND constipation
- Too much weight
- Loss of appetite
I first discovered pumpkin puree back in 2013 when my dog Buzz had a nasty case of diarrhea. This was two years before I made the switch from kibble to raw dog food.
Our traditional vet prescribed a bland diet of rice and boiled chicken, along with the traditional Fortiflora probiotic powder vets like to prescribe for diarrhea. Neither worked, and Buzz kept having extra loose stool for 2 weeks.
I finally browsed the internet in hopes of finding something else that might help him have decent poops again, and that’s when I came across pumpkin puree.
I immediately went to my grocery store and picked up a can, and fed Buzz 2 large spoonfuls. I kid you not, the next morning Buzz had the firmest poop he had had in 2 weeks! After 2 days of feeding him pumpkin puree along with chicken, the diarrhea was gone!
I made sure to mention my find to our vet, who more or less dismissed it with the words “sure, it CAN work, but we usually don’t recommend it because it’s not medicine”. Unbelievable, but whatever.
Ever since then, I’ve always recommended pumpkin puree to fellow dog parents who had a case of cannon butt, and it’s helped in most cases.
Wally with his pumpkin puree yield
Leave your comments or questions in the comment section below!
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