Most pet owners already understand the position of professional vets as far as feeding fruits and vegetables to their dogs is concerned.
Dogs are carnivorous animals. As such, they’re better off eating a diet of animal protein.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot give some plant-based foods to your canine friend.
If offered in moderation, fruits and vegetables perform several crucial functions in the bodies of our canine friends. Most notably, they help to ease indigestion and relieve various other gastrointestinal issues.
But all fruits are not made equal. While some fruits are perfectly safe for your pooch, others are highly toxic.
For instance, pumpkins are generally considered safe for dogs. There are no immediate adverse effects to expect when a dog eats pumpkin. But can the same be said about pumpkin seeds? Are pumpkin seeds safe for dogs to eat?
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]The answer is YES. Just like pumpkins, pumpkin seeds are perfectly safe for dogs. In fact, research suggests that pumpkin seeds might be more beneficial to your pooch than pumpkin itself. [/thrive_text_block]
However, there are a few preparation guidelines to observe before feeding pumpkin seeds to your canine friend. At the very least, you must clean, peel, and preferably grind then roast the seeds before you offer them to your dog.
Also, remember that when all is said and done, pumpkin seeds are still plant-based foods. And being carnivores, dogs should only eat plant matter occasionally.
Read on as we expound further on the topic of pumpkin seeds for dogs.
Some of the areas the post shall address include the benefits and potential side effects of pumpkin seeds, as well as how best to offer the seeds to your furry friend.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds For Dogs
Is it okay for dogs to eat pumpkin seeds?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for your pooch to eat pumpkin seeds. But just how will your dog benefit from snacking on these seeds?
This section shall delve deeper into several potential benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs.
First up, here are some of the nutrients that pumpkin seeds contain.
✔ Calories, mainly from protein and fat,
✔ Vitamin E,
✔ Vitamin K,
✔ Manganese, and
The following are some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs.
1. Prevent Disease
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin E and carotenoids.
These antioxidants contain anti-inflammatory properties that protect the cells in your dog’s body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to an imbalance in the number of free radicals and the antioxidants in an animal’s body.
When there are more free radicals than there are antioxidants in your dog’s body, the dog might develop various chronic conditions.
The fact that these antioxidants pack anti-inflammatory properties make them particularly useful for preventing the onset of inflammatory conditions, such as cancer and arthritis.
Research indicates that diets which are rich in pumpkin seeds can help to reduce the risks of lung, breast, colon, prostate, and stomach cancers. The lignans that are present in pumpkins have especially been cited for their ability to lower the risks of breast cancer.
Pumpkin seeds can also reduce the risks of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP). Though it’s a benign condition, BHP causes an enlargement of the prostate glands, which may cause bladder and urinary tract issues.
Therefore, if your dog is showing visible signs of an overactive bladder or kidney stones, then maybe you should start supplementing its diet with pumpkin seeds.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? Will It Make Him Sick? [/thrive_text_block]
2. Improve the Heart and Cardiovascular System
Pumpkin seeds can also help to maintain your dog’s heart while also improving its cardiovascular system. The seeds abound in the mineral magnesium.
Magnesium can help to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, thereby keeping your dog safe from heart and cardiovascular diseases. The regulation of blood sugar levels is especially important for diabetic dogs.
Magnesium also works synergistically with other minerals like calcium and phosphorus to strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth.
Still on improving the health of your dog’s heart, pumpkin seeds are known to trigger the generation of nitric oxide.
High levels of nitric acid are associated with vasodilation. Basically, it causes the dog’s blood vessels to expand, thereby improving blood circulation and reducing the risks of plaque growth in the animal’s arteries.
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3. Improve Digestion
This is unarguably the greatest reason why you should consider supplementing your dog’s diet with pumpkins seeds occasionally.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in dietary fiber, and these fibers perform numerous functions in maintaining your dog’s digestive system.
First, dietary fibers nourish gut-friendly bacteria. These are bacteria that reside in your dog’s gut, whose role is to improve food digestion.
Secondly, dietary fiber, especially the insoluble kinds, help to bulk stool. As a result, they can aid in relieving constipation, stomach upset, and maintaining your dog’s bowel movements.
Dietary fiber is also famous for its ability to create a sense of fullness.
Therefore, you might consider adding pumpkin seeds to your dog’s diet to control the food portions that the animal eats, as a measure to guard against obesity and other weight-related issues.
Lastly, dietary fibers are hailed for their ability to help reduce the risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
4. Boost Sperm Count
Are you dealing with a dog that keeps shooting blanks? Well, your solution might lie in feeding the animal pumpkin seeds.
The seeds are loaded with zinc, which is known to boost sperm count and quality.
5. Improve Sleep Quality
Sleeplessness affects our canine friends the same way it affects us.
However, a doze of pumpkin seeds can make all the difference in terms of getting your pooch to sleep. The seeds contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that’s associated with better sleep quality.
To help improve sleep, tryptophan is first converted into serotonin by the zinc in pumpkin seeds. Serotonin is then changed to melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone.
As serotonin is a chemical that’s associated with happiness, it’s safe to imagine that pumpkin seeds can also relieve anxiety and elevate your dog’s moods.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds? Safe or Not? [/thrive_text_block]
6. Fight Worms
Pumpkin seeds have always been touted as one of the natural solutions for worms. But do pumpkin seeds kill worms in dogs?
Yes, pumpkin seeds are some of the most effective treatments for worms and other parasites in dogs.
The more pertinent question should be, how do pumpkin seeds deworm dogs?
Now, pumpkin seeds are loaded with an essential amino acid known as cucurbitacin. This amino acid is a powerful remedy against worms and parasites, not only in dogs and other pets, but in humans as well.
Cucurbitacin destroys worms in dogs by paralyzing the intestinal bugs. When the worms get paralyzed, they loosen their grip on your dog’s intestinal walls, after which the dog eliminates them through bowel movements.
While cucurbitacin can act on any intestinal bug, it’s more effective against tapeworms and roundworms.
But how long does it take for pumpkin seeds to kill parasites in dogs?
Essentially, this can range from a couple of hours to a few days, depending on the degree of infestation.
You should understand the symptoms of worms in dogs and get rid of the parasites before they can reproduce and become a major concern.
Some of the symptoms of worms in dogs include;
✔ Vomiting and diarrhea,
✔ “Rice bodies” in your dog’s stool,
✔ Scooting and licking of its rear, and
✔ A thrifty-looking appearance
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7. Escalate the Healing of Wounds
By virtue of their playful nature, dogs tend to suffer lots of injuries. When these injuries occur, it may be difficult to find the perfect remedy.
Thankfully, pumpkin seeds contain vitamin K that escalate the wound healing process by improving blood clot formation. Vitamin K also prevents over-bleeding by encouraging blood cell aggregation.[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]Want to train your dog without spending hundreds of dollars? Click Here to check out the brain training for Dogs course now! It’s great for eliminating any bad behaviors by tapping into your dog’s hidden intelligence. [/thrive_text_block]
Are There Any Side Effects?
Now, having reviewed the many potential benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs, you might still be skeptical and wondering, are pumpkin seeds bad for dogs?
Any good thing must have a not-so-good side, and that applies to pumpkin seeds too.
First, pumpkin seeds contain phytic acid, which can adversely affect the bioavailability of some of the nutrients in the seeds.
In essence, this acid may prevent your dog from enjoying the numerous pumpkin seeds benefits we’ve already highlighted.
Secondly, pumpkin seeds might present choking hazards, especially if you do not prepare them the right way before offering them to your canine friend.
But the greatest risk with pumpkin seeds for dogs comes from the fact that the seeds are plant-based. So, feeding them to your pooch might still cause some gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
That’s why experts recommend that you should always go slow on the portions of pumpkin seeds that you offer to your dog.
Can pumpkin seeds kill dogs?
It’s highly unlikely that your pooch will die from eating pumpkin seeds. Nevertheless, always remember the keyword – moderation.
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Raw or Cooked Pumpkin Seeds, Which Is Better?
Can dogs eat cooked pumpkin seeds? And what about raw pumpkin seeds, can dogs eat raw pumpkin seeds?
[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]You can comfortably feed your dog either raw or cooked pumpkin seeds. However, experts recommend cooked pumpkin seeds. Raw seeds are only safe for your dog if they are fresh. [/thrive_text_block]
After deciding to feed your dog cooked pumpkin seeds, you must now understand how to cook pumpkin seeds for dogs.
Now, there are numerous methods you can cook pumpkin seeds before offering them to your dog. You can boil, steam, or roast the seeds. So, can dogs eat roasted pumpkin seeds?
Yes, roasting is actually the most recommended way of cooking pumpkin seeds for dogs. After roasting the seeds, you must ground them into a fine powder, then sprinkle them into your dog’s regular diet.
Here’s how to go about the entire procedure;
i. Preheat your oven to a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii. Clean the seeds, then rinse and pat-dry them.
iii. Evenly spread your pumpkin seeds over a large baking tray and roast for between 10 and 15 minutes.
iv. Allow the seeds to cool, then ground them into a fine powder.
v. Store the powder in an air-tight container and use as regularly as required.
When roasting pumpkin seeds for dogs, never add any salt, seasonings, fat/oil, or butter.
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Can dogs eat salted pumpkin seeds?
No, they can’t. Salt in a dog’s diet causes sodium ion poisoning.
This severe disease manifests in tremors, seizures, and anemia-like symptoms, and may be fatal if not treated urgently.
Can dogs have pumpkin seed oil?
And what of butter, can dogs eat pumpkin seeds butter?
Both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seed butter are safe for dogs.
Pumpkin seed oil is believed to support urinary tract health, which makes it an excellent recommendation for dogs with kidney conditions.
Pumpkin seed oil is also rich in many minerals and vitamins like selenium, iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, fluorine and the Vitamins C, B, A, E.
When given regularly it has detoxifying effect and prevents worm infestation in dogs.
Just ensure you don’t lace the oil with salt or any spices. Pumpkin butter is just as healthy for dogs as pumpkin seeds are, provided it’s served plain.
However always consult your vet before introducing pumpkin seed oil to your dog.
Excess salt, spices, and oil in pumpkin seeds are mostly an issue with canned foods. So, when buying any canned pumpkin seeds, your best bet is to ensure that the seeds are free from these and any other ingredients that are deemed toxic to dogs.
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Now, there’s also the question of shells, and you might be wondering, can dogs eat pumpkin seeds with shells?
Indeed, most dog owners intending to feed pumpkin seeds to their canine friends will ask, can my dog eat pumpkin seed shells?
The shells are a choking hazard, and are better off removed.
The following are other related questions with regards to pumpkin seeds and dogs;
Can dogs eat dried pumpkin seeds?
Yes, but you’re better off avoiding them, as they can lead to choking and exacerbate dehydration.
Can dogs eat whole pumpkin seeds?
Again, this comes with a choking hazard.
Are pumpkin seeds healthy for dogs?
They sure are. You only need to know how to feed your dog pumpkin seeds. And that brings us to our final question, how much pumpkin seeds should I give my dog?
Though we’ve already mentioned it, it warrants repeating that when it comes to pumpkin seeds for dogs, the convention is to start slow and keep the portions low.
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