Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds: Homemade Recipes + Vet’s Q&A

Pumpkin seeds (and other squash seeds) contain many nutrients, making them a healthy snack for us. And I understand – as a caring pet owner, you’d like to share them with your pup.

You might be wondering: Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?

The short answer is yes. But there are a few potential risks and some precautions to take when feeding your pup pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Seeds: Can Dogs Eat Them?

Yes, dogs can eat pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber and carbohydrates but also high in fats – this is why pumpkin seeds can be a bit difficult to digest for our four-legged friends.

Although it’s uncommon, some dogs might have allergies to pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, so keep this in mind before introducing them to your doggo.

As long as you share them with your doggo in moderation, there shouldn’t be any problems and your dog will be happy to enjoy their benefits.

The Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds For Dogs

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, providing important amino acids for your dog’s muscle development and overall health. These seeds also contain a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, promoting better digestive health for your furry friend (if fed in moderation).

Here are the health benefits you can expect from feeding pumpkin seeds to your doggo:

  • Healthy fats (fatty acids): Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are present in pumpkin seeds. These fats contribute to your dog’s skin and coat health.
  • Muscle development: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, which is important for your dog’s muscle development, a healthier diet, and overall well-being.
  • Aids in digestion: These nutritious seeds are fiber-rich, which is important for a healthy digestive tract.
  • Improves immune system: Pumpkin seeds are packed with important minerals like zinc and magnesium, which play a role in various bodily functions.

For example, magnesium is important for your dog’s skeletal and cardiac muscle function. Zinc is critical for cellular metabolism, which plays an important role in immune function.

Improves blood coagulation and controls calcium levels: Due to a good amount of vitamin K, pumpkin seeds are an excellent way to improve your pup’s blood coagulation. Vitamin K is also good for controlling calcium deposits in bones and tissues.

  • Great source of antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, important for boosting your dog’s immune system and fighting off free radicals.
  • Improves sleep/rest quality: Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can promote relaxation and better sleep for your furry friend.
  • Better overall health: Since pumpkin seeds contain a high amount of vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B9), they’re a great way to improve your doggo’s overall health, as vitamin B complex leads to better metabolism, digestion, skin, coat/fur, and cognitive function.

Deworming In Dogs With Pumpkin Seeds: Does It Work?

Do pumpkin seeds deworm dogs?

Although pumpkin seeds can fight the spread of tapeworms in dogs, they don’t necessarily remove them from your dog’s body.

Recent studies have shown that cucurbitin, an amino acid present in pumpkin seeds, can fight and kill the membranes and eggs of tapeworms – the most common dog worms.

On the other hand, the studies didn’t prove that using pumpkin seeds exclusively is enough to eliminate worms from your dog’s body.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Worms?

If your dog has worms (tapeworms, roundworms, etc) and you notice common symptoms, such as blood in stool, vomiting, diarrhea, extra dry hair, bloated tummy, or even weight loss, feeding pumpkin seeds can be helpful, but it may not be enough to get rid of all the worms.

Besides relying only on pumpkin seeds (or other natural remedies), consult your vet for professional opinion and assistance.

How to Safely Feed Pumpkin Seeds To Your Dog?

Now that you’ve learned all the health benefits pumpkin seeds can have on your pup let’s explore some creative and vet-approved ways to serve them:

Sprinkle on food: The easiest way to introduce pumpkin seeds is by sprinkling a small amount over your dog’s regular food. It adds a delightful crunch and a burst of nutrition.

Homemade dog treats: You can get crafty in the kitchen and bake homemade dog treats that include pumpkin seeds. (more on this soon)

Frozen pumpkin seed treats: Mix pumpkin seeds with plain yogurt or pumpkin puree and freeze them in silicone molds for a cool and nutritious summer treat.

Pumpkin seed butter: Like peanut butter, you can make it at home and add it to some of your pup’s meals (usually a teaspoon for small dogs and a tablespoon for larger ones).
You can also buy organic pumpkin butter, just make sure they don’t have added sugars or salt. 

Here are some of the healthiest organic pumpkin seed butter you can buy for your doggo:

Remember: Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. So, watch your furry friend’s reaction and adjust accordingly.

Dog-safe pumpkin seed butter: Homemade

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)

1 tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)

Instructions:

Roast the Pumpkin Seeds: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the pumpkin seeds evenly on a baking sheet. If you’d like to add a bit of flavor, you can sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon or salt over the seeds. Roast the seeds in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.

Cool the Seeds: Allow the roasted pumpkin seeds to cool completely. They should be at room temperature before proceeding to the next step.

Blend the Seeds: Place the cooled pumpkin seeds in a food processor or a high-speed blender. If you’d like a smoother consistency, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to help with blending.

Blend until Smooth: Process the seeds until they become smooth buttery. This may take several minutes, depending on your blender or food processor. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container periodically.

Store: Transfer the pumpkin seed butter into an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Make sure to label it clearly for your dog so it doesn’t get mixed up with your own food.

Serve to Your Dog: You can serve your dog small amounts of pumpkin seed butter as an occasional treat. It’s important not to overfeed, as pumpkin seeds are high in fat. Start with a small amount and monitor your dog’s reaction. If you notice any digestive issues, discontinue use.

Remember, while pumpkin seed butter can be a healthy and tasty treat for your dog, it should be given in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s diet, specific dietary restrictions, or allergies.

Homemade Dog-Friendly Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

You might be wondering if there’s a simple homemade recipe that you can use instead of just sprinkling pumpkin seeds over your dog’s food.

To save your time, here’s a quick homemade dog-friendly pumpkin seeds recipe you can make for your pup:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Use a blender or food processor to chop the pumpkin seeds finely. You can crush them with a rolling pin if you don’t have a blender.
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour and rolled oats. Add the finely chopped pumpkin seeds and give it a good stir.
  1. Add the applesauce, canned pumpkin, and egg to the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until you have a dough-like consistency.

Pro tip: If it’s too dry, add a little water.

  1. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness. Then, use cookie cutters to cut out shapes your dog will love.
  1. Place the cut-out treats on the prepared baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  1. Let the treats cool completely on a wire rack before giving them to your pup.

Pumpkin Seeds: Nutritional Table

Pumpkin Seeds3.53 oz/100 g
Total fat19 g
Saturated fat3.7 g
Total carbohydrate54 g
Dietary fiber18 g
Sugar1.4 g
Protein19 g
Potassium919 mg
Sodium18 mg
Zinc10.3 mg
Vitamins, minerals, etc.% daily value
Vitamin B16%
Vitamin B212%
Vitamin B328%
Vitamin B66%
Vitamin B914%
Vitamin C2%
Vitamin E4%
Vitamin K4%
Magnesium65%
Iron18%
Calcium5%
Total calories26

Potential Risks of feeding pumpkin seeds to dogs

Although pumpkin seeds are safe (non-toxic) for dogs, there are a few potential risks you should keep in mind when feeding pumpkin seeds to your pup.

Risk of Choking

Most dogs tend to gulp down food as fast as they can. Since pumpkin seeds are tiny, it’s easy for a dog to accidentally choke them.

To avoid choking hazards, it’s critical to include pumpkin seeds into your pup’s diet by mixing them with your dog’s regular food or treats.

Digestive Problems

While pumpkin seeds offer numerous health benefits, you should share them with your dog in moderation. Pumpkin seeds can be heavy to digest, and too many can lead to digestive issues and excess calorie intake.

Also, note that some roasted seeds from stores may contain added seasonings or salt, which can harm dogs. So try to opt for raw, unsalted, and unseasoned pumpkin seeds when sharing this snack with your pup. 

Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can have allergies too. While pumpkin seeds are generally safe, some pups might be allergic to them. Look out for signs like itching, skin irritation, or upset stomach if you suspect an allergy.

Also, visit and consult your vet when introducing new food to your dog’s diet.

Vet Q&A

Are Pumpkin Seeds Toxic To Dogs?

No, pumpkin seeds aren’t toxic to dogs. But their high-fat and carbohydrate content makes them a bit hard to digest for most dogs.

Can Puppies Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Puppies can eat pumpkin seeds in small amounts once they start eating dog food and other meals. But remember to always consult with your vet when introducing new food to your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds With Shells?

No. You should always remove shells from pumpkin seeds to share them with your pup. Shells can cause choking hazards and intestinal blockage in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds Roasted?

Yes, dogs can eat pumpkin seeds roasted. Besides roasting them, you can also steam them or use them raw as a small addition to your dog’s meals.