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Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

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Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?

Soon enough, the autumn scraps will start raining down from the dining room table. Some of it good news for your pup — sweet potatoes, green beans, turkey (especially ours). Some of it not-so-good news for your pup — pies, marshmallows, canned cranberry sauce.

Your leftover seeds, thankfully, land on the good side of that split. And there’s more than one reason why we say pumpkins seeds are good for dogs: 

A Natural Solution for Worms

There’s plenty of evidence out there that pumpkin seeds have proven effective in treating humans with tapeworms and other parasites — and the story is no different when it comes to dogs. 

Many vets even recommend pumpkin seeds for worms, as they contain many classes of phytonutrients, notably cucurbitacins, which are often recognized for their bitter taste and (heavily air-quoted) “toxic” properties that actually paralyze worms by shutting down their nervous system. (Low-levels of toxicity can actually be a good thing!)

It doesn’t take much — as little as a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds per day —  can do the trick. When it comes to deworming it’s never a bad idea to get your vet’s opinion on the appropriate amount of seeds for your dog's size and medical history.

Bonus: Keeping It Regular

Pumpkin can be a handy supplement for dogs wrestling with finicky stomachs and persistent diarrhea. Their seeds are a great source of fiber and filled with vitamins (especially  E and K) and minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, & zinc). Fiber naturally adds a little extra bulk to their stool, supporting healthy digestion, weight management and more.

Bonus: All-Around Health Booster

All those vitamins and minerals we mentioned above? Each has unique properties that can help your dog maintain good health. Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, is an effective defense against cell damage and disease, and can help fight inflammation. Vitamin K and calcium are great for strong healthy bones. Zinc is a renowned immune booster.

How to Feed Your Dog Pumpkin Seeds

They’re often no bigger than a treat, and sometimes even easier going down. Whether you grind them into a powder and mix into your dog's food, cook them to a crispy golden or simply dole out raw pumpkin seeds, it’s all fine by us. Really, it’s a matter of your dog’s preferences.

Just watch out for what kind of pumpkin seeds you’re actually feeding your dog. Grocery stores usually carry raw seeds, but they may be hidden on the rack between seeds with salt, seasonings or other artificial flavors. As with most things, natural is the way to go.

One Last Word 

We’re fans of pumpkins seeds for dogs, but always within moderation. While small pumpkin seeds have a higher fat content, too many can lead to an upset stomach or some extra pounds for your pup.  Pay close notice to portions and how your dog responds after adding seeds to their diet. As always, we recommend keeping your vet in the loop about major dietary changes.

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