Are Halloween Pumpkins Pet-Friendly?

PET CHECK BLOG - Dog sitting amongst pumpkins

\\\ Pets Eating Pumpkins

Are Pumpkins Safe?

It’s Halloween time again when children and families prepare their pumpkins to ward off those nasty spirits!

Dog sitting amongst pumpkins

The Halloween event sees an estimated 8 million or more pumpkins sold in the UK each year to celebrate this night, with terrible food waste caused by hollowing out the pumpkin flesh not being eaten and thrown away.

A large proportion of the UK simply do not realise they can eat the flesh of pumpkins who waste millions of tons of food, without considering that their pets may also like to get in on the act with a safe and healthy treat served up, albeit in moderation.

The Guardian newspaper this year reports that 24 million pumpkins are purchased with a recent poll suggesting that less than half of those polled realised that pumpkins can be eaten, each year.

Are Pumpkins Safe For Dogs Cats And Rabbits?

The simple answer is yes. Pumpkins contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C Alpha carotene and Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, and Lutein.

Dogs can eat pumpkins both the pulp and seeds, the pulp being low in calories. Purina the pet food manufacturer informs us that it wouldn’t really be that enjoyable for dogs, to consume all parts of the pumpkin, the leaves and the hard skin, and eating too much may upset the dog’s diet. However, provided in smaller portions this makes a change to your dogs diet as a healthy treat.

The best way to serve pumpkin is to simply puree the flesh without adding any other ingredients and save the seeds which can be toasted and eaten separately.

The pulp is low in calories and makes an effective diarrhea and constipation remedy so it’s important to serve your dog, cat or rabbit with a small amount. Depending on the size of your dog, a couple of dessert spoons is sufficient when first giving your dog this new treat, and cats, a couple of teaspoons of puree. Rabbits according to their size can be offered less. All pets should be fed as if pumpkin is a treat and not an everyday staple part of their diet.

An increasing amount of different pumpkins recipes are appearing online including Olive magazine who have a fabulous selection of recipes, some include –

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin curry

Roasted pumpkin

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin gnocchi

Cat sitting amongst pumpkins

Can Dogs Cats And Rabbits Eat The Seeds?

According to The Nest, cats enjoy pumpkins seeds more when lightly toasted. A couple a day can be a real treat ground down so that they do not choke, whilst dogs can eat either raw or toasted, and quantities depends on their size.

Rabbits can enjoy natural pumpkin seeds, ground down and given in a very small quantity as a treat as rabbits prime diet is quality feeding hay balanced with a diet of specially prepared pellets. A number of vegetables and fruit can be eaten but only as additional to their main diet according to Rabbit Care.

Use up some of the natural pumpkin seeds, do not add any ingredients, lightly toasted in your oven.

Do not buy human shop bought pumpkin seeds as these are likely to have additional salt included.

The seeds are nutritious containing antioxidants, which play a role in overall health and Dogs Magazine consider they can be used as a natural alternative to help the fight of worming.

Girl with pet rabbit and pumpkins

DON’T WASTE PUMPKINS

With saving the million of tons of wasted food in the UK why not try giving away some of your extra pumpkin by using the Olio Free sharing app this year where there are more than 3 million users happy to share foods?

Enjoy a friendly happy Halloween this year and know you’re helping to solve the UK’s food waste problem.

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