6 Ways to Prepare Pumpkin for Dogs

Bring on the pumpkin!
By: Kristina Johansen
Dog sitting by pumpkins

My praise for pumpkin continues to grow. It’s an ideal food to add to your dog’s diet. Not only is it high in health-promoting nutrients, such as carotenoids, but it’s also a low-calorie snack.

Fall and winter are when a pumpkin’s concentration of nutrients and flavor are highest and its cost is at its lowest, so make the most of this deliciously sweet vegetable while it’s readily available.

Here, find six super-easy ways to prepare pumpkin for dogs:

Getting Started

To prepare your pumpkin, lay it on its side on top of a wet towel to stop it from rolling. Then, cut the top and the bottom off and stand it up (you can remove the towel as you now have the stability of the flat ends).

Prep for pumpkin

Use a sharp knife or potato peeler and gently follow the outside of the skin to remove it, then cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.

Your pumpkin is now ready for cooking!

Steamed pumpkin

Steamed Pumpkin

The healthiest way of cooking pumpkin is steaming.  To begin, cut your pumpkin into cubes by slicing each prepared half into half-inch slices, making half-inch cuts across the slices for half-inch cubes.

Once your pumpkin is cubed, fill the bottom of a steamer with two inches of water, then steam the cubes for 10 to 12 minutes (with the steamer covered). You’ll know they are done when the flesh of the pumpkin is tender but firm enough to hold its shape.

Then, transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss pumpkin cubes with coconut oil (some research suggests carotenoids found in foods are best absorbed when consumed with oil). Allow the pumpkin to cool before serving to your dog.

Roasted pumpkin

Roasted Pumpkin

Once your roasted pumpkin has cooled, consider smashing it and adding it to your dog’s meals. Here’s how to prepare it:

  • Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peel and cut the pumpkin in half, then remove the seeds.
  • Cut each half into wedges about ¼ inch thick.
  • In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin wedges with two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey.
  • Lay out in a single layer in a large roasting tray and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and golden.

Pureed pumpkin

Pureed Pumpkin

Making your own pureed pumpkin is surprisingly easy and requires very little work. The result will be delicious and is easily stored in the fridge or freezer for later use for all your pumpkin recipes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the pumpkin in half crosswise instead of from the top to bottom.
  • Scoop out the seeds.
  • Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes. When the pumpkin is ready, the skin will be darker in color and can easily be removed.
  • Use a fork to lift of the pumpkin skin from the cooked pumpkin.
  • Use flesh as it is or puree in a food processor until smooth.
  • Store in the fridge or freeze for later use.

Pumpkin seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The best way to prepare and serve your dog pumpkin seeds is to roast and grind them before feeding them to your dog.

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean the seeds by pulling away the strings of flesh. Rinse and pat them dry.
  • Spread them evenly over a large baking tray.
  • Roast the seeds for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow cooling before you grind the seeds into a fine powder.

Store in an air-tight container and sprinkle on top of your dog’s food or add to your next batch of home-baked dog treats.

Pumpkin treats

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Try these simple and yummy dog treats made with pumpkin puree and ground pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 ½ cups wheat flour

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk together the pureed pumpkin, egg, and honey.
  • Add flour and ground pumpkin seeds and combine.
  • Add additional flour if the dough is sticky to the touch.
  • Roll your dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutter.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin pie

Bite-Sized Pumpkin Pies

If you make a double batch of pumpkin treat dough, use it in these festive, dog-friendly pumpkin pies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion pumpkin dog biscuit dough
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • Goat yogurt
  • Roasted ground pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll your pumpkin dog biscuit dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Use a glass to cut out circles.
  • Use your hands to carefully drape and mold the circles into mini muffin tins.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Fill each pie crust with a generous amount of pureed pumpkin.
  • Top with goat yogurt and a sprinkle of ground pumpkin seeds.