Discover the secret to the best homemade pumpkin puree for dogs! Crafted with the natural goodness of fresh pumpkin, this DIY pumpkin puree is healthy, nutritious, and has many benefits for dogs. It’s perfect as a standalone treat, meal topper, and making dog treats.
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- Why Make Pumpkin Puree For Dogs
- Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
- Best Pumpkins for Making Puree
- Equipment Needed
- How to Make Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
- Recipe Notes
- Recipe Variation – Instant Pot Method
- How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- How Long Does Homemade Pumpkin Puree Last?
- How Much Pumpkin Puree to Give a Dog
- Can Humans Eat This Pumpkin Puree?
- More Recipes for Dog Food and Treats
- Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
Why Make Pumpkin Puree For Dogs
For many dog owners, the health and well-being of their furry friend is a top priority. As we delve into the various foods and treats we can offer our canine companions, pumpkin stands out as a beneficial and nutritious option. So, why should you consider making homemade pumpkin puree for your dog? Here are some compelling reasons:
- Natural and Fresh: Making pumpkin puree at home ensures that you know exactly what’s going into it. You can use fresh pumpkins, devoid of any artificial preservatives or additives that might be present in store-bought versions.
- Control Over Sodium Content: Many canned pumpkin options available in the grocery store come with added salt. A high sodium intake isn’t ideal for dogs and can be especially harmful to those with kidney disease. By preparing pumpkin puree at home, you have full control over its sodium content, making sure it’s safe and healthy for your pup.
- Rich in Nutrients: Pumpkin is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, and various essential minerals. Homemade puree retains more of these nutrients than processed options, benefiting your dog’s digestive health, vision, and overall well-being.
- Digestive Health: Pumpkin puree acts as a natural remedy for dogs with digestive issues. Whether your dog has constipation or diarrhea, a little bit of pumpkin can help regulate their bowel movements.
- Cost-Effective: In the long run, making pumpkin puree at home can be more cost-effective than constantly buying canned versions. Especially during the fall season, when pumpkins are abundant and prices drop, you can make a bulk amount and freeze it for future use.
- Environmentally Friendly: Making your own puree reduces the need for canned goods, which in turn reduces waste from cans and packaging. It’s a small step towards an eco-friendly pet care routine.
- Versatility: Homemade pumpkin puree can be used in various dog treats and meals. You can incorporate it into their daily diet or use it to make special treats, ensuring they get the goodness of pumpkin in multiple ways.
Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
Pumpkin isn’t just a festive fall decoration; it’s a powerhouse of nutrition and offers a slew of benefits for our canine companions. Here’s why pumpkin is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet:
- Good Source of Fiber: The soluble fiber in pumpkin aids digestion by adding bulk to your dog’s stool. This fiber absorbs water and, upon fermentation, produces beneficial fatty acids. These fatty acids energize cells, enhance intestinal water and sodium absorption, and reduce the pH level in the large intestines, fostering a healthier digestive environment.
- Rich in Vitamins and Antioxidants: Pumpkin is a fantastic source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These antioxidants play a pivotal role in neutralizing free radicals, supporting vision health, and boosting the immune system.
- Natural Remedy for Diarrhea and Constipation: The fiber in pumpkin acts as a dual agent, aiding in relieving both constipation and diarrhea. It can help solidify loose stools and soften hard ones, making it a natural remedy for many minor digestive issues.
- Digestive Soothing: Pumpkin puree can be soothing for a dog’s digestive tract. In cases of vomiting related to minor stomach upset or digestive imbalances, a small amount of pumpkin puree might help soothe the stomach. However, if a dog is frequently vomiting, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian. Continuous vomiting can be a sign of more serious underlying conditions, and simply offering some pumpkin might not address the root cause.
- Aid in Weight Management: Pumpkins have a high moisture and fiber content, making them an excellent tool for pet weight management. They are naturally low in calories while being filling. Replacing a portion of your dog’s regular food with pumpkin can help with weight loss, ensuring your pet remains healthy and active.
Including pumpkin in your dog’s diet, whether as an occasional treat or a regular supplement, can indeed be a boon for their health. With its multifaceted benefits, it’s no wonder that many dog owners and veterinarians alike recommend this orange superfood.
There’s only one ingredient needed for making pumpkin puree:
- Fresh Pumpkin
Oh, you’ll need to use an organic pumpkin if you want to make organic pumpkin puree for dogs.
Best Pumpkins for Making Puree
When considering pumpkins for puree, especially for your canine companion, it’s essential to choose the right variety. Not all pumpkins are created equal in terms of flavor, texture, and suitability for puree. Here’s a guide to selecting the best pumpkins for the task:
- Sugar Pumpkins (Pie Pumpkins): These are the most popular choice for making pumpkin puree. They are smaller than the typical carving pumpkins, have a sweeter flavor, and yield a smoother texture, making them perfect for purees.
- Kabocha Pumpkins: Often referred to as Japanese pumpkins, Kabocha has a sweet flavor and a texture similar to that of a sweet potato. This variety can produce a rich and velvety puree.
- Red Kuri Pumpkins: These are teardrop-shaped, orange pumpkins that have a creamy and nutty flavor. They’re great for puree due to their dense and smooth flesh.
- Blue Hubbard: Though it may look a bit unusual with its bluish-gray exterior, the Blue Hubbard offers a starchy and slightly sweet flesh, making it another suitable option for puree.
- Butternut Squash: While not technically a pumpkin, butternut squash’s flavor and consistency are close enough that it can be a pumpkin puree substitute for dogs. It has a sweet and nutty taste.
These are pumpkins to avoid:
- Carving Pumpkins: These are the large pumpkins often used for Halloween decorations. While they can be edible, they tend to be more watery and less flavorful than the smaller, pie-specific varieties. They might not yield the rich, creamy puree you’re aiming for.
- Overripe or Soft Pumpkins: Always choose pumpkins that are firm to the touch. Soft spots or a shriveled appearance can be signs of rot or overripeness, which will affect the taste and quality of your puree.
When selecting pumpkins, always ensure they are free from pesticides or other chemicals, especially if you’re preparing food for your pet. Organic or naturally-grown pumpkins are the best options. Once you’ve selected the right pumpkin variety, you’re on your way to making a nutritious and delicious puree that both you and your dog can enjoy!
You probably have all the kitchen items, but here’s a list just in case:
- Large Sharp Knife – Pumpkins are tough to cut through and a dull, flimsy knife won’t work.
- Cutting Board – A large plastic one with anti-slip rubber grips is best.
- Rimmed Baking Sheet – To prevent the juices from the pumpkin from dripping into the bottom of the oven.
- Food Processor or Blender – To puree the cooked pumpkin.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
Pureed pumpkin is so easy to make! So, when you want to make homemade treats for your pup this fall, or incorporate the taste of pumpkin into their food, follow these easy instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the pumpkin in half.
- Scrape out the pumpkin seeds and stringy flesh.
- Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the pumpkin skin from the cooked pumpkin halves.
- Chop the pumpkin flesh into chunks.
- Put the chunks in a food processor.
- Process until it is pureed.
Some types of pumpkins will make a watery puree. If your puree is watery, drain it in a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The recipe makes about 2 cups of pumpkin puree. The amount can vary depending on the size of your pumpkin.
Recipe Variation – Instant Pot Method
You can cook the pumpkin in an Instant Pot pressure cooker instead of baking it in the oven. Just make sure you get a pumpkin that will fit inside your Instant Pot. Here’s how:
- Place a rack or steamer basket in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add one cup of water.
- Cut off the pumpkin stem and place the whole pumpkin on the rack.
- Cook on high pressure for 13 minutes.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
- Remove the rack with pumpkin on it and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy flesh.
- Remove the skin and discard it.
- Cut the cooked pumpkin into chunks and place them in a food processor.
- Process the pumpkin into a puree.
How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Place the puree in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze pumpkin puree for dogs?
You can freeze pumpkin puree for later use. Place ½ to 1 cup in plastic freezer bags, press out the air, and seal it. Or you can put the puree in ice cube trays or silicone molds and freeze it. Once frozen, remove the cubes from the tray or mold and place them in a plastic freezer bag. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
How Long Does Homemade Pumpkin Puree Last?
When stored properly, homemade pumpkin puree with last up to 1 week in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
How Much Pumpkin Puree to Give a Dog
- Small Dog (10 to 20 pounds): 1 to 2 teaspoons per day
- Medium Dog (20 to 40 pounds): 1 to 2 tablespoons per day
- Large Dog (over 40 pounds): 2 to 4 tablespoons per day
Can Humans Eat This Pumpkin Puree?
Absolutely, positively, and most certainly – Yes! Use it for making pumpkin pie and all your favorite pumpkin treats.
More Recipes for Dog Food and Treats
You can make healthy homemade dog treats and food with these easy recipes:
- Applesauce for Dogs
- 3 Ingredient Dog Treats
- Golden Paste for Dogs
- Pumpkin Dog Biscuit
- Ice Cream for Dogs
- Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- Pumpkin Seeds for Dogs
Find lots of recipes for pumpkin dog treats right here on Spoiled Hounds!
Pumpkin Puree for Dogs
- 1 small Baking Pumpkin aka Sugar Pumpkin or Pie Pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet.
- Cut pumpkin down the center, stem to bottom.
- Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.
- Lay the pumpkin cut side down on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The pie should start to sink in or the skin look a little bubbly. It is done when it is tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Peel the skin from the pumpkin.
- Cut the pumpkin flesh into chunks.
- Place the chunks in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Place the puree in an airtight container and refrigerate it.