Ah, pumpkin pie. It's everyone's favorite fall treat. It's especially perfect when paired with whipped cream and a pumpkin spice latte and eaten right after a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
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Although you may love pumpkin pie, is it safe to feed some to your dog too? Before giving your pup some pie this fall, it's important to learn whether or not it's actually safe and healthy for him to eat.
Where does pumpkin pie come from?
American Pilgrims likely invented pumpkin pie in the 1600s when they came to the United States. When 50 colonists and 90 Wampanoag Native Americans held a three-day harvest celebration, they were probably eating some form of pumpkin, a staple of both of their diets. There were also mentions of what sounded like pumpkin pie in a French cookbook from the 1600s and an English book called Gentlewoman's Companion from 1670.
By the early 1700s, Thanksgiving had become a popular holiday, and pumpkin pie was on everyone's table. In 1929, Libby's released its signature canned pumpkin, which meant that chefs no longer had to roast and strain pumpkins.
Can dogs eat pumpkin pie?
No, dogs should not eat pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin itself—specifically plain, canned pumpkin—is very good for dogs. It is high in nutrients and fiber, which will keep your dog content and healthy. It can help dogs with constipation as well as diarrhea.
However, pumpkin pie is not good for dogs. The non-pumpkin ingredients in pumpkin pie can be toxic to your pup and make him extremely sick. At the very least, he may get a stomachache after he eats pumpkin pie. It's best to keep him away from pumpkin pie and stick to plain pumpkin or other Thanksgiving staples like turkey or plain carrots. Your dog should never eat spices.
What are the concerns with feeding pumpkin pie to dogs?
There are many concerns with feeding pumpkin pie to dogs, including:
Nutmeg is toxic to dogs and in large doses, it can caused increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures, and disorientation. Even if a recipe doesn't call for nutmeg specifically, it may call for pumpkin pie spice, which contains nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, all of which your dog should also never ingest.
Too much sugar
Pumpkin pie contains a lot of sugar, which is bad for dogs. While it isn't toxic, in large amounts it can give your dog diabetes or contribute to excessive weight gain, which could significantly shorten their lifespan.
Pumpkin pie usually contains either heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk. While not toxic ingredients to dogs, both products contain dairy and are high in fat. Additionally, sweetened condensed milk has a high amount of sugar. A large amount of either ingredient can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or have loose stools.
Dog-friendly pumpkin treats
If you're looking for something a bit more festive for your dog to nibble while you're eating your pumpkin pie, you can always whip up some of these homemade pumpkin dog treats. Or head to the internet and order up dog-friendly treats to keep on hand during the holidays.
Bow Wow Labs Waggy Wafers all-natural treats combine the flavors of the holidays in a turkey-pumpkin variety. Or let your pup enjoy a crunchy grain-free pumpkin and cinnamon-flavored sweet potato dog treat by Brutus and Barnaby. The sticks have natural anti-diarrhea properties, a plus if your dog is likely to convince one of your dinner guests to sneak him a few table scraps.
Speaking of sneaking, you can sneak some healthy things like probiotics to your dog in pumpkin treats. Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites serve up contain 3 billion cfu of probiotics and prebiotics to combat digestive issues. She might also enjoy gnawing on dehydrated sliced pumpkin chews such as these by Wholesome Pride while the family enjoys their dinner.
Thanksgiving is a fun holiday, and you don't want to accidentally ruin it by feeding your pup pumpkin pie. He may become lethargic, throw up, not want to eat, or have diarrhea or loose stools, and you might have to make a trip to the emergency vet.
To avoid this catastrophe, only feed your dog plain pumpkin, homemade or dog-friendly pumpkin treats, plain carrots, or turkey, which are good for your dog. He will feel like he's part of the celebration, and you can have peace of mind that he'll have a healthy and happy holiday.
For more information on feeding your pup, check out our list of everything dogs can and cannot eat.