Pumpkin is not a probiotic for dogs.

They are prebiotics.

Prebiotics are boosters for probiotics.

They are as important for humans as they are for dogs.

Probiotics and prebiotics help with the health of the whole digestive system.

They decrease bloating and also help the immune system function properly.

One of the most important natural prebiotics is pumpkin.

Let’s see how this Halloween treat can help your dog!

Understanding Probiotics

  • Definition and Types of Probiotics and Their Effects
  • Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing Probiotics for Dogs

Definition and Types of Probiotics and Their Effects



Lactobacillus acidophilus


●       Produces enzyme for lactose – a sugar in dairy products

●       Reduces diarrhea

●       Supports the immune system

●       Promotes gut health

Enterococcus faecium


●       Good for bowel movements

●       Improves stool quality

●       Higher level of antibodies

●       Boosts other probiotics

Bifidobacterium lactis


●       Immune-booster

●       Digestive problems

Lactobacillus casei


●       For diarrhea and constipation

●       Promotes oral health(plaque, gingivitis, and canker sores)

Lactobacillus salivarius


●       Antibacterial

●       Promotes gut health

●       Promotes oral and dental health

Bifidobacterium animalis

●       Boosts immune system

●       Promotes digestive health

●       Anti-inflammatory

Lactobacillus plantarum

●       Promotes digestive health

●       Immune-booster

●       Anti-inflammatory

Probiotics are foods that contain live microorganisms.

They can also be supplements.

They help maintain the normal microflora of the gut.

Natural probiotics like yogurt contain bacteria.

The most common probiotic bacteria is Lactobacillus acidophilus.

There is also Enterococcus faecium and Bifidobacterium lactis.

Probiotics can come in different shapes and sizes.

They can be powders, capsules, and already embedded in dog food and dog treats.

They are usually added as supplements.[1]

Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

Probiotics have many benefits for the whole body.

Their main function is boosting the microflora in the stomach.

This helps with food digestion.

They are good for an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Probiotics can also be building blocks in some nutrients and vitamins.

They are beneficial for the formation of vitamin K, biotin, riboflavin, and many more.

One of their more important roles is immune-boosting.

They help with the prevention of UTIs and other pathogenic infections.

They also prevent urinary tract infections and reduce the risk of developing allergies. [2]

The bacteria Bifidobacterium longum is also a probiotic.

It has been shown that there is a connection between the gut and the brain.

This means that probiotics are good for anxiety and distress.

Dogs that take this probiotic bark, jump and spin less in stressful situations. [3]

Factors to Consider When Choosing Probiotics for Dogs

There are many things to consider when giving probiotics.

They can be given to healthy as well as unhealthy dogs.

The best probiotics have multiple strains of live bacteria.

This way the benefits from them add to each other. [4]

Probiotics can die in the stomach acid, so always get enteric-coated capsules.

These capsules are coated with carbohydrates.

They can’t dissolve in stomach acid and don’t cause harm.

Always keep in mind to give your dog species-specific probiotics.

Human probiotics can cause harm due to differences in microflora.

This is a rule for every food.

It doesn’t matter if you have a dog or cat.

Pumpkin as a Potential Probiotic for Dogs

  • Nutritional Value of Pumpkin
  • Fiber Content in Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin’s Role in Digestive Health
  • Presence of Prebiotics in Pumpkin
  • Studies or Research on Pumpkin as a Probiotic for Dogs

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin


A, E, and C


Iron, copper, and manganese


Potassium, calcium, and magnesium

Pumpkins are very nutritious and a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Mainly vitamins A, E, and C. Copper and manganese can help with blood pressure and heart health.

They are rich in antioxidants and can reduce the chances of chronic diseases.

Vitamin A, along with lutein and zeaxanthin, are good for eyesight.

Pumpkin is also good for weight loss due to its low-calorie content.

88% of the calories are from carbs and dietary fiber in the pumpkin.

No fats are present in pumpkins. [5]

The iron and potassium in pumpkins are great for growing puppies, along with the calcium.

Fiber Content in Pumpkin


Dietary fiber content per 100g



Pumpkin seeds


White rice




Peanut butter






There are two types of fiber in pumpkin, insoluble and soluble fiber.

The soluble fiber content helps with cholesterol and clogged arteries.

Insoluble fiber helps with the regulation and health of digestion.

Pumpkin seeds are especially rich in fiber. [6]

Fibre also helps in forming solid stool.

This can help if your dog has anal gland problems.

The hard stool helps them clear the blends with the pressure.

Pumpkin’s Role in Digestive Health

Pumpkins’ leading role as food is to maintain digestive health.

Whether it’s mild constipation or an upset stomach, the prebiotic helps.

Pumpkins’ potassium also helps with diarrhea and normalizing bowel function.

The soluble fiber holds onto water, forming a protective gel in the intestines.

This makes the gut lining better too.

It makes them good for inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. [7]

Presence of Prebiotics in Pumpkin

Pumpkins are rich in pectin.

It is responsible for the protective gel lining formed in the gut.

It is a structural fiber.

Bifidobacteria are also present as prebiotics in pumpkins.

Studies or Research on Pumpkin as a Probiotic for Dogs

Even though pumpkins aren’t direct probiotics, they are prebiotics.

Pumpkins can be a beneficial part of a dog’s diet.

It can be incorporated in many ways and forms.

Studies have shown that the main dietary fiber, pectin, has many health benefits. [8]

It protects the lining of the gut, and it has also been found to help with food allergies.

Research is new in humans, but the primary test subject were rats.

The test show that the cells in their GI tract regenerate faster.

In many countries, pumpkin is used as a medicine.

It has anti-inflammatory qualities.

It’s also an antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-diabetic remedy. [9]

The statistics have also shown that 2% pumpkin seed oil can treat many harmful bacteria.

The high fiber and low carbohydrate contents of pumpkins help beat insulin resistance. [10]

How Pumpkin Affects Dogs’ Digestive System

  • Regulation of Bowel Movements
  • Aid in Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients
  • Alleviation of Diarrhea and Constipation
  • Soothing Effects on the Digestive Tract
  • Balancing Gut Microbiota

Regulation of Bowel Movements

Fiber-rich foods such as the pumpkin can help with bowel movements.

It can prevent both diarrhea and constipation.

Prebiotics in pumpkins keep the cells in the digestive system healthy and functioning.

Be careful not to give big amounts.

They can also cause problems.

Aid in Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients

Through the soluble and insoluble fiber, pumpkins can help with the movement of food.

Potassium and other micro- and macroelements help with absorption.

Potassium enables more nutrients to pass into the intestinal cells.

This feeds the cells and the nutrients get to the blood too.

Alleviation of Diarrhea and Constipation

Pumpkin can stop diarrhea thanks to its high fiber content.

This makes the stool harder.

Constipation is cured by the pectin in the pumpkin.

It lines the intestines with a gel and makes passing easier. [11]

Soothing Effects on the Digestive Tract

The lack of starch and sugar can help an upset stomach.

Pumpkin is good for dogs that have chronic enteritis or gastroenteritis.

It helps with the absorption of nutrients without irritation on the sick stomach.[12]

Balancing Gut Microbiota

The prebiotics feed and balance the probiotic microflora in the gut.

This means that the natural bacteria in the stomach stay healthy.

If the natural bacteria is healthy, the whole GI system stays healthy.

Incorporating Pumpkin Into Dogs’ Diet

  • Suitable Forms of Pumpkin for Dogs
  • Proper Serving Size and Frequency
  • Monitoring Any Adverse Reactions
  • Consulting With a Veterinarian Before Introducing Pumpkin

Suitable Forms of Pumpkin for Dogs

Type of pumpkin treats What you need to know
Raw pumpkin Can be good for teething pups. It may be a choking risk.
Pumpkin puree Good for dogs without teeth.
Pumpkin dog treats Good for any age dogs. They’re not always 100% pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin Many brands and options. The best are organic and 100% pumpkin.
Homemade goods Make sure not to add spices before giving them to your dog.

There are many ways to incorporate pumpkin into your dog’s diet.

Raw pumpkin is not toxic to dogs.

You can feed your dog raw pumpkin, but it can be a choking hazard.

A homemade pumpkin puree with no spices or additives is also good food.

This is especially for older dogs and dogs with no teeth.

Canned pumpkin for dogs is sold commercially.

The packaging has a declaration of all the components and nutritional value.

Pumpkin dog treats are also a good option.

They are usually mixed with other healthy foods.

You can also share a slice of pumpkin pie as long as there is no cinnamon on it.

Proper Serving Size and Frequency

If possible, you can give pumpkin as a part of a daily diet.

Pumpkins can help with many problems.

It’s mainly used for its prebiotic qualities.

Serving sizes can vary.

A healthy amount of pumpkin is individual to every dog.

Different quantities should be given to small dogs compared to bigger ones. [13]

Monitoring Any Adverse Reactions

You should stop giving pumpkin if it causes allergies or digestive discomfort.

It’s rare for pumpkins to cause problems, but not impossible.

Too much pumpkin can cause constipation, bloating, gas, and spasms.

If any of these symptoms appear, stop giving your dog pumpkin.

Consulting With a Veterinarian Before Introducing Pumpkin

Before implementing a new food in your pup’s diet, always consult with a veterinarian.

The vet will encourage you to try new foods in small doses.

Small dogs should eat less than big dogs.

Problems may occur especially if they already have digestive problems.

Gradually adding new foods to your dog’s diet is good.

If you give inappropriate quantities, your dog might get sick.

This can lead you to think that they have problems digesting pumpkins.

This goes for all foods.

Any new food should be given little by little.

Changing a dog’s diet can lead to spontaneous gastrointestinal problems.

If not taken care of, they can lead to problems in other systems too.

Potential Side Effects or Risks

  • Allergic Reactions to Pumpkin
  • Digestive Upset or Bloating
  • Monitoring for Changes in Stool or Behavior
  • Adjusting Pumpkin Intake as Needed

Allergic Reactions to Pumpkin

Allergic reactions to pumpkins are rare.

The symptoms are skin rashes and hives.

Your dog will scratch them.

Digestive problems like diarrhea, gas, and vomiting can also appear.

Always check for rashes between the toes if they are obsessively licking them.

Consult your veterinarian and get your dog checked out if this happens. [14]

Digestive Upset or Bloating

This is usually caused when you give them too much pumpkin.

Pumpkin may be good but in low doses.

Too much of a good thing can lead to problems.

Pumpkin may cause excess gas, bloating, and cramping.

Monitoring for Changes in Stool or Behavior

Excessive intake risks



Licking and scratching, skin changes, alopecia


Painful stomach

Gut and intestine problems

It can depend on and change from diarrhea to constipation. Spasms can appear. Pain.

Stool changes

Diarrhea and constipation. Change of color and consistency of stool. Can come out covered in a gel-like substance.

If your dog is constipated, don’t give it pumpkin.

The fibers from it can cause a more solid stool.

This can lead to even more pain.

In dogs with diarrhea, pumpkin is very helpful.

The fiber absorbs the water in the stool.

You may notice your dog defecating more often, but the stool looks healthier.

The stool may also look a little orange.

Adjusting Pumpkin Intake as Needed

You can give a limited amount of pumpkin to your dog.

The recommended dose is a few tablespoons of pumpkin in a day.

A tablespoon is around 15g.

How Much Canned Pumpkin Can I Give My Dog?

You can give one to four tablespoons of canned pumpkin to your dog.

Canned pumpkin is safe for dogs, and you can give it daily.

Pumpkin pie filling or anything with pumpkin spice is not safe.

Can Dogs Eat 100% Pure Pumpkin?

Yes, dogs can eat 100% pure pumpkin.

It can be raw, but make sure it’s fresh.

It’s best if it’s organic pumpkin.

Plain canned pumpkin is also good.

Is Pumpkin a Good Probiotic for Dogs?

Pumpkin is a prebiotic for dogs that you easily can add to your dog’s diet.

You can be creative with the way you add it in.

Your dog can eat it raw, pureed, cooked, or canned.

When you want to start incorporating it into your dog’s diet, always consult with your vet.

Not all dogs can handle the same amount of pumpkin.

You should also pay attention to any side effects your dog may show after eating it.

Pumpkins for dogs should be more of a snack.

They should be given in small amounts.

In bigger doses, they may cause the same symptoms they help with.