Can family pets consume pumpkin? Learn if it’s safe for bunnies, felines and pet dogs

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Pets with pumpkins

Can you pet shot pumpkin this Halloween? Here’s a fast guide (Image: Getty)

Halloween is a time for spooks, scary movies and trick-or-treating.

It may also be a time for your pet to lock eyes with the big, round, orange snack in your living room.

Yep, we’re talking about your pumpkin. And as October 31 draws to a close, you might be wondering how to use it up while it’s still fresh – including by cooking a recipe designed for humans.

But is it OK for your rabbit, cat or dog to get in on the Halloween action, and try a nibble of pumpkin?

Here’s what you need to know.

Can rabbits eat pumpkin?

Rabbit with pumpkin

Is your beloved bunny allowed a nibble of pumpkin? (Picture: Getty)

Yes, rabbits can eat fresh pumpkin flesh – and it’s OK for them to eat it raw, according to Pet Keen.

However, you wouldn’t want your rabbit to chow down on a full pumpkin every day, as it is often reported that the flesh contains more sugar than a rabbit typically needs.

It does contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C, plus other nutrients, so in moderation pumpkin can be a tasty, healthy treat for rabbits.

Typically, though, a bunny’s diet is made up of hay and leafy, green vegetables.

If you have a pet hamster, the situation is similar for them. Hamsters can indeed eat pumpkin flesh, but again in very small quantities due to their tiny size and how sugary pumpkin is.

Got any hedgehogs visiting your garden, though? Don’t leave out a full leftover pumpkin for them to eat.

Can cats eat pumpkin?

Cat with pumpkin

Is your feline friend OK to try a taste of the Halloween staple? (Picture: Getty)

According to Pet MD, it is OK to give your cat a bit of pumpkin to eat.

Pumpkins are generally healthy – and packed with goodness like fibre, calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Thanks to the fibre, pumpkin is often considered as a useful food for cats that are constipated – and is worth speaking to your vet about if your cat has these issues.

However, you should only give your cat pumpkin as a treat, when it is cooked (instead of raw), and once prickly parts of the pumpkin such as pulp, the stem or skin have been removed.

It’s key to remember that cats are obligate carnivores, so they actually get their required nutrients from meat, not fruits or vegetables.

If your cat isn’t very fussy, it may be tempting to let them munch on the many pumpkin-flavoured foods out there, such as pumpkin pie – but stick to plain pumpkin only.

Steer clear of pumpkin that has been seasoned in any way, as spices including cinnamon and many others aren’t suitable, and can even be harmful, to your feline friend.

Can dogs eat pumpkin?

Dog with pumpkins

Yep, your dog can chow down on a bit of pumpkin this Halloween – but only as a treat (Picture: Getty)

Dogs can also enjoy a pumpkin treat every now and then.

You can feed dogs a bit of plain, cooked pumpkin flesh, as long as you carefully avoid feeding them any skin, the stem or the leaves – as those parts are often covered in prickles.

You can also feed dogs canned pumpkin if it is completely plain and doesn’t contain any spices or seasonings, as they may not be suitable for your pet pooch.

Dogs will also benefit from fibre in pumpkins – as an RSPCA vet advised – and may benefit from the Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, carotene and potassium, confirms Purina.

Dogs can also eat cooked pumpkin seeds, too.

Finally, if you’re still unsure whether your pet can eat pumpkin, or you’re anxious about adding something new to their diet, speak to your pet’s vet before trying anything new.


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