Can Dogs Eat pumpkin Pie? Mostly No, But Sometimes Yes

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Updated: October 14, 2022
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Pumpkin is one of those ingredients that is quite versatile. You can prepare various delicious recipes with it, including pumpkin soup, smoothies, and of course, the famous pumpkin pie. If you baked pumpkin pie for your family, you might be considering giving your dog a slice of the pie as a special treat from your plate. However, this is not recommended as pumpkin pie is potentially harmful to dogs. Here’s everything you should know about pumpkin pie and how to feed it to furry friends 

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

The short and direct answer to this question is no. There is no problem with the pumpkin itself. In fact, in its plain form, pumpkin can benefit dogs. It contains high amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Yet, it is low in fat. This makes pumpkin a delicious treat you can feed your dog in moderation. In fact, experts often recommend pumpkin in small amounts because it can potentially aid digestion. 

Despite this, pumpkin pie is not recommended for your pet. The problem here is that people can’t bake pumpkin plain. The additional ingredients added to pumpkin pie make it dangerous for your canine friend, especially when they consume it in large quantities. 

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dog stares longingly at pumpkin pie
While pumpkin itself is great for dogs, pumpkin pie is not a good idea to feed your pooch.

©A Barker/Shutterstock.com

Why Is Pumpkin Pie Bad For Dogs?

The pumpkin itself is not the problem. However, a few of the ingredients that are added to pumpkin to make pumpkin pie are not safe for dogs because they can cause various issues, especially when eaten in large amounts. The following are some issues with feeding your dog pumpkin pie. 

Fats and Oils

The filling and crust used in baking pumpkin pie are likely to contain saturated fats and oil that can potentially disrupt your dog’s digestive system. This can cause abdominal pain, stomach upset, and general discomfort. Excessive amounts of fat in your dog’s diet can also cause health issues like pancreatitis, obesity, and heart problems. 

Nutmeg 

When it comes to feeding pumpkin pie to your dog, the main culprit that makes this risky is nutmeg. This ingredient typically contains a compound known as myristicin, which is very toxic to dogs and other pets. High doses of myristicin can cause disorientation, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures in dogs

Typically, baked pumpkin only contains a small amount of nutmeg. A small slice of pumpkin from your plate might not cause serious problems. At most, it can cause a mild tummy ache. However, if your dog ate a large portion of the pie, it might get more than a mild stomach upset.  

Sugar 

Another ingredient added to pumpkin pie that isn’t exactly safe for dogs is sugar. Dogs need sugar in their diet. However, not all sugars are safe for them. Natural sugar from fruits such as blueberries or bananas is the only sugar that is healthy for dogs. Processed sugar contains empty calories, leading to complications such as weight gain, diabetes, and other metabolic issues. 

Cinnamon

Dry cinnamon may also be used in pumpkin pie recipes. This ingredient is not harmful to pets in small amounts. However, high doses of cinnamon powder can trigger respiratory issues in dogs. Similarly, cinnamon oil can also be quite toxic, even in small quantities, as it can cause low blood pressure, diarrhea, vomiting, and liver issues.              

Cloves 

Cloves are used in small amounts in pumpkin pie, so it is hardly ever a problem. Higher doses of clove oil can cause various issues because it contains some compounds known as eugenols which are toxic for pets. 

nutmeg
The main ingredient in pumpkin pie risky for dogs is nutmeg, which contains myristicin, a compound which can cause seizures in dogs.

©pukao/Shutterstock.com

Canned Pumpkin Pie Filling

You can feed plain canned pumpkin safely to your dog as long as it is done in moderation. However, canned pumpkin pie filling is not recommended for dogs at all. People often end up mixing these two products up because they are similar. But you should avoid this mistake. The main difference is that plain canned pumpkin is just cooked pumpkin puree, which is safe for dogs, while canned pumpkin pie filling usually contains additional ingredients. This may include sugar, spices, and other additives that can cause issues for your dog. Therefore, you should avoid giving it to your pup. 

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What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pumpkin Pie

Dogs can be sneaky sometimes, and it isn’t uncommon for them to eat a slice of pumpkin pie when you’re not looking. If this happens, there’s no need to be alarmed immediately. A small piece of pumpkin pie can cause stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea. But that’s about it. Your dog should be fine in a few hours. However, if the symptoms persist for a long time or your pup seems to be growing worse, then you should visit a vet to have him checked. You should call a vet if your dog shows these symptoms after eating pumpkin pie:

  • Vomiting for more than 2 hours 
  • Increasing diarrhea 
  • Crying or whimpering
  • Lethargy 

In the unlikely event that your dog eats a whole pumpkin pie or consumes any of the ingredients of pumpkin pie in large amounts, you might have a much bigger problem on your hands, especially if you own a pug, dachshund, or any other small dog breed. If this happens, you should watch your pet for signs of seizures, hallucinations, and increased heart rate. 

How To Feed Your Dog Pumpkin Pie Safely

Although baked pumpkin pin and canned pumpkin pie filling are considered unsafe for dogs because of all the extra ingredients and sugar they contain, your dog can still be fed with plain pumpkin purée in limited quantities. 

You may make your own pumpkin purée from fresh pumpkin purchased from your local farmers’ market. Alternatively, you can buy an unseasoned canned pumpkin at a grocery store. It is best to cook the pumpkin puree by roasting or steaming it, as this is safer for pets than raw pumpkin. 

Plain pumpkin is loaded with many healthy nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium. It is also full of antioxidants and fiber. Of course, you should feed it to your dog in moderate amounts since high-fiber food like this can cause stomach upset in dogs. 

Finally, you can make pumpkin pie and other baked treats specially for your dog. Just make sure you don’t add refined sugar, nutmeg, and other species known to be toxic to your dog. 

pumpkin
Plain pumpkin is loaded with many healthy nutrients for dogs such as vitamin A and potassium.

©Anna-Nas/Shutterstock.com

Conclusion 

Not all foods that are safe for humans are safe for dogs. Some of them can trigger adverse reactions in your canine. This is why it is best to always only feed your dog with the best dog foods that have been confirmed to be safe for them. Also, you should speak to your vet before adding new foods to your dog’s diet. They’ll be able to recommend if it is safe or not based on your dog’s specific health condition. If your dog ate pumpkin pie by accident, you don’t have to worry just yet. Just observe for signs of toxicity. If you’re unsure of anything, visit your vet immediately to have it checked. 

Up Next

Can dogs eat cooked ham? – Most people would think the answer to this question is a straightforward yes, but feeding your dog meat isn’t always a black and white affair.

Can dogs eat bread safely? – Bread is a popular staple food for humans. But is it safe for your dog? Read this to find out.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? – Pistachios are tasty edible nuts with a lot of nutritional benefits. But you can only feed it to your dog under certain conditions.

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated content writer who can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing about animals, nature, and health. He loves animals, especially horses, and would love to have one someday.

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