Pumpkin puree is a versatile and wholesome addition to your dog's diet and enrichment activities. Whether you want to create delicious homemade dog treats, add nutritional value to your dog's meals, or provide engaging enrichment, this one-ingredient wonder is a must-have in your canine kitchen.
In this step-by-step guide, I'll show you how to effortlessly whip up a batch of homemade pumpkin puree for your dog. Even if you're new to the world of DIY dog treats and recipes, this simple recipe is perfect for beginners.
Join me to learn how to cook pumpkin for dogs and create your own homemade pumpkin puree. Let's get started!
Can dogs eat pumpkin puree?
Yes, dogs can eat pumpkin puree. Whether homemade or tinned, make sure it's plain and contains only 100% pumpkin with no additional ingredients. Be cautious of tinned pumpkin pie filling, which may include sugars, spices, and other additives unsuitable for dogs; therefore, it's best to avoid this.
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How to cook pumpkin for dogs
What you’ll need:
- One pumpkin
- Baking tray
- Baking paper (or silicone baking mat)
- Blender or food processor
- Airtight containers for storage
- Silicone cupcake tray for freezing pumpkin puree into portions (optional)
Step 1: Preheat the oven - Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C (fan) / gas mark 6 / 400°F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Step 2: Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half - Wash the outside of the pumpkin well, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh part as much as possible with a spoon. Keep the seeds if you'd like to roast them separately.
Step 3: Roast the pumpkin - Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the tray lined with baking paper. Roast in the oven for 40 to 60 minutes until you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. The roasting time will depend on the type and size of your pumpkin, so keep an eye on it and check regularly. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Step 4: Scoop out the flesh and blend - Once cool, scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon and discard the skin. Transfer the pumpkin flesh to a food processor and blend until smooth (see recipe notes below if the puree is too thick or too watery). You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
Store the pumpkin puree in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze it into portions for later. I froze my pumpkin puree into silicone cupcake trays, then transferred the frozen portions into an airtight container.
- Puree too thick: If the pumpkin puree is too thick, add one tablespoon of water at a time, thoroughly mixing until you reach the desired consistency.
- Puree too thin/watery: On the other hand, if the pumpkin puree is too thin or watery, you can strain it through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag to remove the excess liquid.
Dog pumpkin puree feeding guidelines
If your dog is new to pumpkin puree, introduce it gradually in small amounts to avoid potential stomach upset. The amount of pumpkin puree to feed your dog depends on their size and specific needs.
Generally, start with a small amount, about 1-2 teaspoons for small dogs and 1-2 tablespoons for larger dogs. You can gradually increase this amount as needed, but be mindful not to overdo it, as too much pumpkin can lead to loose stools.
How to use pumpkin puree for dogs
Now that you have a batch of homemade pumpkin puree for your dog, you can get creative in how you use it to enhance your pup's diet and daily life:
1. Enrichment toys: One of the best ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated and entertained is by stuffing a treat dispenser or spreading a lick mat with things like pumpkin puree. Freeze it for an even longer-lasting treat.
2. Doggy ice cream and frozen dog treats: Create a healthy and refreshing frozen treat by mixing pumpkin puree with plain, unsweetened yoghurt. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Your dog will love these on a hot day!
3. Pumpkin gummies: Consider making gummy dog treats using pumpkin puree as a key ingredient. These treats are not only tasty but also fun to make. This simple recipe combines pumpkin puree with gelatine to create chewy, gummy treats for your dog.
4. Biscuit recipes: You can incorporate pumpkin puree into homemade dog biscuit recipes. Look for recipes that use pumpkin as an ingredient, or add a spoonful or two to your favourite dog treat recipe for added flavour.
5. Pumpkin pupcakes: Bake pumpkin pupcakes (dog-friendly cupcakes) using pumpkin puree as a key ingredient. These can be a special treat for your dog's birthday or another occasion.
6. Topper for meals: You can use your pumpkin puree as a topper for your dog's regular meals, whether kibble, wet food, or homemade. Just be mindful of portion control to avoid overfeeding.
7. Homemade dog food: If you're already preparing homemade dog food, whether raw or cooked, you can add your homemade pumpkin puree.
Feeding your dog pumpkin puree can be a great way to enhance their meals and daily life. Following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can create homemade pumpkin puree that's safe and healthy for your dog.
With your homemade pumpkin puree, you can explore various creative ways to incorporate it into your dog's meals and daily life. The possibilities are endless, from enrichment toys to frozen treats, gummy dog treats, and even dog-friendly cupcakes. You can also use it as a topper for your dog's regular meals or as an ingredient in homemade dog food.
Just remember to introduce it gradually and in appropriate amounts based on your dog's size and individual needs.
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[ POSTED 21 OCTOBER 2022 | UPDATED 09 OCTOBER 2023 ]