You don’t need to buy specialty pumpkin from a pet store to satisfy your dog or cat — the canned kind you’ll find at the grocery store will do just fine. Fresh pumpkin can be used too, as long as it hasn’t been left outside.
“Use caution with whole pumpkins. If they’ve been sitting on your front step greeting trick-or-treaters, they can develop harmful mold,” Barrack notes. “The consistency of canned or puréed pumpkin is typically more readily ingested in my experience.”
Pumpkin can be mixed directly with your pet’s food once or twice daily. “Start with one teaspoon to one tablespoon per meal, depending on the size of the pet,” Barrack advises. “A cat or small dog may benefit from only one teaspoon whereas a giant breed dog may need up to a half a cup per day to see gastrointestinal benefit.”
Make sure to speak with your veterinarian before you start integrating pumpkin into your pet’s diet. Too much pumpkin can sometimes have the opposite effect — causing constipation or diarrhea, so it’s best to follow your vet’s recommended portion size.