Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie? Everyone loves their dog. And dogs love everybody! All of us love and need to eat. Eating is always best when done together, as people and dogs everywhere will agree!

The best times of eating together ever are special occasions, like holidays. Memories of Christmas have different special foods associated with various family traditions. Some moms like to cook ham, turkey, or beef. Fourth of July celebrations are centered around eating like every other holiday, only usually with dad cooking outdoor food on the grill, like burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and steak. All of those foods are considered gourmet by every dog. And those foods are just great for Fido to eat, in moderation, of course, and making sure that your dog never burns their mouth by swiping food off the grill while it is too hot.

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Sooner or later, the best ritual feast comes into mind when thinking about holiday feasts. Thanksgiving, that oh-so American holiday, is celebrated explicitly by everyone eating too much! Any excellent holiday feast at home is nothing without a dog or two participating. Your lovely pets hang out while the food is prepared. They always seem to get extra excited whenever a large turkey is cooked. They can see it, and their sensitive noses go mad, smelling the bird as it is slowly roasted. When the turkey hits the dinner table, the dogs can be frantic to have a bit of skin, light or dark meat, or even a whole slice or two. Doctors would agree that nearly all dogs will thrive on some lean turkey. Turkey scraps mixed in with dry dog food can be a healthy dinner that makes dogs happy for days after the holiday!

Turkey, of course, is not the only food cooked and loved at Thanksgiving. Dogs can smell everything that is cooked, and if you eat it, they want to eat it too. Everyone at the table and running around the floor on four legs is a complete family member, at least if you ask the dogs. And everyone gets to choose whatever they want from the offerings of a huge meal for a special occasion.

So, let’s face it! Most Americans enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. And dogs consider themselves very patriotic when wolfing down American food on the holidays!  Pumpkin pie can be homemade, hot from the oven, or store-bought, but still heated or cold.  Pumpkin pie is often served with ice cream or whipped cream, which dogs love. If the whipped cream is fresh and whisked home, you KNOW your dogs love it. Even whipped cream from a can, or pretty much anything normally garnishing pumpkin pie, just makes the dogs want to enjoy your dessert with you even more.

Ice cream is usually too sweet to be good for a dog. But dogs, of course, are omnivores, want to try to eat everything, and often succeed. A little vanilla ice cream should not be a problem for most dogs. Fresh cream, whipped or not, is a safer and tastier treat in moderation. But sooner or later, Fido will be eying that strangely tempting orangeish-colored slice of goodness on YOUR plate, the pumpkin pie.

Can dogs eat pumpkin pie? Well, different dogs are attracted to different things. There is no accounting for taste in humans or dogs, and it is often hilarious what particular food a dog decides is irresistible! It could be anything that catches a particular dog’s fancy, but one thing is sure. Some dogs will think that your pumpkin pie is the best food in the world and that they want it, love it, need it, and have to have it!

So, CAN dogs eat pumpkin pie? Of course, they can! Try this simple experiment if your dogs are like my dogs – take a thin slice of pie, garnish it with a dab of whipped cream, and leave the room for a moment to take a phone call. When you return, there is a good chance your once full plate will be exceedingly empty and licked clean! Any dog can steal any food if given the chance. And most dogs can wolf down any kind of food at least once to try it.  Of course, dogs are well known for their ability to chow down and for how easy it is for them to throw up. Even omnivores, or especially omnivores, can decide that they ate something that was not a good idea or too much of something that WAS a good idea.

It is NOT a good idea for dog owners to allow dogs to try these experiments, despite how much your dog might disagree with that statement. Dogs can and do eat many things that can be very bad for them, even to the point of being fatal,. And they don’t always have the good luck or sense or natural reactions working just right to regurgitate everything they eat that is bad for their little doggy tummies.

The real question, then, is SHOULD dogs eat pumpkin pie? We know we can’t ask them. And we cannot leave this choice up to the little children, as the dogs will brainwash the kids into sharing their food.

Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, and dogs are very popular. Everyone around the world loves dogs and pie.  Thanksgiving is all about being happy and eating with the family and dogs, without the risk of fireworks (which often terrify dogs) and without the pressure of getting and giving the right gift (which, fortunately, the dogs never worry about.) For our discussion, it is clear that there must be a body of work where experts have seen dogs scarfing pumpkin pie and have considered the pros and cons.

In general, we believe that sweets are not suitable for dogs. But we would think that a small slice of pumpkin pie with a natural crust would be fine for a dog, even with whipped cream. Are we right? Sometimes simple, innocuous, everyday household items like many flowers are terrible, even poisonous, for dogs to consume. Can dogs eat pumpkin pie and share in the traditional Thanksgiving dessert? Or can dogs eat pumpkin pie only at the chance of risking their well-being?

The literature on can dogs eat pumpkin pie is deep and primarily damaging. As usual, to be safe, the answer is a boring NO, do not let Fang and his pals have a go at the pumpkin pie. Well, what else is new, as your dog will surely agree.  If they only get a little bit, it should be fine. Just watch them for signs of distress.

Let’s dive deeper and see what is going on with Spot eating some of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts!

The worst ingredient for canines to eat, commonly found in pumpkin pie, is nutmeg. Closely followed by other spices like cinnamon and ginger. That does make sense. Most dogs are allergic to nutmeg, which contains myristicin, and if they eat a high enough dose, it can cause dizziness and even seizures. Large amounts of cinnamon can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Fortunately, most versions of pumpkin pie will not contain enough of these spices to cause a real problem if your dogs sneak a bite, but if they do, keep an eye on them. And never let them get into a shaker full of nutmeg or cinnamon left on the table.

Next, up on the list of bad news for dogs is the sugars added to the pumpkin. As we thought, sugary treats are never a good idea for dogs; don’t let them tell you otherwise.  On the other hand, never try to get around this with a sugar-free pumpkin pie. The xylitol additive often used in sugar-free products is bad for dogs.

After that, many experts say that the milk added to pumpkin pie can give some dogs indigestion and a loose stool. That is a shocker to us, as we have dogs and know other dogs that love milk, get some every day, and are okay with it. Probably it is like humans, where some are lactose intolerant.

It’s time for some good news about can dogs eat pumpkin pie, and here it is: Pumpkin itself is GREAT for dogs. Raw or preferably lightly cooked pumpkin is often given to dogs on purpose.  Pumpkin has fiber and natural vitamin A in a proper low dose and is often recommended for dogs to soothe indigestion. It is introduced gradually, of course, to see how it works for your dog.  Cooked or canned pumpkin is even better, as it is less just pure water, and of course, make sure the canned pumpkin does not have any additives as discussed above.  Don’t give the dogs the stems or skin, don’t give them the stringy pulp. Never use an old jack-o-lantern that has been sitting outside, not fresh and clean.

It turns out that the seeds, cleaned and lightly cooked, can also be good for dogs in moderation, even helping with urinary tract infections.

So if your dogs have their hearts set on your pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving, do them a favor and fix up a special treat of pumpkin prepared especially for them! Skip the spices. They might just love it, and you will know it is excellent – dogs CAN eat pumpkin pie filling if it is fixed up just for them.

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Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?
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