Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Of Gourds and Cocoa-Flavored Confections: How Feeding Your Dog Pure Pumpkin Is Good for His 'Chocolate Pie'

Caution: Do NOT feed your pet chocolate. It is toxic. Chocolate dog pies* are NOT actually chocolate. In fact, similar to cow pies, they're not even edible (bugs don't count)

poster of Jon Farleigh looking up from floor with expressive eyes touting pumpkin is good for his choco-pie or poop

I heard on the news recently that consumers should prepare for sticker shock at the grocery store, as due to short supply, the price of pumpkin - both in gourd form and in the can - is about to go up. In fact, they made it sound like there might not even be enough of the canned stuff with which to make a traditional pumpkin pie over the holidays. Can you imagine?! (Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie is just another turkey dinner at my house!) More on this development in a bit, but first...

Have you seen all the pumpkin stuff in the grocery store lately? I mean, not only is every food item known to man suddenly compatible with pumpkin spice flavoring (and/or coloring), but even the non-edible stuff, too: air fresheners, soap, candles, cat litter... YES, CAT LITTER! (OK, maybe it's "crisp autumn air"-scented, but still. What cat needs to poo in an autumn air-scented toilet?? On second thought, don't answer that...)

a jug of Tidy Cats seasonal Fall Frolic scented cat litter at Target
Spotted during a recent trip to Target. I could not make this stuff up.

Sheesh, with so much pumpkin available for mass consumption, no wonder it's in short supply! We'll have to eat pumpkin pie flavored pop tarts for Thanksgiving dessert! Thanks a lot, food and scented-stuff makers!

Alright. So the reason I'm telling you all this - contrary to what it may seem - is not to frustrate or alarm you (or make you hungry for pie), but to show you how EASY it is to get pumpkin (the pure, good stuff**) into your dog's diet, in comparison!

Jon Farleigh and Dewi lying on floor uninterested in the pie pumpkin being held over their heads
Exactly what is it, ma?

But back to that pumpkin shortage...Look, I don't know if it's true or hype - pumpkin is certainly NOT scarce where I shop, nor has the price gone up - but just in case it might, RUN! Go to the store and buy some pumpkin (either a couple of the small, pie pumpkins or 2-3 15-oz cans)! Your dog will thank you later (when he accidentally eats some OTHER animal's "choco-pie" in the yard/box, for example, and gets an upset stomach)!

Jon Farleigh in bathroom corner looking guilty with speech bubble talking fart
But I didn't eat the poo. 

Like that one time (and the several subsequent other times) when Jon Farleigh had a problem. I just gave him a couple spoons full of canned pumpkin on top of a bland diet, and POO POOT POOP POOF! His pies went from loose to firm and completely slice-able in no time***!

*** Do NOT EVER do that! (Slice a dog pie. Oh, the horror!)
**  In addition to dietary fiber, pure pumpkin (including the seeds) is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc. It is also a good source of antioxidants. Only one or two spoons full of pumpkin is recommended per feeding, however, as too much can cause an unhealthy build-up of certain nutrients in your pet. More scientific information here.

My Top 2 Ways to Obtain Pure Pumpkin for Feeding

1. Buy a small, PIE pumpkin (they'll be labeled as such) - NOT a carving, Halloween pumpkin - at your grocery store, or produce stand. Then, follow this RECIPE FOR FRESH PUMPKIN PUREE from the Pioneer Woman. (Don't worry, it's simple.)

Jon Farleigh and Dewi sniffing a whole pie pumpkin hanging over their heads
Great Scott! It's a PUNKIN!

2. Buy a can of pure pumpkin in the grocery store. This is my preferred method.
(Note: DO NOT buy the Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix in the giant can! It is loaded with sugar, fat and spices, because it is PIE filling, and by that I mean the EDIBLE kind. Just make sure your pumpkin is pure.)

Jon Farleigh dog sniffing a can of pure pumpkin
I love you with every fiber of my squash-colored being!
(Note: Do not give your dog the can. This photo is only for show.)

How to Store Extra Pumpkin So It Doesn't Go to Waste

If you're using pumpkin to correct your dog's occasional pie issues, you won't need to use a whole can, nor a whole pumpkin's worth.

When I have leftover pumpkin, I just divide it into freezer bags/containers, freeze, and then pull it out as needed. No need to even thaw (if you've frozen in single servings). You can also spread the leftover pumpkin in an ice tray and freeze it in cubes.


Use Leftovers to Make Yummy Pumpkin Dog Treats for Another Day!

And you're in luck, because our blog friends at Rubicon Days just published this curated list of 10 healthy pumpkin treats for dogs! (Go see; you and your dog will drool!)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear a Krispy Kreme pumpkin spice cake doughnut calling...
picture of Krispy Kreme pumpkin spice cake doughnut
((Ring)) "Hello."
"You need some fried pumpkin spice cake in your life."
"OK, be there in 20 minutes!"

Do you give your pet pumpkin regularly? (Or irregularly, to combat irregularity? ☺) Do you have any "serving" tips to share?

* The first time I ever published a post about feeding my dogs pumpkin, I referred to their "chocolate pie" as "Hershey." I decided to go a little less brand-name this time. Especially since Halloween is coming up, and hello? Reese's PB Cups! (Hershey product.)  Those are sacred, y'all.

picture of wrapped Reese's peanut butter pumpkin
Does not (and better not ever) contain actual pumpkin. ♥
(Do not feed to your dog.)

But like whoever heard of someone handing out chocolate pie on Halloween? No one! (But in the rare event someone does, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!  They're trying to kill you! ☺)

P.S. Pure pumpkin is great for cats, too. If you can get them to eat it.

P.P.S. Halloween is in the air and you'll wanna stay tuned (to the blog and/or Facebook), because tricks, treats and a HUGE giveaway are coming next week!

poster for Trick or Treat giveaway blog hop with cute cartoon dogs


  1. I just recently find out that we can give pumpkin to our pets - including cats. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm planning to. Let's see if my cat likes it.

    Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential

  2. I love pumpkin and so do my boys. I will have to look for a "pie" pumpkin at the store. Of course, now I want pumpkin pie and Krispy Kreme donuts! Haha!

  3. What a fun post! Pumpkin is so good for our pooches. Our Kermit had such anal gland issues until we started giving him pumpkin. Great Post.

    1. "Kermit had such anal gland issues." (Jim Henson would be smiling, just as I am.☺ Hehe) I'm glad the pumpkin worked that out!

  4. So funny!!! I have never sliced into a dog pie, but once had to use a plastic picnic spoon (hey, I wasn't using the "good" spoons for that) to collect stool samples for Blueberry's vet. I giggled the whole time (while intermittently gagging). And yes, I do give Blueberry pumpkin. She loves it and it is excellent at firming up loosey goosey dog pies [code broose (brown and loose)]. It is also good at making sure she can poop smoothly during grass eating season. Otherwise, things get stuck and I have to assist.

    About that cat nothing says, "It's fall!" quite like pumpkin scented cat turds?

    1. OMD, you are SO funny! You scooped the poop with a cereal spoon (not a good one, mind you). ☺ Code broose. Pumpkin-scented cat turds! Ew! It's so funny and gross too! ☺☺

  5. MOL ! Mum just find out that pumpkin was good for cats as well. Purrs

  6. Yum! Reeces PB Pumpkin? I havent seen that around here, but I'm definately going to be looking for that now!

  7. Pumpkin spice cat litter? Now I've seen everything. (And I know it's not exactly, but still, Fall-scented qualifies.)
    --Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  8. Great post!! :D I love pumpkin spice everything. This time of year is my favorite.

    We actually just used some pumpkin to soothe Phoenix's tummy. She has a horribly sensitive tummy and she had an upset today!

  9. Mr. N is not a fruit/vegetable fan so I have to hide pumpkin in his food when I give it to him.

  10. Okay for starters, I told Dex I was reading about pumpkin and he is begging now. Just saying. Also, that blog trick or treat hop = I am so there.

  11. Scooby and I wont eat pumpkin but Jenny Sue aka sissy spaniel LOVES the stuff. It has helped her IBS a few times in the past.
    As for that kitty litter, I know what Molly "Mew smells like after she had some fun in the fall yard and it ain't pretty! Hope the litter smells better than that. Ma wants to know where you found that reeses cup. She is putting her shoes on to go on a savager hunt for it.

    1. The Reese's eggs are at my Target and Walmart, and might even be in some of the larger grocery stores. They're usually sold individually, but today, I found at Walmart, a WHOLE BAG of fun size Reese's pumpkins to hand out to trick-or-treaters! (Except I will wait until all the other candy is gone before I hand any out. :) )

      Molly Mew is a Molly Pew after frolicking in the fall leaves, huh? ☺ hehehe

  12. Mauja and Atka absolutely will not eat pumpkin. It has to be hidden in a treat for me to get them to eat it. So frustrating!

  13. Delia is not a fan of pumpkin, but Chewy loves it. I'm all for pumpkin spice, but kitty One of my co-workers got a pumpkin-spice manicure last week. I still haven't figured that one out...

    1. A pumpkin-spice MANICURE?! And I thought the kitty litter couldn't be topped!

  14. Love this article! We are big pumpkin consumers in our house this time of year. Good to know it can help with...errr...the back end activities. PS - got really excited when I saw chocolate pie. PSS - kept reading and realized it was NOT "CHOCOLATE" pie.

    1. Ew! NOT chocolate pie! But the Reese's I added at the end was TOTALLY real! :)

  15. Pumpkin is awesome. We all love it. A shortage would be a tragedy!

  16. Oh my. I suspect it's my fault about the pumpkin shortage. This is a staple in our household and the dogs each get a small spoonful with each meal. A couple years ago I heard that same story about the pumpkin shortage, SO when the local warehouses get their holiday supply of pumpkin...I stock up. I have like 72 large cans that I'm currently hoarding. But it should get us through til next year. :-)

    1. Haha! 72 LARGE CANS??? Really? No hyperbole? Your dogs must be more regular than a telemarketer calling at dinner time! ☺


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