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Pumpkin is a yummy seasonal treat and a year-round favorite flavor, so feeding pumpkin dog treats is a great way for pups to enjoy its scrumptious taste along with us. Although there are many pumpkin dog treats available to purchase, they aren’t all created equal.
These days, pumpkin is being mixed and infused with everything from bananas to oatmeal and being made into pumpkin strips, crunchy biscuits, and chewy pumpkin-flavored morsels.
It seems like whatever is popular and trending in the human marketplace tends to spill over into the canine world, and pumpkin treats are a big part of that crossover.
Is Pumpkin Good For Dogs?
It turns out that pumpkin is a healthy and low-calorie snack for dogs.
Dr. Patrick Mahaney recommends dog parents provide fresh pumpkin they cook themselves or canned/pouched pumpkin that does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. Any sugar or sugar substitute could create what Dr. Mahaney calls a “taste deterrent” and potentially cause health problems as well.
Mahaney says pumpkin itself is not dangerous to dogs unless the pet were to consume spoiled, raw pumpkin, such as one in a garden or sitting on someone’s porch during the fall or Halloween season. “They could potentially be exposed to mold or pathogenic bacteria that could cause digestive tract upset (stool abnormalities, vomiting, reduced appetite, etc.) or other health concerns,” he states.
He sees a lot of pumpkin treats at the homes of his pet clients, so he knows pumpkin dog treats are a popular option. In terms of canned pumpkin, in most cases, a small offering of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is fine for dogs to consume.
Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats: How to Make Them
One of the yummiest smells on earth is that of homemade pumpkin treats baking in the oven. Humans need not have all the fun, as there are many homemade pumpkin dog treats to make from the comfort of home. Some homemade dog treat ingredients can be dangerous to your dog’s health, so pay close attention to the ingredients in any recipe you plan to make for a dog.
Stay away from homemade pumpkin treat recipes for dogs that contain nutmeg, fruit seeds or pits, Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners, chocolate, grapes, raisins, currants, and even salt. Too much salt can be dangerous for dogs.
DIY dog blogger, Jodi Chick, founder of Kol’s Notes, knows all about making safe, yummy goodies for dogs. She’s been creating and sharing homemade dog recipes and DIY projects for over a decade on her popular blog. She whipped up an easy-to-do peanut butter and pumpkin spice dog treat that is sure to leave your dog begging for more. Most of the ingredients are ones you likely have in your kitchen cupboards now.
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Spice Dog Treat Recipe
- 1 cup. Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
- 1/2 tsp. Guar Gum
- If your dog is grain tolerant, you could absolutely substitute 1 cup of white flour and omit the guar gum
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 egg
- 2/3 c. Fruitables Pumpkin & Ginger Digestive Supplement
- 1/3 c. natural, sugar free peanut butter
- 1/3 c. melted coconut oil
- 1/4 c. water
- Extra coconut oil + gluten-free flour to prep the pans
Step 1: Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a medium bowl to mix together the flour, guar gum, baking soda, and spice.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, whisk egg, pumpkin, peanut butter, coconut oil, and water. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.
Step 3: Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil and dust it with flour. Fill each tin halfway with the combined mixture.
Step 4: Place in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes until thoroughly baked. For a crunchy version, Jodi suggests turning the oven down to 150 degrees and letting the mixture bake for two to three hours.
Buying Pumpkin Dog Treats
If you are like me and don’t have the time or inclination to bake, there are plenty of great online and store-purchased pumpkin dog treats available. My Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, and I decided to explore a variety of pumpkin treats and narrowed them down to our fall favorites below.
How We Ranked Our Top Pumpkin Dog Treats
As a lifelong dog mom and pet product expert, I read and understand labels, look for high quality ingredients, real pumpkin, made in the USA, full nutritional disclosure, and what other pet parents have to say in their reviews online.
Additionally, I’ve been feeding my Cocker Spaniels pumpkin dog treats for close to three decades, so we’ve kept up with trends, the good and the bad, and are pros when it comes to sniffing out the cream of the pumpkin treat crop. Finally, I want to ensure these treats are readily available for purchase. Some might be more seasonal and available in greater abundance during harvest in the autumn months, so I like to stock up and recommend you do the same.
Best Pumpkin Dog Treats: Overall Winner
Pumpkin and turkey are the first ingredients in these made-in-the-USA dog treats. These treats are perfect for fall. They cover Halloween, Thanksgiving, and beyond with their tasty goodness. The size is nice for small to medium dogs and can be easily broken up into pieces for insertion into Kong toys for larger dogs.
The third ingredient is cranberry, so Plato covered every single seasonal bountiful base with their pumpkin and turkey dog treats. The ingredients are limited, which helps this pumpkin dog treat rise to the top of our list. It is also infused with coconut oil and blueberry, so dogs are getting a tasty snack that is good for them, too.
- Contains EPA and DHA for skin and coat health
- Single source of meat protein
- Limited ingredients
- Pure pumpkin and not pumpkin flavoring
- Infused with turkey and cranberry to serve during the holidays
- Even the fussiest dogs seem to gravitate toward these pumpkin treats
- Perfect for smaller dogs, breakable for larger dogs
- Grain free
Things to Consider
- Pricier than most pumpkin dog treats
- Smaller size means they should be broken into pieces for bigger pups
Sample Buyer Review: “These are stick-like treats that can be easily broken into smaller bites. They have a freeze-dried texture and my dog appreciates the taste. My dog is picky when it comes to food, so when I find something she likes, I tend to stick with it.”
Best Banana and Pumpkin Dog Treats
These low-calorie crunchy dog treats pack a big flavor. I tend to try every dog treat I review, so this dog mom can attest to their yumminess. At only eight calories per treat, this fun “mashup” dog treat merges pumpkin with banana to entice a dog’s taste buds.
The pumpkin and banana are further enhanced with oats and cinnamon which will dance on your pup’s palate. Touted as containing “superfoods and containing rich antioxidants,” we like that Fruitables are oven baked and have a texture dogs love.
- Contains real pumpkin and pure, creamy bananas
- Made in the USA
- Taste as good as they smell
- Low caloric content
- Free of corn, wheat, soy and artificial colors, ingredients or preservatives.
- Recyclable pouch
- Perfect for doggy brain games and Kong stuffing
Things to Consider
- Recommended not to feed more than four Fruitables per day to avoid weight gain
- Some reviews stated dogs didn’t care for them, but like people, dogs’ tastes vary
Sample Buyer Review: “What I appreciate most is that they are small, and there are quite a few in the package. So I can give her 2 or 3 and she feels well-rewarded without the excess calories for a weight-conscious older dog. They seem to last a long time, as we give them out only occasionally, and I appreciate that the package re-seals well to maintain quality. A great healthy alternative to the typical dog treat.”
Best Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats
Take one part pumpkin, fold in rolled oats, add some honey, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, and barley flour. Mix in a big bowl, bake in an oven, wait to cool, and serve. That’s exactly the process the folks at K9 Granola Factory go through each time they bake up a batch of their Soft Bakes all-natural pumpkin big dog treats.
The softness makes them oh-so tempting and ideal for puppies who are teething or senior dogs with sensitive teeth and gums. Instead of using wheat, corn, or soy, K9 Granola Factory pours in rolled oats, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Of all the treats on this list, reviewing this one and having my dog test it induced the biggest pumpkin pie craving of all!
- Made with human grade ingredients in the USA
- Drool-inducing for even the fussiest dogs (my dog sat waiting for 10 minutes while I set up the photo)
- Perfect for all dogs’ life stages
- Over 30 treats per bag and easy to break up
- Great for dogs who prefer a soft dog treat
Things to Consider
- 12-ounce bag is a bit pricey
- Hard to find in most stores
- May crumble in shipping if not packed properly by shipper
Sample Buyer Review: “My dogs love the treats made by K9 Granola Factory! These are soft baked round cookies and easily crumble which is great for my Labrador who had esophageal strictures and can only swallow soft or very small pieces of food. These cookies smell absolutely delicious.”
Best Soft Pumpkin Dog Treats
This soft pumpkin dog treat made our list because it offers a chewier bite while looking like a pumpkin-infused crunchy dog biscuit. I love a good old-fashioned dog treat that actually looks like a “bone” and this item gets high praise for that aspect. These are the dog biscuits that sit on my desk in a clear Mason jar for Halloween season.
My dog did a double take on this treat. I place a new treat out for Dexter and let him decide whether he is interested or not. This was a “maybe” at first glance that soon turned into a “gimme that, Mom” moment. Three Dog Bakery notes these are “pumpkin flavored” and baked using sweet potato flour.
- Nicely priced and won’t break the bank
- Baked in the USA
- More of a hard ‘soft chew’ and less of an ooey-gooey texture
- Sized for most dogs from Terriers to Great Danes
Things to Consider
- Though tasty and my dog ate them, pumpkin is not the first ingredient. Dried pumpkin is listed as the 7th ingredient
- For gulper dogs, these treats may be a bit small
- Sourcing not mentioned on the box
Sample Buyer Review: “I try to buy my dogs healthy biscuits and give them every day. I also used an assortment of biscuits so they don’t get bored with the same stuff. But when I give these Pumpkin biscuits, along with two or three other ones that I know they like, they go for these first every time!! Maybe it’s the softness, maybe it’s the ingredients but they actually smell pretty good. Your dog will love you for these!”
Best Chia Infused Pumpkin Dog Treats
Our Pick: Pumpkin Time Einstein Pets
Kelly Ison went looking for the best of everything in a dog treat for her precious pup, Abbey. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she invented a healthy dog treat infused with chia seeds. Chia is ideal for a boost in nutrition and contains more calcium than milk and more antioxidants than blueberries.
The low-calorie heart-shaped Einstein Pets Pumpkin Time dog treats are made in small batches and completely sourced and made in the United States. No chemicals, sugar, salt, or any other artificial flavorings or colorings. They contain very few ingredients, including oat flour, pumpkin, apples, honey, coconut oil, chia seed, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- One of the only pumpkin dog treats that contain apples and vanilla
- Chia is a superfood and is contained in Einstein Pets products
- Swoon-worthy heart-shaped dog biscuit
- Wheat, corn, and soy-free
- Humans can snack on them with their dogs (and I do!)
Things to Consider
- Pricey for an 8-ounce bag
- Break them up for smaller mouths
Sample Buyer Review: “We have all special needs kiddos. One has severe pancreatic disease and we never had been able to give her a treat that was not homemade (even then, very limited). I am so thankful I stumbled upon Einstein looking for natural organic pumpkin treats! Not only has our girl been able to eat these, but we have tried every recipe and all of our little ones are able to eat them (which is very rare here)! “
Best Vegan Pumpkin Dog Treats
Our Pick: Halo Vegan Peanut N’ Pumpkin Dog Treats
For the most discriminating pet parent, these treats from Halo are vegan, non-GMO, and grain free. They offer a low fat vegetarian/vegan option for dog parents who want to treat their pets without the meat!
These treats are highly digestible with peanut butter and pumpkin flavors and have yummy ingredients such as cranberries, apples, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas.
- Plant based ingredients
- No artificial ingredients
- Great for training due to their low-caloric content.
- Simple ingredients on the label.
Things to Consider
- Some reviewers say that these treats break apart when shipped.
Sample Buyer Review: “Love buying these for my 7 going on 8 month Pomsky!!! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to successfully get my pup to have a full vegan diet, she responds well with these vegan treats!!! She LOVES these treats, she gets more excited about these than any other treats I’ve tried.
Best Dehydrated Pumpkin Dog Treats
This is one of the only dehydrated pumpkin dog treats available on the market. This bag of treats contains only one ingredient: pumpkin slices. High in dietary fiber, rich in potassium, and containing vitamins A, E, and C, this is a dog treat you can feel good giving to your dog.
Because the treats are natural and dehydrated, the size will vary and each one is unique in its shape and texture, too. My dog chewed on it for about 10 minutes before putting it to the side. I was happy to see he enjoyed it and gave it his full-fledged Cocker attention.
- One simple ingredient
- Made in the USA
- Grain free, gluten free, 100 percent vegan, all natural
- No additives or preservatives
- Ideal for dogs with food sensitivities
Things to Consider
- Strong aroma on opening the bag—may be a turn off to some pet parents
- Some reviews mentioned they pieces were too tough, but we didn’t have that issue
- Use caution so dogs don’t swallow it whole, as with all dog treats
Sample Buyer Review: “My dog can’t eat most store-bought dog treats because he has kidney disease and needs to be kept on a strict diet. He loves frozen and fresh vegetables, but these can be too messy when we’re out on a walk or at a friend’s house. So, I figured I would give these 1-ingredient treats a try. My dog LOVES them! I will be buying more.”