Children in stage costumes of wizards with cat at HalloweenFall has arrived, and with it comes the inevitable smorgasbord of pumpkin flavored products. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pasta, and pumpkin beer are widely available. There are even pumpkin spice hair and nail colors to choose from at your local salon.

The pumpkin trend appears to be firmly rooted in our culture for the time being, so why not let pets in on the fun? Pumpkin pet treats are easy to make, and can bring happiness (and nutrition) to your pet’s day.

Pumpkin Pet Treats

Fall’s favorite squash is not only versatile; it’s packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene. Pumpkins are also low-calorie, high-fiber, and fairly inexpensive this time of year.

Pinterest and other similar websites are chock full of interesting recipes, but we’ve narrowed it down to two of our favorites, sure to please the discerning dog or cat in your life.

Pumpkin dog treats:

  • 2 ½ cups flour*
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (make sure Xylitol is not an ingredient)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add ingredients to bowl and whisk until dough forms. Dough should be dry and stiff, yet workable (add water as needed). Roll dough into a ½-inch-thick roll. Cut into ½ inch pieces. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

Pumpkin cat treats:

  • ¾ cup flour*
  • 1 can of tuna (packed in water, drained)
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried catnip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until dough is formed. Roll dough on a floured surface until it forms a 1-inch-thick log, then cut into bite sized pieces. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes.

*substitute rice or buckwheat flour for a gluten-free version, if you, your pet or someone in your family has a sensitivity.

The Skinny on Produce for Pets

If your pet is eating a high quality dog or cat food that has been approved by your veterinarian, he or she shouldn’t need to supplement with fruits and vegetables. That being said, many pets enjoy the taste of fruits and veggies, and in moderation they can make delicious low-calorie snacks.

Try offering any of the following veggies and fruits to your pet, lightly steamed or baked, with no added salt, sugar, or fats:

  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potato
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Apples (cored, seeds removed)
  • Pears (cored, seeds removed)
  • Berries

Remember, even safe people food should always be served sparingly to pets, and should never be a replacement for a high quality pet food. The approaching holiday season is the perfect time to brush up on your knowledge of food safety for pets. If you have questions or are unsure if certain people foods are OK for your pet, especially if they have a medical condition, please talk to your family veterinarian first.

Do you have a favorite recipe for pumpkin pet treats? Your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services would love to hear about it! Share it on our Facebook page or other social media.