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The Best Pumpkin Substitutes For Dogs On The Market!

Pumpkin is one of those handy foods for dog owners that have a number of uses and thankfully, dogs tend to absolutely love to eat pumpkin too.

Depending on your location as well as the time of year, you may have problems finding pumpkin based foods for your dog though and when out of season, the prices of pumpkin dog food and treats can spike so we often see people asking about the best pumpkin substitutes for dogs.

There are a number of suitable substitutes for pumpkin for dogs on the market with boiled rice with chicken or squash often being the best substitutes if you are having issues with your dog’s poop.

If you are just looking for a general food substitute for pumpkin for your pet dog to eat then you can use sweet potatoes or even yams depending on your area and the time of year.

If you are just wanting pumpkin for the vitamin and mineral content of the food then there are a number of dog food products on the market that contains various amounts of pumpkin with these often being available year round.

This can offer you a cheap, reliable way to keep pumpkin in your dog’s diet year round no matter where you live but many people do like to add a little fresh pumpkin to their dog’s diet when pumpkin is in season.

Boiled Rice And Chicken

Boiled rice and chicken is the best alternative for pumpkin in a dog’s diet if your dog is having problems with an upset stomach.

The chicken offers a good protein source for your dog with the rice offers an excellent carbohydrate source that the majority of dogs should be able to eat without issue when ill.

Just keep in mind that between a fifth and a quarter of dogs will have some sort of allergy to chicken so this can cause problems for your dog but for the most part, the majority of dogs will do well on boiled rice and chicken if pumpkin is not available.

Thankfully, both boiled rice and chicken tend to be cheap too while also being readily available year round in the majority of places making them easy to find without having to break the budget too.

When preparing boiled rice and chicken for your dog, the general idea is that you literally just boil both ingredients and then drain the water before letting it cool and giving it to your dog to eat.

You don’t add any seasoning or anything else as you are essentially trying to make your own limited ingredient dog food alternative to pumpkin to help settle your dog’s stomach.


Squash can serve as a substitute for pumpkin in the diet of most dogs and although it can help treat an upset stomach in a dog, it is not as effective as pumpkin or boiled rice and chicken.

Still, squash is often easy to find for the majority of the year in most places and it does tend to be cheap making it a decent pumpkin alternative if needed.

Using squash as your pumpkin alternative offers you the benefit of being able to get additional vitamins and minerals into your pet dog to help top up its nutritional profile too.

Some of the pumpkin substitutes that we see recommended time and time again may offer some benefit for an upset stomach in your dog but offer a minimal level of actual nutrition.

This is why we have tried to focus on alternatives that have a solid vitamin and mineral profile as if your dog has an upset stomach, it will not be consuming all of the vitamins and minerals in its food anyway so trying to keep its nutritional profile topped up is important.

When preparing squash for your dog, you can cook it if you really want to but many people will just give it to their dogs in its raw form.

We usually recommend that you do give it to your dog raw too as raw squash will retain more of its vitamin and mineral profile as well as acting as a way to get more water into your dog due to the higher water content in squash too.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are commonly recommended as a substitute for pumpkin in the diet of a dog but this is not always the case depending on why you added pumpkin to your dog’s diet.

Sweet potatoes have minimal effect on treating an upset stomach in your dog but it can server as a great source of carbohydrates that have a higher than average vitamin and mineral profile.

This is why we have decided to cover sweet potatoes as the final entry in our list of alternatives to pumpkin for dogs as it only really serves as a replacement for a normal diet in dog’s but many of the people who we see reaching out and asking about pumpkin for their dogs have a pet with a bad stomach.

If this is the case then going with either of the two recommendations above will be better for you than sweet potato.

Keep in mind that sweet potato and normal potato are different with sweet potato tending to have the better nutritional profile than normal potato.

Both act as an excellent source of carbohydrates in dogs though but if you are looking to boost the nutritional profile of your pet dog a little then going with sweet potatoes are definitely the best option available and the majority of stores sell them very cheap.


That brings our article going over using a pumpkin substitute for dogs to an end, we hope that we have been able to help you find the ideal alternative for your needs and that we have been able to help you deal with an upset stomach in your dog if that is the reason for trying to get pumpkin into their diet. There are a number of other pumpkin alternatives on the market that you could try to use for your dog but their effectiveness either drops of or their price point increases when you use something outside of the main three covered above.