It is the time of year when everything from coffee to ice cream is pumpkin flavored, or at least pumpkin-spice flavored. So it seems like a good time to look at pumpkin use in dog and cat food.
Pumpkin has been recognized as a good source of soluble fiber and is quoted by internet experts as a good cure for digestive problems for both dogs and cats. Pumpkin is also a popular ingredient in those who formulate their own and raw food for their pets.
Pumpkins are found in nearly 20 percent of dry dog food recipes.
By searching recipes in the Dog and Cat Food Ingredient Center’s online database, we can find the following figures for pumpkin use in recipes.
19.4 percent of the recipes for dry dog food contain some form of pumpkin.
15.2 percent of dry cat food recipes contain some form of pumpkin.
Pumpkin use is lower in canned food, with 6.4 percent of dog and 6 percent of cat recipes using some form of pumpkin.
We refer to some form of pumpkin to compensate for the many forms of pumpkin used and how they are listed in the ingredient deck. In dry dog food it can be broken down as pumpkin in 13 percent of recipes, dried pumpkin in 3.7 percent. These forms each listed in less than 1 percent of recipes: dried pumpkin, fresh pumpkin, fresh whole pumpkin, organic pumpkin, whole pumpkin, pumpkin meal, pumpkin powder and pumpkin puree. Those variations are found in approximately 4 percent of recipes.
Canned dog food manufacturers stick to pumpkin and dried pumpkin as their ingredients.
In dry cat food, pumpkin is listed in 12 percent of recipes, with other variations making the other 3 percent.
Canned cat food lists pumpkin in 5.4 percent of the recipes, with other variations in 0.5 percent, for a total of just under 6 percent of the recipes.
For more on pumpkins in pet food see this article by Dr. Greg Aldrich.