Pumpkin vs Sweet Potato For Dogs

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Comparing these two orange vegetable deities in great detail has been a lot of fun for me. I believe pumpkin is a healthier choice as a regular addition to your dog’s diet than sweet potatoes. Because pumpkin does not contain the same level of carbohydrates (including sugar) as sweet potatoes it wins the head-to-head contest. It makes sense to reduce your dog’s carbohydrate consumption in any way you can.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Pumpkin vs Sweet Potato For Dogs“.

It is great to do these types of comparisons because it allows me to look into the finer details of two popular vegetables before making my final decision.

Because of the number of figures in this research it might be helpful if you have a pen and paper handy. 

The only thing I hope is that you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. 

Pumpkin vs sweet potato- nutrition overview

I want to begin by comparing a couple of the basics of nutrition between these two rock stars in the world of orange vegetables.

But first a brief explanation.

Because pumpkins are almost impossible to obtain outside of October and November I am comparing fresh and canned versions of these vegetables.

Cans without added salt are used in the analysis of the canned varieties.

Canning vegetables has a lot (and I mean a lot) of salt in it which isnot great for dogs.

When possible choose canned goods that do not contain salt.

100g serving Fresh Raw Sweet Potato Canned sweet potato Fresh Raw Pumpkin Canned pumpkin
Calories 86 108 26 34
Total fat .1% .3 % .1% .3%
Carbohydrate 20% 25% 6.5% 8.1%
Fiber 3% 3 % .5% 2.9%
Sugar 4.2% 5.7% 2.8% 3.3%
Water content 77.3% 72.5% 91.6% 90%

Even though pumpkins and sweet potatoes are both oranges their similarities end there.

Fresh sweet potato vs fresh pumpkin

Let me just focus on the big differences- otherwise there are so many numbers you may spend the rest of the day here.

The calories in fresh sweet potatoes are three times as high as those in fresh pumpkin as well as the carbohydrates. 

Possibly the most surprising figure is the fibre content. 

Sweet potatoes contain six times as much fibre as raw pumpkins as well as nearly one and a half times as much sugar.

Perhaps we are beginning to understand where all those calories come from?

Pumpkins contain 91.6% more water than sweet potatoes- compared to 77.3% for sweet potatoes. 

Canned sweet potato vs canned pumpkin

In other words the differences between fresh and canned versions tend to remain the same.

Canning sweet potatoes and canned pumpkin for instance have more calories more carbohydrates and more sugar than fresh varieties.  

Nevertheless canned vegetables have a slightly lower level of water than fresh vegetables. 

However canned sweet potatoes have the same amount of fiber as fresh sweet potatoes.

However canned pumpkin contains nearly six times more fiber than their fresh counterpart. 

Pumpkin vs sweet potato- vitamins

Next lets talk about vitamins.

The “daily value” column shows how much of each vitamin a dog should get per 100g of food.

This data has been taken from these charts which are based on these charts created by experts. 

Sweet potatoes have both higher amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene in fresh form and beta carotene is a substance that is converted into vitamin A in the body when absorbed.

For every 100g of food they consume dogs should consume 500 IU of vitamin A.

Raw pumpkin provides sixteen times that concentration while sweet potatoes have twenty-eight times that concentration.

Donot worry- your dog isnot eating sweet potato or pumpkin on a regular basis so these massive overdoses do not pose any dangers. 

The fresh sweet potato contains more vitamin B6 than a dog strictly needs whereas the fresh pumpkin contains only about half. 

Vitamin C and K are both made by dogs in their own bodies so they do not need them from food and I’m unable to find a reliable conversion to convert IU units into mg (milligrams)!

The fresh pumpkin though has a much higher vitamin C content than sweet potatoes. 

Canned vs fresh sweet potato

The vitamin A and vitamin B6 content of canned sweet potatoes are much lower than that of fresh sweet potatoes. 

However the canned variety has a higher level of Vitamin C E and K.

Canned vs fresh pumpkin

Compared to fresh pumpkin canned pumpkin has a slight difference. 

Vitamin B6 is slightly less abundant in the canned variety here but it does have more vitamin A.

Additionally canned pumpkin contains half the vitamin C of fresh pumpkin but has some vitamin E whereas fresh pumpkin does not.

The biggest difference between fresh and canned pumpkin is that canned pumpkin has sixteen times more vitamin K. 

Canned sweet potato vs canned pumpkin

Comparing canned pumpkin to canned sweet potatoes canned pumpkin has far more vitamin A and far more vitamin K.

In terms of vitamin C and vitamin B6 however canned sweet potatoes contain more. 

Pumpkin vs sweet potato: minerals

In order to complete the nutritional analysis lets examine the mineral content.

100g serving Daily value Fresh Raw Sweet Potato Canned sweet potato Fresh Raw Pumpkin Canned pumpkin
Copper .151 mg .167 mg .127 mg .107 mg
Manganese .258 mg .615 mg .125 mg .149 mg
Iron .61 mg .95 mg .80 mg 1.39 mg
Magnesium 25 mg 12 mg 12 mg 23 mg

Lets start with the fresh stuff.

The copper content of fresh sweet potatoes is about 20% higher than that of fresh pumpkins. 

Additionally it contains more than double the amount of manganese and magnesium. 

The iron content of fresh pumpkins is about 25% higher than that of fresh sweet potatoes. 

Canned comparison

Sweet potatoes contain about 50% more copper than canned pumpkins and almost four times as much manganese.

But canned pumpkin isnot to be outdone with nearly 50% more iron and nearly double the amount of magnesium. 

Canned sweet potato vs fresh sweet potato

Compared with fresh sweet potatoes canned sweet potatoes are a superior source of minerals. 

Copper manganese and iron are easily found in it. 

At least when it comes to magnesium fresh sweet potato kicks some butt!

Canned pumpkin vs fresh pumpkin

Last but not least lets compare the two varieties of pumpkin. 

Again cans are the winners when it comes to minerals.

Compared to fresh pumpkins they contain a higher amount of manganese and iron.

When it comes to copper however fresh pumpkin ranks first containing around 20% more copper than fresh pumpkin.

There will be no more nutrition data I promise!

However I am not sure how much more pleasant the next section will be as I will be discussing diarrhea.

Pumpkin vs sweet potato- diarrhea

A popular home remedy for diarrhea is pumpkin or more specifically canned pumpkin.

Because of the high fiber content and the fact that it contains important vitamins it has such a high nutritional value. 

Theres a problem though.

According to our analysis canned or fresh sweet potato contains the same amount of fiber and vitamins as canned pumpkin.

That is why it is not recommended along with diarrhea.

Does it have to do with sweet potatoes having more carbohydrates?

Thats true I suppose.

A fresh sweet potato contains 20% carbohydrates while a fresh pumpkin has only 6.5%.

However white rice which is another mainstay of diarrhea home remedies contains 28% carbohydrates. 

I can not imagine thats the case can I?

Is it also because the pumpkin has so much water in it?

There is 13% more water in it than sweet potato after all.

It is very very important to keep a dog with diarrhea hydrated. 

Can I share a little secret with you?

With my Golden Retrievers sweet potatoes are my go-to cure for diarrhea.

A portion of sweet potato will replace the main meal at the first sign of a nasty stomach upset. 

The poop turns completely orange but within 8-10 hours it has turned from a liquid to solid again. 

Give sweet potato to your dog the next time he has stomach issues.

Pumpkin vs sweet potato: availability

Over 80% of the pumpkins grown are harvested just in time for Halloween (and Thanksgiving).

A fresh one is hard to find all year round so its like finding a needle in a haystack!

As proof I just went to kroger.com and wholefoods.com to see if I could buy fresh sweet potatoes or pumpkins.

Sweet potatoes are readily available at both grocery stores but I could not find a fresh pumpkin for love or money.

Although thats exaggerated you get the idea.

Interestingly both stores have hundreds of pumpkin products- just not fresh ones. 

The situation is similar in the UK as well.

Evidently our demand for pumpkins isnot as great as it is in the US.

Halloween while growing in popularity isnot as big in the UK as it is in the US and Brits do not celebrate Thanksgiving so pumpkin pie is almost unthinkable here.

Fresh pumpkins are only available in October and I’m not sure if canned pumpkin is available everywhere.  

Pumpkin vs sweet potato for dogs- which is better?

Comparing these two orange vegetable deities in great detail has been a lot of fun for me.

I believe pumpkin is a healthier choice as a regular addition to your dogs diet than sweet potatoes.

Because pumpkin does not contain the same level of carbohydrates (including sugar) as sweet potatoes it wins the head-to-head contest.

It makes sense to reduce your dogs carbohydrate consumption in any way you can.

How can one choose which home remedy to use for diarrhea?

As I use sweet potato I find it works very well for me. Well maybe not for me as such.

I do not quite understand why pumpkin is ranked so highly in the data.

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Pumpkin vs Sweet Potato For Dogs (Watch Video)

Leave a Comment