Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs (and cats too!)
Article content adapted from Janis Row as published @ Petplace.com (see #1-9)
I have recommended pure pumpkin for years and am so glad I found this article from a leading pet website! Not just a staple for the fall, this is a year-round wonder food!
- Combating dehydration: Pumpkin flesh is 90% water, so a little pumpkin topping on a meal can combat dehydration. Another benefit is improved digestion from increasing the gastric “juices”
- Helping with Constipation: Fiber from pumpkin works in pets the same way it does in humans. 1-2 Tablespoons can resolve symptoms quickly.
- Reducing Hairballs:By increasing the volume of waste in the intestine, pumpkin can help your cat digest and eliminate fur swallowed during grooming.
- Resolving Diarrhea: Yes, it works both ways! Pumpkin can soothe constipation but diarrhea can also be remedied with the addition of pumpkin. All it takes is a teaspoon for a small dog or cat and a tablespoon or two for a medium or large dog of canned pumpkin in the animal’s food.
- Boosting Weight Loss: With 3 grams of fiber per cup, pumpkin can augment weight loss in dogs and cats. The fiber fills the tummy so your pet feels “fuller” sooner.
- Supplementing Nutrition: One of the biggest benefits of pumpkin is its wealth of nutrition. Pumpkin contains carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, and protein. You do not want to overload your pet’s system with these nutrients and trace minerals, however. This is not a case of a little bit being good and a lot being better….just a dollup or two will do!
- Adding Antioxidants: Pumpkin contains antioxidants which help moisturize skin, helping your pet maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
- Providing Essential Fatty Acids: In addition to antioxidants, pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids with similar benefits. Pets may consume the seeds raw (if they are fresh) or enjoy the roasted version which store better. Lightly coat the seeds with cooking oil and roast in a 375-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Only offer a few seeds at a time to your pet (the fiber can cause a softening of the stool). Store the seeds in an airtight container or freeze them. If your pet is small you can grind up the seeds to ensure they are easier to digest and don’t get caught in the intestine.
- Controlling Parasites: Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, a possible anthelmintic that eliminates tape and roundworms. Additionally the seeds may inhibit the formation of kidney and bladder stones, and some studies have shown anti-inflammatory properties. Just don’t overdo the seeds!!!!!!!
Be sure to use fresh or canned PURE pumpkin NOT “pumpkin pie filling”!
Gourmet pet shops now carry pumpkin for dogs. This time of year, Trader Joe’s and big-box stores like Costco will be stocking their shelves with Pure Pumpkin in big cans at low prices. You can also find Libby’s & organic brands on grocery store shelves year round.
Quality dog care products can be found in the simplest places and the easiest ways!
Enjoy your 4-legged pumpkins!
Pug photo viewed & copied from Redbook magazine…costume sold at Petsmart