Lately, every Fall delectable is pumpkin flavored, colored, or themed. We love them in traditional fixings like pie and there are other fan favorites like pancakes, lattes, fancy hummus, and roasted gourd dishes. It turns out pumpkins and dog nutrition go well together!
Pumpkins and Dog Nutrition?
Yes! It turns out pumpkin is actually great for dogs. Raw or canned, this gourd is safe and healthy. When reaching for a raw treat, the seeds and flesh are safe as long as it isn’t rotten. Don’t let Fido gnaw on the jack-o-lantern that’s been sitting on the porch for weeks. And avoid the stem and leaves. That’s just the vine, not the vegetable. The vine and leaves have tiny hairs that can cause significant irritation.
Pumpkins and dog nutrition are also a match when it comes to the canned puree. Skip the sugar-added pie filling and go for the naturally sweet canned goodness. Not everything pumpkin-flavored is good for dogs, so be selective and avoid added seasonings, sugar, flavors, and preservatives. And if we choose the canned pumpkin puree, get a few extra cans to have on hand. While it may be a seasonal gourd, pumpkins and dog nutrition are a year-round match.
Why and How Much Pumpkin Good for Dogs?
This festive gourd is considered a miracle food for dogs. It’s a great source of fiber and has a high water content, making it great for digestive regularity. It’s so good for digestion, it can help with both, diarrhea and constipation. It also has vitamins and acids that are great for our pup’s skin and coat. It’s loaded with beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A.
Dogs tend to love the taste of this meaty squash, but just a little goes a long way. Just add one tablespoon straight from the can to their normal food at each regular meal. For very small dogs, a teaspoon might be better. Just remember too much vitamin A is toxic for dogs so don’t exceed the recommended amount at mealtime. And if our canine companion has diabetes or chronic kidney disease, we should check with our vet first.
We can also prepare cooked pumpkin. Cut wedges and place them skin side up on a lightly greased baking sheet. Leave in a low temp oven for 90 minutes or until the wedges are tender when they are stuck with a fork. Once they’re cool enough, cut the skin off and share a tablespoon sized treat with Fido.
Scrape the rest of the meat off the skin, mash it with a fork and place it in the fridge for later. If we have more than we can share with our pups before it goes bad, we can add it to ice trays and freeze it for later. Just thaw block as needed!
Get to the Root of the Problem
Sharing this Fall favorite with our fur-babies as a treat or a mealtime digestive aid is a delicious way to boost their nutrition. But if it becomes a necessary digestive aid in the long-term, it’s important to ask why.
Commercial dog food can contain fillers and additives that are difficult to digest and can even be harmful for dogs with food allergies. Consider switching to a food that will be nutritionally sound and easier on their digestion, like EcoEats from Vet Organics. It’s as close to a whole food diet as we can get, but with the ease and simplicity of a lightweight, inexpensive dehydrated diet.
Environmental and lifestyle factors can also play into our canine companion’s digestive health. They may be getting into trash, garden plants, kitty litter or other things that can be harmful. Being left alone for long periods of time, living without a dependable schedule for when they’ll get food, company, or exercise can lead to anxiety that may only show itself as digestive discomfort, such as diarrhea and constipation. And there may be other factors worth considering, such as a developing health condition.
Pumpkins and dog nutrition go hand-in-paw. It’s a whole food that doesn’t need any baking or special instructions. It isn’t processed or packed with preservatives, but it is packed with healthy, natural goodness. Give it a try and share your best dog or cat-friendly recipe with us on social with a picture of your fur-baby.