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Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs

Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs

 

Pumpkins get a lot of attention in the fall, but with their many health benefits, they are very deserving of praise all year round! 

This brightly colored winter squash packs a punch when it comes to nutrients!

How dogs benefit from pumpkin: 

  1. Being high in Vitamin C, E, and particularly high in Vitamin A, pumpkins help support the immune system, allowing pups to maintain the healthy balance needed to fight off potential diseases and infection.

  2. Pumpkins are also high in beta carotene and lutein, two carotenoids that have anti-inflammatory properties that support eye health as well as healthy skin and coat.

  3. They contain calcium needed for strong teeth and bones, and iron, an essential element for blood production.

  4. Rich in Omega-fatty acids, pumpkin seeds can be used as a natural way to treat parasites, dislodge kidney stones, and help control urinary incontinence.

  5. Being very low in calories, adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet is a great way to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.

  6. Pumpkin is also well known for its ability to soothe the digestive system. (That’s why Under The Weather developed a Chicken and Rice with Pumpkin bland diet! Available in 5 flavors, our freeze-dried bland diets are a quick, convenient, and healthy solution for when your dog has digestive upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea.) 

RELATED: BLAND DIET OPTIONS FOR DOGS

 

Is it safe to feed my dog pumpkin?

With all of pumpkin's amazing benefits, you may be wondering if it’s safe to feed your dog pumpkin. The good news is, keeping a few basic guidelines in mind, the answer is yes!

While it may be unlikely that your dog could eat enough pumpkin to get very sick, as with all foods high in minerals and vitamins, there can be too much of a good thing.

  • Excess levels of vitamin A can be toxic in dogs, and raising levels of certain vitamins and minerals can actually lead to a deficiency elsewhere. 

  • While we know that pumpkin acts naturally to sooth the digestive tract, it is very high in fiber and too much fiber can actually lead to stomach upset and diarrhea, essentially exacerbating the very symptoms we are trying to reduce!

  • Remember that while we may be indulging in pumpkin pastries, cookies, and goodies of all kinds, these treats are very high in sugar and calories and should not be fed to dogs.

  • Experts recommend giving your dog 1 teaspoon of pumpkin a day (per 10 lbs of body weight). Just remember to buy the PLAIN canned pumpkin. Any of the pie filling varieties are full of additives, sugars, and sometimes Xylitol, which can be deadly to dogs!

 

Ways to add pumpkin to your Dog's diet

  • Canned (unsweetened) cooked or pureed pumpkin can be added to your dog’s regular meals. (1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight a day). 

  • Carving a jack-o-lantern for Halloween? Steam the meat and make your own pureed pumpkin! Add to your dog’s food or use as an ingredient when making homemade dog treats.

  • Raw pumpkin can also be fed, but should be done so in small amounts so as not to aggravate the digestive tract.

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds can be served as treats, or ground down to a powder and sprinkled over your dog’s food. 

  • Seeds and/or steamed pumpkin can be used as a filler for a Kong or other dog chew toys.

As pet parents, we want what’s best for our fur-babies, and with its ability to promote, maintain and restore health, it’s easy to see why this super squash is pretty awesome!

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