Because today is National Pumpkin Day, we wanted to share with you why pumpkins are so great for dogs and how to include it into your dog’s diet!
- It’s very nutritious
Pumpkin is great for boosting your dog's nutrition. It is low in calories, but rich in a lot of essential vitamins (A, C, E) and minerals, like iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, improves muscle health, and assists in metabolism. Because pumpkin is also very yummy, we added it to our newest supplement for hip and joint health!
- Eye health
Vitamin A is important for your dog’s health. It promotes eye health, and it helps prevent the development of night blindness. The best way to serve pumpkin puree to dogs is mixing it on top of his regular food and adding healthy oil, since Vitamin A is fat-soluble. You can also find some healthy treats with pumpkin!
- Shiny Skin & Coat
Because pumpkin is packed with nutrients like vitamin A and zinc, it will improve your pet’s skin and coat. The high-water content in pumpkin not only gives your dog a shiny coat, but it will also cause the skin to flake less and reduce the amount of hair that ends up shedding on your carpets, furniture, and clothes.
- Great for digestion
Pumpkins are very good for your dog’s digestion. Both the moisture and fiber found in pumpkin flesh will help your dog have more regular bowel movements, whether he suffers from constipation or diarrhea. So, adding a little bit of pumpkin to your pet’s diet provides the needed source of fiber to enable your dog to pass stool easily and cure constipation. However, if you suspect your dog might have a serious health condition, we recommend consulting with your vet.
- Helps with parasite control
Pumpkin seeds are rich in amino acid cucurbitacin, which is toxic to many common dog parasites and has been used to expel worms in ruminating animals. Giving your pup pumpkin treats can help expel worms and other gastrointestinal parasites.
- Weight Loss
Because pumpkin is very low in calories, it is a great way to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. It has a high moisture and fibre content, which can also provide a feeling of fullness, that may help your pooch lose weight slowly and safely. Try replacing a little of your dog’s regular food with canned pumpkin if your dog needs to lose some excess water and weight.
- Immune Health Boost
The combination of vitamin C, E and A is amazing for a dog's immune health. Antioxidants in pumpkin can help destroy free radicals, or “oxidants” in your pet’s system. Because too many oxidants can contribute to cancers and damage the body, even though oxidants are a natural part of everyone’s immune system.
How Do I Serve Pumpkin to My Dog?
Pumpkin can be served to your dog in all sorts of ways. There are many supplements, treats, and canned foods for dogs that contain pumpkin. You can feed canned pumpkin plain or cooked, just make sure it doesn’t have additives. You can also prepare baked pumpkin. Remove the seeds and bake it in your oven until it is soft (bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes). If you have any fresh pumpkin seeds, clean and roast them for one hour at 350 degrees. Let them cool, and then grind them up into your dog’s food or feed them whole. Raw pumpkin can also be fed but should be done so in small amounts so as not to aggravate the digestive tract.
How Much Pumpkin Should I Give My Dog?
Generally, 1 tsp of canned (or cooked and pureed) pumpkin per 10 lbs of body weight per day is a good standard to go by. Always start with small amounts to avoid adding too much fiber although it’s unlikely that your dog will overdose on any natural nutrient by consuming too much pumpkin. If you have any doubts about the amount of pumpkin to add to your dog's diet, always consult your veterinarian.