7 Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Dogs.. and Cats!

7 Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Dogs.. and Cats!

Yay! It’s the fall season and pumpkin is popping up everywhere. Pumpkin is not only good for you but also for your pets.

It’s almost time to make those pumpkin pies and seeing all the fall decorations reminded me to stock up on a couple of extra cans of pumpkin puree for Dusty and Sadie. If you haven’t heard of the benefits of pumpkin for dogs, you’ll want to check these out!

7 Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs:

1) Pumpkin is great for helping to relieve digestive issues in dogs.

A lot of dog owners already know that pumpkin can help remedy diarrhea, but it’s also good for relieving constipation in dogs. Dogs that have IBS or require a bland diet may benefit from adding pumpkin to their food on a regular basis.

Canned pumpkin (100% pure) provides about 80 calories and 7 grams of soluble fiber per cup, compared to 1.2 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked white rice. Pumpkin is especially rich in soluble fiber (the type that dissolves in water to form a viscous gel, which also coats and soothes irritated bowels). Soluble fiber delays gastric emptying, slowing down GI transit times (and the number of episodes of diarrhea).

2) Pumpkins are full of healthy goodness.

Pumpkins contain a lot of fiber while being low in calories, fat and cholesterol. You can tell by their orange color they contain a good amount of beta-carotene along with magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and C.

3) Pumpkin seeds pack a healthy punch.

Pumpkin seeds contain plant-based, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants along with other beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. Animal studies have shown promising results linking the properties of pumpkin seeds to improved insulin regulation and urinary health (prevention of kidney stones and urinary incontinence) and in reducing inflammation.

I grind up the pumpkin seeds in my blender and then put about a tablespoon in their food. Be sure that there’s no salt or other spices on the pumpkin seeds.

4) Pumpkin can help manage your dog’s weight.

Pumpkin can add bulk and fiber to your pup’s diet without adding a lot of extra calories. The extra fiber means your dog will feel fuller while eating less calories, all while getting the additional health benefits pumpkin has to offer.

Cut back on their kibble and add some pumpkin to their meals. Add appropriate amount per he size of your dog.

5) Canned pumpkin is convenient.

You can make your own cooked pumpkin puree but canned puree is convenient and available year round. It’s an easy way to add lots of healthy nutrients to your dog’s diet.

6) Most dogs love the taste of pumpkin.

Most dogs, and some cats, love pumpkin. This is another reason why it’s a super food for dogs, especially if your pup’s upset stomach makes them picky about eating certain foods. Pumpkin is also unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs that suffer from food allergies.

7) Pumpkin seeds to eliminate parasites.

 Pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid called cucurbitin, which paralyzes and eliminates the worms from the digestive tract. Give him a quarter teaspoon per ten pounds of body weight once or twice a day until he’s rid of the parasites.

Cat Owners:

Pumpkin is also good for cats! From aiding in digestive issues to preventing hairballs.

How Much Pumpkin Does A Dog Need?

It only takes a small amount of pumpkin each day to treat diarrhea or constipation problems in dogs and you need to be careful not to feed too much pumpkin because it is high in fiber.  If you’re thinking about adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet on a regular basis, remember to slowly increase the amount of pumpkin so your pup has time to adjust to the increased amount of fiber.

Normally the recommended amount is somewhere between a few teaspoons per day for small dogs to a few tablespoons or more for larger dogs.

If you're not sure about feeding your pet pumpkin, consult your veterinarian.

If digestive problems persist, you should consult your veterinarian.