Is Pumpkin Good for Dogs?
We’re always looking for ways to keep our pets happy and healthy and here’s a new way: pumpkin for dogs! This sweet treat has a ton of health benefits for our furry friends other than just a taste they’ll love. Instead of giving your pet their usual peanut butter treat they’ve been craving, why not try something new? Pumpkin has benefits in a multitude of areas like digestion, fighting worms, and even giving your dog an extra shiny coat.
What is Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is more than just an ingredient in pie! Pumpkins are a squash plant, native to North America. The meat of a pumpkin is made up of pulpy insides and some very delicious pumpkin seeds.
What are Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are the seeds found inside a pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are flat, oval, and hard shelled but when bought at the store they are shell free.
They are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals and rich in lipids which is a good fat to include in your pets diet.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
If you like to keep it natural with your pet, pumpkin is an affordable and useful product. The pumpkin meat and pumpkin seeds offer a plethora of exciting health benefits for dogs. Canned pumpkin and pumpkin seeds fight upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation, promote weight loss, spice up a bland diet, and can add some vitamin a beta-carotene to your pet’s diet.
In fact, canned pumpkin is great for your pet’s digestive tract. Also, this isn’t new news! Native Americans used pumpkin to heal wounds and fight parasites. So, let’s find out how you can use this yummy treat.
Dog Diarrhea Treatment
Canned pumpkin is an incredible source of soluble fiber and contains important vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, E, C, potassium, and iron are all found in canned pumpkin. You may be thinking, how does this help my dog’s tummy though? Well, the fiber in pumpkin flesh slows digestion and adds bulk to your pup’s stool by absorbing water. The fiber in pumpkin also acts as a prebiotic which, depending on the cause of your pet’s diarrhea, vets suggest adding to your pet’s diet.
If your doggie struggles with loose stool, mix a tablespoon of pumpkin in with their normal food. Canned pumpkin will do the trick, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Also, if the diahrrea continues, please take your pup to the vet. Canned pumpkin can help for a range of issues but if it’s something more serious, you’ll want to seek guidance from a veterinarian.
Dog Constipation Treatment
Diarrhea isn’t the only stomach issue pumpkin can help with. Canned pumpkin also eases constipation in dogs. Pumpkin for dogs is a healthy and natural way to increase soluble fiber and help get things moving! Just 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin helps with constipation. Make sure to keep your furry friend hydrated as well. Dehydration can make constipation worse.
Pumpkin for Weight Management
We would never fat shame your furry bestie but, let’s face it, sometimes you may need to put your pet on a diet. Guess what? Canned pumpkin is also a great doggy diet food! Canned pumpkin is a way to bulk up your dog’s food. You can replace a portion of your dog’s regular diet with canned pumpkin, a nice low calorie and yummy treat. It’s a great way to promote weight loss for your pet if they may need to lose a few pounds.
And, since pumpkin slows digestion and is full of soluble fiber, your dog will feel fuller longer. You can start by substituting a tablespoon of canned pumpkin for ¼ cup of food. Your dog will be satisfied and svelte.
Pumpkin Vitamin Benefits
Since canned pumpkin is choked full of vitamins A, C, and E, there are a ton of side benefits to your dog. The flesh of pumpkin has vitamin A, which is great for vision health. Vitamin C, which canned pumpkin is full of, boosts the immune system. Yay for no puppy colds! Vitamin C also helps with joint problems which is important for aging dogs.
Speaking of aging, pumpkin is also full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps slow the aging process. The zinc that’s present in pumpkin will keep your dog’s skin and coat shiny and healthy. Basically, pumpkin for dogs is a tasty, magic, natural and healthy treat that your pup will love.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds for Dogs
We’ve talked all about the benefits of canned pumpkin but guess what? We aren’t done yet! Pumpkin seeds are a whole different ball game with a whole new set of benefits for your dog. Pumpkin seeds are an effective deworming agent that eliminate intestinal parasites. I know, crazy. Native Americans even used pumpkin seeds as an anti-parasitic and to heal wounds.
Besides that, pumpkin seeds are also anti-inflammatory, promote cardiovascular health, and have some vitamin rich bonuses.
Worms in Dogs
There are a lot of types of worms that can affect your pet’s digestive health. But, don’t worry! Here are some things to look out for:
- Frequent diarrhea
- Upset stomach
- Vomiting with no notable cause that doesn’t stop
- Doggy with a fever
- Loss of appetite
- Mucus covered stool
- Something that looks like little pieces of rice in your pet’s stool
Ok, now don’t go around panicking. If you think your dog has worms, the best thing to do is take a sample to your vet to get analyzed. And guess what? Pumpkin seeds can help get rid of those pesky things. Here’s a little science talk. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called Cucurbitin. Cucurbitin paralyzes worms in the digestive system and eliminates them. Pumpkin seeds are a natural deworming agent and are especially effective in getting rid of roundworms and tapeworms. Little tip, pumpkin seeds can also be an effective deworming agent for humans. Who knew!
Pumpkin Seeds for Urinary Health
Antioxidants and fatty acids found in pumpkin seeds are known to promote urinary health in pets. This helps alleviate and prevent urinary tract infections.
Also, if you have an aging dog that is struggling with incontinence or an overactive bladder, pumpkin seed oil can help. Lastly, pumpkin seeds help keep kidney stones from forming. Whew!
How Much Pumpkin to Give a Dog
So, by now you might be looking to spice up your dog’s food with some pumpkin treats? Ok, we got you covered. If your pet has an upset stomach, 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin mixed in with the usual dog food is a good place to start. This goes for diarrhea or constipation.
If you want to used canned or pureed pumpkin for weight loss or weight management, you can start by substituting one tablespoon of canned pumpkin for ¼ a cup of food.
Best Canned Pumpkin for Dogs
Plain, canned pumpkin is the best choice to feed your pet. Canned pumpkin actually contains a higher percentage of fiber and nutrients compared to fresh pumpkin. Just be aware and read the labels. Canned pumpkin with added salt, spices, or sugar can lead to an upset stomach in your pet, creating more problems. Keep it natural!
Also, never use pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin pie, it may contain xylitol, which is toxic for pets.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
You can feed your pet whole pumpkin seeds but make sure they are unsalted. Also, it’s best to make sure they are roasted and de-shelled. Raw and organic are best for your dog. If you dog isn’t chowing down on the seeds as a whole, you can roast them, grind them down using a coffee grinder, and add them to your pet’s dog food. This may be the best way to integrate pumpkin seeds into your dog’s meal since they can be tough to eat.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and fiber and an easy additive. Give your pet a quarter teaspoon per each ten pounds of weight once or twice a day until your pup is free of worms.
Make sure to store pumpkin seeds in a sealed bag as they can become toxic as they spoil. If you have them in a sealed bag, they can last for up to six months this way!
Pumpkin for Dogs: Final Thoughts
If you’ve been sitting around thinking pumpkin was reserved for Halloween and Thanksgiving, now you know it can be a great year round treat for your dog. Just as tasty as a peanut butter treat, a pumpkin treat will taste great and give lasting health benefits to your pet. Fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin, pureed pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds can all be integrated into your dog’s food to spice up a bland diet or to cure health ailments.
Pumpkin is a very safe and satisfying way to give your pet extra antioxidants, soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals in a natural way. Just make sure to integrate pumpkin into your doggy’s diet in a slow way. And, if your pet experiences any long lasting problems make sure to see your vet.
Other than that, happy pumpkin eating to your pet!