It’s pumpkin season! From the pumpkin spice latte to pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes, and even pumpkin beer, there’s no shortage of ways to use this popular autumnal gourd. In addition to its appealing flavor, pumpkin is considered a superfood. Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs.
It can be challenging to say no to a dog that’s telling you he’s hungry, but it’s our job to ensure our pets’ optimal weight. By adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin to your dog’s meals, however, you can help him feel full longer. Canned pumpkin is rich in fiber, which helps keep dogs satiated because it slows digestion.
Pumpkin Curbs Digestive Issues
Whether your dog has constipation or diarrhea, canned pumpkin may help. Because the fiber in pumpkin slows digestion and helps to absorb water, it can prevent or at least reduce bouts of diarrhea. If your dog is straining to have a bowel movement, a little pumpkin may encourage things to start moving. Always speak to your veterinarian about chronic diarrhea or constipation because these may signal a serious issue that pumpkin alone, as great as it is, will not address.
Pumpkin Boosts Nutrition
Canned pumpkin is a great addition or supplement to your dog’s diet. Pumpkin has vitamins A, C, E, and potassium, which contribute to your dog’s optimum health: Vitamin A helps prevent night blindness and other degeneration of the eyes, Vitamin C promotes a strong immune system, Vitamin E is excellent for skin and coat, and Potassium aids in the whole metabolic process while keeping blood pressure under control and boosting muscle tone.
Together, this army of super nutrients fights oxidative stress and can even prevent cancer.
Pumpkin Aids in Hydration
Because most dogs are on dry kibble, they tend to become easily dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to many health issues and, in extreme cases, can even result in death. Adding a little pumpkin to your dog’s food bowl at mealtimes increases your dog’s water intake without him even knowing it. Keeping your dog hydrated will also keep his coat soft and shiny, and flaky skin will be a thing of the past.
Pumpkin is a Yummy Treat
All health benefits aside, dogs usually enjoy the taste of pumpkin. Added to their meals or treat recipes, your dog will be begging you for more. Because it’s usually available all year round, a dog that develops a particular love of pumpkin will be able to enjoy it even when pumpkin latte season is long gone.
As with everything else, too much of anything is not good. Feeding your dog more than a few teaspoons of pumpkin a day can result in an upset stomach or toxicity. Pumpkins should always be fully cooked when shared with our dogs, should be given in moderation, and should be handled with care to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Also, please note that canned pumpkin should include one ingredient: pumpkin. Avoid buying pumpkin pie filling or spiced canned pumpkin because these types of pumpkin are not safe for dogs. They contain high sugar content and are likely to cause gastrointestinal irritation.