We use pumpkin all year round. There are many benefits to including this low fat, low calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable in the entire pack’s diet.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals:
promotes eye health and prevents the development of night blindness and other degenerative eye conditions. Since Vitamin A is fat-soluble, feeding your dog pumpkin with a little healthy oil will make the nutrients more effective. Mix your pup’s pumpkin on top of his regular food, or mix in some flax or coconut oil. The oil will also help nourish their skin and coat.
essential for immune health. When combined with vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin E and other antioxidants in pumpkin, it might help prevent certain cancers from developing.
necessary for the proper functioning of enzymes, muscles, and nerves. It is also necessary to maintain a proper fluid balance throughout the body.
Antioxidant (must reiterate the importance of this)
Derived from the carotenoid family, pumpkin, absorbed into the cells fight free radicals, or “oxidants” in your pet’s system. Oxidants occur naturally in our immune systems. Too many oxidants can contribute to cancers and other illnesses. By including natural, fresh sources of antioxidants, such as those found in pumpkin, you can boost your pet’s immune system.
Another benefit of Vitamin A as well as zinc, is that they can help improve your pet’s skin and coat. The high water content in pumpkin flesh also contributes to supple skin and a luxurious coat.
Many dogs who consume a kibble the only diet suffer from mild, but chronic dehydration. Dry dog food has low moisture content . Pumpkin contains a high moisture content; by adding pumpkin to meals, you add more water to your dog’s diet.
Weight Loss Aid
The High Fibre content helps fill you up (great for helping mom and pup with weight loss goals). Pumpkins have a high moisture and fibre content, which makes them a powerful tool for your pet’s weight loss. Replacing a little of your dog’s regular food with canned pumpkin (a few teaspoons for a small dog up to half a cup with a large dog) can help your dog lose some excess weight. The fibre and water in the pumpkin will keep them full, so they don’t miss the extra calories.
Digestive Issues and Regularity
For upset stomachs, pumpkin will aid to tighten stool in the case of diarrhea, or loose stool if your dog is suffering from constipation.
Pumpkin Seeds Prevent Urinary Incontinence
As well as the pumpkin flesh, give your pet a taste of the seeds! Pumpkin seeds contain Omega 3 fatty acids. These have anti-inflammatory properties, which can assist with dislodging kidney stones. Pumpkin seed powder is used to prevent urinary incontinence (the reduced ability to hold in urine).
Like many people, dogs enjoy the rich, creamy consistency of pumpkin.
Be aware of what you’re buying when you get canned pumpkin. Some spices are not good for dogs. I only use 100% pure pumpkin.
Always check the ingredients label if you’re not sure.
HOW TO SERVE PUMPKIN TO DOGS
Before making any changes to your dog’s diet, you may wish to consult your veterinarian for advice.
Portion Size: Ask your vet for guidance on appropriate portions. Depending on the size of your dog, and their current health issues, the recommended serving could be one tablespoon once a day, all the way up to 2-4 ounces at each meal.
Homemade Dog Food: Pumpkin is an excellent addition to homemade dog food. It can also be used in conjunction with rice to help with upset stomachs (see above).
Consider mixing pumpkin into your dog’s regular diet. Since you’re adding food, you may wish to reduce the amount of kibble or wet food you’re feeding them. Discuss options with your vet. I don’t recommend mixing pumpkin with a raw diet – consult your vet.
How Much Pumpkin:
Unless your pet suffers from diabetes, 1 tsp of canned (or cooked and pureed) pumpkin per 10lbs of body weight per day is a good standard to go by. If unsure, please consult a veterinarian. For puppies and toy or underweight dogs, only feed pumpkin in very small amounts as a treat.