It's pumpkin season! If you're making a special trip to the pumpkin patch, don't forget to pick out a pumpkin for your dog too. Almost every part of a pumpkin can be fed to your pup and the health benefits of this super squash may surprise you.
What part of the pumpkin can dogs eat?
Dogs can eat raw, cooked, pureed and canned pumpkin in its purest form- meaning no additives. Your pup can also consume pumpkin seeds raw or roasted.
The only part of the pumpkin that your dog shouldn't eat is the stem, since it splinters easily and can cause internal damage or obstruction in his/her digestive tract. Be careful not to feed pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin that contains added sweeteners or spices. When prepping pumpkin seeds for your dog, avoid adding oils or salt.
What are the benefits of eating pumpkin?
Pumpkins are packed with nutrients and is considered a superfood for dogs!
Pumpkin contains a high concentration of vitamin A (beta-carotene) which promotes eye health. Vitamin A, zinc and several other nutrients found in pumpkin improve your dog's skin and coat. Plus, the high moisture content in pumpkin flesh contributes to a gourd-eous 😉, shiny coat and helps with dry skin.
This tasty squash's high water content not only helps to moisturize skin, but it provides more water to your dog's diet to keep your pup hydrated and healthy.
Boost your dog's immune system with pumpkin's antioxidants. Another beneficial nutrient found in pumpkins is Vitamin C, which is essential for immune health.
Including pumpkin in your dog's diet can maintain digestive regularity with its high fiber content. This superfood has the incredible ability to cure both constipation and diarrhea in your pup. Just remember, too much fiber in your pet's diet is not a good thing since it may inhibit the absorption of other nutrients.
Pumpkin seeds are also very beneficial to your dog's health. These tasty seeds contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients and are a great source of potassium, calcium and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and oils.
Plus, ground pumpkin seeds are actually a traditional remedy for tape worm and known to prevent urinary incontinence in pups.
How do I serve pumpkin to my dog?
Pumpkin is incredibly versatile. You can combine it into your dog’s meals, especially with dry food. Add pureed pumpkin to baked dog treats or stuff it into a Kong toy. ( See more Kong recipes here! ) Steam, mash or puree fresh pumpkin or buy a can of organic pureed pumpkin with no additives. You can bake pumpkin and cube it for a delicious home-cooked snack.
What about the pumpkin seeds? If you love to snack on pumpkin seeds, you can roast a special batch of seeds for your doggo. Avoid adding other ingredients to your dog's batch- no salt or seasonings. Now you and your pup can kick it and enjoy this tasty snack together.
As you know, not all dogs have the same diet. Please consult your veterinarian before feeding pumpkin to your dog if you are unsure how your dog will react to it. Some pups have sensitive stomachs, and the addition of new foods may cause digestive issues.
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