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Sam Dobson Writes: Health Benefits of Pumpkin For Dogs

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Health Benefits of Pumpkin For Dogs

It's officially October and I love the fall season (well, when it actually starts to feel like fall instead of summer). What’s not to love about cool weather, cozy clothes, trick-or-treaters, and of course, pumpkin? Pumpkins just happen to be my dogs' favorite part of the harvest season. It’s not the pumpkin spiced lattes or all the fun of carving that makes pumpkins so popular with my dogs, of course that's my favorite part. My pups love pumpkins because it's tasty and I let them love it because of the awesome health benefits. Here are a few ways in which pumpkins are beneficial for our furry best friends.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs

1.       Cooked pumpkin puree is a perfect all natural way to add more of the good stuff to your dog’s daily diet. Pumpkin is low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat, but loaded with lots of important vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

2.       Sometimes it can be difficult to keep our beloved canine companions at a healthy weight, especially if you have one of those breeds that just love to eat. The health risks of dog obesity are scary and unfortunately, most dogs could stand to lose a few pounds. If your pup falls into this category, try adding some pumpkin to their diet. Reduce the amount of their regular food by a small portion (about 1/3 of their meal) and replace it with canned pumpkin. Despite the lesser calorie intake, your dog will still feel full thanks to all that fiber!

3.       Pumpkin can work wonders for dogs suffering from digestion issues. Incorporating just a small amount (1 to 2 tablespoons depending on size) into their daily meals can help regulate diarrhea, constipation, and the typical upset tummy. Pumpkin absorbs the excess water in your dog’s loose stool to firm it up a bit, but also softens excessively firm stool that causes uncomfortable constipation.

4.       Even the seeds boost health benefits for your furry kid! Pumpkin seeds can help fight some intestinal parasites such as certain kinds of worms. Raw or roasted will do the trick. Roasted seeds make for a tasty treat for the food loving canines, but skip the seasoning. Not sure how to get your finicky pup to eat seeds? Use a coffee grinder to grind them into a fine powder and simply sprinkle on his food.

Of course pumpkin is available all year round, but it’s especially abundant in the fall for all those pumpkin pies. If you are going to buy canned pumpkin instead of home-making puree (we won’t judge you for taking the easy way out), make sure you are purchasing all natural pumpkin instead of sugary pie filling. As always, consult with your veterinarian regarding your dog’s individual health needs.

*I wrote parts of this blog post for the Paws Pet Resorts newsletter. Visit their web page to view current and past newsletters for more doggie news. www.pawspetresorts.com

Until next time,

Sam (aka Pumpkin-lover)



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