To celebrate the spoOky season I will be embarking on a series of 13 posts this month on topics relating to halloween AND dogs!
come along with me!
POST ONE OF THIRTEEN
The Benefits of Pumpkin For Dogs
A number of nutrients in pumpkin, including vitamin A and zinc, improve your pet’s skin and coat. The high water content in pumpkin flesh also contributes to supple skin and a lustrous coat. In addition to making your pet’s coat shine and look fantastic, the added moisture causes the skin to flake less and less hair to be shed on your carpets, furniture, and clothes.
Vitamin A is essential for your eye health, and it’s no different when it comes to your dog. Vitamin A promotes eye health and helps prevent night blindness and vision degeneration. Since Vitamin A is fat-soluble, feeding your dog pumpkin with a little healthy oil will make the nutrients pack more punch. Mix your pup’s pumpkin on top of his regular food, or mix in a little flax oil for a healthy, satisfying treat.
Canned natural pumpkin is a great source of fiber and helps with digestive regularity. If your dog is experiencing constipation or diarrhea, mix a tablespoon of pumpkin straight from the can into their normal food. Not only will they love the taste of pumpkin but it may also ease stomach issues.
Is your dog overweight or obese? Ask your veterinarian if replacing a portion of your dog’s regular diet with canned pumpkin — which is low in calories — will help your pooch trim the waistline.
Many dogs fed a kibble only diet suffer from a mild, but chronic dehydration. Dry dog food has a very low moisture content and dogs do not possess a very strong thirst drive. This means that getting extra moisture into your dog through drinking can be difficult. But the high moisture content of pumpkin adds more water to your dog’s diet easily and naturally.
Generally, 1 tsp of canned (or cooked and pureed) pumpkin per 10lbs of body weight per day is a good standard to go by. If your dog has a health condition such as diabetes, please talk to your vet before feeding pumpkin to your dog. As a general rule, treats (including fruits and vegetables) should never exceed 10% of your pet’s daily caloric needs.
Pumpkin seeds are high in fat and should be fed more sparingly. 1 ground up pumpkin seed per 10lbs of body weight per day is a safe amount.
Pumpkin can be enjoyed by your dog in a variety of ways. There are many pumpkin treats, canned foods for dogs containing pumpkin, and pumpkin supplements that can easily be fed to your dog. For their safety, ensure that you feed your dog only supplements and treats that are designed with dogs in mind.
Simple canned pumpkin can also be fed to your dog, but be careful not to feed pumpkin pie filling or any canned pumpkin with added sweeteners or spices. Cans should be good for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, or portion out and freeze in individual servings for a longer lasting alternative (ice cube trays work perfect). Store these properly to avoid freezer burn, which can affect taste and nutrient density. You can also make your own dog treats from canned pumpkin, but ensure that you include only safe ingredients for dogs in your recipes.
You can also feed your dog cooked pumpkin that you make at home. Prick a few holes in a pumpkin and bake at 350F for 45-60minutes. Cube or puree for a tasty, home-cooked dog treat! While raw pumpkin is safe for dogs, the flavour and texture improves with cooking.