Should You Feed Dogs Pumpkin And What Are The Benefits?

Like most owners, you’re likely mindful, year-round, of what your dog gets his teeth stuck into.

But there are certain holidays when certain foods are in abundance.

Think Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course, Halloween. Whilst candy isn’t something your dog should be treated to; Pumpkin is perfectly safe for your dog to eat over the Halloween period.

You may have even heard of it being used when dogs have digestive discomfort.

So not only being perfectly safe, Pumpkin, as well as being a funny name for a dog, actually has some rather unique benefits to dogs, so let’s take a look at the 411 on the fiber-rich food!

Benefits Of Feeding Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a member of the squash plant, it is round and smooth with a deep yellow to orange coloring. You probably know it best served in a pie!

It is fiber-rich and contains a range of Vitamins and Minerals like Vitamin A, C and E and Potassium and Iron.

As it’s high in fiber, it can help add bulk to a dog’s stool when they are suffering digestive discomfort. In short, it’s a great food to feed if your dog has diarrhea. It acts as a prebiotic which stimulates the growth or activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut; inhibiting the growth and activity of the harmful bacteria. That’s why most dog owners will tell you they have a tin of canned pumpkin in their cupboard should they ever need it! (note: this does not include canned pumpkin pie. This often contains Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs).

The Benefits of Fiber

At the other end of the spectrum, Pumpkin with its fibrous content can also help ease mild constipation. But remember, this is only in mild cases. Seek veterinarian attention if you are concerned about your dog’s health or toileting.

That aside, even if your dog isn’t suffering with any digestive discomfort, there’s no reason they can’t join in with the festivities and have some Pumpkin treats alongside your family Pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

What you’ll need:

  1. 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  2. 2 eggs
  3. ½ cup canned pumpkin
  4. 2 tablespoons peanut butter (that does not contain xylitol)
  5. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter and cinnamon. Add water if the dough seems too dry.
  3. Roll the dough and cut into shapes required.
  4. Bake in oven until hard – approximately 30-40 minutes.   

Be mindful if your dog suffers with kidney disease or has diabetes and check with your Veterinarian whether Pumpkin is safe to feed your dog.

The seeds are also safe to feed your dog and some owners routinely grind them up into their dog’s meal as a wormer treatment. It is thought that they irritate the worms which rids them from the digestive tract, but again, speak with your veterinarian if you are concerned about parasite control.

Summary

In short, Pumpkin is perfectly safe to feed your dog, whether it’s canned, cooked or raw. It can even support their recovery if they are experiencing digestive discomfort. Check the labels if you are feeding canned, and make sure you don’t accidentally pick up canned pumpkin pie. If your dog does have pre-existing health conditions, speak with your veterinarian before you add anything new to their diet.  

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