Fall is my favorite season and October is my favorite month. There are so many fun and festive activities that occur this time of year, but when I think about fall my mind directly goes to pumpkin lattes.But, let's not leave Fido out of the picture! Rumor at the dog park is that pumpkin and canned pumpkin (not pie filling) is a wonder food. We know it's great for humans, but what are the health benefits for dogs and cats when given in small doses?
Diarrhea | ConstipationPumpkin offers a solution to both! Canned pumpkin is actually pumpkin in a puree form. But, did you know pumpkin is rich in fiber and adding two teaspoons to your dog's food will aid in digestion? For the opposite problem pumpkin softens your dog's stool and can cure an upset stomach or constipation quickly. Dr. Carol McConnell, chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide pet insurance agrees, adding, "Veterinarians have long known the benefits of adding a little canned pumpkin to a pet's diet regularly."
FurballsWho would have thought that a teaspoon of pumpkin a day over time can prevent furballs? Also, the fiber in the pumpkin can move furballs through a cat's tummy and into the litter box. Most kitties love pumpkin, but if your cat is finicky mix it with food and watch it disappear--- along with furballs.
Urinary Tract SupportThe oils that are found in pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh support urinary tract health in both dogs and cats. According to veterinarians, adding pumpkin to your pet's diet can help avoid this painful condition.
ParasitesPumpkin seeds also contain an amino acid called cucurbitin, which acts as a natural de-worming agent. Tapeworms and intestinal parasites become paralyzed by cucurbitin. The best way to prepare the seeds is to grind up fresh seeds until they are a powder consistency. Mix a teaspoon of powder into a marble size portion of wet food, three times a day. Store leftover seeds in an airtight container to keep fresh.
Skin and CoatDo you like roasted pumpkin seeds? Share them with your dog! The antioxidants and essential fatty acids help moisturize your pet's fur and skin from the inside out. Need a quick recipe?
- Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking oil
- Roast at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes
- Cool and serve.
NutritionPumpkin, seeds and its flesh are loaded with Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese. The antioxidants found in pumpkin are known to prevent some cancer and are obviously a healthy addition to a pet's diet. Pumpkin is wonderful and oh so tasty. Remember that the amount you add depends on your pet's size and species (dog or cat). It's a good idea to reach out to your veterinarian if you have questions about the daily serving amount and frequency. One can of pumpkin contains 29 tablespoons "“ too much for one or even a two pet family to eat in one week. Interested in baking special pumpkin treats for your pet with the leftover pumpkin? Follow this basic recipe and include some "add ins", or if your dog has a favorite food add it to the recipe. Your pet will have a delicious, healthy and yummy treat. Remember you can eat the treats too! (but keep the latte for yourself.)
Maureen Lake Maureen Lake writes for the blog, Rosa Doodle and co-owns Trendy Pet with her daughter. Trendy Pet makes elevated dog and cat feeder in Denver Colorado. When Maureen has free time she loves spending it with her three children, and two furry kids.