As fall approaches, so do our favorite treats (aka pumpkin spice galore). From pumpkin pies to pumpkin lattes, pumpkin is a fall must. However, what many paw parents may not know is that organic pumpkin is highly beneficial for your pup.
In today’s article, we’ll discuss just how important pumpkin is for your pup and how it could be the newest flavor addition to their diet.
No need to beat around the bush, so yes! Yes it is. Pumpkin, in fact, is really good for dogs! Pumpkin can help treat numerous illnesses and conditions, ranging from digestive complications and issues, to eliminating worms, to giving your pup a shiny coat.
You can think of pumpkin as the underdog rising to the top when it’s least expected. Want to know the best part? Pumpkin can be given any time during the year. Even when it isn’t the fall season, pumpkin can help your fur baby stay healthy and happy.
Pumpkin is so much more than just Halloween and pies. It’s actually considered a squash plant, native to North America. If you’ve ever carved pumpkins, you know that the inside of the pumpkin has a mushy, pulpy consistency and is full of tan, little seeds.
I’m sure you’re wondering, what do people do with the seeds after they carve out your pumpkin? Should you throw them out? Keep them? Well, speaking of seeds, many people may not realize just how beneficial pumpkin seeds really are. These flat, oval-like seeds are full of vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, pumpkin seeds are rich in lipids. So hold onto those pumpkin seeds, for now.
Paw parents find themselves searching for all-natural, holistic alternatives over the conventional medications. And we’ve got to say, it makes total sense. The more you research potential side effects and adverse reactions of most conventional drugs, the more you want to find other alternatives for your doggo.
Good news! There likely are other alternatives for your pup. Natural, holistic alternatives may help ease your dog’s current illness and help relieve other issues too. Natural alternatives may also help prevent future conditions and their development.
So, back to pumpkin. Pumpkin is just one of these all-natural, holistic alternatives. Pumpkin can help your pup’s current ailment or condition and more. Here’s a fun fact - Native Americans used pumpkin to fight parasites and help the healing process of wounds.
It’s nice to hear that pumpkin isn’t just a tasty fall treat, but really does provide helpful healing and protective benefits for dogs.
The most common use of pumpkin? Dog diarrhea. Canned pumpkin is a great source of fiber that contains essential vitamins and minerals. Canned pumpkin contains iron, vitamins C, A, E potassium, and many others. The soluble and natural fiber content of pumpkin helps slow down intestinal digestion by adding thickness to your pup’s stool.
Veterinarians recommend adding a teaspoon of canned pumpkin to your dog’s daily food. Many paw parents have reported that they are shocked by how quickly the canned pumpkin works to help clear up their pup’s liquidy stools.
It’s essential to keep a close eye on your pup’s diarrhea after the pumpkin supplementation. If the diarrhea persists, we encourage you to take your four-legged friend to see the vet. Doggy diarrhea isn’t necessarily a for sure sign of an illness, but may be a sign of something else going on. If the diarrhea continues after the pumpkin has been supplemented, it’s crucial that you get to the bottom of the issue.
It’s wonderful that pumpkin can help thicken your pup’s loose stool and diarrhea. It’s also effective at helping ease doggy constipation. By naturally increasing and adding pumpkin, which is packed with fiber, to your dog’s diet, will help improve issues comfortably over time. Pumpkin is gentle in relieving constipation, unlike most conventional drugs.
Veterinarian experts recommend adding 1 - 4 teaspoons of canned pumpkin to your dog’s normal food daily. Also, make sure your pup has access to fresh water at all times - dehydration can have a direct connection to constipation.
Does your pup have a stomach ache? Did you recently change their food? If you did just change their food or are thinking about doing so soon, make sure you gradually incorporate the new food in. There are few dogs that can handle a cold turkey change in food. By slowly introducing their new food with their current food, this can help ease their stomach. In addition, you can add pumpkin into the new/current food to help relieve their digestive tract. Again, 1 - 4 teaspoons of pumpkin should do it.
With that being said, an upset tummy may not tell you much about what’s going on. If diarrhea, constipation, or an upset stomach persists or comes out of nowhere, we recommend seeing your vet to come to a proper diagnosis.
An upset stomach can mean a slew of things: allergies, ulcers, GI dysfunction, etc. When all is said and done, it’s important to know what’s going on with your pup so you and your vet can act accordingly.
Does your pup struggle with being overweight? They may benefit from pumpkin for weight loss too. By adding pumpkin to your pup’s diet, this can help regulate their weight. Replacing a handful of your dog’s food for pumpkin is a wonderful way to promote weight loss because pumpkin is a highly beneficial and nutritional food source.
As we mentioned earlier, pumpkin is jam packed with vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin A is great for vision health and Vitamin C can help boost their immune system. Vitamin C is a great way to keep your dog’s health in mint condition.
Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Thus, beta-carotene can help slow the aging process and protect the dog’s joints as they age over time.
Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients too, beyond just pumpkin puree. Pumpkin seeds are an effective deworming agent; they have the ability to eliminate parasites in the intestines. Pumpkin seeds have an anti-inflammatory nature, are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as help promote cardiovascular health.
Unfortunately, worms are common in dogs. They are typically contracted through contaminated water. Once ingested, worms can cause insane destruction on your pup’s digestive system. Here are some common signs to look out for:
If you notice any of these signs and believe that your pup may have worms, it’s important you have this properly diagnosed by a vet. Worms can be treated yes, but you want to ensure that the worms are the root of the problem causing gastrointestinal upset.
It is typically recommended to give your dog 1 - 4 teaspoons of canned pumpkin in your dog’s normal food. Most likely, your doggo will love the taste! Whether it is due to an upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea, pumpkin can help save the day!
Again, we recommend you start incorporating pumpkin into your dog’s diet slowly. It is all-natural and holistic for dogs, but you don’t want to overload them on pumpkin from the get-go. Starting with 1 or 2 teaspoons should suffice.
As far as weight loss/management and pumpkin, begin replacing ¼ cup of food for a tablespoon of canned pumpkin. First and foremost, gage your pup’s eating habits to make sure they aren’t overly hungry with this substitution.
Note: not all canned pumpkin is equal. You want to purchase pain, canned pumpkin. Do NOT purchase canned pumpkin pie. Canned pumpkin pie contains xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs.
We recommend avoiding canned pumpkin with added salts, spices, and sugars. These additives can be “additive” to your pup’s already digestive issues. Also, try and purchase canned pumpkin over fresh pumpkin. This may come as a surprise, but canned pumpkin is much more concentrated than fresh pumpkin. Just be sure to read the canned pumpkin labels!
You bet! Dogs can eat pumpkin seeds too. Make sure the pumpkin seeds are unsalted and without sugar as well. Dogs may not like the slimy, slippery texture of pumpkin seeds, so we advise grinding the pumpkin seeds into a grinder and serving them as sprinkles over their food! Protein, fiber, and presentation - nice!
At the end of the day, we know you want what’s best for your four-legged friend. We get how confusing and overwhelming it may be taking your pup to the vet and navigating through conventional medications with a potential slew of adverse side effects.
Luckily, there’s an alternative! All-natural and holistic alternatives are starting to show promise in helping relieve and management your pup’s pain and discomfort. Even if your pup isn’t suffering from diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach aches, or digestive issues, give them a scoop of pumpkin!