Pumpkin for Dogs: How Something as Simple as Pumpkin Can Benefit Your Dog
The next time you find yourself in the Wal-Mart pet aisle wondering which of the treats contains the most organic ingredients or whether or not those cheap supplements would do any good, stroll on over to the grocery section instead. In the canned food section you just might find something that is far healthier, natural, and more affordable than anything in that pet aisle.
See, pet foods are packed with fillers, chemicals, and all sorts of nasty things because they are cheaply made. Ironically, lots of human foods are way better for your pets and even cheaper. Canned pumpkin, for example, has many health benefits, tastes wonderful to your dogs, and doesn’t break the bank.
What is Canned Pumpkin?
Canned pumpkin is just pureed pumpkin, which is loaded with fiber, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and C. It has all these, but still remains low in fat and cholesterol and all you have to do is pop the can open and serve it as-is. No preparation needed!
The Impact of Pumpkin on a Dog’s Digestive System
Since pumpkin is loaded with fiber, it regulates the digestive system. It doesn’t matter if your pup’s stools are too hard or too soft, pumpkin is the answer. It acts as a binding solution that absorbs the excess water in diarrhea, but also pushes stool through when it gets backed up. Since canned pumpkin is made up of 90 percent water, it also helps pets stay hydrated. Dogs even love the taste! My Bull Terriers are crazy about pumpkin. They get a couple of scoops of it every day. I can honestly attest that it has helped them in the plumbing arena…I cannot remember the last time they had diarrhea. Any Bull Terrier owner can tell you that our dog’s digestive systems can be very sensitive among other sensitivities. Not to get too much into my dogs’ poo, but their stool is a lot easier to pick up and not as nasty and smelly. I thank the pumpkin!
Using Pumpkin for Obesity
Dogs can gain weight for a number of reasons. Some simply get old and don’t move around as much as they used to, others are a little spoiled with treats (guilty!), and some medications cause weight gain.
Since pumpkin has a lot of fiber, it acts to sooth the stomach and curb your dog’s appetite. Adding pumpkin to your dog’s meal with their usual amount of food won’t do anything, but replacing some of your pet’s food will lower their calorie intake without leaving them feeling hungry or unsatisfied.
Other Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin has only been scientifically proven to help with pet digestive systems, but evidence suggests that there are other benefits as well. The other vitamins included in pumpkin help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. However, you also have the option of feeding your dog pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids, which help with the skin and fur, but also support urinary health and reduce the risk of cancer.
How Much Pumpkin Should You Feed Your Dog?
How much to give your dog depends on their size. A teacup Chihuahua may only need one teaspoon. Your best bet is to check with your veterinarian and see what dose they recommend to support an active and healthy lifestyle. It makes more sense than winding up at the vet later on due to health issues caused by poor-quality pet food!
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