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  • Post published:28/04/2021
  • Post last modified:28/04/2021

If you are yet to include pumpkin in your dog’s diet, I cannot help but tell you that you are taking too much time to decide.

Pumpkin is a rich staple food with lots in stock for your dog. And its availability further makes it a perfect choice.

I have not stopped giving my dogs pumpkin ever since I discovered its benefits. You should get on board as well.

And to help you, I shared in this article everything there is to know about pumpkin for dogs: the benefits, risks, and more.

Let’s jump right in!

Brief Description Of Pumpkin

Originating from North America, pumpkin is the fruit of a winter squash plant.

It is plump with a ribbed hard skin. The colour ranges from deep yellow to orange. Inside the shell, you will find the many oval seeds and juicy pulp.

Pumpkin is highly nutritious yet low in calories. It is rich in vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, vitamins A, E, C, etc. Also, the oval flat seeds are full of antioxidants and lipids.

As per Halloween decorations, you must be familiar with the soft content of pumpkin. But did you know that the same pulp can make a great meal for your dog?

In the next section, we’ll see how much pumpkin can benefit your dog.

Keep reading!

Benefits Of Pumpkin For Dogs

  1. Pumpkin Supplies Your Dog’s Body With Quality Nutrients

Earlier in describing pumpkin, I mentioned some nutrients that it provides. You will agree with me that they are nutrients your dog shouldn’t do without.

READ ALSO: 9 Common Dog Food Allergies & Their Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Vitamin C, vitamin A (beta-carotene), Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Folate, etc. supply your dog with energy, build his body cells, and improve the overall quality of his life.

Pumpkin For Dogs

Also, Potassium found in pumpkin helps moderate blood pressure, boost muscle health, and aid in metabolism.

  1. Pumpkin Is Good For Your Dog’s Eyes

If you didn’t flop biology in high school, you will remember that Vitamin A is the nutrient for the eyes.

Vitamin A in pumpkin is first in the beta-carotene form. By feeding your dog with pumpkin, vitamin A is supplied to the eyes thereby improving your dog’s eye health.

It will also keep night blindness and other eye degeneration at bay.

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To get the most of this benefit, mix the pulp you are giving your dog with a healthy oil like flax oil. Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, the additional oil will magnify its effect/function.

  1. Pumpkin Will Boost Your Dog’s Immunity

Some nutrients found in pumpkin can boost your dog’s immune system. Top on the list here is the antioxidants in pumpkin seeds. They help destroy harmful radicals or oxidants in your pet’s system.

Also, Vitamins A, C, and E in pumpkin combine forces to boost your pet’s immune system and prevent certain cancers from developing. Cool, right!

  1. Pumpkin Is Good For Your Dog’s Skin

Think about it for a minute. The skin of a pumpkin is really smooth, right? Shouldn’t we assume then that this fruit will be soothing to a dog’s skin? Believe it or not, it actually is.

Pumpkin contains vitamin A and zinc that can improve your pet’s skin and coat. Also, the juicy pumpkin flesh (high water content) moisturizes your dog’s skin and adds to its lustrous coat.

READ ALSO: Bland Diet For Dog; Why Needed, When To Give It & How To Prepare It

Additionally, your pet’s skin will flake less and shed less hair, while maintaining a shiny coat.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds Can Help With Urinary Incontinence

Apart from the pulp, pumpkin seeds have something to offer your dog’s health.

They contain antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids that are good for the kidney. These nutrients dissolve kidney stones and also prevent urinary incontinence because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Pumpkins Aid In Digestion

Digestive disorders can be very discomforting in dogs. Gladly, pumpkin is here to help.

Pumpkin is rich in fibre which aids in digestion and makes for proper stooling.

Is your dog suffering constipation or diarrhoea? Feeding him with pumpkin will improve both situations.

While it relieves the strain on your dog’s intestine during constipation, it can also build the bulk needed to hold stool together in the case of diarrhoea. Amazing, huh?

  1. Pumpkin Will Deal With Parasites

Still, on your pet’s digestive system, pumpkin can deal with those parasites that try to wreak havoc.

When parasites like tapeworm are present in your dog’s gut, it can result in undesired weight loss and dry skin.

The amino acid cucurbitacin in pumpkin will expel such parasites and grant your dog some peace.

Adding a teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds in your dog’s meal is an excellent way to go.

  1. Pumpkin Can Help Your Dog Shed Some Weight

Due to the complications associated with being overweight, it is essential that you help your dog maintain an ideal weight. And pumpkin can help you achieve that.

As you already know, pumpkin is rich in water and fibre. Replace some meals in your dog’s diet with pumpkin. This will keep him full for a long time and quench any craving for other foods (more calories).

In due time, your pup will shed all the excess weight and look great.

  1. Pumpkin For Dogs Is Needed For Hydration

Naturally, dogs do not have a strong thirst drive. Feeding them with only dry food and expecting them to drink water is not the best option.

It poses a risk of dehydration as they may never drink the water on their own. Adding pumpkin to their diet will provide them with enough moisture to keep them hydrated.

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They don’t even have to try, the water in the fruit gets into their system easily and naturally.

  1. Pumpkin For Dogs Is A Tasty Meal

You know as much as I do that dogs appreciate tasty meals. Pumpkin will make an excellent addition to your dog’s diet.

Your dog will savour the loaded, creamy flavour of pumpkin. And there are a variety of ways to serve your dog pumpkin (more on that later).

READ ALSO: How To Crate Train Your Dog

Next, we’ll look at the risks associated with feeding your dog pumpkin.

Risks Associated With Pumpkin For Dogs

All the benefits of pumpkin for dogs notwithstanding, it can pose a problem when it is not administered correctly.

Too much fibre is not good news for your dog’s digestive system even if it is from the pumpkin. It can inhibit the absorption of other food nutrients.

Also, when vitamin A from the pumpkin is in high amounts in your dog’s system, it can hurt him.

You know the saying, “less is more”. It comes to play here. When introducing pumpkin to your dog for the first time, start with little amounts then gradually increase it to moderate portions.

In the next section, I explained how you can serve your dog pumpkin.

Keep reading!

How To Serve Pumpkin For Dogs

Two principal ways to serve pumpkin for dogs are:

  1. Prepare it at home
  2. Buy canned pumpkin

 

    1. Prepare It At Home

If you choose to prepare the pumpkin meal for your dog, you can serve it separately or mix it with other meals. Whichever way, remember to introduce it in little amounts.

Also, you can choose to feed your dog with pumpkin seeds. You don’t need to add spices here. Serve them plainly or roasted.

Another option is to grind the seeds and sprinkle the flakes on your dog’s meal. Again, give him little at a time.

(In the latter part of this article, there is bonus content on creative ways to serve your dog pumpkin at home. Do well to check it out).

  1. Buy Canned Pumpkin

On the other hand, if you choose to go for canned pumpkin, be sure that it is 100% pumpkin. You can find out from the product label before you make a purchase.

Moreover, there is canned pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin pie. They are not good options for your dog as they may contain additives your dog doesn’t need.

Opting for these products will only counter your intentions of improving your dog’s health.

READ ALSO: Golden Retriever Dog Breed – History, Characteristics, Personality Traits & Care For Them

Note: canned 100% pumpkin is recommended over fresh pumpkin because it is concentrated. An equal amount will provide a higher percentage of fibre and nutrients than fresh pumpkin would.

Based on the quantity, 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin is a good place to start. This amount is also an ideal dosage for managing diarrhoea, constipation, or an upset stomach.

Then if you are looking to help your dog achieve weight loss with pumpkin, you can start with 1 tablespoon of canned or pureed pumpkin in place of ¼ cup of food.

Warning: Do not allow your dog to eat a pumpkin’s stem, leaves, shell, or gourd. They can be toxic to your dog’s health.

Moving on, I will show you 6 creative ways you can prepare the pumpkin for dogs at home.

Tag along!

Bonus – 6 Creative Ways To Prepare Pumpkin For Dogs!

#1 – Roast The Pumpkin

Steps for preparation:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Next, you get your pumpkin ready: peel it and cut into cubes about ¼ inch thick (ensure there are no seeds).
  • Now, mix the pumpkin cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey in a large bowl. Toss bowl contents to achieve a uniform mix.
  1. Then spread the cubes on a large roasting tray and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and golden. Set it to cool
  2. When it is cool, you can serve your dog a few cubes per day or smash it and mix it with his meal.

#2 – Roast The Seeds

Steps for preparation:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Next, you wipe the seeds clean. Then rinse and pat them dry.
  • Now, lay them on a large baking tray.
  1. Roast the seeds for 10 to 15 minutes and set to cool
  2. Then grind the seeds into a fine powder and store in an air-tight container.
  3. When you want to feed your dog, sprinkle 1 teaspoon on his food.

You can also use it to make home-baked dog treats. Cool!

#3 – Make Dog Pumpkin Pies

You will need:

  • Pumpkin dog biscuit dough – 1 portion
  • Pureed pumpkin – 2 cups
  • Goat yoghurt
  • Ground roasted pumpkin seeds

READ ALSO: Old Dog Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention & its Care

Steps for preparation:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Next, you roll your pumpkin dog biscuit dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Cut out circles and mould them into muffin tins.
  1. Then bake for 25 to 35 minutes. It is ready when it is golden and crisp.
  2. Set to cool for about 15 minutes.
  3. Now, fill each pie crust with enough pureed pumpkin.
  • Add on goat yoghurt and a sprinkle of ground pumpkin seeds.
  • Give your dog to enjoy.

#4 – Put It In His Toy

Steps for preparation:

  1. Mix pumpkin puree with a tablespoon of plain, unsweetened peanut butter. Fill his toy with the mix
  2. Watch your dog enjoy his meal

#5 – Make A Pumpkin Latte

Steps for preparation:

  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree with warm water and plain, non-fat yoghurt.
  2. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve your dog.

#6 – Make Pumpkin Treats

Steps for preparation:

  1. Get a cup each of plain yoghurt and pumpkin puree and mixes them.
  2. Next, you fill ice cube trays or mould with the mix and freeze for 24 hours
  • You can then remove them from the trays, put in a reusable bag, and store in the freezer.
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Now your pumpkin treats are ready for when you want to reward your dog. Great!

Conclusion

Pumpkin is a complete package for your dog: main dish, toppings, treats, you name it! Not to mention its health benefits. Remember to introduce it little at a time for the best results.

Did you enjoy reading this article? I certainly hope you did. Now, I’d love to hear from you:

Will you include pumpkin in your dog’s diet? Perhaps you have been feeding your dog with pumpkin, how much does he enjoy it? Give me your answers in the comments section right now!

Also, share this article with the dog lovers on your list. Thank you!

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