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Tricks and Treats: Pumpkin For Dog Digestive Health

The return of fall means that it is nearly time to celebrate Howl-o-ween, and that shelves will again be stocked with some seasonal foods that are only available during the fall. Did you know that one mainstay of the Halloween season, pumpkin, actually has a myriad of perks associated with it for your dog’s health? 

It’s true -- pumpkin can actually be great for your pet. 

We’re creepin’ it real with you when we say that if your dog’s diet doesn’t already include pumpkin, it definitely should. Not only is it plenty tasty (talk about a treat!), it also offers health benefits. That’s a win-win if you ask us! 

If you have never fed your dog pumpkin before, you might be unsure of what its impact can be on your pup. 

Fear not; we’re here to share with you everything you need to know about dogs and pumpkins. No tricks, just treats. 

That’s the way we like it, and we know your pup will, too! 

Today, you are going to learn more about pumpkin and how it affects your dog. To begin, we will answer your burning question: what is pumpkin good for? 

After that, we will share why exactly pumpkin is beneficial to your dog’s digestive health. Then, we’ll share what type of pumpkin is safe for your pet to ingest. 

Finally, you will learn more about how much pumpkin you should give your pet, and if the seeds are safe. 

What Is Pumpkin Good For?

Yes, pumpkin is a delicious food that your pet is sure to love. Between its taste and consistency, your pup will be asking for more! However, there’s another reason aside from taste that you should include pumpkin in your pet’s diet. 

Pumpkin can actually be beneficial for your dog’s digestive system. This product can help ease digestion in several ways. In addition, if your dog is struggling with diarrhea, adding pumpkin into their diet could potentially help. 

If you have questions about how pumpkin can help your individual pet, you can always reach out to our in-house vets and explain that you are considering adding it to their diet. Then, they’ll give their opinion on if this is a good idea. 

Why Is Pumpkin Beneficial for Your Dog’s Health?

You know that pumpkin is beneficial for your dog’s digestive health, but if you are unsure of why, then we are here to help. 

First, it’s important to have some background on the pumpkin itself to understand how it could make a positive impact on your dog’s digestive system. Pumpkin is rich in fiber and also contains valuable vitamins and minerals that your pet needs. 

These include vitamins A, E, and C, as well as potassium and iron.

Here’s how pumpkin can ease your dog’s digestion. It has soluble fiber content, which means that bulk gets added to your dog’s feces. 

This happens by absorbing water, and also fiber fermentation, which produces fatty acids that can supply energy to their cells, stimulate the absorption of water and intestinal sodium, and even lower the pH level of your dog’s large intestines. 

Pumpkins as a Prebiotic

However, that is not the only role that pumpkin plays in easing digestion for your pet. Fiber, in this instance, also acts as a prebiotic. This is not to be confused with a probiotic, as a prebiotic is responsible for stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria that resides in the intestines. 

The job of this bacteria is to ensure that harmful bacteria are unable to grow and thrive. Fiber is able to successfully achieve this by lowering the pH level while providing the essential nutrients for those bacteria. 

These reasons are why pumpkin is successfully able to help some instances where dogs are experiencing diarrhea. 

While it depends on the cause of the bacteria, it’s possible that your vet would suggest that you feed your pet a food that contains beneficial, live bacteria. Pumpkin can act as a prebiotic booster in such an instance. Your dog really will have a fang-tastic night if you give them pumpkin! 

In addition to this, pumpkin could potentially help a dog that is suffering from constipation. Whether your dog is struggling to defecate solid stools or experiencing a backup, pumpkin could be helpful in regulating their digestive tract.

Pumpkins Rich in Nutrients

Pumpkin contains antioxidants, as well, and paired with vitamins C and E, your pup could benefit from immune support as a result of incorporating this into their diet. 

It’s also important to note the ways that the presence of vitamin e in pumpkin could potentially help your pet. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it helps safeguard your pet from free radicals that could potentially trigger abnormal cell growth. 

This vitamin also supports your pet’s internal organs. Meanwhile, carotenoids, which pumpkins include, help with skin and eye health maintenance. 

Pumpkins also have iron, which supports the dog’s hemoglobin lives. Potassium is supportive of muscle maintenance and is yet another reason why pumpkin is an excellent addition. 

Finally, pumpkin could help your pet with weight control. This is because it has a high fiber content but is low in calories. 

What Type Of Pumpkin Is Safe For My Pet To Ingest?

Pumpkin comes in many forms, and it’s essential that you are mindful about the type that you give your dog. This is because some types of pumpkin can be extremely sugary or even filled with an artificial sweetener that can severely harm your pet.

When you are deciding what type of pumpkin you should give your pet, you should consider the healthiest option and what contains the most nutrients/fiber. 

The healthiest option is to feed your pet a no-sugar-added canned pumpkin treat. Fresh and canned pumpkins will both provide your pet with nutrients and fiber. However, canned pumpkin beats fresh in their fiber concentration and nutrients. 

This is due to the fact that fresh pumpkin contains more water content than canned pumpkin would.

You should always opt for the plain canned pumpkin because you do not want to accidentally give your pup any pumpkin treats with additional spices, salt, sugar, or additives. This could actually irritate your pet’s stomach, and therefore, would entirely negate the point of feeding them pumpkin in the first place. We don’t recommend that! 

If you’re unable to get your hands on canned pumpkins, never fear. An alternative option is pumpkin powder—just make sure that it was manufactured specifically for pets. 

Opt for Fresh Pumpkin

A fresh pumpkin is also a great option, but be sure that you’re feeding your pet the right part of the pumpkin. You should not give your dog the pumpkin pump, which can be found in the center and is gooey or stringy. 

In addition, you should avoid feeding your pet pumpkin stems and skins. This is because it could cause stomach upset and indigestion. 

There are some forms of pumpkin you should avoid: namely, canned pumpkin pie and recycled jack-o-lanterns. This is because canned pumpkin pie could contain an artificial sweetener known as xylitol. 

Xylitol is actually toxic to dogs and could result in severe illness. Jack-o-lanterns are also unsafe for dogs because they could be infested with both mold and bacteria. 

Halloween can be a fright-fest for even the most fearless pups, and getting sick from ingesting bacteria or mold would definitely be scary! 

How Much Pumpkin Can I Feed My Pet?

If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, you can add about one to four tablespoons of pumpkin to your pup’s meal. However, you should consider your pet’s size and weight when you are deciphering how much pumpkin they can tolerate. 

In addition, it’s always wise to begin with a smaller quantity because rapidly adding an excess of fiber to your pet’s diet could prove overwhelming. 

For a smaller-sized dog, start with a teaspoon or so for the day. Bigger dogs can have a tablespoon or even two. When in doubt, less is more. If you need specific guidance about how much pumpkin you should give your pet, you can always reach out to your veterinarian. 

Are Pumpkin Seeds Safe For Dogs?

Did you know that pumpkin seeds actually can prove beneficial for your pet’s urinary tract? You should reach out to your vet before you add these to your dog’s diet to treat excessive peeing. 

They will be able to provide some perspective on if this is the right course of action. This could effectively help your pet dislodge kidney stones. 

Once your vet gives you the okay to feed your dog pumpkin seeds, you can begin to prepare them. Be sure that the seeds are organic and raw. They should also never have salt on them, and you should grind, peel, and salt them before feeding. 

Because pumpkin seeds can go rancid quickly, you need to clean and roast them before you feed them to your pet. Just cook them at 350 degrees for an hour to achieve this, and be sure to grind them before adding them to your dog’s meal. This will ensure your pet does not choke. 

How To Incorporate Pumpkin Into Your Dog’s Diet

There are several ways that you can incorporate pumpkin into your pet’s diet. First, you can opt for pet-safe pumpkin powder and simply mix it in one to four tablespoons into your pet’s meal. 

Another option is to roast and grind pumpkin seeds. 

Alternatively, if your dog responds better to treats, you might opt to create homemade pumpkin dog treats. These are just as tasty as they are healthful for your pet. 

Kabo Can Help Ensure Your Pet Gets The Nutrients They Need

In a perfect world, your dog would never have any stomach upset. If you are looking for a dog food that will work with your dog’s unique stomach and preferences, meet Kabo.

Kabo creates freshly cooked dog food that is approved by vets. 

In addition, it’s already portioned for your dog, and it will be delivered to your home for free. While pumpkin is great for digestive health, why not create a diet for your dog that supports your dog’s digestion instead of putting a bandaid on it with pumpkin? 

Creating delicious, healthy food is just one way that we are replacing boos with barks tonight!

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February 20, 2024
5 minutes
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