It’s that time of year, the days are getting shorter, it’s getting cooler outside, and the leaves are changing, all indications that fall is here. With fall in the air many people look forward to all the different pumpkin food products to indulge in, myself included. Over the years the number of pumpkin “themed” food products has increased ten fold, some of which just seem over the top to me, but obviously there are people that like all of these different pumpkin related food items as they keep selling. From pies to lattes and everything in between it’s pumpkin season.
As you enjoy your pumpkin indulgences, let Fido indulge too!There are several health benefits for your fur baby, so consider adding pumpkin to their food or make them some tasty pumpkin treats. Here are 13 suggestions to add pumpkin to Fido’s diet:
1. Dogs with urinary problems, urinary incontinence specifically, may benefit from adding some pumpkin to their diet as oils found in pumpkin seeds and flesh are presumed to support urinary health.
2. Adding pumpkin to Fido’s diet will help improve his skin and coat due to the zinc in pumpkin.
3. Want to help slow the aging process in Fido, add some pumpkin to his diet as it is full of antioxidant beta-carotene.
4. There are many breeds prone to joint problems and as all dogs age they will have some degree of joint problems due to aging. Adding pumpkin to Fido’s diet will help reduce some of these problems as pumpkin is a great source of vitamin C, which they need more of than they naturally produce.
5. Help boost Fido’s immune system by adding pumpkin to his diet as the flesh contains vitamin C.
6. Pumpkin flesh also contains vitamin A, which is important for vision health.
7. Adding pumpkin to Fido’s diet will make him feel fuller for longer as pumpkin slows digestion.
8. Pumpkin is great for “bulking up” Fido’s food. The extra fiber will help him or his feline counter part feel full, even if they are eating fewer calories overall. For this reason, pumpkin can aid in your pet’s weight loss program as well. Try substituting a tablespoon of canned pumpkin for 1/4 cup of food.
9. Help relieve constipation by adding pumpkin due to it’s high fiber and water content.
10. Pumpkin flesh contains soluble fiber, which helps slow digestion, and can help manage diarrhea by absorbing water.
11. Keep away intestinal parasites and tapeworms by adding pumpkin to Fido’s diet as they become paralyzed by cucurbitin, an amino acid in pumpkin seeds that acts as a natural de-worming agent.
12. Roast seeds (without salt) grind them up, and add to Fido’s food, they are a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
13. For Fido’s feline counter part, pumpkin can help move furballs along their digestive tract and into the litter box. Regularly adding a teaspoon a day of pumpkin to your cat’s diet will help prevent new furballs from forming.
Add pumpkin to Fido’s diet year round, not just in the fall. The best source of pumpkin is plain canned pumpkin, not the “ready for pie” version that has added fats, sugar, and spices. Most pets like pumpkin and it can therefore just be added to their regular food or made into treats. Talk to your veterinarian about how much pumpkin to safely give your pet as it will vary depending on pet’s size and current diet.