During the fall, pumpkins seem to take over our daily lives. From pumpkin-flavored coffee to pumpkin-spiced breakfast cereal, the popular fruit is everywhere. However, did you know that pumpkin can actually be a superfood for your dog?
Serve It Up
When it comes to feeding your pup fresh pumpkin, open it up, remove the seeds and fibrous strands. What is left inside is the pulp or meat of the pumpkin. Scoop out that meat and puree it in a blender or food processor to make it into a nice, digestible consistency for your dog. Some owners will freeze that pureed meat into small cubes so they can continue serving it to their dog throughout the year when pumpkins aren’t as plentiful.
For a simpler way to serve this festive gourd, another option is canned pumpkin available at most grocery stores. Just ensure that it is canned pumpkin as pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin-flavored baby food may contain filler, sugars or spices that may be harmful to your pup.
Pumpkin can also ease some doggie digestive troubles. If your dog is experiencing constipation or diarrhea, the fiber of the pumpkin meat may help clear up those issues.
If the tummy issue is that your dog has put on some extra weight, adding pumpkin to their dog food will help give them an added feeling of fullness so they won’t be so quick to beg for those tasty but unhealthy treats you have hidden in the cupboard for them.
The seeds of a pumpkin can also have a benefit for your pup as they feature an amino acid called cucurbitin which has been known to help eliminate worms from a dog’s digestive track. Aside from that benefit, pumpkin seeds also feature iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, which are great for your dog.
Some dogs may not enjoy the texture of raw pumpkin seeds, so an alternative is to roast the seeds in the oven for five to 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Just do not add any salt, as the added sodium is unnecessary. One final option is to grind the seeds to a pulp and just sprinkle them on your dog’s food.
Overall, the meat of the pumpkin features beta-carotene, vitamin A, iron, potassium and other minerals which in small amounts can do everything from providing nutrients to moisturizing their skin and fur.
Just remember to only give them between one teaspoon and one tablespoon of pumpkin meat a day at most. An overload of some of those nutrients may actually do more harm than good for your pup. But as long as you keep it within a reasonable amount, your dog will reap the health benefits and enjoy a tasty new kind of seasonal treat.