At this point, lets face it... pumpkins are EVERYwhere right now. Goofy smiling jack-o-lanterns; pumpkin spice falling from the sky; pumpkin patches popping up as far as the eye can see. But did you know how truly beneficial they are to your pup? Lets break it down.
Pumpkins are a super food, meaning they are nutrient-dense in all the right vitamins and minerals to keep us and our pups healthy. The wonderful orange color obviouly donates a copious amount of vitamin A (beta-carotene). But they also contains a lot of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, improves muscle health, and assists in metabolism. Pumpkins also contain a variety of other healthy nutrients, including Vitamin C, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Folate, to name a few. And canned pumpkin is just as nutrient-dense as fresh pumpkin so there's no need to make this a seasonal supplement!
Pumpkin Keeps Eyes Healthy
Pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A which promotes eye health and the helps keep the development of night blindness and other eye degeneration at bay. Since Vitamin A is fat-soluble, pumpkin puree for dogs with a little healthy oil will make the nutrients pack more punch. Mix your pup’s pumpkin on top of his regular food, or mix in a little flax oil for a healthy, satisfying treat.
Healthy, Shiny Skin & Fur
A number of nutrients in pumpkin, including vitamin A and zinc, which improve your pet’s skin and coat. The high water content in pumpkin flesh also contributes to supple skin and a lustrous coat. In addition to making your pet’s coat shine and look fantastic, the added moisture causes the skin to flake less, as well.
Pumpkin seeds, in particular, contain a healthy dose of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help dislodge kidney stones. In addition, pumpkin seed powder is known to prevent urinary incontinence. Great for older dogs!
Pumpkin for Healthy Digestion
Though it may defy understanding, pumpkins have the unique ability to cure both constipation and diarrhea in your dog. If your pet’s stool is a little loose, a little pumpkin can add bulk and form to your dog’s poop.
Parasites, such as tapeworms, can wreak havoc with your dog’s digestive system, too and cause symptoms including weight loss, nutrient deficiency, and dry skin. Because pumpkin has high amounts of an amino acid called cucurbitacin, which is actually toxic to many common dog parasites and can be used to get rid of parasites naturally. Grinding up a teaspoon or two of pumpkin seeds and mixing them into canned food (or a little canned pumpkin!) is a good preventative measure to keep the creepy crawlies away!
Remember, canned pumpkin puree is NOT the same as canned pumpkin pie mix! The latter has added sugars and spices that are unnecessary for your pup so stick with a can of good ol' puree.
Interested in some easy-peasy pumpkin recipes?
We got you.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats (baked)
2 cups flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure it is Xylitol-free)
Preheat your oven to 375°F
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin and peanut butter
Stir in the flour and combine the mixture into a dough
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface
Cut the dough into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter
Place the treats half an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
Bake for 12 minutes
Frozen Pumpkin Pup Treats
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree
Mix pumpkin and yogurt together in a bowl
Divide the mixture evenly into an ice tray or molds
Freeze for 24 hours
Pop the treats out of the mold and put into a freezer bag for storage. You can also leave them in the ice tray if you have space in your freezer!
Pumpkin Banana Treats
3 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting counter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 banana, mashed
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix eggs, banana, and pumpkin together. Add flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
Lightly dust the counter and a rolling pin with flour, then roll out dough to approximately 1/8″ and cut out treats.
Lay on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Cool completely before giving to your pup!