Pumpkin is a super vegetable full of essential nutrients and with high fibre content. But here arises a question, Does pumpkin suit your dog or not? The answer is ‘Yes but the amount should be kept in check. Here are some Health Benefits of Pumpkin for your dog.
1. Full of Nutrients
Pumpkin is full of nutrients. It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, Iron, Manganese, beta carotene etc. Thus it is high in minerals and vitamins but low in calories.
- Vitamin A is important for the eye health of the dog
- Vitamin C is beneficial for immunity
- Potassium helps in maintaining muscles
- Iron keeps the level of hemoglobin up
- Carotenoids are involved in maintaining skin and eyes
2. Prevent Urinary Incontinence
If your dog pees frequently, give him pumpkin seeds that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. They help in the prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence in your dog. They also help remove kidney stones thus containing anti-inflammatory properties. Raw, organic, ground, roasted, peeled-off seeds can be used but avoid plain raw and salted pumpkin seeds because they can grow rancid. Moreover, cleaning and roasting the seeds at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 60 minutes can improve the shelf life to about 30 days.
3. Good for Eyes
Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A that is a fat-soluble vitamin containing healthy oils. This prevents your dog from degeneration of eyes and disorders like night blindness. Besides this, Vitamin A is also vital for the proper functioning of the brain and the development of the eye.
4. Regulate Digestion
It helps in regulating the digestion process or irregularities of your dog. For example, the stool may be hard (in case of constipation) or loose (diarrhea). Pumpkin helps resolve these issues and the dog gets relief from diarrhea and constipation. The fibre in it hardens the stool and makes the process of defecation regular i.e. constipation. Diarrhea can be due to any stress or change in the diet of your dog. Moreover, the prebiotics present in it stimulates the growth of bad bacteria and hinder the growth of bad bacteria inside the intestine of your dog.
5. Improves Immunity
Vitamin C is an important element that contributes to boosting immunity. When combined with Vitamin A, Vitamin E and other antioxidants, It prevents cancer. Oxidants are already present in the immune system but if there are too many oxidants, it may lead to cancer. Hence, antioxidants e.g. Vitamin E is required to counterbalance the action of oxidants and prevent the free radicals from stimulating the abnormal growth of cells.
6. Check On Parasites
Parasites such as Tapeworm are involved in the digestive system issue of your dog causing symptoms of weight loss, dry skin, nutritional deficiency, shabby coat etc. Pumpkin is rich in amino acid cucurbitacin that is toxic to these parasites and expels them out. If your dog is experiencing some serious parasitic issue, give him half a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds along with the usual treatment.
7. Keeps Skin Moisturized
Pumpkin contains Vitamin A and Zinc which is helpful in improving the skin and coat of the dog. It also has water in high quantity that keeps the skin hydrated with a shiny, lustrous coat. It also prevents excessive dog shedding which is one of the major issues faced by many dog owners.
8. Helps Losing Weight
As we know, pumpkin is full of water, fibre content and low in calories hence it keeps your dog full and he does not need to eat frequently that helps him to reduce weight. Moreover, if you replace your regular dog food with canned pumpkin, it also reduces weight.
What Amount of Pumpkin Should Be Given?
- If the dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, 1-4 tablespoons of pumpkin are enough. Start with giving in less amount but you can increase it gradually if no severe reaction is found.
- The fibre in it helps in managing chronic low-grade diarrhea but in case of too much fibre, the consequences can be in as diarrhea itself.
- You should prefer canned pumpkin for your dog because it makes the stool solid.
- 1 Tablespoon in case of large dogs
- 1-2 Teaspoon for small to medium dogs
- It contains high fibre content hence it can cause dehydration. So it is necessary for the dog to drink plenty of water to compensate for the loss.
- It is rich in Vitamin A that is important for dogs but only to a suitable amount.
- If your dog is suffering from any underlying medical issue such as Diabetes Mellitus, talk to your veterinarian first before giving anything.
- There is always a general rule of giving vegetables and fruits to your pet that it should not exceed 10% of the daily caloric needs of your pet.
- Do not feed your dog with excessive oils and fatty acids because it can lead to pancreatitis.
Is Plain Pumpkin Better?
Plain pumpkin is better than the one with pie fillings, spices or delicious human treats. The canned one is rich in nutrients but has less water content whereas the fresh one has fewer nutrients and more water. Hence, spices should be avoided such as cinnamon, pie fillings, cookies, cakes, nutmeg, sugars, additives etc.
- Cinnamon causes diarrhea, vomit and liver issues. If given in large amounts, Cinnamon lowers the blood sugar level.
- Spices like ginger can upset the stomach
- Nutmeg contains myristicin which is a toxic naturally occurring compound causing seizures, high Blood Pressure and disorientation in your dog.
- Only canned pie filling can be used that is without xylitol.
Are All Parts Good for Your Pet?
For Fresh Pumpkin:
- The pulp should not be used
- stem and skin should be avoided as it may upset the stomach
Note: Carved Pumpkins may contain bold and bacteria that make your dog sick
Prepare Your Own Pumpkin Recipe
- Fresh Pumpkins should be plain, soft, cooled and without seeds
- Canned can be used as it is
- Take 2.5 cups of whole wheat or oat flour
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 Cups of Pumpkin Puree
- 3 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter
- Melt the ingredients in Oven
- Blend them Thoroughly
- Create small cookies out of them
- Bake again in Oven for 30 minutes at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit
How to Store The Pumpkin?
- The easiest way to store Pumpkin Puree is to freeze it in the form of ice cubes
- Store it in an airtight container/jar and then refrigerate it
- Seeds can be preserved in sealed bags
Pumpkin is beneficial for your dog but only if you keep check on its amount. Pumpkin is tasty for your dog. It keeps the internal organs of your dog working in a healthy manner.