How Pumpkins Provide Health Benefits For Pets

Pumpkins Top Benefits for Pets

Pumpkins aren’t just for humans! Pumpkin treats are a favorite during the fall season. But don’t keep this food to yourself. Give your pet some pumpkin too!

Benefits of Pumpkin for Pets

Cats and dogs can safely eat plain pumpkins. In fact, this food has some great health benefits for animals. Some of our favorite pet treats are made from pumpkin!

Important Note: If you want to try using pumpkin to improve your pet’s health, remember to speak with your trusted veterinarian first.

Good Source of Fiber

Pumpkin contains lots of fiber which may help resolve:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Anal gland problems

Pumpkin’s fiber content might also prevent hairballs. If you have a kitty, that’s a definite plus!

Lots of Other Nutrients

Pumpkin is also full of other nutrients, such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Beta-carotene
  • Iron
  • Potassium

These powerful nutrients may benefit your pet’s:

  • Immune system
  • Vision
  • Skin
  • Coat

Source of Prebiotics

Optimal digestion requires good gut bacteria. But those beneficial bugs need to be fed. You can feed them by including prebiotic foods in your pet’s diet. Pumpkin is one of those foods, making it a great addition to your furry friend’s meals.  

May Aid in Weight Loss

Does your pet need to lose a few pounds? Pumpkin may help. As you decrease your pet’s portion sizes, the fiber in the pumpkin will fill up your furball. That means your pet will eat less but still feel satisfied. If you try this, seek guidance from your veterinarian. You want to make sure all of your pet’s nutritional needs are being met.

Potential Downfalls of Pumpkin

There’s really no reason why your pet can’t enjoy pumpkin. However, you do want to keep the following in mind:

  • Nutrient Deficiencies – Pumpkin has a lot of fiber. Consuming too much might hinder your pet’s ability to absorb protein and other necessary nutrients.
  • Loose Bowel Movements – Although pumpkin can help digestive problems, too much of it can also cause those same problems.  
  • Harmful Ingredients – Pumpkin pie filling contains extra ingredients that are pet-toxic. So, make sure you buy plain canned pumpkin.

How to Feed Pumpkin to Your Pet

Now that you’ve learned about pumpkin’s health benefits, you are probably eager to start feeding it to your pet. Here are some general guidelines on how to do that.

Keep It Plain

Whether you buy a canned or whole pumpkin, keep it plain. Adding spices or other ingredients may be dangerous for your pet.

Prepare It Yourself

If you are a DIY kind of person, you can buy a whole pumpkin and cook it. Here are two cooking methods to choose from:

  • Roasting – Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy flesh. Place the two halves on a baking sheet, cut side down. After cooking, separate the flesh from the skin.  
  • Boiling – Remove the skin, stem, pulp, and seeds. Cut the pumpkin into small chunks and boil it in water until it’s soft.   

Puree the cooked pumpkin and store it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

If that all sounds like too much work, don’t worry. You can buy a canned pumpkin from the store.  

Start With Less and Gradually Build Up

Start with a small serving of pumpkin. If your four-legged friend seems to tolerate that amount, give your pet a bit more next time. Keep increasing the amount until you reach a full serving size.  

How much should you work up to? That depends on your pet’s size, but a full serving could be anywhere from a few teaspoons to several tablespoons.

Obviously, cats and small dogs should eat less than large canines. If you need help figuring out your pet’s ideal serving size, ask your veterinarian about it. 

Make Pumpkin Treats

Pumpkin treats are so much fun to make! But they do require additional ingredients. So, keep in mind, not everything that is safe for dogs is okay for cats. That’s why you must find recipes that have been created for your specific species.

Serving it to Your Pet

You could try giving your pet pumpkin puree on its own as a snack. But it might work better to mix it into a meal. Just figure out what your pet prefers. 

Here are some great recipes for Dogs:

Here are some great recipes for Cats:

In Conclusion

Pumpkin offers some pretty awesome health benefits for pets. Why not try giving some to your own fur baby? Your pet will love it!

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