Autumn has become synonymous with pumpkin-flavored everything. And while we don’t recommend sharing your PSL with your pooch, pumpkin benefits dogs in several ways. Try this nutritious ingredient to mix up your dog’s plate this fall!
But before you jump into the flavorful fall fun, consider this one caveat. Pumpkin is a nutritionally dense food and ultimately “human” food. That being said, we do not recommend making pumpkin a major proponent of your dog’s diet. However, it can be a beneficial supplement in smaller quantities. Consult your vet if you’re interested in putting your dog on a whole food diet.
Pumpkin benefits dogs in so many ways. Loaded with Vitamins A, E, and C, iron, potassium, beta-carotene, and antioxidants, this is definitely a doggie superfood. But the major way dogs benefit is from the fiber content.
Fiber gives dogs the roughage quality that many kibbles and wet foods lack. For instance, dogs will often eat grass to add roughage to their diet and help ease their digestive process. Pumpkin can be a great supplement for adding roughage to your dog’s diet if they’re craving more substance in their meals. Vets also cite the benefits of this low-calorie yet filling fruit to satisfy dogs with less food.
Many pet owners have heard that pumpkin treats diarrhea in dogs. The soluble fiber in pumpkin works to absorb excess water in the digestive tract, which ultimately helps ease diarrhea. While this can help reduce symptoms, it’s important to remember that diarrhea usually means your dog needs to get something bad out of their body. Sometimes, binding foods can slow that process down, and some pet experts believe that does more harm than good.
On the other end of the digestive spectrum, pumpkin also contains insoluble fiber, which helps pass stools if dogs are experiencing constipation. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends adding 1 – 4 tbsp of pumpkin per meal to treat your dog’s constipation.
A note on treating dogs with pumpkin
Before you start treating your pet’s diarrhea or constipation, it’s important to know the cause. Whether it’s a case of simple diet switch or a more serious stomach bug, or foreign object, you should consult your vet if symptoms persist past a day or two.
Delicious ways to serve your dog pumpkin
When it comes to supplementing your dog’s diet, vets recommend feeding your dog canned pumpkin. But be careful to never feed your dog canned pumpkin pie, as it may contain xylitol, which is deadly for dogs.
You can also bake pumpkin and serve the pulp to your dog. We do not recommend giving dogs pumpkin skin or seeds.
If you want to add pumpkin to your dog’s diet, start small. Vets recommend mixing 1 tbsp. for small dogs and 2 tbsp. for larger dogs into daily meals. It sounds small, but that’s all your dogs needs to reap the health rewards of pumpkin! Adding too much pumpkin to your dog’s diet has adverse effects, so use this ingredient in moderation.
Perhaps our favorite way to delve things out in (generous) moderation is through treats! So we’ve found some delicious DIY pumpkin dog treat recipes for you to try yourself!
Simple 2-ingredient pumpkin dog treat
Pumpkin puree, yogurt, and an ice cube tray. It doesn’t get much better than this simple 2-ingredient treat recipe! See recipe here.
Carrot, Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Treats
With a few common ingredients, you can make your dog a nutritious and tasty treat! See recipe here.
CBD No-Bake Pumpkin, Turmeric & Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe
This recipe calls for a combination of health supplements like turmeric and CBD with flavors dogs love. While CBD won’t get your dog high, it will help them achieve homeostasis and ultimately, relax. There’s a lot of power packed in these little treats, so make sure you give them to your dog in moderation. See recipe here.