Fall is here and Pumpkin Spice is everywhere. While you shouldn’t feed your dog ‘spiced’ or ‘flavored’ pumpkin, you can feed them 100% plain, canned pumpkin (in moderation). Your pooch can enjoy the taste of fall while benefiting from the fiber, vitamins, and flavor that canned pumpkin provides.
Let’s be honest, no one likes cleaning up after a sick dog. So, if your pooch has a loose stool or diarrhea, canned pumpkin can help. It’s an excellent fiber source that can help to ‘bulk’ stools and curb diarrhea. Pumpkin can also help with constipation your dog may be experiencing by helping to draw in water and ease stool passage. Fiber can also create bulk within the colon that helps alleviate constipation for some animals.
While pumpkin won’t completely solve all your pet’s bathroom issues, it will act as a helpful supplement. AKC tells us that “The soluble fiber content in pumpkin adds bulk to your dog’s stool by absorbing water, and fiber fermentation produces beneficial fatty acids that supply energy to cells, stimulate intestinal sodium and water absorption, and lower the pH level of the large intestines.”
Canned pumpkin is also 85% water and can help with hydration. Much like other canned diets, the extra moisture in the pumpkin can help if you have a dog that doesn’t drink as much water as they should or if they’ve been running to the potty a lot. In small amounts, pumpkin can also be used as a topper to enhance taste for picky pets.
In addition to fiber, canned pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals including carotenoids like beta carotene which is a powerful antioxidant. Other beneficial vitamins and nutrients include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Lutein. Just make sure not to give your pooch too much pumpkin because as beneficial as it can be, it should only be given in snack-like frequencies and amounts. Usually a couple of teaspoons a day for smaller dogs and a few tablespoons for larger dogs is recommended, but we still suggest consulting your veterinarian before feeding.
If you have a culinary snob of a canine, check out a few of these yummy recipes that include canned pumpkin so your pooch can enjoy fall as much as you do! Always err on the side of safety when feeding your dog any kind of people food — even if it is delicious and beneficial.
With Halloween around the corner, also take precautions with your jack o lanterns. While feeding canned pumpkin to your dog as treat is fine, raw pumpkins are a different story. Make sure your dog doesn’t eat any stems, leaves, or innards from jack o lantern carving fun. A safe alternative for dogs, cats and kids is to use battery operated alternatives to light up your pumpkins so there’s no risk of fire.
SquarePet hopes you have a howling good time this fall!