Yes, Halloween is upon us!
Vampires, ghosts and Beetlejuice – Oh MY!
Lollies, chocolate and pumpkin delights!
Halloween is the season for pumpkin and all things nice but why save pumpkin for Halloween only when you can have pumpkin ALL YEAR LONG?!
Why pumpkin? Because it’s so good for you AND your dog!!
With the pumpkin season upon us, we wanted to look at why pumpkin is so good for your dog and how easy it is to incorporate it into their diet!
Pumpkin is one of those magical fruits (yep, fruits) much like the magical pumpkin from Cinderella!
A pumpkin turned into a carriage to carry precious cargo (Cinderella) to the ball!
Well, in real life, pumpkin is turned into a delicious treat that becomes a carrier for precious fibre that is taken to your dog’s digestive tract (to get the party started – if you catch my drift).
An easy, healthy and natural way to help your dog have the healthiest digestion is to include small amounts of cooked pumpkin in your dog’s diet!
What’s so good about the fibre found in pumpkin and how does it benefit my dog?
What’s so good about pumpkin fibre is that it actually carries BOTH types of fibre which makes it versatile for your dogs health.
SOLUBLE FIBRE are what break down easy in the dogs digestive tract. They form a gel like substance in the stomach which means it takes longer for your dog to process and digest the fibre.
This is the perfect kind of fibre you want your dog to have when they have an upset tummy and runny stool because this fibre will help to solidify your dog’s stool in the breakdown process as the fibre will absorb all the excess water.
This type of fibre is also beneficial for dogs on a diet or in need of weight loss as it slows down the digestion time, helping your dog to feel fuller for longer.
You can even feed your dog a little less normal food and replace it with a spoonful of pumpkin, reducing their calorie intake but still keeping their tummies satisfied.
Soluble fibre has also been known to carry some prebiotics through your dog’s digestive system, helping to keep a balanced and healthy number of good bacteria!
INSOLUBLE FIBRE is something your dog can not physically digest, so the digestion process is really quick, helping to relieve constipated dogs as the fibre pushes the stool through quicker.
Pumpkin is also 90% water making the combination of high water intake and insoluble fibre intake a perfect combination to stimulate your dog’s bowels.
(The 90% water is also a great way to keep your dog hydrated, especially for those who are kibble fed.)
Just to clarify, yes, the same parts of the pumpkin carry both forms of fibre so it’s beneficial to feed cooked or baked pumpkin to your dog regularly (in small doses) to help keep them regular. Or if you find your dog has a runny tummy or is suffering with constipation – feed them pumpkin to help relieve them from their symptoms!
Pumpkin isn’t just a great source of healthy fibre for you dog though. It’s also full of nutrients and vitamins that are going to benefit your fur baby in so many ways!
Here are some of the nutrients and vitamins found in pumpkins and how they are beneficial to your dog’s health:
- Potassium is beneficial for muscular contraction and recovery from exercise
- Vitamin C is a beneficial antioxidant that encourages collagen reproduction and supports the health of your dog’s immune system
- Beta-Carotene is beneficial as a preventative to cancer
- Alpha-Carotene is a beneficial antioxidant that protects cells from damage
- Zinc is beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat
- Iron is beneficial to producing healthy blood cells
- Vitamin A is beneficial to your dogs vision and their immune system
- Calcium is beneficial for their teeth and bones
- Lutein is beneficial for their skin, coat and eyes
That is one healthy dog you have there!
It’s not all about the pumpkin flesh though…
Pumpkin seeds that have been cleaned and roasted are a great little treat to help keep your dog’s gut healthy! You can even ground the seeds down to a powder )after they’ve been roasted) and add a small spoon to their meals.
Just keep in mind that the seeds must be roasted and not given raw as the seeds do go rancid very quickly and can cause upset in your dog’s tummy. But once they have been roasted for up to an hour, the seeds can last up to a month!
Pumpkin seeds are also filled with additional nutritional value!
Pumpkin seeds can be used for:
- Omega 3 fatty acids which are a powerful anti-inflammatory and moisturiser for your dog’s skin and coat
- Treating parasites as a natural remedy
- Its natural de-worming properties from Cucurbitin – an amino acid
- Helping to dislodge kidney stones
- Supporting the urinary tract from the oils found in the seeds
How much pumpkin is too much pumpkin?
The great thing about pumpkin is that you don’t need to feed your dog a lot to get all the health benefits. In fact, it is strongly advised to only ever give your dog 1 to 2 tablespoons with each meal (depending on their size).
With pumpkin seeds, the equivalent of 2 to 4 seeds a day (depending on their size) is also enough.
With pumpkin – too much can actually become quite uncomfortable for your dog because too much fibre means their body doesn’t have a chance to absorb all the nutrients from their food. And too much fibre can either cause constipation or runny stools – reversing the powerful effect of small amounts of pumpkin.
So one pumpkin can last for months if you cook and freeze it into portions!!
Here are some pumpkin treat ideas OR you can buy some healthy pumpkin snacks already made from Frank and Jellys – SO EASY!!
Can I use canned pumpkin instead?
YES! You can. Canned pumpkin is actually just as healthy and nutritious as fresh pumpkin, just make sure that the canned pumpkin is pure pumpkin puree with no sugar or spices at all. You can then portion the canned pumpkin into frozen treats or portion sizes and not have to worry about storing a whole pumpkin!
What do I need to avoid when it comes to feeding my dog pumpkin?
- Do not feed them pumpkin skin
- Raw pumpkin
- The soft centre bit with all the seeds
- Old pumpkin that has gone mouldy (very toxic)
- The stem and leaves of a pumpkin (covered with small spikes)
- Any pumpkin that has added preservatives, spices or sugars (canned or fresh)
So, who’s having pumpkin for dinner tonight?
We’d love to hear about how you incorporate pumpkin into your dog’s diet and how you have found it has benefited and helped your dog. Information shared is a potential life spared. Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paws of Love,
Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo
P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.
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