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3 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

(Reposted from 2014)

Sanchez Great pumpkin

Your dog or cat may be curious about the pumpkins sitting on your front porch. Halloween is now in the past, and your pumpkin may be beautifully carved, but it might also be collecting bacteria. While it’s best they don’t eat that pumpkin, canned organic pumpkin (unsweetened – not pie filling), pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for dogs and cats. Pumpkin can help with the following pet ailments:

1) Digestive Health: Pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber for our furry friends, as well as for us. Pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spice) can help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) to their regular meal is known to help keep them regular. It can also help dogs and cats with indigestion or upset stomachs. Gina LOVES it and would eat it right out of the can if allowed. Most cats are usually a little more finicky.

2) Urinary Health: According to Veterinarians Laci and Jed Schaible, co-founders of VetLIVE.com, pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkin flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer.

3) Weight Loss: Dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin. If you are looking to take a few pounds off of your pooch or kitty, try reducing a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of canned pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.

Raw, Cooked, or Canned?

Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs. (If your dog or cat has diabetes or chronic kidney disease, always ask your vet first.) As far as our healthy pooches go, seeds and flesh of fresh raw pumpkins are safe provided, of course, it’s not a rotten pumpkin that’s been sitting on the porch for four weeks. Pumpkin parts do go rancid very quickly! If you choose to go with canned, make sure it’s organic and doesn’t have added sugar.

More Dog Cookies
                                                  Pumpkin Squeak Treats

Sanchez and Gina loved the Pumpkin Squeak Treats I made for them. I was delighted to discover they can be broken into tiny bites, which is always helpful for training. They are quick and easy and your pooches will love them!

“Pumpkin Squeaks” Dog Squeaks (compliments of Protect your Bubble pet insurance)

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (low in sugar)
2 eggs (I used 3 for more moisture)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ingredients together until blended, then spread dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Sanchez and Gina patiently wait for their cookies
Sanchez and Gina patiently wait for their cookies. Good dogs!

Do you feed your pets pumpkin? Any recipes you want to share? Thanks for posting a comment below and be sure to join our conversations on Facebook.

 

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