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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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Homemade Dog Treats for Holiday Gifts (with recipes)

I rarely make cookies for humans, so it was quite unusual for me to make treats for my dogs, Sanchez and Gina. But, I received this recipe for “Pumpkin Squeaks” Dog Treats from ProtectYourBubble.com at Barkworld, and it looked so easy that I gave it a try. Now, I can’t believe that I didn’t start making my own dog treats sooner. Taking an hour out of my hectic day to make something healthy for them gave me great joy. The experience encouraged me to slow down and enjoy the holiday spirit instead of rushing through it. The above picture is my final result of this recipe, which is also gluten free and human grade. And, I was delighted to discover that they can be broken into tiny bites, which is always helpful for training.

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

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (one 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.

Makes This Many

Super easy recipe for Sweet Potato Chews:

Slice a sweet potato in thick slices, with a ridged cutter if you have one.
Bake at low heat of 200 degrees until they have dried out. Fido will be working on this longer than a dog biscuit, so it’s great to leave him with a chew or two when he is alone and Through a Dog’s Ear music is keeping him company.

Sanchez and Gina patiently wait for their cookies

Recipes for dog treats from Three Dog Bakery:

Gar “Licky” french fries

4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Peel and cut potatoes into ½-inch strips.
Toss strips in oil and garlic powder, and spread on baking sheet.
Bake 30 minutes, turning several times, until golden.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with paprika.
Cool before serving. Refrigerate in sealed container.

Another way of combining music and dogs

Banana “Mutt” cookies

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet and flatten with fork.
Bake 15 minutes. Cool on rack and store in airtight container.

Cheesy apple nips

3 oz. low fat cream cheese
2 oz. blue cheese
4 medium apples

Beat cream cheese and blue cheese together until smooth. Core apples and fill with cheese mixture.
Chill 2-3 hours. Cut into 16 wedges
Refrigerate in sealed container.

In addition to my own dogs, I decided these would make great holiday gifts for our four-legged friends. What could dogs want more than treats personally made for them along with music specially designed to keep them calm?

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