Did You Know?
The word 'pumpkin' is derived from the Greek word 'pepon', which essentially signifies a large melon.
There are quite a few foods that can be healthy for people but should not be given to animals as they can be toxic to their health. However, when it comes to pumpkins, the above does not hold true. Pumpkins are good for dog health too. Read this DogAppy article to know how pumpkins are beneficial for dogs.
Good for Digestive Health
When it comes to improving digestive health in dogs, what better way than feeding them pumpkins. Pumpkins contain a great deal of fiber, with a cup of mashed pumpkin (cooked) giving a whopping 3 g of fiber, which is 11% of the daily recommended intake. Fiber, as we know, is important for the maintenance of digestive health. Dogs suffering from diarrhea and constipation can benefit from including pumpkin in their diet. This is because the fiber in pumpkin helps in regulating bowel movement, which works to relieve both constipation and diarrhea.
The insoluble fiber in pumpkin draws water from the colon, which adds softness to the stools, thereby making it easier to defecate. On the other hand, soluble fiber in pumpkin acts like a sponge that mops up excess fluid, responsible for causing loose stools. Thus, the absorption of excess fluids helps in making the stools firm.
Promotes Weight Loss
Higher-fiber foods like pumpkins can also help to get rid of the extra pounds in obese dogs. Fiber creates a sense of fullness in the stomach for a longer duration, which actually helps in curbing hunger pangs. So, when cutting back on calories in obese dogs is essential, adding pumpkin to their diet can certainly be beneficial. It is advised to replace 1/2 or 1/3rd of your pet's food with the recommended amount of pumpkin in order for the dog to lose weight.
High in Nutrition
You can amplify nutrition in your dog's diet by including pumpkin in it. This is because pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, potassium, magnesium and omega-3s. So, feeding pumpkin is not only an easy solution to your dog's digestive woes, but it can also be instrumental in delivering the required nutritional support necessary for overall health.
Promotes a Healthier Coat
For a healthy skin and shinier fur, including pumpkin in your pet's diet is advisable. Pumpkins being a good source of omega 3s and vitamins can certainly help in maintaining the dog's coat soft and smooth. So, if you find that your dog's coat is dull and dry, add pumpkin to its diet.
Aids in Urinary Tract Health
Pumpkin seeds contain oil, which can help promote urinary tract health in dogs. The oil in pumpkin seeds may work to alleviate urinary problems such as urinary incontinence in dogs. Feeding pumpkin seeds may provide better bladder control and urine flow.
Destroys Parasitic Infections
Pumpkin seeds can come to the rescue of dogs suffering from intestinal parasitic infections resulting from worms. Cucurbitacin, an amino acid present in pumpkin seeds acts like a de-worming agent. The amino acid is said to induce paralysis in worms such as tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms, which helps facilitate their expulsion from the digestive tract. For small dog breeds, the dosage of pumpkin seeds is around 60 g but for large-sized dogs, the dosage can go up to 500 g, that has to be given thrice a day. Make sure the pumpkin seeds are fresh. Grind them and drizzle onto your pet's food.
How Much Pumpkin to Feed?
You need to feed mashed or pureed cooked pumpkin (without salt) and the serving size will largely depend on the size of your dog. You can go for unsweetened canned pumpkin as it is cooked and ready to serve. For small-sized dogs you can feed a teaspoon or two of mashed pumpkin, whereas medium to large-sized dogs will require one to two tablespoons of pureed pumpkin.
Feeding your dog with fresh pumpkin seeds (without salt) is also a good option to add nutrition to your pet's diet. Fresh pumpkin seeds need to be stored in jars that are completely airtight and refrigerated. When stored in a refrigerator, they remain at their peak freshness for one to two months. Pet owners often light roast the seeds and then grind them into a fine powder before adding it to their dog's meals.
Considering its health benefits, and owing to its high nutritional value, it won't be wrong to conclude that pumpkins are dog superfoods that can work wonders for your pet's health when consumed regularly.