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Health Benefits of Pumpkins for Dogs!

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It takes a 1,535 lb. pumpkin to dwarf Sanchez

1) Constipation: Pumpkin can be a very effective treatment for the occasional abnormal stool. (If your pet has regular GI issues, consult your veterinarian.) Pumpkins have a high water and fiber content and can act to hydrate the intestines and their contents when dogs are suffering from constipation. Start with 1 tsp for smaller dogs and 2 tsp for larger dogs at the first sign of constipation. The water and fibers will be absorbed by the dry stools in your dog’s intestines, and your pup should experience relief in a few hours.

2) Diarrhea: Pumpkin can also be used to treat diarrhea. The soluble fiber in pumpkins actually helps absorb excess water in the bowels that the body didn’t absorb properly, thereby helping to calm diarrhea. Start slowly, and adjust accordingly.

3) Urinary Health: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkins’ 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.

4) Weight Loss: Pumpkin is also recently gaining popularity as a supplement to a dog’s food to aid in weight loss. While it is true that it is a low-cal/low-fat/ filler that is high in fiber and will help keep your pet feeling full longer, you want to make sure that your pet is still getting the required nutrients that he or she needs. As with all diet changes, start slowly and gradually increase. If your pet is obese, contacting your vet to get a personalized diet plan so your pet is not losing too much weight too rapidly, or too little weight too slowly.

Raw, Cooked, or Canned?

Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs. (If your dog 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! An easy way to have some handy dog treats around that will last 3-4 weeks is roasting plain seeds in the oven (see recipe below).

Leaves and stems however, are covered in sharp little hairs, which can irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract and cause tiny little cuts in the dog’s intestines. Make sure pumpkin patch field trips are 100 percent supervised.

Common sense tells us fresh is always better than canned because of fewer synthetic ingredients. If you choose to go with canned, make sure it doesn’t have added sugar.

Next: Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe

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Read more: All recipes, Alternative Therapies, Appetizers & Snacks, Eating for Health, Everyday Pet Care, Food, Health, Natural Remedies, Pets, , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

170 comments

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12:49AM PDT on Oct 15, 2014

Pumpkin is great for us and also for our dogs and cats! Thank you.

11:42PM PDT on Oct 10, 2014

Dear Lisa, thanks again for sharing; will share with all dog lovers the Health Benefits Of Pumpkins for their dogs; however, some dog owners believe in providing their dogs dry food only for 365 days and my heart goes out to their dogs; again, the life & happiness of a dog depend on its owner; some dog owners also don't believe in providing health supplements to their dogs but I beg to differ because although I don't buy health supplements for myself, I bought many for my late Lorraine darling and upon each yearly check up at the Animal Clinic, the Vet would comment "The blood test results are very good & her organs are in tip top condition; I see you gave Lorraine many health supplements; very good and do keep it up"; like human beings, pets who take health supplements and pets who don't, their health condition and skin & fur will show a big difference; a male Maltese named Wesley in my former neighbourhood looked old, his skin was covered with rashes & his coat yellowish-brownish instead of white and was nick named as Grandpa; my heart went out to him so I bought medicated shampoo for his bath & health supplements for his health, skin & coat; after 3 bottles of the same health supplements, Grandpa turned into a Handsome Young Man!!! And I still keep Wesley photos of BEFORE & AFTER as proof to all dog owners that Health Supplements do make a big difference and also, keep the Vet away like my late Lorraine who was healthy & passed away because

9:38PM PDT on Oct 10, 2014

and not expensive too

1:54AM PST on Feb 26, 2014

Thank you

5:42PM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

Thanks.

3:54AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

ty

4:23PM PDT on Jul 24, 2013

thanks for that interesting info!

2:50AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

great advice, I have read pumpkin used also for cats with constipation

4:15AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

pumpkins are not just for decorations

8:55PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

thanks for the info

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