• Shelley Beyer

Pumpkin for Your Pets!



Have you heard that pumpkin is beneficial for your pets? Guess what! It’s true! There are several different benefits, and one of them is bound to be useful for your pet’s situation. What are those advantages, and how do you bring them into your pet’s life? Keep reading to find out!



The Benefits


Pumpkin has a lot of fiber in it, which contributes quite nicely to keeping your pet's digestive system running well. Both cats and dogs can benefit from this extra fiber if they are experiencing constipation or diarrhea. It can even help with indigestion. Pumpkin is also high in Vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and beta carotene. (It may help reduce the chances of your pet getting cancer!)


Canned pumpkin can help reduce hairballs (probably because it is mostly water and fiber!) It can assist with pet weight loss and contains an amino acid called cucurbitacin that is toxic to common dog parasites. Its high moisture content can help if your pet is struggling to get enough water in their diet. Vitamin A can support healthy eyes, too. Even the pumpkin seeds are full of essential Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants for your pet's skin and fur. Who knew pumpkin was so awesome?



How to Use It


First, make sure that your canned pumpkin has no added sugar or spices in it. Straight pumpkin is the ideal easy solution. It even comes in easy to store cans. You can, of course, feed them raw pumpkin as well, but make sure it is fresh, not the Jack O' Lantern slowly withering on your porch. If you are using the seeds, raw is just fine. Cooking the pumpkin does not seem to have an impact on its safety or efficacy, so the choice is yours!


Just add a little to their meal. Depending on the size of your pet, the amount will vary. Smaller breeds (and cats) may only need a few teaspoons, and your big dogs could happily enjoy as much as a half a cup. You will want to be careful about how much pumpkin you give your pet - too much can create an entirely different bowel movement!


Your dog will probably slurp it right up; they seem to have a natural love for the seasonal gourd. Your cats may need some time to warm up to the idea, so do not be surprised if your cat is disinterested in that weird orange stuff. Keep trying with small amounts in their existing food!


Because it is full of fiber, you may be able to help your pet lose weight by swapping some of their food for pumpkin. Fiber will fill your pet's belly up faster, and it probably tastes better than plain kibble too!



That delicious holiday pumpkin is more than just a seasonal staple! It’s a nutritional one too. So stock the cabinets while it’s on sale, and take advantage of these benefits. Make sure that you reach out to your vet before you do. They can help you determine how much you should give your pet and caution you on any risks your unique animal may have.