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What Are The Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs?
Did you know pumpkin is actually a fruit?! That’s right, because it has seeds inside, it’s classified as a fruit. Pumpkin is super yummy and is packed FULL of beneficial nutrients!
Vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, is an antioxidant that keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, along with helping their muscles and nerves stay strong. And just like carrots, it’s known for boosting eye health!
It also has potassium and vitamin C, which both support heart health and keeps their bones strong.
What Form Of Pumpkin Is Best For My Dog?
Pumpkin is beneficial for dogs when served either raw or cooked. Just make sure the raw pumpkin is nice and fresh. No leftover Halloween pumpkins for our fur babies!
If fresh pumpkins are in season, you can dice it up raw for your pups, or you can roast it in the oven and mash it up. It can even be added to a homemade dog food! Click here for our favorite dog food recipe.
The easiest way to serve pumpkin to your dog is by getting canned pumpkin at the grocery store.
You’re looking for the stuff that says 100% pure pumpkin, like the photo to the right, and definitely want to avoid getting pumpkin pie filling, which has tons of spices and sugar added to it. Then just pop it open and add a tablespoon or two to your dog’s meal.
Pumpkin Is Great For Your Dog’s Weight Loss
If your dog is looking a little thick & curvy, substituting 2 tablespoons of pumpkin for ¼ cup dog food helps your dog feel fuller for a longer period of time, and helps them lose excess weight.
Pumpkin is a perfect way to add fiber to your dog’s diet, which improves the quality of their poop. Amazingly enough, it even helps with both diarrhea and constipation. The fiber helps add bulk to stop diarrhea, while the water content of pumpkin resolves constipation.
Dogs who eat a good amount of quality fiber also experience less blood sugar spikes, which is especially important in diabetic dogs.
Can My Dog Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds have great amounts of an amino acid called cucurbitacins. Amino acids are basically the building blocks of all proteins.
The cucurbitacins inside unsalted pumpkin seeds can kill intestinal worms inside your dog’s digestive tract. Research is also showing an added benefit of cucurbitacins having anti-cancer properties!
To give your dog pumpkin seeds, first remove the seeds from the shells. Place them on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil to keep them from sticking. Roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven on 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned.
It can then served whole, crushed up, or ground in a coffee grinder! It all depends on how your pup prefers it. For added bug-fighting boosts, you can add food-grade diatomaceous earth to their meal as well. Click here to learn about the benefits of diatomaceous earth.
Fun Ways To Give Your Dog Pumpkin
If you want to make pumpkin a more fun part of your dog’s day, there are a ton of ways for them to view it as a treat!
One of our favorites is to add alternating scoops of all-natural peanut butter and canned pumpkin to a Kong toy. I seal the ends with a small piece of deli meat and then give it to Roxy & Rico.
To make it even more refreshing, I’ll freeze the Kong for 20-30 minutes on hot summer days so they can enjoy it longer.
Special occasion? If you’re in the mood to bake, how about whipping up a super easy, yummy cake for your dog? Here’s favorite top cake recipe Roxy & Rico adore!