If you’re like most of us, you probably have a can of pumpkin lurking somewhere in the back of a cupboard. Maybe you bought it specifically for a holiday dish that never ended up getting made. Or perhaps you bought it on a whim, figuring it would get used one of these days. Pumpkin is a winter meal staple, after all, right?
And yet, somehow all of that pumpkin winds up collecting dust in the far back corners of our cupboards as the holidays fly by, year after year. Some of us just keep these canned goods, hoping beyond hope that they’ll someday find a purpose for them. Others throw them out after a few years.
But don’t toss your canned pumpkin just yet! If you have a dog, he or she is likely to appreciate the orange mushy stuff more than any human being ever could.
Do make sure you consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog pumpkin, and start slowly rather than giving your dog a whole bunch of canned pumpkin at once. However, most dogs can easily tolerate having pumpkin added to their diets, and many of them love it as well!
Here are several ways you can use pumpkin for your dog.
Pumpkin for upset stomach
Canned pumpkin is great for all kinds of digestive ailments in dogs. While you should definitely look into the underlying cause of your dog’s upset stomach issues, adding pumpkin to their food may help them find their appetite and/or work through whatever is ailing their tummy.
Pumpkin for constipation
Canned and fresh pumpkin are both high in water content, which can help immensely with constipation. There’s nothing like that soft and smooth pumpkin texture to help work things through the old system!
The great taste of pumpkin can also increase your dog’s appetite if constipation is causing them not to want to eat anything. Do consult your veterinarian, however, concerning other things you can do to help your dog with constipation.
Pumpkin for diarrhea
On the other end of the spectrum, pumpkin can help eliminate your pet’s diarrhea issues. It acts as a binder and absorbs extra water in a dog’s digestive tract, causing their stool to be more solid.
Pumpkin also serves to help keep your dog hydrated while they’re working through this issue. But please make sure they’re also drinking plenty of water, and consult your vet if your dog becomes obviously distressed or lethargic.
Pumpkin for weight loss
There is some evidence that pumpkin may help dogs lose weight. Many dog owners have seen improvements in their dogs’ weight by replacing a portion of their food with canned pumpkin. Please consult your veterinarian to make sure this is safe for your dog and to find out how much pumpkin (and how much of their normal food) you should be feeding them.
Click “next” for 4 more ways pumpkin can help your pet!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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