Pumpkin Does Awesome Things for Dogs
Digestion and weight loss are far from the only ways you can improve your pet’s health and happiness with the help of canned pumpkin. As he or she ages, you’re likely to begin spotting more and more ways this soft and vitamin-rich food is a useful staple you can put in your pet’s food dish. Below, check out four other ways your doggo might benefit from a diet that includes pumpkin.
Pumpkin for hydration
As we mentioned before, pumpkin is great for hydration, which can help when your dog has diarrhea. But if you’re having trouble getting your pet to consume enough liquids for whatever reason, pumpkin might be able to help. Again, contact your vet to ask about what else you can do, as dehydration is a dangerous issue, particularly in the summer months.
“Canned pumpkin sometimes is recommended by veterinarians for its soluble fiber content,” says Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM, who holds a PhD in animal nutrition. “Canned pumpkin is 90% water, so it is quite nutrient dilute. It adds mostly water and a little soluble fiber to pet foods.”
Pumpkin for overall health
Humans don’t generally think of pumpkin as a superfood, but the truth of the matter is that it’s low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber and vitamins. Pumpkin is chock-full of beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Pumpkin as a treat
As previously mentioned, many dogs love pumpkin and will appreciate it as a treat even if they’re not sick. It can even be put into a Kong to bind other smaller treats together and keep them from falling out of the toy too easily.
For older dogs, dogs with poor appetites, and dogs with trouble chewing or swallowing, pumpkin is also a softer and tastier food that will help get them eating again.
Pumpkin for other purposes
There is not a great deal of research to support other uses for pumpkin as they relate to dogs, but some anecdotal evidence suggests that feeding your dog canned pumpkin may improve their coat condition and skin health, as well as their immune systems. Some people have even claimed canned pumpkin helped with their dogs’ urinary tract health.
It seems there’s a whole host of other things pumpkin might secretly be able to help your pet with. Dr. Carol McConnell, chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide pet insurance, says, for example, “It’s particularly good for preventing hairballs.”
If you want to feed canned pumpkin to your dog, make sure it’s the right product first. Most grocery stores sell canned pumpkin right next to pumpkin pie filling, and the packaging often looks suspiciously similar. You should not feed your dog pumpkin pie filling, as it usually contains sugar and spices that might be harmful to your pet. Make sure your canned pumpkin is just pureed pumpkin and nothing else.
Let us know how you use canned pumpkin in the comments!