Feeding & Treating Your Dog: It really is the Great Pumpkin!
A good majority of dogs will gladly show you that they find pumpkin simply tasty! Beyond taste though, is a sizable ‘pro’ list of reasons to include this fibrous, beta-carotene loaded melon in your dog’s feeding & treating routines.
Pumpkin is a low-fat, low-calorie ingredient that delivers essential vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants that help maintain a well balanced diet. The beta-carotene, as you may already know, aids in cancer prevention by reducing inflammation and regulating Vitamin A.
Pumpkin is also high in fiber, which is vital to your dog’s digestive health, and several other beneficial antioxidants and other phytonutrients like lutein and ziazanthin. While Vitamin C boosts basic immune functions, the presence of Vitamin E also helps maintain healthy skin and coat. Magnesium facilitates the formation of healthy bones and teeth and is highly beneficial for both growing puppies and senior dogs.
The fiber content of Pumpkin is sometimes very useful in the treatment and maintenance of digestive health of our pets. Few foods are more readily consumed than pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling) by our pets; just a small portion in their daily diets (1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the pet’s weight) can make the difference between a case of chronic diarrhea or constipation and a normal daily bowel movement. Many veterinarians often prescribe pumpkin as part of the treatment for either intestinal issue, as well as simply a healthful dietary supplement.
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. Just as with altering diets for ourselves, you’ll want to consult with your veterinarian for a healthy, personalized diet plan.
Pumpkin seeds are high in various minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper and iron and are high in essential fatty acids (no trans fats, either!)
[notice]Your pup tend to bootie-scoot? Adding pumpkin to their diet will aid in reducing the anal sac buildup that causes dogs to ‘scoot’.[/notice]