The power of pumpkin for dogs: what you need to know
Share the health benefits of pumpkin with your four-legged friend.
Pumpkin pie and jack-o-lanterns… those are the images pumpkins conjure up this time of year. But this fat, orange vegetable isn’t just a Thanksgiving and Halloween staple. It’s actually one of the healthiest foods in the world, both for us and for our pets.
Here are 10 ways pumpkin can benefit your pet:
- The seeds are an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Roast the seeds and then grind them. Do not add salt.
- The pulp contains soluble fiber, which can slow digestion and help control diarrhea by absorbing water.
- On the other hand, it also helps fight constipation due to its high fiber and water content.
- It is ideal for “bulking up” your pet’s food. Most pets don’t need large amounts of pumpkin, and with only 34 calories per 100 grams, the benefits more than makeup for the few extra calories.
- The flesh contains vitamin A, which is important for eye health.
- The flesh also contains vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.
- Dogs with joint problems need more vitamin C than they produce themselves, and pumpkin is a good source.
- Because it slows digestion, it also helps with weight loss by keeping your pet feeling fuller longer.
- It slows down the aging process thanks to the abundant antioxidant beta-carotene.
- The zinc it contains helps improve skin and coat.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons of powdered milk
- 2 and 1/8 cups of chickpea flour (high in protein!)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine eggs and pumpkin; stir in powdered milk and flour. Add water if necessary to make dough manageable — it should be dry and firm. Roll out with a rolling pin to ½ inch thickness and cut into shapes. Place them 2.5 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 20 minutes.
*Try to use organic and local ingredients whenever possible.
Pumpkin has a colorful history, dating back to the Aztec civilization from 1300 to 1500 AD. Over the years, many cultures — such as Native Americans, Eastern Europeans, Mediterraneans and Indians — have valued the plant as a staple food and for its medicinal properties.
Healthy and nutritious
According to traditional Chinese medicine, pumpkin has a cooling quality. It helps relieve wet conditions such as dysentery, eczema and edema. Supports the spleen and pancreas. Helps regulate blood sugar levels and promotes the elimination of mucus in the lungs, bronchial tubes and throat.
Pumpkin is excellent for diarrhea and, surprisingly, it is equally good for constipation. There are seven grams of soluble fiber in each cup. It helps coat and soothe irritated gastrointestinal systems and is an excellent source of potassium, which is so important when valuable electrolytes are lost due to diarrhea.
It is also packed with many other nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin and thiamine, and, because of its dark orange color, beta-carotene.
Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin extract and pumpkin oil.
Pumpkin seeds are mini nutritional powerhouses. They are a valuable source of zinc, which is concentrated in the very thin layer under the shell, called the endosperm layer. Seeds also contain vitamin E, including alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol, as well as manganese, phenolic antioxidants and antioxidant phytonutrients such as lignans, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and iron.
Pumpkin seeds, extract and oil have antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Cooked pumpkin is a good remedy for intestinal worms, and the seeds have been found to be more effective than the pulp. The seeds are generally non-allergenic and do not contain measurable amounts of oxalates.
Preliminary studies have shown that pumpkin seed extract and oil improve insulin regulation in diabetic animals and support renal function. A decrease in oxidative stress has also been observed.
By incorporating pumpkin into your recipes, you can get an excellent nutritional boost for your dog or cat.