We’ve all been there. Those days when your dog’s tummy is not doing so well and those bowel movements leave… something to be desired. Perhaps you’ve decided to transition your pup to a new food. Or maybe they suffer from a chronic digestive issue, such as Irritable Bowel Disease. There are several remedies out there that can help treat, ease or at least mitigate stomach problems for your pup. One of our favorites is straight-up, 100% pureed pumpkin. So, let’s discuss why pumpkin for dogs is a great move for any pet parent.
Pumpkin For Dogs: The Nutritional Facts
Now, looking into this container of orange mush, you may wonder to yourself, “So what exactly is this supposed to do for my dog?” Pumpkin is a squash that is filled to the brim with vitamins and nutrients, helping to boost immune support while also acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. It also aids in digestion providing a gentle source of fiber and moisture (it’s over 80% water, in fact). These are two things your pup will certainly need if they are dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea. Additionally, because of its soluble fiber, pumpkin can also help with constipation. Plus, it has a low glycemic load, which means fewer starches and sugars for your pup. Pumpkin is also a low-calorie superfood, so incorporating it into your dog’s diet won’t contribute to any significant weight gain. Add this all up together and you have yourself one amazing can of goodness!
Other Benefits For Your Dog
In addition, pumpkin is also ideal for allergies, food sensitivities or even diabetes, due to its low glycemic load. And because of its digestive properties, it can also work wonders when you are transitioning your dog from one brand or type of food to another. Changing your pup’s diet can cause at least a small amount of stress. As such, transition them slowly from their old food to the new and add a small amount of pureed pumpkin with their meals to help calm their stomach and adapt to their diet.
Pumpkin can also act as a great long-term supplement to your dog’s kibble. Because kibble is a water-deficient food, it can provide much-needed hydration to your pup’s diet. Also, some chronic issues (such as loose stool or chronic constipation) may benefit from a regular dosage of pumpkin. So, if your dog struggles with their bowel movements, it may be worth adding pumpkin as a permanent part of their meals.
How To Feed Pumpkin To Your Dog
It’s a good idea to test out a small amount on your pups first. Some dogs may not respond well to pumpkin in spite of its useful properties and others may not like the smell and/or taste.
Now, how much pumpkin you feed will depend on size, age, activity level, and digestive concerns. Small dogs will need a smaller amount than larger breeds. Senior or low activity dogs will also need a smaller portion, as they don’t burn off calories as quickly. And any dog with a comprised immune or digestive system must always be approached with caution.
Assuming you feed your pet twice a day, a good rule of thumb would be 1/2 tbsp per meal for dogs under 15lbs. For dogs between 15lbs and 30lbs, give 1 tbsp per meal. For dogs 30lbs to 50lbs, you can give up to 1.5 tbsps per meal, and for dogs over 50lbs, you can give up to 2 tbsps per meal.
A Couple Of Things To Remember About Pumpkin For Dogs
If you are introducing pumpkin for the first time, add it to their diet gradually. As such, we recommend cutting the amounts above in half for the first week or so in order to allow your dog’s gut to adapt to the increase in fiber and nutrients. If they do well in that first week, then you can slowly increase to the recommended amounts.
Groceries stores can be a great place to find pumpkin for dogs. Ensure the can is labeled as 100% pumpkin and has no preservatives, additives, fillers, or flavorings. And don’t confuse pureed pumpkin with pumpkin pie filler, which is definitely not pet-friendly. You can also find pumpkin at your local pet supply stores, which can offer options such as organic pumpkin, those with BPA free liners or formulas mixed additional fruits/veggies for extra nutrients.
Once opened, you can store the can of pumpkin in the fridge with an appropriate can lid or in a Tupperware container. It should remain good for several days.
Pumpkin is a great supplement for your pup and can accommodate a variety of digestive issues. Its ample store of nutrients, anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties, high fiber, and moisture content make it an excellent addition to any dog’s diet.