Indulging in everything from pumpkin beers to lattes has become a rite of fall for us humans, but your dog can also get in on the seasonal fun. Pumpkin is likely already in the food your pet eats, according to FDA reports and a reading of these top-notch freeze-dried food labels, and boasts some health benefits as well. Read on to make sure you get the right kind of pumpkin.
It Can Help Digestive Issues
Stomach aches happen to the best of us (and not just after overdoing it on Thanksgiving), and dogs aren’t immune. Pumpkin can help with digestive issues.
Whole Dog Journal Founding Editor Nancy Kerns keeps plain canned pumpkin on hand at all times. She’s sworn by it since her dog, Woody, ingested too much sand on a beach trip. After a few days of eating pumpkin, he was on the mend. Whole Dog Journal contributor Mary Straus also uses pumpkin for upset stomachs and offers these tips and recipes.
Pumpkin also acts as a binder and firms up loose stools in dogs — and it’s palatable to boot. Whole Dog Journal contributor Shari Mann suggests using plain canned pumpkin to make liver-pumpkin cookies (since liver is known to cause loose stools, adding pumpkin is essential).
Hold the Spice
Sugar and spice aren’t too nice for pups. Though pumpkin pie may be your favorite Thanksgiving dessert, avoid canned pumpkin that has added sugar or spices. Plain canned pumpkin is the stuff you want. You can sometimes find it sold in pet supply stores and labeled for dogs (and about twice the price), but it’s absolutely the same stuff you can buy in supermarkets.
Canned pumpkin is highly palatable; most dogs will eat it mixed into their kibble or other food, or lick it right off a spoon. But if you want to make the treat a little more festive, try these mini-pumpkin pies made with plain pumpkin.