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Pumpkin & Pets

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Why Pumpkin Might Be Your Dog’s Favorite New Snack

Gourds are an iconic symbol of the Fall season as they represent the fresh harvest of fruits and vegetables in the northern hemisphere of the world. Of all the fresh produce that the harvest season has to offer, none symbolizes the season more than the pumpkin. We eat them, we decorate them, and we even carve unique faces and designs on them to turn them into jack o’ lanterns. However,  pumpkins aren’t just for people, they are also for dogs! Dogs love the taste of pumpkin, but pumpkin needs to be properly prepared before it’s safe for them to eat. This article will cover why dogs love the taste of pumpkin, the best ways to prepare pumpkin for your dog, and the health benefits of pumpkin for your dog. 

Why Pumpkin?

So why do dogs love pumpkin so much? It turns out that pumpkin is a superfood for dogs. According to pets.webmd.com, pumpkin contains micronutrients (vitamins and minerals that our bodies need in small doses) and fiber (a type of carbohydrate that helps regulate the body’s use of sugars which helps keep hunger and blood sugar in check). In other words, pumpkin is very healthy for dogs as it provides essentials that they don’t normally get from most dry foods. Pumpkin also has a slightly sweet taste to it making it irresistible to most dogs. 

Health Benefits Of Pumpkin

Aside from the aforementioned micronutrients and fiber, pumpkin also has many other wonderful health benefits for your furry friend. Pumpkin contains vitamin A which is essential for healthy skin, coat, muscles, and nerve functions. It also contains vitamin C which is an important antioxidant that helps support your dog’s immune system, can reduce inflammation, and prevent cognitive aging. Vitamin E can also be found in pumpkin which is essential for cell function, fat metabolism, and helps protect against oxidative damage (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body). Pumpkin also contains essential minerals such as iron and potassium. Iron is important as it helps your dog’s red blood cells carry oxygen through the body so they can produce energy. Potassium on the other hand is an electrolyte that helps with the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles. In short, feeding your dog pumpkin will help boost their nutrition and make them an overall happier and healthier dog. To learn more about what treats and snacks are healthy for your dog, check out our previous article entitled Dog Treats 101

Preparing Pumpkin For Your Dog

While pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious superfood for your dog, you can’t simply toss them a pumpkin the same way you would toss them a milk-bone. In order for your dog to enjoy this superfood, it must first be properly prepared. There are a variety of ways to prepare and serve your dog pumpkin, but we are going to give you our two favorite methods. Warning! Do not ever use pumpkin pie mix or pumpkin pie filling as they usually contain nutmeg which is poisonous to dogs. Always use pure pumpkin puree when buying canned pumpkin. Be sure to check the ingredients on the label if you’re not sure what’s in it. 1. Pumpkin Ice Cream. Combine some mashed cooked pumpkin (boiled, baked, or canned puree) with plain unsweetened yogurt, mashed banana, and peanut butter. Spoon the mashed mixture into an ice cube tray or into a Kong, then place in the freezer. The end result will be a frozen treat that your dog won’t be able to resist. 2. Pumpkin Topper. Simply combine some pumpkin puree with plain unsweetened yogurt, low-sodium beef broth, and some brown rice. Add water if it’s too thick and place in the refrigerator. When it’s time for your dog’s supper, heat the mixture up in the microwave and pour some over your dog’s dry food. It will be the most delicious and nutritious gravy they’ve ever had! 

Life Is Gourd 

The fall season tends to bring family, friends, and food together in a way no other season does. We believe your pets should be a part of this Fall spirit and tradition as well. We hope this article encourages you to make and share some delicious and nutritious D.I.Y. pumpkin treats this Fall season. Your furry friends deserve the best, so always remember to double check the ingredients you use in your treats before giving them to your dogs. Be thoughtful, be creative, and have a wonderful Fall season! 

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