It’s pumpkin season, y’all! And we KNOW you’re feeling guilty enjoying the pumpkin-flavoured everything without your pets. So, the question of the day is…can dogs and cats eat pumpkin, too? The answer is YES! Dogs and cats can enjoy pumpkin and pumpkin-flavoured things with us this season! In fact, pumpkin has excellent health benefits that help them feel good.
Pumpkin contains fiber which can serve as a prebiotic for good bacteria to grow in the gut. Fiber also contains moisture and nutrients that help your dog feel great while being low in calories for them to enjoy guilt-free. Pumpkin is a superfood for our dogs and cats.
Pumpkin is considered a superfood for many reasons. One of these reasons is the amount of essential nutrients it contains. Pumpkin is known for being high in vitamin A and Potassium. These vitamins and minerals help with blood pressure, muscle health and can benefit the metabolism. Along with these nutrients, pumpkin also contains levels of Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Folate, which can improve your pet’s immune system.
The pumpkin also contains antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids, which have many benefits to their health, including healthy muscle and brain development. These nutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids can help your dog’s and cat’s overall health and improve their skin, coat, eyes, and regulate urination and digestion!
Perhaps what pumpkin is most known for is the effects it has on digestion. Pet owners typically add pumpkin to their pet’s food when they experience some digestive issues or discomfort. Pumpkin can ease digestion and help with diarrhea or constipation to provide your pet with relief and keep things regulated. Of course, pumpkin should not be the only cure if your pet has ongoing digestive issues. Please talk to your veterinarian for their expert advice should these issues persist. For our feline friends, the fiber that pumpkin provides can help reduce the formation of hairballs as well.
Overall Health and Benefits
In addition to supplying nutrients and aiding in digestion, pumpkin has some other undercover superpowers you would have never guessed. Pumpkin can help provide your pet with hydration and encourage weight loss naturally. There is nothing the pumpkin can’t do!
Pumpkin has high water content, so it brings moisture to whatever it is added to. If your pet’s diet consists of just kibble, or if they are an infrequent drinker, it may be beneficial to add some pumpkin to your pet’s meal. This will give them some added hydration, and you may even notice a bit more energy in them throughout the day. Due to the high fiber and water content, pumpkin can help regulate the digestive system to improve digestion and immune function. It makes a meal more filling, so your pet may not want to eat as much or as frequently.
How much Pumpkin should I give my pet?
Like everything in life, too much of something can be a bad thing. Feeding your pet too much pumpkin can cause your pet discomfort. The high fiber and water content can have your pet feeling bloated, sluggish and uncomfortable. It’s recommended to start with smaller doses of pumpkin to get your pet used to the new taste and get their body used to the new food. There are also various forms of pumpkin to feed, from pumpkin powder to fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is most popular as it contains a lot more moisture, nutrients, and fiber. It may also be the preferred texture and taste to mix in with your pet’s food. Whichever pumpkin option you try, be sure there are no added sugars, spices, chemicals, or anything that can be harmful to your pet’s health.
Generally, 1 teaspoon of canned (or cooked and pureed) pumpkin per 10 pounds of body weight per day is a good standard to go by. Remember, as a general rule, treats (including fruits and vegetables) should never exceed 10% of your pet’s daily caloric needs.
To sum up, whether you want to eliminate this guilt of enjoying all the pumpkin glory without your pets, or you want to include your pet in the autumn festivities, pumpkin is a superfood that benefits dogs and cats alike. At House Calls Solano, we take pet health and nutrition seriously. If you have booked our services with us and require your pet on a specific diet, please leave us detailed instructions or contact us to let us know.