A superfood? The miracle ingredient? Pumpkins are not just for making great Halloween decorations. Full of antioxidants, vitamin A and iron with virtually no sodium, pumpkin is a safe and healthy addition to your pet's diet. In fact, many pet parents keep a few cans of 100% pumpkin on hand for “just-in-case” moments. Keep reading to learn the benefits of pumpkin…
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and when added to your dog's diet will absorb water from the stomach and firm up the stool. Pumpkin is especially good if you are transitioning between foods or if the diarrhea is a result of a dietary indiscretion. You don't have to use much, just a couple of teaspoons for a big dog and less for a smaller dog. If no response is seen contact your vet because diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious disease or condition.
The fiber in canned pumpkin also helps prevent constipation by increasing the physical bulk of the stool and increasing the water content. Because it is a gentle form of laxative you can use it long term if necessary. Adjust the amount to get the right stool consistency. Again a veterinary consult should be arranged if the constipation is accompanied by any other symptoms such as bloody stool or vomiting.
Another great use for canned pumpkin is as a healthy alternative to high calorie treats. Stuff a Kong type toy with pumpkin instead of peanut butter or cream cheese. Freeze until hard and then let your dog enjoy an icy treat. For extra fun hide a small dog biscuit in the stuffing.
And if you are switching to a new dog food, use pumpkin as an in-between treat. It helps the body to 'forgive' diet changes!
For a basic recipe try the following adapted from Allrecipes.com:
Mix all ingredients together adding small amounts of water as necessary to keep the dough workable but not gummy, roll out and cut into the size desired. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes until hard.You can be very creative with this recipe and add oatmeal, fruit, even baby food and still get some yummy cookies.
Fresh or canned this orange gourd is a winner.
Other Treats, Toys and Chews - Please share yours too!
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