Superfoods in Your Kitchen: Pumpkins for Dogs

pumpkin for dogs

They aren’t just good for carving jack-o-lanterns or baking into holiday pies. Packed with dietary fiber and potassium, pumpkins are a superfood that can benefit your dog’s health (and waistline) all year. 

The Stats:

A cup of plain pumpkin contains about 80 calories with a whopping 10 grams of dietary fiber – that’s about 1.25 grams of fiber per ounce. A serving this size also contains 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein, and just 5 mg of sodium.

The Benefits:

1. Dietary fiber and high moisture content can aid with digestion, relieve diarrhea, and prevent constipation
2. Fiber acts as a probiotic, supporting the growth and activity of helpful bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract 
3. Natural oils in both pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are rich in phytoestrogens, which can lower blood pressure and support heart health
4. Pumpkin (like other orange veggies) is rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants which may reduce your dog’s risk for cancer and can promote healthy vision
5. Loaded with vitamin A for healthy skin, teeth, and bones

How to Feed It:

Pumpkin can be incorporated into your dog’s diet in a variety of ways. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, try stirring a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin into his normal food once a day to relieve symptoms. Feeling a little more culinary? Toast raw pumpkin seeds at home with a drizzle of coconut or olive oil and serve them as a tasty treat, or grind them up and stir them into your dog’s food. You can also combine canned pumpkin with a cup of plain yogurt and freeze the mixture in ice cube trays for a refreshing, DIY treat.

What to Watch For:

Always be sure to buy plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. When it comes to your dog’s digestive system, added sugar and spice are anything but nice.

Image: Food52