Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration or Thanksgiving dinner, they can be a great addition to your dog’s diet as well. Unfortunately, canned pumpkin is hard to find in Ireland, so I didn’t encounter it until I went to work as a veterinary nurse in North America. If you are lucky enough to be able to get it, here’s what it can do for your dog.
A home remedy for constipation
If you have a dog that’s prone to constipation, tinned pumpkin contains a bucketload of fibre and moisture to help keep their guts on the move.
Constipated dogs often suffer from other digestive conditions as well. Pumpkin is low in fat, so it is suitable for those pups that also suffer from chronic pancreatitis and, as a vegetable, it is perfect for dogs with allergies to specific animal protein sources.
Add a small amount of canned pumpkin to your dog’s meals daily to keep them regular and save money on visits to the vet for constipation.
Anal gland emptier
Small dogs frequently suffer from anal gland blockage or rupture. Problems begin when the glands don’t empty fully when they defecate, leading to a build-up of material in the gland that can’t get out.
Because small dogs eat less food, they produce smaller faeces. The large amount of fibre in pumpkin bulks out your dog’s poo, which means that the glands are emptied more efficiently as they go to the toilet.
Adding pumpkin doesn’t dramatically increase the amount you have to clean up, but it can save your carpet from some unwanted scooting.
Weight loss supplement
If you have an overweight dog, pumpkin can be added to their diet to replace other high-calorie treats.
The moisture and fibre in the tinned pumpkin leave your dog feeling full. This reduces begging behaviour—and the guilt trip that comes with it.
If you need to reduce the amount of kibble your dog is being fed, add the equivalent amount of pumpkin (you may even need less) for the first couple of days. The food volume hasn’t decreased, but calorie content has.
Add pumpkin into your dog’s diet to give them variety, even if your dog doesn’t have medical issues, adding pumpkin into their diet gives them variety. We’ve talked about nutritional enrichment before here, and both Bing and Gunther are big fans of trying new food.
Spread tinned pumpkin on a lickmat to get the benefits of nutritional enrichment combined with the calming endorphins released by licking. Giving the boys seasonal treats makes me smile, so pumpkin is a regular feature around Halloween and Thanksgiving time in our house.
Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration or thanksgiving dinner, they can be a great addition to your dog’s diet as well.
We use the Fruitable canned pumpkin because it’s hard to get our paws on tinned pumpkin in Irish grocery stores and it contains only 100% pumpkin. If you are looking for pumpkin in your local store, make sure it doesn’t contain any added spices or sweeteners.