The health of your beloved four-legged friend is so important. Pet parents love their pups like family and will do anything to keep them happy and healthy.
A great food to feed dogs to provide them with necessary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids is pumpkin. The tasty gourd offers a ton of health benefits. On top of that, it is typically available all year round in the form of canned pumpkin.
So, what type of pumpkin is safe for my dog? To use pumpkin as a health supplement for your dog, you can add around one to four tablespoons to their meals, depending on your dog’s weight. You should always talk with your vet before introducing new foods into your pup’s diet.
Do you want to know why pumpkins are a great way to give additional vitamins to your dog? Besides the obvious ones, here are some things you perhaps didn’t know.
Pumpkins Are Nutrient Dense
Pumpkin is packed full of vitamins and minerals that dogs need to thrive. It contains vitamins A, E, and C, among others. These vitamins are great for boosting their immune system, aiding brain function, and promoting good skin and eye health.
Important minerals are also found in pumpkins. These minerals include potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and more. Consuming these minerals helps to improve cellular function within the body.
Pumpkins Are Full of Antioxidants
The vitamins found in pumpkin, such as vitamins A, C, and E, combined with other antioxidants, greatly help to boost your pup’s immune system.
They do this by helping to remove free radicals, or oxidants, from the body. These destructive molecules are naturally formed through metabolism and received from exposure to toxins in our environment. Too many of these oxidants can damage the body and even cause cancer.
Beyond vitamins, pumpkin contains powerful antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Consuming these can improve bone health, lower your pup’s risk of cancer and degenerative diseases, boost heart health, and reduce inflammation in the skin.
Pumpkin Improves Eye Health
Pumpkin contains a large amount of vitamin A. This vitamin is known for promoting good eye health. Vitamin A can also help prevent night blindness and other forms of eye degeneration in your dog.
This important vitamin also assists with improving overall vision. Beyond eye health, vitamin A also improves skin and coat health.
The carotenoid zeaxanthin also helps to boost your pup’s eye health by protecting their eyes from light damage.
Pumpkins Are High in Fiber
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber for your dog. Consuming pumpkin aids in digestive health in many ways.
The soluble fiber found in pumpkin helps to absorb water in the intestines. This can assist with solidifying runny stools, which can effectively stop diarrhea and soft stools.
Not only can it help with loose stools, but pumpkin can also assist if your dog is constipated. If your pup is constipated, giving them a little bit of pumpkin will help loosen their stools enough to allow them to have easier bowel movements.
On top of all of that, the fiber in pumpkin allows dogs to feel full for a longer period after consuming it. It is fairly low in calories, making it a great healthy option for dogs that need to lose a little weight or to keep dogs satisfied until their next meal.
The fiber found in pumpkin can also prevent problems with your dog’s anal gland. It can even help with acid reflux, which even dogs can get. A little pumpkin snack will help to soothe your pup’s stomach.
Pumpkin Provides Hydration
Hydration is essential to your dog’s wellbeing. Some pups struggle with staying hydrated, especially if they eat a diet that consists of only dry food. Dogs do not typically have a high thirst drive, which can cause hydration issues, especially when considering the low moisture content that dry dog food has.
Adding a bit of pumpkin to your pup’s diet can provide them with some much-needed hydration, as it has high water content. While clean water should always be available, pumpkin can help top off your dog’s hydration by adding moisture to their dry food.
Pumpkin goes above and beyond what a healthy snack should be. When properly fed to your dog, it can provide many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to boost your pup’s health. It also has high fiber content, especially when using plain canned pumpkins.
There are several benefits to using pumpkin as a health supplement for your dog. It can boost your pup’s immune system, improve their eye, skin, and coat health, and keep their bowel movements regular.
Always make sure you are feeding pumpkins to your dog in a safe way. Introduce new foods slowly and monitor your dog for any changes. If you do notice any adverse reactions, contact your vet right away.