Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?
With Halloween fast approaching, have you ever wondered “Can dogs eat pumpkin?”
Pumpkin is a nutritious and delicious fruit that can be enjoyed all year-round. An extremely dynamic fruit, with a great taste and many health benefits, it’s a popular favorite across the world.
It is a highly nutritious food. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 49 kcal, 2.7gm fibre, 5.1gm sugar, 564mg potassium, and vitamin A 14100 IU.
If you look at the nutritional composition of the pumpkin, you can see that it is high in calories and rich in vitamins. Pumpkin is also known as orange beauty, and with a high concentration of vitamin A, pumpkin also contains iron, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and folic acid.
In a nutsell, the answer to the question “Can dogs eat pumpkin?” is yes, it’s a great treat and supplement for your dog if given in moderation. This article will explain in more detail and explain all the health benefits associated with the pumpkin fruit and feeding it to your four-legged friend.
Benefits of Pumpkin For a Dog
There are many benefits of feeding pumpkin to your dog. For example:
- Increased eye health
- Improve the immune system
- Improve skin and coat
- Prevents urinary incontinence
- Improves digestive motility
- Helps get ride of parasites
Below, we have expanded each point into more detail and explained how pumpkin directly impacts a dogs health.
Pumpkins are Essential for Eye Health
Vitamin A is present in pumpkin in large quantities and is necessary for the health of the dog’s eye. Vitamin A not only promotes eye health but also prevents eye degeneration and night blindness.
The vitamin is also fat-soluble, so when you mix healthy oil with pumpkin, it will increase the nutritional energy of the pumpkin. When making a treat, you can add pumpkin to the dog’s food or mix with oil and then add it to your dog’s diet.
How Pumpkin Can Improve the Immune System of a Dog
Vitamin C plays a vital role in boosting immune health. Vitamin C, when combined with vitamin E, vitamin A (beta-carotene), and other antioxidants, it can help prevent certain types of cancer.
The function of antioxidants is to destroy oxidants or free radicals. Basically, antioxidants are a natural part of the immune system. You can add pumpkin to a dog’s diet to improve pets’ immune systems.
Pumpkins Improve the Skin and Coat of a Dog
Vitamin A and zinc are present in the pumpkin and help to improve the coat and skin of pets. Similarly, the high water content in the pumpkin also plays an important role in keeping the skin flexible and shiny.
Furthermore, this excess moisture also helps the skin to flake less, and there will be less loss of hair on clothing, carpet, or furniture.
Prevent Urinary Incontinence
When feeding pumpkin to your dog, you can feed the pumpkin seeds, as well as the pulp and flesh. Like pumpkin seeds, the flesh is also a great source of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids.
Besides, fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and help to eliminate kidney stones. If your dog suffers from urinary inconsistency (poor ability to hold urine), pumpkin seed powder helps prevent this problem.
Improves Digestive Motility
Pumpkin plays a vital role in improving the digestion of food in dogs and also helps the animal to defecate normally. If your dog passes hard stool, it will put a lot of pressure on their intestine.
If you feed your dog with pumpkin, it will provide the necessary fibre that will help evacuate faeces easily, and there will be less chance of constipation. Similarly, if your dog’s stool loses too much, a small pumpkin in your dog’s diet can improve stool consistency.
Helps to Get Rid of Parasites
If your dog has ever been infested from parasites (for example, tapeworm), you will definitely know how much damage they can cause to your dog digestive system. A dog that suffers from parasitic infestation shows symptoms like dry skin, nutrient deficiencies, weight loss, and ruffled coat.
Pumpkin can help kill parasites because it contains an amino acid called cucurbitacin that can kill many parasites and is used as a deworming agent in ruminants. Take a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds and grind them into your dog’s food and use it as a preventive measure.
Can Pumpkin Help Decrease Episodes of Diarrhoea?
Pumpkin is an excellent source of soluble fibre and aids in the absorption of water from dog faeces. When fibre is fermented in the dog’s body, it helps absorb sodium and water from the intestine, supply energy to the cells, and lower the pH of the large intestine.
Another function that fibre plays in the body is that it acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics increase the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Fibre increases the growth of beneficial bacteria by providing the necessary nutrient and by reducing the pH level.
These fibre properties help dogs that suffer from diarrhoea and decrease diarrhoea episodes.
How Much Pumpkin Can You Feed to a Dog?
Before feeding pumpkin to your dog, you should confirm amounts with your vet as too much pumpkin can be toxic to your dog.
Pumpkin for a dog is a great source of beta-carotene, which the dog’s body can convert into vitamin A. However, a large amount of vitamin A is very toxic to dogs.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t add this beneficial product to your dog’s diet.
You can feed small amounts of pumpkin to your dog and reap the benefits it can provide.
What Type of Pumpkin can a Dog Consume?
So, we have answered the question “can dogs eat pumpkin”? But, what types of pumpkin can they eat?
Plain canned pumpkin is the healthiest choice for your dog.
Both fresh and canned pumpkin are good sources of nutrients and fibre however, canned pumpkin contains a higher concentration of fiber and nutrients compared to fresh pumpkin. This is because fresh pumpkin has higher water content compared to canned pumpkin.
How To Feed Pumpkin to you Dog
There are lots of different ways you can feed pumpkin to your dog.
For example, you can incorporate pumpkin into your homemade dog food, or you can add them to home made treats.
You can also mix the pumpkin seeds, pulp or flesh into your dog’s normal store bought food.
How Fibres Can Affect a Dog’s Health
The fibre present in the pumpkin helps the digestive system to produce stool regularly. In this way, toxins are removed from the dog’s body. Also, intestinal fibres help feed good bacteria and reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
If you feel your dog need’s to lose weight, fibre is the first thing a vet recommends. Insoluble fibres are added to the dog’s diet food to enhance the feeling of satiety.