With fall just around the corner, pumpkin is everywhere. You can find almost anything flavored or scented with pumpkin. This year, consider including your pet in the fun. Pumpkin has several hidden health benefits for your furry friend that will persist past the autumnal trend.
Pumpkin contains both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps constipation by drawing water into the GI tract and softening stool. Meanwhile, soluble fiber helps diarrhea by draining excess water out of the GI tract when there is too much. This delicate balance works to regulate an otherwise healthy animal’s bowel movements. For this reason, many pet owners turn to pumpkin for weight management.
In addition to fiber, pumpkin contains many other nutrients that will leave your pet feeling fantastic. Vitamins A and C build immune system health and support vision. Zinc promotes healthy skin and coat. Cucurbitacin has been known to fight intestinal parasites.
While other foods may contain the same nutrients, many pet owners choose pumpkin. This is because its taste and texture are more palatable to even the pickiest of pets. In some cases, mixing pumpkin into a new food can motivate a fussy eater to try it. That being said, some pets have different taste. Not every pet will enjoy pumpkin as a meal supplement.
Introducing Pumpkin to Your Pet’s Diet
Pets can eat canned or fresh pumpkin. Do not give them pumpkin pie filling or anything with added sugars. For cats, start with a single teaspoon and increase as needed. For dogs, do the same with a tablespoon. The issue at hand is also important; constipation requires more pumpkin than diarrheal problems.
Not An End-All Solution
Although a tasty and healthy treat, pumpkin will do little for a sick pet. It is not a “cure” so much as a relief to troublesome symptoms. Monitor your pet’s health and behavior. Diarrhea accompanied by weight loss or dehydration is likely a symptom of something more serious.
Additionally, pumpkin cannot be used as a meal replacement. Dogs and cats cannot survive without meat in their diet.
Claws N Paws in Fountain Valley, California provides professional grooming services to both cats and dogs, as well as boarding services in our cats-only boarding facility. For more information, call us at 714-962-1005.