I’ve heard that pumpkin is good for pets. What are some ways that I can incorporate more pumpkin into my dog’s diet?
Healthy Eating in The Heights
Dear Healthy Eating,
You’re absolutely correct! Pumpkin is incredibly good for both dogs and cats. High in vitamins and fiber, pumpkin is especially good for your pet’s digestive health. According to veterinarians, pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spice) can help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) to their regular meal is known to help keep them regular.
May Keep UTI’s at Bay
Pumpkin is also great for the urinary care of your pets. The oils in pumpkins’ flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer.
Good For Weight Management
Lastly, pumpkin is fantastic for weight management in your pets. If you are looking to take a few pounds off of your pooch or kitty, try reducing a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of canned pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.
Homemade pumpkin dog treats are also a fun way to get into the pumpkin season spirit. Here is a favorite recipe for a pumpkin treat that your dog is sure to gobble up:
Healthy Pumpkin Balls (courtesy of Cesar Milan)
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 4 tbsp molasses
• 4 tbsp water
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
3. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
4. Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
5. Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
6. Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened
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