Learn the benefits of pumpkin for dogs & the right way to give for maximum benefits. Learn how to buy & store so your dog can have it full year round!
Today we talk about a beautiful orange color fruit that comes from the squash family - pumpkin. A native of North America and much loved in many recipes, it's also a great asset for dogs. It's pumpkin season and I want to make sure you understand the benefits of this fruit - though you may have heard already how beneficial it is for dogs but probably may not know how truly great it is and how to use it. Find out all about pumpkin for your dog in this article.
Benefits of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) -
Pumpkin is super rich in vitamin A - a crucial vitamin for healthy eyes as well as for immunity in dogs and people. Pumpkin also contains lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, copper, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamic B2, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, fiber, and little bit of protein. Pumpkin is also rich in antioxidants that help prevent free radicals. Pumpkin is about 94% water.
Problems pumpkin can solve in your dog are -
1. Leaky Anal Gland - You know that weird disgusting smell that comes from a dog's behind? Yup, that is the anal gland leaking and it's not a condition you want as it suggests underlying inflammation in your dog as well as damaged intestinal wall. Now, while it is crucial you deal with underlying inflammation, and get your dog healthy the holistic way, the immediate solution in the meantime is to add more fiber so that it will bulk up the toxic waste. This is easy to do when you add some pumpkin to your dog's daily diet.
2. Constipation - Another toxic condition! Constipation is taken very lightly in Western culture, a.k.a America, since most Americans themselves have constipation all the time and such is the fate of their pet counterparts. What's the big deal? Right? "It's normal." This is what the humans believe for themselves and this is what their vet confirms. But really, constipation is a sickness - make no mistake about it. In fact, if there is any disease that deserves most attention, it is constipation and this is because constipation is the beginning of stale energy and toxic waste circulating in the body.
Therefore, as a dog owner, your first job is to make sure your dog never ever have constipation. Three times per day and good, long sized stool is what you are looking for - take nothing less when it comes to being in power and taking your dog's health in your hands - not what the American system has taught you and not what the vets preach!
Now, I advice adding rich diverse colors of Nature to your dog's diet - from all kinds of colorful fruits and veggies and...pumpkin! Pumpkin is not just great as a tool to combat constipation and keep it at bay from your dog but also highly nutritious food that will add some serious vitamins and minerals to your dog's diet. So, stock up on pumpkin this pumpkin season - from now on, as a great holistic dog owner that you are, you are going to be adding some pumpkin to your dog's diet daily.
3. Diarrhea - We all know how yucky diarrhea is and how much a nightmare it is to clean it up! Diarrhea is loose stools - watery and runny! Diarrhea can happen when your dog has ingested something he shouldn't have or if he has some condition like ibs/ibd or if he has some infection or sickness. Pumpkin offers great relief when you need something to firm up your dog's stool while providing moisture and fiber at the same time. Simply cook some white rice and add some pumpkin to it and serve your dog. You can add little bit of coconut oil or even hemp oil to give energy to your dog since diarrhea can make one feel weak very fast. The hemp oil will also help calm the nerves and the digestive tract (inflammation) so it is a great thing to serve your dog during this time. Don't add too many things to your dog's diet at this time - just keep it simple during this time until your dog feels normal again and has no more diarrhea.
4. Provides Fiber - This one is simple - just like us, our dogs need fiber for good health and as the most powerful preventive tool against diseases (as explained above in point #2). Pumpkin is rich in fiber and will keep things moving. Period.
5. Sensitive Tummies - From puppies to dogs that are rescued to those who have been bred poorly and to ones that are seemingly living with wonderful owners, this is a rising epidemic in the doggy world - sensitive tummies! Gosh! This is all I hear all the time from people in America, "my dog has sensitive tummy!" And I am like, could it be..the lazy owner's food called kibble?? No wonder! The American dogs have another disease called "sensitive tummy!" Really, American system pisses me off to no end and dogs are the ones to pay the price (and other animals too who die for......kibble!).
Why do you think dogs have sensitive tummies? Kibble is NOT food! Wake up! Kibble comes in plastic bag, does not decay for years and well....I have never seen Nature's food look or smell like kibble bits. I would be unfair and this article would not be complete if I did not raise awareness of this issue and inform you that your first mechanism to keep your dog healthy should be to completely eliminate "dog food" a.k.a kibble. THEN, you move on to second part where you take steps and decide now what you will add to your dog's diet to nourish him with life-giving, health enhancing, colorful, fresh nutrients.
And now, this is where the pumpkin comes in. I hope you understand. So, for healing your dog's tummy, you must first start with very simple diet of brown rice, pumpkin, healthy fats like coconut oil, flax seeds and just little bit of veggies and fruits at a time and increase and add more variety as time goes. Adding pumpkin daily is a great tool for digestive and preventive health, plus the dogs love the taste as an added bonus.
6. Sick or Vomiting - Pumpkin is great for sick dogs as they will lick it off the spoon and thus get some good nutrition as well as fiber and it is great for those who are vomiting since it helps calm the tummies as we saw in earlier points. So, make sure, you always keep some pumpkin in your home as a dog owner in case you need in emergency like these situations.
7. Healthy Calories! - Another epidemic among doggy world is obesity. No surprise - as humans gain weight, so do their dogs. As humans become lazy and don't care to walk their dogs daily because "he goes out in the backyard" - the poor dog gains even more weight. Ah! And did I mention there are those sick doggy treats from the pet store and kibble and medicines to throw of the internal balance? All this adds to what? - unhealthy, sick calories as I call them.
How about from now on using veggies and fruits as treats for your dog? And completely saying goodbye forever to commercial doggy treats and the amazing, wonderful green bones that claim to clean your dog's teeth but never actually do. So, here comes pumpkin! Treat-a-licious and lick-a-licious enough that your doggy friend will never say no to it. Use pumpkin puree by spoonfuls to add healthy, nutritious calories to your dog's diet while making him feel special and healthy from inside out. Remember, whether you have small breed or a giant breed, it is crucial to keep your dog slender - 1 or 2 pounds (2 to 4 kg) underweight is best. Add calories that count!
8. Flavor for Fido! - This is easy - dogs love the taste and will lick pumpkin puree with excitement. It adds real flavor to your dog's home-made food and treats.
9. Best of all, happy tummy and happy anal glands! - No scooting! Yikes! So we can say at the end, pumpkin is an asset as a dog owner and will prevent your dog from scooting due to anal gland issues and will keep his tummy happy and calm! Whew! Stock up!
10. Great for Cancer or Diabetic Dogs - Pumpkin is a must in my opinion for dogs battling any sickness especially cancer as it adds nutrients to your dog's body and will also keep them happy since dogs love the taste of pumpkin. It is a great treat for diabetic dogs too - you can give them something that is actually going to help their condition, not make it worse. Pumpkin is one guilt-free snack for your dog.
Now, stocking up on pumpkin part...
You can buy fresh pumpkin if you are up for cutting it by yourself and then can store it for whole year (or well, basically for next 8-9 months). Don't throw the pumpkin seeds as they are highly nutritious and can be enjoyed by you and your dog as well. If you cannot buy fresh pumpkin for some reason and can't store it, then I suggest buying pumpkin puree (NOT the one that sells in baking isle of the stores) that is organic, is either in BPA-FREE cans or in tetra packs from a highly reputable brand and use this puree throughout the year for your dog - until the pumpkin season arrives again.
So, this is it for today! So, what's the wait? Let's go get some pumpkin for dogs! Boo!
For any questions or comments that relate to this article, please post below and I will reply. Please do NOT send in e-mails.
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