It’s pumpkin season and the time of year to eat lots of delicious foods made with pumpkins!
One of the great things about pumpkin is that it’s not only a tasty food; it’s quite healthy for us as well!
Pumpkin provides the same health benefits for our cats and dogs, so why not share your pumpkin with them? Below is a list of the ways pumpkin can help your pet and a general guideline showing how much to give.
Here are 10 reasons to feed your pet pumpkin:
2. Since extra fiber can help an animal feel full, pumpkin can help your cat or dog lose weight.
3. Pumpkin is good for vision since it contains vitamin A.
4. It also contains vitamin C, so it boosts the immune system and can help enhance the health of an animal.
5. Pumpkin can also slow the aging process because it contains the antioxidant, beta-carotene.
6. Plus, it can improve the skin and coat since it contains zinc.
7. Because pumpkin provides fiber, it can help to successfully move hairballs through a cat’s digestive tract and then help to prevent new hairballs from forming.
Feed approximately one teaspoon per day to your cat.
8. Pumpkin seeds provide protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. So they add health benefits when added to your pet’s diet. You can rinse the seeds, then roast them and be sure to grind them up before feeding.
9. Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh also contain oil which is believed to enhance urinary health. If your pet suffers from urinary incontinence, try adding pumpkin to his diet.
10. Additionally, pumpkin seeds can also act as a natural de-worming agent. They contain cucurbitin, an amino acid that paralyzes tapeworms and other intestinal parasites.
Types of Pumpkin to Feed Pets:
- Fresh pumpkin flesh. Bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until soft (fork tender). Remove the seeds, and remove the soft flesh. Be sure to let the pumpkin flesh cool before feeding.
- Fresh pumpkin seeds. Bake them in the oven for five to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Then grind them up before feeding.
- Canned pumpkin containing ONLY pumpkin – no sugar, spices, additives or fillers.
Please note: For both fresh and canned pumpkin, it’s healthiest to choose the organic version.
Parts of the Pumpkin to Avoid:
- Pumpkin skin can be hard to digest.
- Pumpkin stems are also hard to digest.
- Avoid the pulp – the gooey part that is in the center of a pumpkin.
- Raw pumpkin.
- Pie filling that contains sugar, spices, additives or fillers.
- Pumpkin that was cut and used as a Jack-O-Lantern. Bacteria and mold can grow on these pumpkins.
How Much Pumpkin Should I Feed?
For adult cats:
- Feed 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon pumpkin flesh daily.
- When feeding pumpkin seeds for de-worming, start with a small amount: 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon daily. You may increase the amount gradually to 1/4 teaspoon.
For adult dogs:
- Feed 1 – 2 tablespoons of pumpkin flesh per day. For diarrhea, feed up to 4 tablespoons daily.
- When feeding pumpkin seeds to de-worm your dog, start with a small amount. For a 75-80 lb. dog, begin with one teaspoon two times daily. You may increase the amount gradually to 1 heaping tablespoon two times daily.