Many times holiday posts warn dog owners of potential hazards of holiday table foods or commonly used decorations. We wanted to call your attention to beneficial holiday treats that are super healthy for dogs and Thanksgiving is less than a week away so today’s focus is PUMPKIN!
Pumpkin is most easily served pureed and added to each meal. Keep in mind, we aren’t serving pumpkin pie filling, which contains large amounts of added sugar and flavored syrups!
Pure pumpkin provides excellent fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamin C! Pumpkin is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it great for regulating the gastro-intestinal tract. Many dog families know that pumpkin can help firm up loose stools, but it’s even better to be given as part of the regular diet. It’s also beneficial for dogs prone to constipation as the fiber helps keep dogs regular.
The plant compounds in pumpkin can also help the body absorb and balance glucose, which could help regulate blood sugar in dogs with Diabetes. The Vitamin C and beta-carotene (which becomes Vitamin A in the body) both support eye health, boost the immune system, and slow or prevent degenerative changes (aging changes). Beta-carotene has also been shown to provide protection against certain types of cancer and to benefit the heart in people.
The low calorie count in pumpkin combined with the high fiber make it an ideal food to add in when trying to achieve weight loss for dogs. The fiber allows for a sense of “full-ness” without the high calories of traditional kibble.
In Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine pumpkin is considered a sweet, slightly warming food. Pumpkin also replenishes Qi and can transform phlegm. Pumpkin benefits the Spleen (which functions as the stomach in Western culture). It can also be used to counteract Damp, especially in the GI tract. It is known to be useful in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Diabetes. Pumpkin seeds are often used to help expel roundworms.
If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your pet’s nutrition, please contact Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice to schedule a nutrition consultation appointment today!
You can give us a call at 757-474-5968 or email HRvethospice@gmail.com anytime.