Have you ever looked at the orange-colored squash that may be lying in a corner of your fridge at home and gone, “Hmm pumpkin would make a great nutrient boosting addition in my doggo’s food and meals!”
Probably not. Can dogs ingest pumpkins? If so, how much pumpkin to give a dog? Can they really be used as something else besides pies, lattes, and Halloween decor? It does seem unusual and perhaps is a lesser-known fact, but pumpkins do in fact solve several problems for you and your pet.
Pumpkin is a wonder fruit, a magical remedy for any and all dog-related medical problems that may arise in your pup’s lifetime. It is easily available, high in minerals and nutrients, and can help in curing a long list of ailments.
Here’s your pumpkin for dogs guide to answer the question- How Much Pumpkin To Give A Dog?
What’s in a Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash. It is a low-calorie fruit that is rich in vitamins and minerals, from flesh to seed. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin A or Beta Carotene, which acts as a powerful antioxidant.
It is also a rich source of potassium, which helps in regulating blood pressure.
It improves muscle strength and boosts metabolism. It also contains some amounts of Vitamin C, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Folate among others.
Here’s a list of medical benefits pumpkins can provide to keep your dog’s health in check all year round and to know how much pumpkin to give a dog.
Pumpkin as Remedy- When and How Much to Give
1. Dog Diarrhea
Dog diarrhea is an uncomfortable and messy experience for you and your dog. As horrid as it is, diarrhea is a common occurrence and happens to a dog at least once in its lifetime. It may be a symptom of an infection or disease, even from parasites.
It may even be caused by a simple reason like an upset stomach. It could be stress-induced diarrhea or caused by a change in dietary habits.
Whatever the reason, veterinarians advise that adding one to two tablespoons of canned pumpkin to your dog’s meal will clear up any loose stool very quickly. This is attributed to the fact that pumpkins are rich insoluble fibers, and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, E, and C along with potassium and iron.
The soluble fiber adds bulk by increasing absorption of water and the breakdown of fiber increases the production of fatty acids, aiding in intestinal absorption. Pumpkin fiber also acts as a prebiotics.
2. Dog Constipation
Conversely, we have the nuisance of dog constipation. Pumpkin has a high moisture content, which is the perfect solution to a tight bowel. Not just that, but the fiber also balances the pH level and normalizes the intestinal absorption of sodium and water.
Experts have stated that adding 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to the diet helps in easing mild constipation in dogs.
Generally, dog food is dry and does not meet the water requirement for dogs. Moreover, dogs do not necessarily feel a strong urge to dive into their water bowl. So it is important to fulfill this requirement through foods with high water content like pumpkins.
Add a couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkins or fresh pumpkin puree, or just smaller cut-up pieces of the orange squash in their daily meals.
4. Natural Nutrient Supplement
It can be difficult to manage the ideal nutrient requirement a dog has with just the average supermarket-bought dog food. Vets usually recommend supplements, maybe in the form of pills.
But they also recommend another better way of naturally increasing the mineral and nutrient uptake. This can be done by giving your dog small amounts of pumpkin in any form throughout the day.
This can be in the form of purees, juices, or small pieces; canned, or freshly cut.
These are just the top few areas where pumpkin proves beneficial to your dog’s overall health. There are innumerable other reasons to include this seasonal squash in the dietary plan of your dog.
To name a few other benefits of eating pumpkins-
- They help in losing extra weight a dog may put on.
- It has proven to naturally control parasite infestations, such as tapeworms, to some extent
- It helps in maintaining regularity of digestion
- Not just the juicy flesh, but all other components of a full pumpkin are useful. Pumpkin seeds are especially overlooked, but they help in preventing urinary incontinence, which is a menace to live with.
- Pumpkins transform patchy, dried-out fur into a lustrous, thick, and shiny coat within a few weeks of continuous intake.
- An overall boost in the immunity of your dog will be seen if you go on this pumpkin diet.
How Much Pumpkin to Give a Dog?
If we have convinced you about the unbelievable benefits a single addition to your pet’s meal can bring, do not hesitate and buy a can of pumpkin right now from your nearest store.
But before starting your car and going down your driveway, figure out exactly how much of those canned goods you need. How much pumpkin to give a dog?
As wonderful as the advantages of using pumpkins are, you do not need to swap the whole doggie bowl full of treats, or the usual food you may give your puppy, with a huge pile of pumpkin and more pumpkin.
Pumpkin is remarkably rich in nutrients and vitamins and works as a good substitute for tableted supplements. It is imperative that the right amount is fed. The recommended dosage of this home remedy is a few tablespoons.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, constipation, or some other digestive tract ailment, 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin is enough to do the trick.
It is advised to start off slowly if you are new to the pumpkin game. Although pumpkin is a natural fruit and isn’t generally harmful, as with any dietary changes, it should be introduced in smaller amounts in the new diet plan by just mixing a few spoonfuls with the normal food you serve. This also is a safer way to test whether pumpkins are gentle on the stomach for your dog.
This is because, sometimes, they may not suit all pets. Especially if you add it as a way to control digestion-related issues, be sure to include small and measured amounts only, so as to not disturb an upset tummy when it is already down.
You do not want to overdo it too much, either. Adding more than the ideal amount of fiber to the diet can cause a reverse reaction and lead to an upset stomach.
Maintaining a balanced diet and not solely relying on pumpkins for nutrient, mineral, and water requirements is essential to maintain the health and activity of your dog. Taking much of this delicious fruit may actually lead to nutrient deficiency in some form, or that it may be getting too few calories.
If your goal is weight loss or weight management and you have decided to use pumpkins to achieve this, start by swapping one tablespoon of canned pumpkin for every quarter cup of food.
It is always recommended that you consult your veterinarian before making any changes and ask whether or not to include pumpkins in daily meals. If your dog is being treated for some disease, do not start adding this fruit or making any other dietary changes without their knowledge.
The recommended amount also depends on the size, eating habits, and sometimes even breed of the dog you are dealing with. 1 tsp of canned/pureed pumpkin per 10 lbs of body weight per day is a general scale to estimate the amount of pumpkin to give your dog.
For pups, small-sized or underweight dogs serve pumpkins in very small amounts as treats rather than meals.