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Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Did you know that cooked pumpkin can actually be good for your Dog and Cat? This remarkable vegetable is a cost effective source of many a good nutrient to help keep your pet in good health and tip top shape.

Weight Loss

Pumpkin is low in calories so if your dog or cat needs to shed a kilo or two, replacing some of your pet’s kibble or canned meal with some cooked, mashed pumpkin. It will fill their tummy without adding to their waistline. Most dogs like the taste of pumpkin so acceptace shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Cats on the other hand, are fussier eaters, so you may need to mix in the small amount of pumpkin with their canned food to avoid them eating around it.

Full of Healthy Goodness

Pumpkin is loaded with essential nutrients such as Vitamins A,C and E as well as the B – complex group – Niacin, Folates, Vitamin B6 Thiamine and pantothenic acid. Its also rich in mineral like Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Copper.

Digestive Upsets

Pumpkin is.a natural source of fibre. Cooked and mashed pumpkin with no added salt can help settle down an upset stomach , improve digestion, reduce anal gland problems, prevent hairball build up and help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhoea.

Try cooking up a batch of pumpkin puree and freezing in individual portions which you can add to your pet’s meal on a daily basis. A tablespoon or two (depending on your pet’s size) is all you’ll need on a regular basis for maintaining digestive health. There’s no need to add any salt or flavourings as these are both unhealthy additives plus the pumpkin has a natural sweet flavour anyway which most dogs like.

Pumpkin for Cats and Dogs with Constipation or Diarrhoea

When animals have diarrhoea, they can lose important electrolytes, including potassium, which puts them at risk of dehydration. Pumpkin happens to be an excellent source of potassium, with 505 milligrams of naturally occurring potassium per cup. Pumpkin is also safe for diabetic patients.

How much pumpkin do I add to my pet’s meal?

For a small cat or dog start off with a  1/2 – 1 teaspoon mixed with their food increasing to 1-2 teaspoons if necessary.
For a large dog – start with a tablespoon and slowly increase if necessary.

Can Dogs and Cats eat pumpkin every day?

Yes – you can certainly add small amounts of pumpkin to their meal every day. The additional fibre from a daily dose can have many health benefits including:

  • Making your pet feel fuller sooner (Good for weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight)
  • Adding important fibre to their diet for ongoing digestive health

CAUTION: – This remedy is for simple and digestive upsets only. If your dog or cat’s diarrhoea or constipation persists after 24 hours – please see your vet.

Originally published 2011. Content updated for 2019

The Vet Practice

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