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A special tip from Carole

Dry Food for Dogs

Natural dry kibble, dehydrated, air-dried and raw pet food available from a variety of manufacturers. Paleo-inspired, organic, grain-free, weight management, and many other special formulas for your dog - the ingredients are pre-screened so you don't have to!

  • Nutrition is the foundation of good health for our animal companions
  • Dogs are almost biologically identical to their wolf ancestors, so they thrive on a diet of raw, uncooked ingredients
  • "The ideal dog diet is based on the prey model: good quality animal protein and fat, and very little carbohydrate" ~ Dr. Jean Hofve

Ten terrific health benefits of pumpkin for your dog

What kind of fruit weighs between 1 and 1,000 pounds, has a centuries-long world history, and is more useful today than ever? The magnificent pumpkin, of course!

The benefits of pumpkin for dogs

This versatile food has been important to mankind for centuries. According to the University of Illinois Extension Program, it's a crop that's worth over 140 million dollars annually in the United States alone. They should know because Illinois produces 90 to 95% of the pumpkins grown in the US.

Pumpkins have significant health benefits for people and pets so don't discount this amazing food as just an Autumn delicacy. Plain cooked pumpkin as well as pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to the health of our dogs.

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Here are some of the health benefits of pumpkin for dogs

Combating dehydration

Pumpkin flesh is around 90% water, so a little pumpkin topping on a meal can combat dehydration resulting from moisture-deficient processed dry dog foods. An additional benefit is improved digestion from increasing the gastric "juices" essential to proper gastrointestinal health.

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Helping with constipation

The benefits of pumpkin for dogs

Fiber from pumpkin works in pets the same way it does in humans and can actually treat some gastrointestinal issues. A tablespoon or two of pumpkin can resolve symptoms in a few days if the gut is just a bit "out of order".

Some dogs may experience decreased colon activity as they age, resulting in constipation. The added fiber from pumpkin increases the bulk of the stool and the colon muscles react by moving things along.

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Reducing hair balls

By increasing the volume of waste in the intestine, pumpkin can help your dog digest and eliminate fur swallowed during grooming. This can reduce or even prevent the formation of "hairballs" that are eventually regurgitated.

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Resolving diarrhea

Yes, it works both ways! Pumpkin can soothe constipation but diarrhea can also be remedied with the addition of pumpkin to a dog's diet. It is particularly effective if the upset is the result of colitis caused by a rapid food change or the ingestion of a new food. All it takes is a teaspoon for small dog and a tablespoon or two for a medium or large dog of canned pumpkin in the animal's food.

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Boosting weight loss

The benefits of pumpkin treats for dogs

With 3 grams of fiber per cup, pumpkin can augment weight loss in dogs. The fiber fills the tummy so your pet feels "fuller" sooner, meaning Porkie eats fewer calories overall.

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Supplementing nutrition

One of the biggest benefits of pumpkin to pets and humans is its wealth of nutrition.

Pumpkins contain carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, and protein. You do not want to overload your pet's system with these nutrients and trace minerals, however pumpkin is not a case of a little bit being good and a lot being better. Commom sense is the name of the game here.

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Adding antioxidants

Pumpkin contain antioxidants which help moisturize skin, helping your pet maintain a healthy and shiny coat.

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Providing essential fatty acids

In addition to antioxidants, pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids with similar benefits. Pets may consume the seeds raw (if they are fresh) or enjoy the roasted version which store better. Lightly coat the seeds with cooking oil and roast in a 375-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes for a daily treat your pet will love.

Only offer a few seeds at a time to your pet (the fiber can cause a softening of the stool). Store the seeds in an airtight container or freeze them. Don't forget to roast some extras for yourself! If your pet is small you can grind up the seeds to ensure they are easier to digest and don't get caught in the intestine.

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Controlling parasites

Tapeworms and other intestinal parasites become paralyzed by cucurbitin, an amino acid in pumpkin seeds that acts as a natural de-worming agent. The most effective way to prepare seeds for this purpose is by grinding up fresh or properly preserved pumpkin seeds into a powder. Give your dog one teaspoon three times a day, mixed with its food. Alternatively roll it into little balls and give as a treat.

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Anti-inflammatory properties

Some studies have shown that pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and others indicate that is given on a regular basis seeds may inhibit the formation of kidney and bladder stones.

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Don't grab that jack-o-lantern just yet though! Carved pumpkins are not something you want to feed your pets because mold begins rapidly growing inside them once their skin is broken.

The best pet-safe source is boiled fresh pumpkin, mashed with a dollop of butter without any additional spices added. I leave the skin on and include the seeds. If the skin and seeds wont mash, I pop them in my blender for a minute or two and then add them to the mash.

Caution -don't get canned pumpkin designed for use in pies as this frequently contains spices and other ingredients, which can be harmful to dogs.

Caution -don't get canned pumpkin designed for use in pies as this frequently contains spices and other ingredients, which can be harmful to dogs.

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Pumpkin recipes your furry friend will love

The benefits of pumpkin biscuits for dogs

Pumpkin is very popular in human recipes but what about our family pets?

Pumpkin biscuits, souffles, treats and loaves are so easy to make and are great favourites with my girls.

Over the years my daughter Louisa has experimented with various recipes, and has kindly allowed me to share them on this web page.

Pumpkin biscuits

Click here for Louisa's easy to make pumpkin biscuits.

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Pumpkin loaf

Click here for Louisa's easy to make pumpkin loaf.

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Pumpkin souffle

Click here for Louisa's easy to make pumpkin souffle.

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Pumpkin treats

Click here for Louisa's easy to make pumpkin treats.

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This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for

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