Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin, Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Pumpkin
big and round,
I'm glad you grow
upon the ground.
I'm glad you don't 
grow in a tree
for then you might
fall down on me.

It's time for pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, boiled pumpkin seeds,..etc.  The whole family can enjoy pumpkins, including your pets!  Did you know those big orange fruits are good for more than just jack-o-lanterns and pies?  They are chock-full of nutrients, such as, vitamins C, K, and E, beta-carotene, fiber, antioxidants, and more.  But, the focus of this post is on the benefits they provide to your pets.

The fiber and high water content of pumpkins can be beneficial in treating and maintaining your pet's digestive health.  This includes diarrhea, constipation, and, for cats, hairballs.  Adding a little pumpkin into your pet's diet is an easy and healthy way to keep your pets regular.

Here is a guideline based on a pet's weight, but even just 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon can make a huge difference.
                  Less than 15 lbs - up to 2 teaspoons
                  15 - 35 lbs - up to 2 tablespoons
                  35 pounds and above - 2-5 tablespoons dependent on size of pet

Now, two VERY IMPORTANT things to note:

  1. Be sure to use pureed canned pumpkin or puree a fresh pumpkin on your own.  DO NOT USE PUMPKIN PIE FILLING.  It is not the same!  The pie filling has sugary additives that are not good for your pet.
  2. Serious cases of constipation or diarrhea require veterinary attention!  They can be indicative of serious, underlying issues and chronic situations can lead to more dire issues.

If you are wondering what you are going to do with all that pumpkin after you puree it, and your pet only requires a small amount each day, freeze it!  You can freeze it in ice cube trays.  Then, give one to your dog as a treat, or, place one in a plastic bag in the fridge or sink to thaw each day.


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