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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

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Fall is upon us and with it comes flavorful aromas, a chill in the air and... pumpkins!

Pumpkin is one of nature’s super foods. Its high moisture content makes it especially valuable to animals who refuse to drink enough water. Adding moisture-rich foods, such as pumpkin, can help diminish the effects of dehydration and reduce heat in the body.

This does not mean you should save that dried out, crusty leftover pumpkin that you carved up and placed in front of your door two weeks ago. You should only use the freshest of pumpkins (hopefully organic) for your pets. Remember, if you wouldn’t eat it, your pets probably shouldn’t eat it.

Go buy a fresh pumpkin from your local, organic farmer's market and use this helpful guide to Preparing Pumpkin Puree for pets for your dogs or cats. And if you're not up to making it yourself, you can buy it ready-made for pets thanks to Fruitables Pumpkin Dog Digestive Supplement

No matter which method you choose, you should seriously consider adding pumpkin to your pets diet. Here's why:

Digestive Support

Fiber is one of the key benefits of pumpkin, and pureed pumpkin can help pets with both diarrhea and constipation. It only takes a small amount to help – for example, consider adding ½-1 teaspoon per 50 lbs of body weight twice a day. This benefit extends to quieting upset stomachs and helping with indigestion.

Weight Loss Support

Another key benefit of Pumpkin is that it’s low-fat and high fiber. If your pets are on a restricted diet for weight loss, considering supplementing each meal with pumpkin will help make your pets feel full so you don't feed into the problem by giving them high-fat treats. If they aren't crying for food as often, you're not nearly as tempted!

Pumpkin is also helpful if you're working switching your dogs to another food when stomach upset is common. Since it has the effect of soothing the stomach lining, your pets are less likely to experience stomach upset from sudden food switches.

Immune System Support

Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, which helps support the immune system. It’s also a fantastic source of carotenoids, which help the body turn plant pigments into Vitamin A. If you’re interested in adding even more of these great carotenoids to your diet, eat more of the deep orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.

According to SELF Nutrition Data, one cup of cooked pumpkin contains more potassium than a whole banana!

Urinary Health Support

The oils in pumpkin seeds, which can be crushed and added to a pumpkin puree, are believed to support urinary health as they are an excellent source of Vitamin A, potassium, iron and beta-carotene. Many veterinarians believe that antioxidants can help reduce damage from free radicals and thereby reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

So go ahead - make some Pumpkin Puree' and give your pets a treat!

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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