With Spooky Season quickly approaching you are probably seeing a lot of pumpkin products cropping up (PUNpkin intended). Whether it is at your local grocer, or in restaurants, it seems as if there is no shortage of pumpkin flavored things, and with good reasoning. Not only are these seasonal treats tasty, but also there are some health benefits, especially for dogs. So, even though it might be hard, share the goodness with your doggos! Well, not literally but it is pretty easy.
Because of the seasonal pumpkin mania, most stores have stocked up on canned pumpkin, making now the perfect time to start treating your dog to some. When buying canned pumpkin for your dog, make sure that is 100% pure pumpkin. From there it gets even easier. All you need to do is go home, open the can, and give your Pumpkin two table spoons of 100% pumpkin pie mix straight from the can. Do this daily at the same time.
Dogs can derive a lot of key nutrients from pumpkin, alone. These nutrients include, but are not limited to, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and fiber. Combined, these things promote a healthy coat of hair and a healthy digestive track. So, you can sip on your pumpkin spice latte in peace knowing that your dog is enjoying and benefiting from his daily dose of pumpkin.
During the fall, you can probably even find pumpkin treats and dog food at pet stores. These are great and healthy options, but they are also just that– treats. Keep in mind that they are processed and won’t have the same amount of health benefits for your dog. One pumpkin dog treat does not provide the same nutrients as two table spoons of the 100% pumpkin pie mix, but they are still a tasty treat to introduce during fall!
With that mild caution in mind, there are some other things to consider in addition, as you dabble in some seasonal festiveness. If you do decide to make your own puree, then make sure to avoid giving your dog any stems or leaves. These parts of the pumpkin are actually really hard for your dog to digest. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to avoid letting your dog eat any part of a pumpkin before that isn’t meant to be consumed. In other words, they should not eat the stems, leaves, shell, or raw pumpkin seeds. A final, more obvious note: if you do have Jack-O-Lanterns, avoid using real flames, especially if they are in your dog’s reach. Instead, to still have the Jack-O-Lanterns lit up, try battery operated, fake candles.
In short, even though pumpkin is more popular during the fall, there is no reason to limit it for yourself or your dogs! If anything, fall is a good excuse to introduce it and make it an all year thing.