Fall is Giving Way to Winter and the Flavors of the Season are actually a Nutritious Pet Care Diet Option from the Cornucopia
A crispness has picked up in the air. The leaves have changed colors and fallen. Snow is falling and the holidays are so close you can taste them. The coffee shops start serving pumpkin spiced lattes and family dinners are ending with a delicious slice of pumpkin pie. But the pumpkin gourd is not just a delicious and healthy choice for humans, it can be used for pet care too.
This pet care article discusses the amazing affects of pumpkin and how to properly use the gourd in a rotational diet.
Why is it a Superfood?
Pet Care Health Benefits:
- Low in Calories
- High Soluble Fiber
- Maintains Healthy Digestive Tract
- Low in Sodium
- Contains Amino Acid Cucurbitin
- Beta-Carotene (Helps dog’s body absorb Vitamin A)
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin A
Pumpkin is as nutritious as it is tasty. Many pet owners use pumpkin when switching dog foods, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs who are prone to diarrhea or constipation when diet changes happen abruptly. The soluble fiber helps a dog’s digestive tract metabolize food and will get everything thing out smoothly.
If your dog is overweight and having trouble shaving the pounds off, pumpkin can also be helpful for pet care. The thick consistency of pumpkin meat helps create the feeling of fullness in dogs. This will curb begging behavior for rich unhealthy human food, or fattening doggie treats pet parents have hidden away from sniffing noses.
How to Serve Pumpkin: Addition to Rational Diet
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique are big advocates of using a rotational diet for pet care. The rotational diet includes four elements: dry kibble, fresh, canned, and raw. Using the rotational diet introduces more variety of nutrient sources for your pet, and pumpkin is great because it can be used no matter which element of the rotational diet your dog is eating for that day.
Serving pumpkin to your dog is easy. When you buy a pumpkin at the store remove the seeds and other fibrous “strings,” and save the seeds for latter. This will leave the meat of the pumpkin which can be scraped out.
The best method of feeding the meat to your dog is to puree the meat with a blender. Puree the meat until it is a more easily chewed consistency. Larger dogs will have less of a problem chewing pumpkins than smaller dogs because they have larger teeth and mouths making them more suited to eating larger foods. Imagine a Maltese trying to swallow a chunk of pumpkin–not going to work.
You can also freeze cubes of the pumpkin puree to store for later use when pumpkins are not in season or not available at grocery stores. This way your dog can enjoy pumpkin as part of their rotational diet year round.
Canned pumpkin is also widely available at grocery stores. Just make sure the cans you are buying are not pumpkin pie-filling, or pumpkin flavored baby food. These can contain sugars, fillers, and harmful spice that are OK for humans, but unsafe for dog ingestion.
Don’t Forget the Seeds!
Remember those seeds you scraped out of the pumpkin gourd? Those contain the amino acid cucurbitin, which is a natural de-worming supplement. Cucurbitin is degenerative to the reproductive organs of flatworm parasites that can be very problematic for pet care.
The seeds also contains various beneficial minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous.
The raw seeds aren’t always easy for dogs to chew and swallow because they are too hard when not cooked.
There are two ways to prepare the seeds for your dogs.
First, you can grind the seeds and sprinkle them into your dog’s dry food kibbles, or you can roast them.
Roast pumpkin seeds at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about five to 10 minutes. Do not add any salt, butter, or oil. For humans the sodium and fat content would be OK, but not for dogs.
Roasting the seeds softens them and makes them easier for dogs to eat.
Important Note: Serve your dog between one teaspoon and one tablespoon daily. Without moderation, pumpkin can be more harmful than beneficial if you begin overfeeding your dog. Contact your veterinarian, if you have any questions.
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