Though a pumpkin diet for dogs does hold health some benefits for your dog, there is a lot of misinformation spread this time of year that can put your pup in danger.
The crisp beauty of autumn brings forth the bounty of pumpkins. You’ll find this seasonal treat everywhere from store décor to Halloween displays and your morning latte. Social media often proliferates this pumpkin mania, coaxing you to pull your pooch aboard the pumpkin parade.
Tips for Avoiding Dangers of a Pumpkin Diet for Dogs
Leave the Canned Pumpkin on the Shelf
Canned pie filling is loaded with fat, sugar, spices, and other substances that can make your dog sick. This processed food is prepped for human enjoyment – not your pooch’s.
Fresh is Best
Cooked, fresh, real pumpkin is best for your dog. This is an easy at-home task. Remove the seeds of a fresh pie pumpkin, baking it for about 45 minutes on 350-degrees. Cool and scrape pumpkin out with a spoon to puree in a blender. Freeze in ice cube trays for easy portioning and storage.
Take it Easy
Pumpkin offers digestive benefits for dogs, helping soothe the irritation of IBS and constipation. However, because pumpkin is rich in fiber, it only takes a small amount to cause diarrhea. Too much pumpkin, which is rich in Vitamin A, can also cause toxicity in your canine companion with amounts as low as 10-times the daily requirement. Start off by mixing about one-tablespoon to your dog’s daily dinner. Watch for nausea and malaise, which indicate Vitamin A overload. Likewise, monitor stools to find the serving of pumpkin that is right for your dog.
Never Serve Jack-o-Lanterns as Leftovers
Feeding your dog leftover Halloween pumpkins is not safe. These will harbor bacteria, mold, and chemical residues from candles and paints. Ditto for raw (and cooked) pumpkin seeds, and especially stems. Stems present a choking hazard and can lodge in intestines, causing a severe blockage (or worse).
Watch ‘Pumpkin Dog Treat’ Ingredients
Avoid treats containing pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and spices that can make your dog sick.
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