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Do you want to add spice to your cat or dog’s diet? Pumpkin is an excellent source of food and fiber to keep digestion regular. Here’s how to add it to your pet’s diet!

The nutritional benefits of pumpkin

Let’s get scientific and enlarge the fine print with nutrients that show how good pumpkin is for dogs and cats! The nutritional powerhouses of pumpkin include:

Vitamin A-Vitamins

Beta-carotene and other types of vitamin A in pumpkin are essential for the health of your pet’s nerves and muscles! They also offer a great boost to the health of the skin and coat.

Vitamin C-Vitamins

Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that supports your pet’s immune system. Keep sneezing at bay and improve your pet’s long-term health with a good dose of vitamin C!

Vitamin E-Vitamins

Another important antioxidant, vitamin E, supports eye, muscle and reproductive health. It is especially important for aging animals because it helps treat pain and inflammation!

Mineral

Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and copper. These minerals support important bodily functions, from bone development to cellular health and the production of red blood cells.

Fiber

The great nutritional highlight of pumpkin is its high fiber content, which is what makes it so good for the digestive health of cats and dogs. Fiber adds volume to your pet’s digestive tract and helps reduce diarrhea, constipation and hairballs! In addition, fiber acts as a prebiotic, adding valuable fatty acids, improving water absorption and lowering the pH of the colon—all this means better digestion for your best friend.

Humidity

Canned squash and especially fresh squash for dogs and cats contain a high water content, which makes them an excellent source of moisture for pets who could tolerate a little more moisture! Abundant hydration is essential for the general functioning of the body and (you guessed it!) good digestion.

How to add pumpkin to your pet’s diet

If you are convinced of the benefits of pumpkin, How can you start feeding it to your dog or cat? There are simple ways to add pumpkin to your diet!

The easiest way is to find a cat or dog food expertly formulated with pumpkin on the list of ingredients! Pumpkin is a common ingredient in pet food for sensitive stomachs to aid digestion.

Does your pet like his current food? Whether you are looking for a boost of nutrients or want to add pumpkin puree for your dog’s stomach aches, it is easy to add a little pumpkin to his usual diet.

The easiest method is to mix a scoop of pumpkin puree into your meals. Picky eaters can dodge drops or pieces of pumpkin, but when they incorporate it into their wet or dry food, it blends perfectly. Best of all, most dogs are big fans of the naturally sweet taste of pumpkin and it might actually make your meals more tempting!

You can buy pumpkin puree for dogs and cats at most grocery stores. Just be sure to look for plain canned pumpkin with no added salt, sugar, or spices. Don’t accidentally let yourself make a pumpkin pie filling!

You can also find whole organic pumpkins and make your own pumpkin puree for dogs without the need for a recipe. Simply chop and steam or cook your squash until tender, remove the skin and sauté in a blender or food processor until it is a smooth puree. (Added bonus: roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious for humans and pets and can be a natural deworming treatment for animals!)

 

Another great way to give your pets pumpkin is to make pumpkin treats! You can freeze the pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray for a convenient frozen snack on a hot summer day. If you’re looking to improve your cooking skills, you can get a little fancier with these homemade pumpkin spice treats for dogs.

Whichever way you decide to add pumpkin to your pet’s diet, just make sure you give him the right amount. You can give your dog pumpkin every day, but be sure to give him an amount proportional to his size! Cats and small dogs should receive a smaller amount of pumpkin than large dogs.

A good guideline is that at most 15% of your pet’s daily calories should come from added foods, while at least 85% should come from their staple foods. For more information, check out our guide on how to add fresh food to your pet’s meals!

Pumpkin is a great addition to most dog and cat diets— and yours too. We love finding snacks to share with our pets, and eating pumpkin with your best friend is a win for nutrition and taste!

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