How Can I Use Pumpkin To Help My Dog’s Digestion?
Does your dog suffer from regular attacks of vomiting, loose stools and indigestion? Adding some pumpkin to his diet may help. Even if he doesn’t have digestive problems, pumpkin can help to regulate his digestive system and make him a healthier, happier dog.
Pumpkin is low in calories while being high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Most of its calories comes from carbohydrates, some from protein and very little from fat.
Pumpkin acts as a moderator of the digestive system. It helps in the following ways:
- Reduces Constipation. Because pumpkin is high in water and fiber, it is effective in dealing with constipation where the goal is to hydrate and soften the stool.
- Reduces Diarrhea. Paradoxically, fiber helps with diarrhea as well. Diarrhea is a condition in which the water in the stools is not being absorbed by the body. This makes them very liquid and prone to pass through quickly. Fiber absorbs excess water, reducing the fluidity of the intestinal contents. This slows down its passage giving more time for the body to absorb nutrients, including water.
- Helps with Weight Loss. Pumpkin’s low-calorie bulkiness promotes weight loss which has an effect on your dog’s general health.
How to Feed Pumpkin
Use the flesh of a ripe pumpkin and cook it until it is soft. Mix it into your dog’s kibble or canned food. Some suggest that pumpkin can constitute up to ¼ to ? of the bulk of his meal, but finding the optimum amount for your dog is a matter of trial and error.
Another convenient alternative is to use canned pumpkin. However, this may be a more expensive way of adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet.
Pumpkin cookies are another great way to add more fiber to your dog’s diet. Be careful because pumpkin cookies are often high in calories and your dog may end up with a very generous waistline.
While all the parts of the pumpkin plant are considered edible, your best bet is to stick to the fleshy part of the fruit. This is the most palatable part for your dog.
Also, when introducing something new into your dog’s diet, start slowly. If your aim is to give your dog five tablespoons of pumpkin a day, start with just one. Steadily increase how much your dog gets over a period of two weeks or so until you have reached your target.
Pumpkin is a great addition to your dog’s diet. You can reserve its use for when your dog has mild digestive issues, or make it part of his regular diet. As always, remember that there is no substitute for good medical advice; if your dog’s upset stomach is severe or lasts for more than a couple of days, take him into your veterinarian for a check-up.