If you’re like us, you’ve occasionally noticed pumpkin as an ingredient in some dog food, and maybe in some treats, but might be unfamiliar with why. What is it about pumpkin that benefits dogs?  We teamed up with Michelle Olds, co-owner of Woof! Orlando in College Park, to not only share some of those health benefits with you, but also a pumpkin based treat recipe that you can make for your pup!

Pumpkin, both the seeds and the flesh, are full of nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and zinc.  Pureed pumpkin also happens to be low in fat and calories, making it a great addition to your dog’s diet. Just make sure you’re using plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin with added sweeteners or spices. All references to “pumpkin” in this post are in regards to canned, organic pumpkin. To understand the appropriate amount of pumpkin for your dog’s diet, consult your vet.

Five ways pumpkin benefits your dog’s health

Digestion
Since the pumpkin flesh contains a good deal of soluble fiber and moisture, it’s helpful in aiding dogs who have both diarrhea or constipation. Michelle notes, “We typically use pumpkin in our boarding and daycare facility when dogs have intestinal distress.”

Eye Health
The Vitamin A found in pumpkin is important for eye health and helps prevent degenerative eye disorders and night blindness.

Weight Loss
Most dogs love the taste of pumpkin, and since its low in calories and full of fiber, dogs eat it up and stay fuller longer. Try replacing some of their usual dog food with the same amount of pumpkin.

Skin & Coat
Pumpkins are 90% water, and that level of moisture, along with added nutrients, is great for keeping your dog’s skin hydrated and their coat shiny.  This means less shedding, win/win!

Parasite Control
According to Chewy.com, “Though pumpkin for dogs alone may not be 100% effective in eliminating worms and other parasites, it contains high amounts of cucurbitacin, a biochemical compound that is toxic to intestinal parasites. Giving your pup pumpkin treats can help expel worms and other gastrointestinal parasites”.

Speaking of treats…

If you’ve ever been to Woof! Orlando’s College Park location, visited their pop-up at the College Park Farmers Market, or attended Yappy Hour at K Restaurant, you’ve seen their impressive array of locally made dog treats in their “dog bar”.  Michelle recently shared her recipe for “Frosted Woof! Bites” with us, and now we’re sharing it with you. Our resident taste tester, O’Reilly, couldn’t get enough of these. Enjoy!

 

We loved these molds that we found on Amazon. Click the picture for the direct link.