If you are a dog lover, you always want to involve your dog in the special things that surround each holiday season. With Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, one of the big seasonal flavors is pumpkin and pumpkin spice.
While you may be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the pumpkin spiced latte at your favorite coffee shop, you may not realize your dog probably loves pumpkin as much as you do. In fact, natural, unsweetened pumpkin is a healthy option for your dog’s diet throughout the year.
The Benefits of Pumpkin in A Dog’s Diet
Pumpkins are readily available in most locations in the United States starting in the first week or so of October. These can be large or small, but they all offer the same goodness for your pet.
Of course, if you do not want to have to deal with the cleaning and cooking of the whole pumpkin, you can also opt for canned pumpkin. For your dog, just be careful to choose natural and unsweetened types of pumpkin, and avoid any brands that are already spiced.
Pumpkin seeds, as well as the pumpkin itself, contain natural oils that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. For both pets and people, these types of acids are linked to reducing inflammation in the body, including in the kidneys. Feeding dogs small amounts of unsalted and unflavored pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin can help with reducing urinary incontinence as well as helping to manage kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Pumpkin is also a good option if a dog has digestive upset. It offers lots of fiber to help a dog with constipation, but it can also settle stomach upsets that cause diarrhea. Feeding pumpkin can also help your dog’s skin, coat, eyes, and immune health. Of course, always talk to your vet and feed according to his or her recommendations.
Pup Pleasing Pumpkin Recipes to Try
While dogs tend to enjoy canned or cooked pumpkin added to their food, there are also some great pumpkin recipes for dog treats. Here are two favorites for dogs of all sizes and ages.
Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Biscuits
1.5 cups of cooked or canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
2 cups of whole wheat flour, or more as needed
2 whole eggs
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together, the mixture will be dry but should stick together. Roll out to about half an inch thick and cut into bite-sized squares or use a cookie cutter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30-35 minutes or until hard throughout the biscuit.
Apple Spiced Pumpkin Cookies for Dogs
3 cups oatmeal, processed in a blender into a powder
1 large apple cut into small diced cubes or grate (remove the core completely)
¾ cup of canned or cooked pumpkin
1 large egg
½ tsp cinnamon
Mix all together and turn out onto wax paper or a surface with additional ground or whole oatmeal. Pat or roll down to about a half an inch in thickness and cut into squares or use a cookie cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven.
Keep in mind, dog treats do not replace a meal and should be fed sparingly. These cookies should be stored in airtight containers and consumed within a week.