Believe it or not, dogs and cats usually love the taste of canned pumpkin. Not only that, it’s actually good for them, too. Canned can pumpkin can help pets with everything from hairballs to an upset stomach. It can even strengthen the immune system and bring the shine back to your pet’s coat.
So, what makes canned pumpkin good for your pet?
Canned pumpkin is loaded with some pretty impressive nutrients, including:
- Vitamins A and C
All that, and it’s very high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol, too!
So, what do these nutrients do for pets? For one, all that fiber is great for the digestive tract. Fiber is also important for preventing hairballs and for pets with overly loose or hard stools. The fiber binds the contents of the digestive tract, so it’s helpful for any animal with diarrhea.
If your pet is overweight, try replacing an equal portion of their regular food with canned pumpkin. Their tummy will still feel just as full, thanks to all that fiber. The fiber will also slow down digestion, so your pet will feel full longer. Dogs will especially appreciate the extra flavor.
Vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene, are great for the eyes. They’re also known to strengthen the immune system. Trace minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc are important for building strong bones and muscles and for promoting a shiny, healthy coat.
How much pumpkin should you give your pet?
Of course, the amount will vary depending on the size of your pet. For a tiny dog like a Chihuahua, a couple teaspoons with each meal is enough. If you have a great big dog like a Great Dane, a half cup of canned pumpkin with each meal would be beneficial. Give cats one to four teaspoons, depending on their size.
If you’re just starting out with canned pumpkin, it’s best to start with a small amount at first. Remember, pumpkin can act as a natural laxative, so too much could lead to loose bowel movements. When in doubt, it’s best to reach out to your veterinarian for advice on the amount and frequency that would be best for your pet’s size and species.
What type of canned pumpkin should you buy?
Just to be clear, we’re talking about 100% pure canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Look for one without any additives, including salt, sugar, fat, or spices. If you can find an organic brand, that’s even better.