With the autumn holidays upon us, you might be wondering if cats and dogs can eat pumpkin. Our answer is a resounding “Yes!” Pumpkin is a terrific superfood for both of our favorite animals. It’s loaded with fiber and micronutrients, making it extra healthy for our furry besties. You just need to prepare it right. Here’s how to prepare pumpkin for dogs and cats!
Why Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats?
We can’t praise pumpkin enough. It has so many health benefits and is great for soothing upset stomachs. First, it contains tons of soluble fiber which absorbs excess water found in the digestive tract. This can stop or at least reduce diarrhea.
Another terrific benefit of all that fiber is curing constipation. Fiber is a natural laxative because it contains moisture. All this fiber and moisture equals healthy, regular bowel movements. Pooping on a consistent basis is a mark of good health. If your pet is pooping regularly, this is a good sign that their body is working properly.
Pumpkin also helps with furball prevention! Yup the same stuff that aids with diarrhea and constipation — fiber — also keeps hairballs off your carpet. How this works is that the fiber keeps fur moving through your cat’s intestinal tract. This way, fur is pooped out instead of gagged up onto your floor.
Fiber (noticing a pattern here?) also helps your pet stay at a healthy weight and helps overweight pets lose weight. The fiber in pumpkin helps pets feel full without packing on the pounds. This is because while fiber fills their belly, it doesn’t contain calories.
Here are other health benefits of pumpkin:
- Fatty acids keep fur and skin nice and healthy
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that regulates enzyme activity
- Vitamin C helps with collagen synthesis and enzyme reactions
- Vitamin A boosts vision and the immune system
- Calcium strengthens teeth and bones
- Alpha carotene is an antioxidant that improves cell health
- Lutein is important for eye, skin and fur health
- Iron aids cellular respiration, oxidation and hemoglobin production
How to Prepare Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats
Don’t just hand a pumpkin to your pets and let them go to town. You need to prepare this treat properly for your animals. Pets can only eat certain parts of the pumpkin.
Here are some quick rules:
- Don’t let your pets eat any part of the stem as it’s tough on tummies.
- Pets also can’t eat the skin.
- Don’t feed cats or dogs the “guts” or pulp of the pumpkin.
- Don’t feed your animals raw pumpkin seeds.
- Don’t feed your pets pumpkin that’s been sitting out for a period of time.
- Don’t feed your animals pumpkin pie or pumpkin with any spices, sugar or fillers.
Pet’s CAN eat 100%, plain canned pumpkin. It has to be free of other ingredients. You can also feed them plain fresh pumpkin. Just make sure it’s free of seeds and bake the pumpkin in your oven until soft. Cats and dogs can also eat roasted seeds! Clean them and roast them in your oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let them cool down and grind them into their regular food.
Does all of that sound like hard work? Let us do the work for you! Come to Adopt & Shop for lots of pumpkin food and treats. We have plenty of pumpkin pet food that will make your pets’ taste buds and tummies happy!