7 Pumpkin Facts You’ll Want to Know

While you may have satisfied the craving with pie and spiced lattes toward the end of last year, pumpkin should hold a place in your dog’s diet year-round.

It’s super healthy and festive but what do we really know about pumpkins? Here are a few facts you can add to the list:

All American

Pumpkins have been grown in North America for over 5,000 years and are the largest native squash. While the pumpkin craze started in America, it’s spread to the rest of the world—everywhere except Antarctica. There are varieties that are easy to grow in almost any climate.

Packed With Antioxidants

As the bright orange color suggests, pumpkins are a rich source of antioxidants including vitamin A and beta carotene. These are essential for maintaining good vision, healthy skin, and a strong immune system. While antioxidants are important for everybody, they have the greatest impact on puppies’ developing immune systems.

Aid Digestive Health

Cooked pumpkin can help sooth an upset stomach. Whether you’re under the weather or your dog’s feeling droopy, add a little pumpkin. There are five recipes from The Honest Kitchen that make it easy. You can add cooked pumpkin to any meal as a treat or supplement for your pet.

Full of Fiber

In addition to soothing an upset stomach, pumpkin helps to keep everything moving like it should by providing a decent chunk of your dog’s daily fiber requirements. Your dog will feel better and he’s less likely to eat grass—it’s good for him and your lawn. Fiber absorbs water, normalizing your dog’s digestive system and fixing any… consistency issues.

Provide Minerals

Pumpkins contain potassium, iron, copper, calcium, and phosphorus—all of which are essential for good health. These do a variety for good things for your dog including building strong bones and teeth, boosting his immune system, and helping with oxygen transport in the blood.

Help With Weight Loss

The addition of pumpkin to your dog’s diet will only add a few calories (no fats and zero cholesterol) plus the fiber will help him feel full. This means your dog will crave less food and, combined with pumpkin’s other benefits, will enjoy better health over all.

Balance Blood Sugar

Several studies, suggest that pumpkin increases glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and is good for the pancreas. If your dog is diabetic, talk to your veterinarian about adding pumpkin to his diet.

While pumpkins may not be a miracle cure for every ailment, they are a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor that makes every mealtime a healthy, delicious experience for your dog. Before tonight’s dinner, pickup some Honest Kitchen Love and see what pumpkin can do for your furry family members.

Meet the Author: Liz Palika

Liz Palika is a Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, and the co-owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in Vista, CA. Liz is also an award-winning author and writer specializing in pets. She writes about cats, cat behavior and health, dogs, dog behavior and health, living with pets, and pet nutrition. Liz’s works have been recognized with many awards, but her most recent book, “Idiot’s Guides: Dog Training” (Penguin Books, 2014) recently won the Best Nonfiction book category in the San Diego Book Writing competition. Liz shares her home with two dogs; Bashir, an Australian Shepherd, and Bones, an English Shepherd. Three cats, Spock, Scottie, and Kirk, provide motivation for her articles about cats. And yes, she is a Star Trek fan. For more information go to www.kindredspiritsk9.com.

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