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, pick up some of The Honest Kitchen’s Grain Free Beef Recipe and see what pumpkin can do for your furry family members.

Meet the Author: Liz Palika, CDT, CABC

Liz Palika is a Certified Dog Trainer and Certified Animal Behavior Consultant as well as the founder and co-owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in northern San Diego county. Liz is also the founder of Love on a Leash therapy dogs; her dog, Bones, goes on visits on a regular basis. A prolific writer, Liz is also the author of more than 80 books. Many of her works have been nominated or won awards from a variety of organizations, including Dog Writers Association of America, San Diego Book Awards, the ASPCA, and others. Liz shares her home with three English Shepherds: Bones, Hero, and Seven, as well as one confident and bossy orange tabby cat, Kirk. To relax from work, or to take work on the road, Liz and her crew travel the West and PNW in their RV. If you see an RV on the road named "Travelin' Dogs", honk and say hi!

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