Tis’ the season, Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin ice cream, and other yummy pumpkin treats for people.  But what about for your pet?  Turns out that pumpkin is actually good for dogs and cats, but not in all forms.  Raw pumpkin is hard for them to digest.  However, cooked or canned pumpkin is an excellent nutritional addition to their diet.  Just make sure there are not any added ingredients or spices.  Here’s a tip from  your friendly local pet sitter: The easiest way to feed pumpkin is straight from the can.  Just use plain Pumpkin or Organic Pumpkin.  It is a great source of vitamins A, C, E, lycopene and dietary fibres.  In addition, the meaty part adds hydration and the seeds are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.  These are beneficial for eye health, skin and coat, digestion and organ health.  Pumpkin even helps regulate blood pressure, improves muscle health and assists in your pet’s metabolism.  A great benefit for dogs or cats is that it helps with both constipation and diarrhea.  Because of the pumpkin’s soluble and insoluble fibre, it is a natural remedy for stool problems.

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Tips from a Local Pet Sitter

The Seeds are a Good Treat

Pumpkin seeds are surprisingly healthy for dogs and cats.  However, you need to prepare them correctly.  They should be cleaned, peeled and roasted with no salt or other ingredients.  To make it easier you can also buy peeled unsalted pumpkin seeds.  Add them for a little fibre, Vitamin K, magnesium, antioxidants, and more.  You can even grind them up and mix in with your pet’s food.  This should only be a once or twice a week treat.

How much pumpkin should I feed my canine companion?

According to vets, pumpkin actually has a variety of benefits for our furry friends. Pumpkin can even be fed daily.  Stick with 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds each meal.  The most common medicinal use is for an upset stomach.  Of course, always ask your vet before adding pumpkin to a puppy or kitten’s diet.

Here are a few recipes to try. Pets will love them, especially the treats at the end.

Roasted Pumpkin Recipe

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin
Olive oil (yep, olive oil is safe and healthy for pets!)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay the pumpkin on its side on a non-slip cutting board.
  3. Cut the top with the stem off the pumpkin.
  4. Place the now-flat side of the pumpkin down.
  5. With a knife or potato peeler, peel the skin from the pumpkin.
  6. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  7. Remove the seeds (you can dump or save for later!).
  8. Cut the pumpkin into bite-size (for your pet) cubes.
  9. In large bowl, mix the pumpkin cubes with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  10. Spread the pumpkin on baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is smashable with a fork.
  12. Let cool completely.
  13. Serve to your dog or cat as is or mash up one cube and mix in with your pet’s meal.
  14. Store remaining cube in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or freezer for up to a month.

Steamed Pumpkin Recipe

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin

  1. Fill your steamer or pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Lay the pumpkin on its side on a non-slip cutting board.
  3. Cut the top with the stem off the pumpkin.
  4. Place the now-flat side of the pumpkin down.
  5. With a knife or potato peeler, peel the skin from the pumpkin.
  6. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  7. Remove the seeds.
  8. Cut the pumpkin into bite-size (for your pet) cubes.
  9. Add pumpkin cubes to steamer and cover for 10 to 12 minutes or until you can easily poke with fork.
  10. Remove from stove and let cool completely.
  11. Serve to your dog or cat as is or mash up one cube and mix in with your pet’s meal.
  12. Store remaining cube in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or freezer for up to a month.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but not too much as the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick roll. Cut into ½-inch pieces.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

Courtesy of Inside and Out Pet Care.

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Do you need an experienced pet sitter? Check us out at insideandoutpetcarellc.com  – or call us at 970-297-8689. We offer overnight pet sitting too!