The fall season is known for a rise in the enjoyment of all things pumpkin. Many of us indulge in pumpkin breads, pumpkin lattes, and even pumpkin ice cream. In fact, pumpkin tastes so good that you may have wondered if your dog would like it or if it is okay for your furry little friend to consume pumpkin. Fortunately, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
In fact, pumpkin for dogs is actually a great idea. It is full of valuable nutrition that provides a wide variety of benefits for your dog’s overall health. In fact, pumpkin is so good for dogs that it is available as a treat for your dog to enjoy throughout the year. Also, it just so happens that most dogs love the taste of pumpkin.
Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs
Although popularly thought of as a vegetable, pumpkins are actually a fruit that provide a wide variety of benefits for your dog. One of the most obvious benefits can be quickly discerned just by looking at a pumpkin. This fruit’s bright orange color is a dead giveaway to the fact that it is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Antioxidants are important to dogs because they inhibit oxidation. When oxidation occurs, it results in an increase in free radicals throughout the body. An increase in free radicals can damage the cells in your dog’s body. Of course, there are a lot of other benefits pumpkins have to offer your dog.
Pumpkin Promotes Healthy Dog Digestion
As your dog ages, the frequency as well as the severity of constipation can increase. Fortunately, pumpkin contains a great balance of soluble and insoluble fiber to promote better digestive functioning. For instance, fiber can help to increase the bulk of your dog’s stool. An increase in bulk helps to stimulate the contraction of the muscles in the wall of the intestine that are responsible for moving stool through your dog’s digestive tract.
The soluble fiber in pumpkin can help your dog if he or she suffers from diarrhea. This is because soluble fiber slows digestion, which allows the intestinal tract to absorb water more efficiently. Of course, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian the use of fiber for relief from constipation or diarrhea because each dog’s needs are different.
Healthy urinary tract
The oils in pumpkins may help to support the health of your dog’s urinary tract.
If you are looking for a healthy way to help your dog lose a few extra pounds while still providing him or her treats, pumpkin treats are a great solution. This is because pumpkins contain fiber. Fiber helps to promote the feeling of fullness, which decreases the urge to eat more food than is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. This a great benefit if your dog needs to shed a few pounds because the fiber in a pumpkin treat can help reduce the likelihood that he or she will feel hungry.
This bright orange fruit is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial in promoting such things as a healthy digestive tract, strong bones, and even improved cognitive functioning.
Carotenoids are found in plant foods, such as tomatoes, carrots, and pumpkins and are comprised of the red, orange, and yellow pigments found in these foods. A type of antioxidant, carotenoids help to reduce free-radicals. Excess free radicals, also referred to as oxidative stress, can overwhelm your dog’s natural ability to remove free radicals from his or her body, creating an imbalance. This imbalance can result in tissue and cell damage, which can ultimately shorten your pet’s life.
One of the curiosities of dogs is that they do not produce beta-carotene. As such, it must be included in your dog’s diet. With the help of an enzyme in your dog’s digestive tract, beta-carotene is converted into an active form of vitamin A. This is important because vitamin A is an essential component in the production and maintenance of healthy membranes that line the intestinal and respiratory tracts of dogs. It is also an integral component in the production and maintenance of your dog’s skin.
In terms of your dog’s immune system, research has shown that beta-carotene can significantly improve the abilities and functions of T and B cells, both of which are responsible for the production of antibodies that are a vital part of your dog’s immune system response.
Alpha-carotene is also converted into vitamin A in your dog’s digestive tract and is vital to maintaining a healthy immune system in your dog.
It is common knowledge that fiber is very important for maintaining a healthy weight in humans. Not surprisingly, fiber provides the same benefit for dogs. Additionally, it helps with digestion. Finally, it helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Zinc is one of the most commonly utilized minerals in your dog’s body. It is a powerful antioxidant and is important to your dog’s immune system. Because your dog cannot store zinc, it is important to include it in his or her diet.
Iron is a mineral that is required for your dog’s body to effectively supply oxygen and nutrients. For instance, iron helps to form hemoglobin and red blood cells. Hemoglobin’s main job is to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout your dog’s body. Additionally, iron is an important component in the healthy functioning of a variety of enzymes in your dog’s body.
An essential vitamin, vitamin A must be part of your dog’s diet. For instance, vitamin A is important for the production and maintenance of your dog’s coat, skin, and muscles. Vitamin A also plays an important role in the proper functioning of your dog’s nerves, cells, and immune system.
One of the most important minerals in your dog’s body, potassium is an integral component in maintaining your dog’s overall health. For instance, potassium aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
It is also a key player in the extraction and transfer of the energy in those nutrients. Furthermore, it is responsible for breaking down the carbohydrates and fats in your dog’s diet.
In terms of muscle health, potassium helps muscles grow. Additionally, this mineral contributes to muscle contraction, which helps maintain motor skills. Potassium is also involved in promoting healthy teeth and bones. It does this by helping to keep your dog’s internal pH at an optimal level.
Optimal pH levels help your dog’s body to retain calcium in his or her blood and bones. Finally, this mineral has been known to contribute to higher bone density.
In terms of long-term benefits, your dog’s liver, kidneys, and heart require potassium to remain healthy. Additionally, potassium is known to improve your dog’s digestive system and is responsible for helping to improve better absorption of a variety of important nutrients.
Interestingly, potassium is also an important component in the maintenance of your dog’s cognitive functioning. For instance, it is responsible for strengthening the neural pathways that connect the brain to the body. Potassium also facilitates higher brain functions, such as learning and memory.
Feeding your pet pumpkin dog treats is a great way to avoid the variety of safety issues concerning pumpkins.
For instance, the stem and leaves are covered in sharp hairs that can irritate your dog. Additionally, during the holiday season, it is very important to not allow your dog to eat the shell of a pumpkin as many are covered in glue, paint, and other substances that can be toxic for your dog. Additionally, raw pumpkin seeds and the innards of a raw pumpkin can make your dog ill. To ensure that your dog does not come into contact with any of the potentially harmful aspects of pumpkins, you should consider feeding your dog pumpkin dog treats.
Although it is important to look for treats that are wholesome and healthy for your dog, it is also important to consider choosing a treat that is also good for the environment. As such, you may want to consider the pumpkin-based dog treats from Jiminy’s.
In addition to pumpkin, Jiminy’s pumpkin treats contain additional healthy ingredients like carrots, oats, and cricket protein. The carrots contribute a plethora of vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s overall health. Oats are a great source of soluble fiber that can help to regulate cholesterol and improve the production of red blood cells. Additionally, oats contain a variety of minerals that help to keep your dog’s fur in great condition.
Among the best things about the final ingredient, cricket protein, is that it is a complete protein and hypoallergenic. Furthermore, crickets require 67 percent less land than chickens, a common component in dog treats, while producing an equivalent amount of protein. Finally, when compared to beef and chicken treats, crickets farmed for protein produce 740 percent and 240 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, respectively.