By: Amber Kingsley.
July 10th, 2015
I swear, I’ll never forget this life experience as long as I live, with my first, little black dog, whom I affectionately referred to as my shadow and LBD for many years. Those many years ago, my family owned a restaurant and I lived upstairs with my precious pooch. On one particular day, I was working in the office with my dog sleeping underneath the desk, when the head chef came in to speak with me.
LBD, arose, walked around the desk, slowly stood on her hind legs, outstretched her paws and greeted the chef, to which I loudly exclaimed, “Oh my God, there’s something wrong with my dog!” Our chef looked at me perplexed, and I informed him that since he regularly gave her treats, like little bits of Filet Mignon, the minimal amount of enthusiasm she showed upon his arrival was a sign she definitely was in need of some immediate medical attention.
Later, my veterinarian revealed the little dark pooch had a large mass of fiber inside her stomach from the berber carpeting in the restaurant that I had unknowingly saw her consume. This caused her to become dehydrated and she was having trouble with her kidneys because of the blockage. The vet recommended surgery, but wanted to try another, more natural and less invasive alternative first.
She led me into a back room, opened up a large cabinet revealing dozens of cans of pumpkin. The vet told me that she regularly purchased this product at a great discount when the cans were on sale because they were dented and kept her shelves fully stocked at all times.
Low and behold, the next day, after eating some pumpkin, my dog had “passed” all the fibers from her stomach naturally. Because of this, I also keep a stash of pumpkin on hand year-round, some in cans, and others I keep frozen in small portions and give them to my current canine as a daily treat.
The reason I regularly feed my dog pumpkin today, even when she doesn’t have any digestive issues and her kidneys are operating normally, not only does she enjoy the taste, it’s also a great alternative as a healthy treat.
So here’s the top three benefits to adding this fruit to your canine’s diet:
- DIGESTIVE: As was the basis for this article, pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber and can help keep your dog to function regularly with their digestion. Adding a tablespoon to their meals, dependent upon their size, can aid with this process.
- URINARY: Also as mentioned previously, pumpkin can also help your pet maintain good urinary tract health. They’re also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, which may reduce the likelihood that your dog will develop cancer.
- WEIGHT: Obesity continues to be a problem in the US and the ASPCA warns us against the many health risks associated from dogs being overweight. Thankfully, this orange fruit can help to take off some unwanted pounds from your pooch. Try reducing the amount of their traditional food with pumpkin over the course of time. Slowly adding pumpkin into their diet, offers the previously mentioned health benefits, but can also help to keep their weight in check and drop some extra pounds.
In closing, be sure to purchase cans of pumpkin that is labelled pure or solid pack and check the label for ingredients. You’ll want the kind that is free of added sugar, preservatives and spices so you can avoid the hassle of seeding and boiling this giant fruit. If you’re a purist, by all means take the high road and make your own from scratch. The seeds themselves have benefits for your skin as they are high in zinc. Either way, this is a healthy must for your pet as a treat or addition to their regular food.
As always, you should always check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet, but it is likely they will agree that this healthy addition to your pet’s diet will be beneficial.
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