While you might enjoy eating pumpkin as a snack, did you know most animals can enjoy it too? It has some surprising health benefits for your furry – and some scaly – friends, as well as for humans. The significant number of benefits from the fruit make it a perfect treat for your pets to enjoy, or even, as a partial kibble replacement in your dog’s dinners. Here’s everything you need to know.
Full Of Nutrients
Possibly the most obvious of all the benefits is the vast amount of nutrients in pumpkin. It is hugely rich in vitamin A which helps vision and general eye health. It’s also high in vitamin C, Magnesium, and Iron, to name just a few. On top of this, pumpkin contains Potassium which helps regulate blood pressure, metabolism, and muscle health; making it perfect for any person or animal with a health problem, or just to help keep them healthy.
Help The Immune System
Vitamin C, when paired with vitamins A and E – both in pumpkins – is of great benefit to your immune system – and your animal’s, of course. It can actually prevent some cancers from developing, along with containing antioxidants, which can help protect your pet’s cells, and reduce the risk of illness.
So, this is a little less of a benefit to us, but it is certainly handy for your furry friends. Nutrients in pumpkins, including vitamins and zinc, can help keep your pet’s coat smooth and shiny. The moisture in pumpkins can also reduce shedding and hydrate the skin, which is especially useful if your pet is prone to flaky or dry skin.
Pumpkins include a high amount of an amino acid called cucurbitacin, which is toxic to many parasites that can be fatal in your pets, like tapeworms. Pumpkin can, therefore, help to rid of certain parasites. However, of course, don’t feed pumpkin as an alternative to an adequate de-worming treatment.
Many animals, particularly dogs, have a pretty poor thirst drive, meaning they often don’t drink as much as they maybe should. Pumpkins are full of moisture, and so adding some to your friend’s diet can help to hydrate them, to keep them happy and healthy.
If your pet is an unhealthy weight and in need of shedding a few pounds, pumpkin could be the perfect treat. The high moisture and fiber content can help your pet feel full. So, replace some of their usual meal with pumpkin and they’ll be full, enjoy the new taste, and will lose some weight.
Seeds Are Healthy, Too
Pumpkin seeds also contain Omega 3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. These can help dislodge kidney stones and help joints. The seeds can also prevent urinary incontinence. It’s a win-win situation from this superfruit!
Of course, everything should be fed in moderation, but your pets will reap the benefits of eating pumpkin, as well as no doubt love the taste. It makes for a brilliant treat for both you and your animals, no matter if it’s for a health problem in particular, or just as a tasty snack.