Pumpkin is very popular in human recipes but what about dogs and cats? Pumpkin can be great for dogs and cats as well and has several health benefits.
What kind of fruit weighs between 1 and 1,000 pounds, has a centuries-long world history, and is more useful today than ever? The magnificent pumpkin, of course!
Pumpkin is very popular in human recipes but you probably haven't thought about giving it to your pets. This vibrant fall ingredient can be great for dogs and cats and has a number of health benefits.
This versatile food has been important to mankind for centuries. According to the University of Illinois Extension Program, it's a crop that's worth over 140 million dollars annually in the United States alone. They should know; Illinois produces 90 to 95% of the pumpkins grown in the US.
Pumpkins have significant health benefits for people and pets so don't discount this amazing food as just a fall tradition. Canned or plain cooked pumpkin as well as pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to the health of our pets.
Here are some of the health benefits of pumpkin for dogs and cats:
1. Combating dehydration: Pumpkin flesh is around 90% water, so a little pumpkin topping on a meal can combat dehydration resulting from moisture-deficient processed dry dog and cat foods. An additional benefit is improved digestion from increasing the gastric "juices" essential to proper gastrointestinal health.
2. Helping with Constipation: Fiber from pumpkin works in pets the same way it does in humans and can actually treat some gastrointestinal issues. A tablespoon or two of pumpkin can resolve symptoms in a few days if the gut is just a bit "out of order." Some cats may experience decreased colon activity as they age, resulting in constipation. The added fiber from pumpkin increases the bulk of the stool and the colon muscles react by moving things along.
3. Reducing Hairballs: By increasing the volume of waste in the intestine, pumpkin can help your cat digest and eliminate fur swallowed during grooming. This can reduce or even prevent the formation of "hairballs" that are eventually regurgitated.
4. Resolving Diarrhea: Yes, it works both ways! Pumpkin can soothe constipation but diarrhea can also be remedied with the addition of pumpkin to a dog or cat's diet. It is particularly effective if the upset is the result of colitis caused by a rapid food change or the ingestion of a new food. All it takes is a teaspoon for small dog or cat and a tablespoon or two for a medium or large dog of canned pumpkin in the animal's food.
5. Boosting Weight Loss: With 3 grams of fiber per cup, pumpkin can augment weight loss in dogs and cats. The fiber fills the tummy so your pet feels "fuller" sooner, meaning Pookie eats fewer calories overall.
6. Supplementing Nutrition: One of the biggest benefits of pumpkin to pets and humans is its wealth of nutrition. Pumpkins contain carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, and protein. You do not want to overload your pet's system with these nutrients and trace minerals, however. This is not a case of a little bit being good and a lot being better.
7. Adding Antioxidants: Pumpkin contain antioxidants which help moisturize skin, helping your pet maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
8. Providing Essential Fatty Acids: In addition to antioxidants, pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids with similar benefits. Pets may consume the seeds raw (if they are fresh) or enjoy the roasted version which store better. Lightly coat the seeds with cooking oil and roast in a 375-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes for a daily treat your pet will love. Only offer a few seeds at a time to your pet (the fiber can cause a softening of the stool). Store the seeds in an airtight container or freeze them. Don't forget to roast some extras for yourself! If your pet is small you can grind up the seeds to ensure they are easier to digest and don't get caught in the intestine.
9. Controlling Parasites: Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, a possible anthelmintic that eliminates tape and roundworms. Additionally the seeds may inhibit the formation of kidney and bladder stones, and some studies have shown anti-inflammatory properties. The seeds may be ground up and added to food, but again, be conservative.
Don't grab that jack-o-lantern just yet though! Carved pumpkins are NOT something you want to feed your pets because mold begins rapidly growing inside them once the skin is broken.
The best pet-safe sources are fresh or canned pumpkin cooked with no additional spices added. Do not get canned pumpkin designed for use in pie as this frequently contains spices and other ingredients. Opt for pure, plain pumpkin. Plan on freezing cooked pumpkin and fresh seeds; they last about a week when refrigerated. Some pet shops will carry pumpkin specially prepared for pets with sweet potato or other fruits added for flavor and nutritional benefits.
Yes, many dog owners are familiar with the anxiety and nervousness pets get on occasion. They’re caused by a variety of factors, but are equally upsetting to all involved, no matter the cause. Because of the variety of causes, Gregory Tilford notes in The Animal Herbalist website (http://theanimalherbalist.com) that there is no one perfect herb that works for every dog. Each dog should be taken individually and the appropriate herb or herbs can be customized for him.
“Each and every herb has its own range of special attributes and medicinal properties that makes it unique among all others,” says Tilford. “Not all calmative herbs are alike.”
There are many calming herbs out there for pets, but here are three to get you started on your research:
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian root is a popular sedative and anti-anxiety herb for both humans and pets.
The smelly herb (akin to that of dirty gym socks) is also known as an anti-convulsive, and can be used in treating epilepsy. Tilford states in his Animal Herbalist website that while valerian can be soothing to many dogs – especially those with nervous stomachs – it is not suitable for every dog. Since valerian is considered a hot, warming herb, it is not recommended for dogs that run hot (for instance, itchy dogs hot to the touch with bright-red tongues).
If your dog will be undergoing a stressful event or trip, start administering five drops, three to four times a day, of valerian root in tincture form three days before the event (Herbs for Pets, Second Edition, by Gregory L. Tilford & Mary L. Wulff).
Though valerian is generally safe, large doses may cause digestive upset and it shouldn’t be used in pregnant dogs.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Even though we’ve come to know chamomile as a household, go-to tea that works to soothe our nerves and stomachs, there are actually dozens of related species. According to Herbs for Pets, German chamomile is the most potent form, boasting benefits including healing wounds, expelling worms, and of course, as a digestive soother and sedative.
Because of its mild nature and multiple calming benefits, chamomile can serve as a go-to herb for your dog as well.
Use a glycerin tincture and administer in .25-.50 milliliters per 20 pounds twice daily directly into the mouth or in drinking water.
Though chamomile is considered very safe, some animals can be allergic, so start with very small amounts.
Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
Derived from the post-flowering tops of oats, oatstraw is another nervous system soother that’s easy to find and generally safe.
Oatstraw is a nervous system optimizer in that it can help calm nervous animals on one hand. On the other, it can stimulate the nervous system when given to debilitated pets, according to Herbs for Pets. It can also help with epilepsy, tremors and twitching.
You can purchase dried oatstraw at the health food store and brew it into a tea (one teaspoon in eight ounces of water) that can be mixed into your dog’s food. Dosing is two to four ounces of cooled tea daily for dogs. Reduce the amount given if excitability or vomiting occurs.
HypothermiaPrevention is much easier then treating
Hypothermia occurs when your dog’s core
temperature drops below normal. When your dog is losing body heat faster then,
he can replace it.
Normal body temperature for a dog ranges
from 100 to102.5 F or 37 to 39C
In cold weather your dog will constantly
be trying to maintain his body temperature in its normal range. Dogs regulate
their temperature either by conserving their body heat or by producing more
body heat, this is similar to how we react to cold weather.
Shivering is one way your dog can
produce body heat. Piloerection is the dog equivalent to our goose bumps- with
piloerection your dog’s hair stand on end thereby trapping a layer of warmed
air beneath them. This creates an additional layer of insulation between your
dog’s body and the cold weather, and in doing so helps him to conserve body
heat; this works much better on a properly groomed dog. Vasoconstriction is
another way your dog can conserve body heat, restricting blood flow to the
extremities and keeping blood flowing to the more vial body parts, i.e. the
Brain Heart and Lungs.
·Low heart rate
and Breathing rate;
With mild hypothermia your dog will be shivering and
appear lethargic, moving your dog inside and wrapping in a blanket will
probably do the trick, Passive rewarming.
As your dog’s temperature drops more sever measures
Moderate hypothermia remove dog from cold. Warm
blankets and use heating pads but not directly on the skin apply to the truck
area of the dog.
Both severe and profound hypothermia need Veterinary
care immediately. At the vet clinic they can administer warm water enemas and
heated fluid intravenously.Many dogs
don’t survive this.
event for us and our kids but not so much our dogs. So many scary strangers
coming to the door yelling things at their owners, what is your dog to
think?It’s best to just keep your dog
closed away in another room for the evening. Don’t leave your dog outside too
often you hear stories of vicious pranks on people’s pet on Halloween.
candies If given the chance,abowl of candies left
at the door the temptation for some dogs will be to great and he will help
himself. Many of the cellophane wrappers can be dangerous if swallowed.
Chocolate is a huge hazard to our dogs.
There is no set toxic dose when it comes to
chocolate. Other factors will also need to be figured in: the size of the dog,
the health of the dog and the type of chocolate consumed. Different types of
chocolate have different levels of caffeine and Theobromine which increases the
heart rate. A toxic dose is about 40mgs.of Theobromine per 1 oz of Milk chocolate. 150 mgs.of Theobromine
per 1 oz of Semi sweet chocolate,
and 400mgs.of Theobromine per 1 oz of Dark
So a toxic dose
is 100 mgs. of chocolate per 1 kg or (2.2 lbs) of body weight. Since Baker’s
chocolate has the highest level of Theobromine a toxic level would be 2 baker
squares for a 10lb (4.53 kg) dog. Contact your Veterinarian induce vomiting if ingested less then 2
hours. Some of the signs of chocolate overdose are hyperactivity, vomiting,
increased drinking and urinating, increased heart rate, seizures and possible
Jack-o-lanterns can be a
huge fire hazard if knocked over by your dog or tails to close to the pumpkin.
Be caution when positioning your pumpkins.
are people dressing their dogs for Halloween, as cute as it is some dogs don’t
like the restrictive feeling and may freak out. If your dog doesn’t mind being
put into costumes make sure these costumes never limit mobility or comprise
breathing or the ability to pant. Make sure that the costumes don’t obstructed
vision dogs need to see what is going on around them in order to stay safe and
AWARE! AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE
Rodenticides with the colder weather mice move inside so at many cottages
trailer or country homes owners use Rat poison.
Induce Vomiting but only
if the dog just ate it!These
poisons affect the dog’s blood clotting factors. Even eating a rodent which has
eaten poison will have disastrous effects on your pet. Symptoms are usually
serious convulsion and hemorrhage. Get your pet to a veterinarian so he can
receive a Vitamin K shot to help restore your dog’s clotting ability.
REMEMBER THE LAST WEED AND FEED ON YOUR LAWN IN THE FALL IS USUALLY MORE CONCENTRATED!
Lawn care in the fall the last dose of weed and feed is applied to many lawns.
Lawn fertilizer is poison to our pets. We need to keep are dogs off the lawn
for 24 hours. Often your dog will sniff, lick, chew or roll around on your
lawn. If the lawn has been treated keep your dog off. Even semi-toxic
pesticides can be harmful. Residue from the weed kill can transfer on to your
pet and he can lick himself ingesting the pesticide.
This can cause skin irritation. Rinse your dogs’ coat with water. If
he has ingested pesticide you should induce
Studies have linked lawn fertilizer with
cancer. There are safer pet friendly products like corn gluten that can be used