Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pumpkins and dogs: A perfect Halloween combination

Sinead the Boston terrier and her pumpkin

Boston terrier Sinead has a few extra navigation steps to take when she's ready to walk out the front door for our dog walks. Over the weekend, I purchased these mammoth pumpkins and I'm planning to carve them up for a wonderfully festive Halloween backdrop for the handful of trick-or-treaters we entertain every year.

So these guys are just for decoration. And they make a nice backdrop for a Wordless Wednesday photo shoot.

But posing Sinead with these pumpkins reminds me of all of the benefits these veggies have for small dogs like her.

Sinead the Boston terrier closes her eyes

As the dog of a blogging human, Sinead is exposed to a great deal of variety in her diet. She is often trying new dog treats, new dog food and new dog shampoos. Every day, she's trying something new. While I do my part to read ingredients and question providers before I offer Sinead anything new, there are times when the things she tries just don't agree with her. And that means her poop moves from firm to liquid.

Pumpkin really is a lifesaver here. Pumpkin is packed with fiber, so it can absorb liquid that's moving through the digestive tract. That absorption helps to slow the food down, so the liquid can be absorbed before it leaves the body as diarrhea. A tablespoon in her meal does her a great deal of good.

Pumpkin is also a low-calorie treat that tends to be filling and satisfying. If Sinead feels like her meal rations are a little too small, I can add pumpkin to her meals to help her feel a little more full when she's done eating. That can help her stick to a diet and lose weight without feeling as though she's missing out on the foods she wants to eat.

Sinead the Boston terrier watching the squirrels

Even though pumpkin does have a lot of benefits, there are some things to be aware of. Firstly, if you're choosing to feed canned pumpkin, make sure you're buying pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling). I also look for added sugars and salts. The less that's in those cans, the better.

And, don't think you can recycle a carved pumpkin into dog food. While it's true that dogs do have hearty digestive systems, they can be sensitive to mold. And the inside of a carved pumpkin is absolute mold perfection. It might be tempting to keep a pumpkin out of a compost heap, but this just isn't safe.

Do you feed your dogs pumpkin? I'd love to hear about it, especially if you prepare it (rather than buying a canned product). Shoot me a note in the comments and let me know!

And do be sure to visit the other blogs in this hop from BlogPaws. You'll be glad you did!