How to Feed a Dog Pumpkin

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There are few things sadder than watching your dog suffer from an intestinal bug. But there's a natural remedy for ailing canines right on your pantry shelf. Pumpkin dog food, which you can make by adding some of the plain variety to your pup's bowl, is an easy and healthy way to combat a case of diarrhea or constipation. You might also get busy in the kitchen and make your own pumpkin dog food in the form of treats or frozen snacks. Just be sure to get your vet's OK before you offer a pumpkin laxative for dogs, as diarrhea and constipation, especially in a puppy, are great concerns.

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Why try pumpkin dog food?

Bright orange pumpkin is truly a wonder food for dogs, as the fiber it contains is very soluble, which means it can easily be broken down by your dog's digestive tract. And pumpkin dog food, as well as pumpkin for cats, is a healthy additive since it's a great source of potassium, iron, and vitamins A, E, C, as well as antioxidants. But before you reach for this Thanksgiving staple, be sure the pumpkin dog food you plan to serve is made from 100 percent pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Not only does the pie version have added sugar but it may even contain xylitol, which is toxic when consumed by dogs.

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Pumpkin laxative for dogs

If your canine friend is suffering from nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea, check in with your pet's vet before you offer up a pumpkin laxative for dogs. The first step, of course, is to learn why your animal isn't feeling well. For example, she may have gobbled her food too quickly, licked something she shouldn't have on the street during a walk, or she may have a parasite or hairball situation that needs greater attention. And if your dog is found to have diarrhea due to an internal blockage or bacterial infection, more detailed testing and treatment may be required.

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Pumpkin for dog constipation

Your dog's doctor may recommend a bland diet for two to three days if she suspects it'll help with a case of constipation or diarrhea. The point of this DIY remedy is to help your pup's GI system rest a bit and learn to tolerate rather simple meals for a while. The vet will likely suggest that you start off slowly when giving pumpkin dog food, which means offering several small meals a day, rather than your pet's usual larger ones. As a rule of thumb, you can try adding a couple of tablespoons of pure pumpkin puree to your dog's dish. And if you can't find canned pumpkin in your area, pumpkin powder, which is made especially for pets, is a fine alternative.

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Serving pumpkin dog food

As mentioned, pet stores sell dog kibble with pumpkin baked right in and if you'd like to buy commercially made bland food for pets, this is also an option. But if you're savvy in the kitchen and have the time, making a pumpkin recipe for your pup isn't very hard at all. Keep in mind, however, that snacks and treats like these are only to be offered occasionally (you can ask your vet for guidance when it comes to meal sizes and how frequently to give your dog treats).

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For some inspiration, you might bake pumpkin and peanut butter or pumpkin and mashed bananas into simple cookies (bonus points if you use a dog bone-shaped cutter to stamp them out!) or freeze pumpkin puree with yogurt to create puppy popsicles.

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