Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Squash and Carrots Oh My!
A wonderful Fall bounty that is healthy for your pet no matter what the weather outside. I love Fall. It is by far my favorite season. The cool crisp air and smell of dry leaves create a sensation of excitement and anticipation for the holidays. The joy of baking pumpkin chocolate chip bread for my family, Halloween quickly approaching with Thanksgiving and Christmas right behind. The thought of everything Fall has to offer is almost enough to make the cold drab days of winter seem a bit brighter. Ha! Not really, but hey it was worth a try. Although for most of us a few of the veggies that we associate with Fall are available all year at the nearest grocery store and are fabulous additions to your dog’s daily diet.
Pumpkin is probably the most popular of our veggies (or fruit as my son likes to remind me). It is packed full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It also low in fat and calories and most dogs love pumpkin!!!!
- A lot of dog owners already know that pumpkin is a fabulous natural remedy for doggy digestive issues. It can aid in the relinquishment of diarrhea and constipation depending on how much you feed. Pumpkin is high in water and fiber which can act to hydrate your pup’s intestines, helping to get things moving again. The soluble fiber in pumpkins helps with diarrhea by pulling the excess water into the bowels, which then calms down the digestive tract. Always start with a small amount of pumpkin and work up from there. A couple of teaspoons full for small dogs and a couple of Tablespoons for larger dogs. This treatment is suggested only for the occasional tummy issue. If your pup’s digestive issues continue please consult your veterinarian.
- Pumpkins are full of vitamin A and vitamin C along with magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc. All are needed to help your pet maintain good eyesight, joint health, shiny coat and skin, plus a strong immune system. Pumpkin also is full of antioxidants which can help prevent some cancers.
- Pumpkin can help with your pet’s weight loss if they tend to be on the chunkier side. Adding pumpkin to your dog’s food can help them to feel fuller without adding a lot of calories. Again check with your vet before putting your furry friend on a diet.
- Not to leave our feline friends out of the fun. Pumpkin and all of its wonderful fiber, vitamins and minerals can help move kitty furballs through their systems and out to the litter box instead of the floor, kitchen counter … or your bed. 🙂
- You can cook down down a pumpkin if you are a DIYer or just buy canned pumpkin at your grocery store. We stock up just before the holidays when it’s on sale. Do not use old Halloween pumpkins as they may be rotting and have mold. Only use fresh. If you buy canned do not buy the prepared pumpkin for pie or anything that has sugar or spice added. Check the labels. You only want pure pumpkin. In fact, pumpkin pie spices include nutmeg, which is harmful to dogs.
Second on our list of veggies is the Sweet Potato. The sweet potato offers many of the same benefits as pumpkin, but if you are watching your dog’s weight, sweet potatoes also contain high levels of carbohydrates and sugar which can add to the weight gain.
- Sweet Potatoes are high in nutrients, rich in beta carotene, dietary fiber, vitamins B6, C and D along with magnesium, manganese and potassium. All of which help maintain your dog’s health and well being.
- Good source of antioxidants to help in healing, cancer prevention, and fight the effects of aging
- High fiber content makes it great for the digestive system.
- Easy and inexpensive veggie to make yummy treats for your furry friend. Sliced and dehydrated sweet potatoes are a great replacement for rawhide bones.
Next on our veggie list is the Squash. I have to say this is not something I would have thought about feeding my pet. If you do decide to give squash a try, serve it to your dog cooked not raw and mix it with their regular dog food. Raw squash may not make your pups digestive system happy, causing gas, bloating and possible constipation.
- Squash is high in vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. These all help in the support of heart and kidney health. Along with anti inflammation, eye health and strong immune system.
Carrots are our last veggie but definitely not the least. My three Chihuahuas love carrots! Percy is always timid to eat them at first but after the other two start chomping away he is willing to partake. Carrots can be served either raw or cooked. My pups prefer raw. If you like to make your own dog treats shredded carrots are easy to add to most any recipe.
Carrots are a great way to help keep tarter at bay between teeth cleanings.
- They are a perfect alternative to doggy biscuits. Especially if your pups is watching their figure.
- Loaded with vitamins B, C, D, E, and K! Again all of these work to keep your dogs health in tip top shape plus help with strong eye sight.
- Carrots are an inexpensive treat or addition to your pup’s regular food.
There you have it. Four Fall vegetables that are available to you year round. They are easy to acquire, easy to use and most of all very healthy and tasty for your favorite canine to eat. If you want to make something special for your four legged friend their are many, many recipes on Pinterest for dog treats using these ingredients.
As always we would love to hear from you. Have you ever tried any of these veggies for your dog or cat? What is their favorite? Have fun and enjoy!
** Rocket Dog Blog always recommends that you talk with your veterinarian about anything that concerns your dog or cats health. We try to provide information but by no means want our posts to replace advice from a doctor **