Pumpkin for your Pooch

We have all experienced the occasional upset belly and with that, unpleasant surprises on our living room carpet. Pumpkin is a great solution to your dog's acute belly instability, and this is because it has wonderful abilities when it comes to your dog’s gut. It is very rich in something called fiber.

Fiber is made up of those little threadlike structures that are found in fruits, vegetables and grains that cannot be digested by your dog. There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber mixes very easily with water and is responsible for slowing the passage rate of your dog. It does this by binding to fatty acids. Not only does this lower the amount of times your dog has to use the bathroom, but it will also stabilize blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber on the other hand is mainly made up of cellulose and lignin which do not mix well with water. This results in bulking of your dog’s stool and prevents constipation. You want to avoid this type of fiber if your dog is suffering from diarrhea.

To help stabilize your dog’s upset belly, rice is a #1 recommended fiber source. However, this may not be your best option. Rice actually does not meet any nutritional requirements of dogs because it is a grain and this is not natural to a dog’s diet, will actually cause additional inflammation of the digestive tract. So instead, try using pumpkin as your bland, stabilizing agent. Not only does pumpkin pack a whole 7 grams of soluble fiber per cup, unlike 1.2 grams in a cup of rice, but it can also replace lost electrolytes that put your dog at risk for dehydration. An example of an important electrolyte is potassium. Low levels of this element can result in cramping, weakness, heart irregularities and fatigue. Pumpkin replaces this quite easily as it has 505 milligrams of naturally occurring potassium per cup. Have a diabetic patient? No problem. Pumpkin will restore those important beta cell function responsible for healthy insulin production. Rice will actually just break down into sugars, causing even more health risks for your dog.

So next time your dog is suffering from an unstable belly, try adding 2 teaspoons of pumpkin per 10 pounds of body weight to your dog's regular food. Make sure the pumpkin you feed is natural and has no sugar added like the canned pumpkin by Nummy-Tum-Tum or the dehydrated pumpkin supplement made by Diggin’ Your Dog. We sell both at Pure Pet.

Stop in, grab some pumpkin and make sure you are prepared for those unstable days!