Pumpkin!

 

 

Hello Fall!

 I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite season: The changing leaves, the cool, crisp breeze at night which is a perfect excuse for bonfires and s’mores, and most of all, PUMPKIN!!!  I’m sure I’m not the only one who waits for Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING to hit the shelves, but did you know that pumpkin can actually have some great health benefits for our pets? 

Fiber

 Pumpkin contains nearly three grams of fiber per one cup serving. Fiber promotes a sense of fullness and can potentially enhance weight loss by reducing the urge.   Additionally, fiber can help with feline constipation. As cats mature into their adult and geriatric years, constipation is a serious problem. The primary emphasis of treatment is placed on diet. Increasing fiber levels helps increase motility through the colon by creating a bulkier amount of stool, which stimulates the colon wall to contract thereby helping your pet eliminate waste appropriate.

 Increased dietary fiber can also help pets suffering from diarrhea (opposite of constipation). Both cats and dogs are prone to different forms of diarrhea, but most often the primary offender is changes in diet or eating something the animal is not supposed (dietary indiscretion, aka our garbage lovers).

 Diarrhea is can be classified as large or small bowel diarrhea, depending on a number of characteristics of the patient and their feces. Large bowel diarrhea comes from the colon and is also known as colitis. The nature of large bowel diarrhea appears vastly different from its small bowel counterpart and may have one or all the following characteristics: mucus, blood, urgency to defecate, flatulence, and large or small volume.  Small bowel diarrhea relates to the small intestine, which is the part of the digestive tract that connects the stomach to the large intestine (colon). Small bowel diarrhea often takes on a pale appearance, lacks urgency in its production, and has a mushy consistency.

 Moisture

 Pumpkin can add a healthy amount of moisture (water content) to any cat or dog diet, but especially those that consume highly processed and dehydrated kibble. According to the University of Illinois Extension’s article, Pumpkin Facts, this healthful fruit (yes, it’s a fruit and not a vegetable) is composed of 90% water. Adding pumpkin to each meal or serving it separately as a snack can promote a pet’s improved state of hydration and reduce heat in the body.

 Miscellaneous, Healthful Benefits of Pumpkin

 

Pumpkin provides a natural source of many beneficial substances involved in the day to day cellular functions, especially potassium. Pumpkin even has more potassium content than a banana!  Potassium is an electrolyte essential for muscular contraction and recovery from activity. Pumpkin is also rich in Vitamin C, as one cup contains at least 11mg. Vitamin C is a substance vital for its antioxidant and immune system supporting effects. Additionally, pumpkin is a great, whole-food source of carotenoids, such as beta-carotene.

If you don’t want to go through the efforts of carving, cooking, and pureeing/mashing your pumpkin, then purchase the canned or glass bottled version to give your pet. Avoid pumpkin pie filling due to fat, sugar, and other ingredients (spices, flavorings, or other preservatives) that could cause digestive tract upset. Below is an easy, fun fall dog treat recipe involving pumpkin that you can try out for your furry friend!!!

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

2 eggs

½ cup canned pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX)

2 tablespoons peanut butter

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
  3. Roll dough into a ½ inch thick roll. Cut into shapes or ½ inch pieces.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

 

Here’s a link for healthy pumpkin treats for people.

 

Much of this information was compiled from an article written by Dr. Patrick Mahaney.

Fun Animal Facts From Animal Family

 

If you think your pet is amazing wait until you read some of the fun facts we have complied.

  • According to a UK insurance company the most accident prone breed on the other side of the pond is the Labrador followed by Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Springer Spaniels and German Shepherds.  The least accident prone is the apparently very careful Shih Tzu.
  • VPI Insurance listed one of their oddest claims as Harley the Pug who managed to eat 100 rocks.  Fortunately Harley was able to pass them all on his own.
  • Baxter the cat, another VPI all star, fell 11 stories from the window of his home and still lived to meow another day.
  • The longest jump ever recorded on land for a dog was in England where a greyhound jumped 30 feet and over a gate while chasing down a hare.  A Chesapeake Bay retriever made the longest Dock Dog Jump when he flew 28 feet in a California competition.
  • Did you know that while dogs produce about 10 – 15 different vocal sounds cats can make over 100 distinct vocalizations.
  • We all love dogs and cats but guess what the most common mammal is?  If you guessed rodents, you are correct. Mice and rats  out number us humans  and our pets.
  • Are you afraid of spiders? You may want to try harder to like them.  In a single year, spiders consume more pounds of insects than the weight of the entire human population.
  • Don’t like snakes?  You might want to move to Antarctica.  That is the only place where there are no reptiles.
  • The flea that bites your pet can consume up to 15 times its weight in blood each day.  It can live on average, from 2 – 7 months and if it’s a she lay up to 400 eggs in her lifetime.
  • The tallest living dog in the world is a Great Dane who stands at 43 inches or over 3 and ½ feet tall.
  • The tiniest, according to Guinness is a 4 inch tall Chihuahua in Kentucky.
  • The heaviest dog is an English Mastiff who weighs in at 282 pounds.
  • You think you hate the flu?  Think about how frogs must feel.  When they need to vomit they have to expel their entire stomach, manually remove the contents and then swallow the stomach back down again.
  • Finally, depending on the source, it’s claimed that the average cow can produce anywhere from 400 to 1000 liters of methane gas daily and you thought your husband was bad.

We tried to validate all of the information included in this blog.  If there was a Guinness World record we used that.