Giving a dog pumpkin as a way to clear up a case of constipation is frequent suggestion for an all natural cure. Since it’s a vegetable it’s generally thought of as an innocuous way to settle down a dog’s digestive system, whether they’ve got diarrhea or just an upset stomach. But is this really good advice?
Pumpkin is supposed to provide bulk so that they have something to poop out, and it’s also supposed to help lubricate their digestive system due to the moisture it contains. If your dog has diarrhea, pumpkin is meant to sooth the digestive system and also have a calming effect. Countless owners say this does the trick, but of course there are also those that say it doesn’t have any effect.
What you won’t hear are reports saying this method harmed a dog or worsened a situation. It seems to be a really good way to help your dog out through a tough time without resorting to prescription or over the counter medications as treatment options.
Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin? Answer: Yes
This is a time tested remedy that has the support of a lot of different dog owners, as well as many vets. Dogs also seem to enjoy canned pumpkin and if they’ve been finicky about their normal dog food fare, they might happily eat it up. Be sure to only give them the kind that is natural with no seasoning added. I recommend Nummy Tum Tum because it is 100% organic and is a specially formulated pumpkin puree for pets.
Some dog owners give their K9s pumpkin pie filling or other desserts containing pumpkin but that won’t achieve any noticeable benefits if that’s what you are shooting for.
Noticing Signs of Constipation
Diarrhea is easy enough to recognize, and if you see your dog straining to go number 2 that’s a telltale sign of constipation. There are other signs of constipation in case you don’t catch them in the act. If you’ve noticed that their droppings are small, hard, or dry, or if they haven’t had the same appetite that they used to, it could be because they are backed up.
First you should make sure they’ve been getting enough water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation especially for dogs. In the hotter months this is more common, but can also happen year round.
What if you’re not keen on the idea of supplementing your dog’s diet with pumpkin? In this case, it can be just as effective to wait constipation out. Since a dog’s digestive system works at a faster rate than ours, you are basically realizing an issue late based on observable symptoms. Seeing your dog straining to go or having loose stools isn’t terribly serious unless it happens over a long period. Usually it is just a matter of their system stabilizing and soon things will be back to normal.
Perhaps, by the time you give them pumpkin and it makes its way through their system, they may have been fine anyway. In that sense, pumpkin could falsely give you the illusion of working as a remedy, when in fact it had a neutral effect. Sometimes you just don’t know.
When to Call the Vet
If your dog has a case of constipation that keeps returning even after giving them some pumpkin, or they have chronic diarrhea, it’s time to at least call a vet to see if they recommend bringing them in. Maybe they can give you some advice over the phone. Your vet will know their medical history and will be able to ask the right series of questions to help you determine what the cause of the problems may be. If it can’t be determined, they’ll ask you to bring them in so they can check them out in person and suggest a treatment path from there.
Giving your dog pumpkin is definitely an optional choice. There’s no pressing reason to do it unless you believe it in as a digestive fix for what’s ailing them. Rest assured, there is no strong reason not to give it to a dog. If you have some canned pumpkin on hand and you notice they’re having trouble, it likely won’t hurt matters much. It really could provide some soothing relief to them. It might even be a comfort food over the usually dry dog food. Your dog might love it!