Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?

Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?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.

Other Alternatives

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!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Blacketer November 12, 2013

I also have Chihuahua’s my oldest little guy (Boo) started having problems with constipation. After a couple of days I began to worry about him. I called my vet he recommended an enema and starting him on pure pumpkin.

My husband had already picked up a couple cans of canned dog food since this usually gives him diarrhea. We went in picked up the enema from the vets office. Which I had to administer 2 different times an hour apart. After giving him the enema we gave him about half a can of food. These are the small cans so that isn’t too much for his size. Within a half hour he finally went to the bathroom. It wasn’t a lot but at least he had a bowel movement.

The next day we got the pumpkin, now we’re feeding him 1 tsp. of pumpkin, 1/3 can of canned food mixed with about 1 tbsp. of crushed dry food each morning. He’s 7 years old and a little on the chubby side so the vet has him on food for his weight.

He’s now going regular and not straining the way he was before. He’s really good about not over eating so I leave him some dry food out along with his water during the day.

I’ve breed and showed dogs for years and usually know what to do for them when such things come up. Although I would like to stress to anyone when your dog is having problems it’s always best to consult your vet first. For us treating our pet’s health is a guessing game. No one knows our dogs health better than our veterinarian.

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Johanna Kershaw October 17, 2012

Two of my Chihuahuas suffer from anal gland problems. I have started giving them canned pumpkin every day. It is very expensive. I bought Metamucil but haven’t given them it yet recently. I have introduced more vegetables into their food such as broccoli and cauliflower. They have always eaten apples and raw carrots.

One of my dogs has put on a lot of weight since she has been neutered. I have cut down her food and give her more vegetable but she hasn’t lost any weight. She is lazy and most times just plunks herself down and refuses to move and I end up carrying her. Can you help?

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Terri March 3, 2013

I have a Chihuahua/Terrier mix (9lbs) so I can give you a few tips. Small breed dogs are known for having anal gland issues. Basically, you need to keep them drained every couple of months (perhaps more, it depends). I’m not sure if giving them Metamucil is a good idea. Instead, you want to increase their fiber intake as it will help with bowl movements and also with their glands becoming impacted.

Try introducing a teaspoon of Bran Buds. Most common reason dogs scoot (drag their butts across the carpet) is because their glands are full and it’s a bit uncomfortable for them. Typically, most dogs can drain their own just with going poo, but some need a little extra help. The Bran Buds will help keep the stool firm and that should aid it the glands not becoming full (at least not as often).

As far as weight goes, try diet dog food. Speak to your vet and/or even your local pet store about what is a good choice for a dog with weight issues and not so energetic. You could just walk her lots (even if she doesn’t want to go) don’t let her have the opportunity to choose as obesity in animals is very bad for their health. Even perhaps put her on a treadmill going slow for a few minutes every other day. Fruits and vegetables are good for them so long as you stay away from certain ones. Grapes, raisins are very bad for dogs and cause Renal failure (kidney failure). Limit the fruit you do give, as it still contains sugar and calories but as far as vegetables, they are good to go!

Just do a little research about healthy food choices for your pet but fiber is a big thing and if you get on a routine of daily doses, you should see improvement in the anal gland function.

Hope this helps a bit. I’m not a professional on any health issues. If you have any serious concerns, it’s best to see your local vet before introducing anything new to you pet’s diet or embarking on any big changes regarding their food. Good luck!

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