Pumpkin and its seeds are highly nutritious and palatable for dogs. This page looks at the nutritional values of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, and how they can be used to enhance our dogs' health.
Pumpkin is a healthy food that is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains vitamin K as well as a host of minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and copper.
In addition, pumpkin is rich in polyphenolic flavonoid compounds, such as beta-carotenes, zea-xanthin, and more.
Pumpkin is low in calorie (100 grams of pumpkin provides only 26 calories!) but high in dietary fiber.
Pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious. They are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and minerals, such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, and copper. They are also a good source of protein. Interestingly, the unique proteins in pumpkin seeds are the source of many anti-microbial benefits (including anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits).
Pumpkin and its seeds provide quite a few health benefits for our dogs. For example:
Pumpkin goes well with cinnamon, which is a powerful antioxidant (one teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries), and has antibacterial and antifungal properties as well. Cinnamon can be used for a variety of gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, and flatulence.
To reap the benefits of both cinnamon and pumpkin for dogs, mix a can of plain pumpkin with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Add a tablespoon or so (depending on your dog's size) to your dog's meal as a topper and this can protect and support your dog's GI system.
You can also sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on your dog's food, or give them as a treat.
Of course, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can be used to make yummy dog treats such as biscuits and muffins.