Pumpkin spice is extremely popular, particularly in the fall. And it’s no surprise that it tastes great. However, while these seasonal delicacies are fine for humans to eat, they are not so good for dogs. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom are common ingredients in pumpkin spice. Only one spice on this list is safe for dogs: cinnamon. But that doesn’t mean your dog has to miss out on all the fun of pumpkin spice! In fact, you can include pumpkin in her diet all year round. Pumpkin, when combined with cinnamon, can deliver a plethora of benefits!
Let’s take a look 5 reasons you should share cinnamon and pumpkin with your dogs.
Benefits Of Pumpkin For Dogs
Pumpkin is a nutritious addition to your dog’s dish. It’s a good source of:
- Vitamins A, E and C
- Potassium, copper, manganese and iron
Antioxidants are also found in pumpkin. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants help your dog stay healthy. Free radicals are unstable electrons that harm the healthy cells in your dog’s body. Premature aging, cancer, and chronic disease are all possible outcomes of this damage.
Pumpkin contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Both are carotenoids, which are plant pigments.
Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in your dog’s body and aids in the following:
- Healthy skin, coat, muscles and nerves
- The immune system
- Brain function
- Preventing cancer
Zeaxanthin is particularly good for your dog’s eyes. It’s one of the few dietary carotenoids that can protect the retina from free radicals. It can help protect your dog’s eyes from harm caused by bright light.
Zeaxanthin can also help:
- Slow aging
- Reduce skin inflammation
- Improve heart health
- Increase glutathione levels to help with liver detox
And this isn’t all pumpkin is good for. Additional ways pumpkin can benefit dogs include:
Since pumpkin contains so many nutritious ingredients, it can help support your dog’s overall health.
You can feed your dog 1/3 to 1/2 cup of raw or cooked pumpkin daily. This will provide ample fiber and nutrients to help keep your dog in peak health.
Soothe the Stomach
Studies show that pumpkin is good for all sorts of digestive issues. It’s soothing on your dog’s system and easy to digest.
Does your dog have diarrhea? Give her pumpkin. The soluble fiber in pumpkin helps solidify runny stool because it absorbs water.
Does she have constipation issues? Pumpkin can also help loosen things up because it also contains insoluble fiber.
For a medium-sized dog, add 1 to 4 tbsp of canned pumpkin to food for a few days until the issue resolves.
Help with Intestinal Worms
The seeds, which Native Americans revered as a sacred food, provide the most surprising benefit. Pumpkin seeds, whether raw or roasted, will help your dog get rid of intestinal worms (don’t add salt).
Feed her a 1/2 tsp per 20 pounds of body weight twice a day, until you no longer see worms or eggs in her stool.
How to Feed Pumpkin to Your Dog
Fresh and canned pumpkin are both acceptable options. Fresh pumpkin has less fiber and minerals than canned pumpkin. This is due to the higher water content of fresh pumpkin. Canned food is also more convenient and available all year.
Feed only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!
Your dog’s stomach may be irritated by canned pumpkin with extra salt, spices, sugar, or other ingredients. This counteracts the pumpkin’s positive benefits. It may also include xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
These are great reasons to add pumpkin to your dog’s diet. But let’s not forget about cinnamon!
Benefits Of Cinnamon For Dogs
Cinnamon comes in two popular varieties, Ceylon and Cassia.
- Ceylon cinnamon is light in color and sweet in taste. It’s also expensive and difficult to find.
- Cassia cinnamon is widely available in supermarkets. This variety is easier to cultivate and consequently cheaper to buy because it is darker in color and has a stronger flavor. However, because Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, it should only be fed to dogs in limited amounts. It is not recommended that you feed it to your dog for an extended period of time.
Ceylon cinnamon is the best choice of cinnamon for your dog.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Did you know that 54 percent of all dogs in America struggle with obesity?
Over the last 12 years, we’ve also seen a 79 percent rise in diabetes!
If your dog has diabetes then you should definitely add cinnamon to her diet. Adding 1/8 tsp per 15 pounds of body weight to her diet each day is a standard and safe amount. This will help regulate her blood sugar.
Have a dog who’s in her golden years?
Arthritis can become an issue for our pets as they get older, limiting their movement. When you have cinnamon in your kitchen, though, there’s no need for your dog to struggle.
The anti-inflammatory properties in cinnamon can help manage joint pain and reduce swelling. It’s recommended by many to mix a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in 1 tbsp of honey for a medium-sized dog.
How to Feed Cinnamon to Your Dog
Cinnamon is a wonderful herb to use for dogs but … there are a couple of things to be aware of:
- Don’t feed cinnamon to pregnant dogs. It can have a stimulating effect on the uterus.
- Don’t give your dog a cinnamon stick to chew on.
For your dog, the combination of pumpkin and cinnamon flavor has great benefits! You can do a lot to help your dog live her best and healthiest life with just two ingredients.
It’s easy to add both of these to your dog’s diet. You can even use these ingredients to make a treat for special occasions.
Raw Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats
Here’s what you need:
- 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups almond flour (add more if needed)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, adding more flour if necessary, until it forms a soft dough. Roll the dough into balls that are the right size for your dog, and then refrigerate.
That’s it! Store these treats in the fridge for one week or freeze for up to six months.
Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin partially reduces photoaging and photocarcinogenesis in chronically UVB-irradiated Skh-1 hairless mice
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