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How Canned Pumpkin Can Help Your Pet’s GI Problems

Updated on October 28, 2016
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Jessica has over a decade of experience in dog training, behavior, animal sciences, veterinary medicine, and shelter care.

Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween!
Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween! | Source

How Canned Pumpkin May Help

Diarrhea and constipation are two of the most common health problems for dogs and cats. While there are a variety of causes of these issues such as internal parasites, illness, blockages and more, most minor cases of diarrhea and constipation can be easily cleared up at home. Adding fiber to the diet, through natural foods such as canned pumpkin, can help get your pet feeling better, and regulate their stools.


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The Benefits of Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin contains a number of useful ingredients including lots of fiber, a low amount of fat, and vitamins and minerals such as A, C, iron, beta carotene, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. These ingredients are beneficial for GI health, regular bowel movements, stool consistency, and overall physical health of your pets.

Vitamins A and Beta Carotene can help with skin and eye health, while C helps with immune function. Iron helps with healthy blood cell production, while potassium, zinc, and magnesium can help with normal circulatory and muscle function.

Pumpkin treats may also help keep your pet healthier.
Pumpkin treats may also help keep your pet healthier. | Source

When Does My Pet Need More Fiber?

Fiber is beneficial as it can help add some bulk to your pet’s stools, by increasing the firmness, and by encouraging the stools to retain some water. For pets with watery stools, increased fiber can help “bulk” the stools by adding more indigestible content which is passed through the body. For pets with hard or small stools, fiber helps the stool to retain some moisture, making it easier to pass without becoming dehydrated or hard.

Fiber and canned pumpkin can also help push food content through the body and may be useful in helping hair and other ingested items move through the body more easily, preventing problems such as hair balls.

Canned pumpkin is an easy-to-digest way to add fiber safely to the body without harsh laxatives or fiber supplements that may not be as easily tolerated. Your pet will likely enjoy the taste when it is added to meals, and it is safe to use with most medications.

Your cat can also benefit from pumpkin!
Your cat can also benefit from pumpkin! | Source

When to Call Your Vet

It is always best to call your vet or schedule a wellness check prior to starting any supplement to make sure there is not an illness or blockage causing your pet’s diarrhea or constipation. They will usually take a stool sample to check for parasites or illness, as well as a history of your pet’s diet and health. Your vet can let you know if it is safe to begin adding pumpkin to meals and if it will interact with any dietary needs or medications.

Don’t let your pet stay miserable. Help them have healthier bowel movements without straining or pain. Pumpkin is a pretty safe supplement, and most pets feel great once they begin taking it!

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