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October 21, 2013

Cooking pumpkin for your pets

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

This time of year there seems to pumpkins everywhere, right?  Well, did you know that pumpkins are very healthy for your pets?  Canned pumpkin (without sugar, flavor or sweeteners) or cooked fresh pumpkin can have many health benefits for dogs, cats and horses.

Pumpkin is great for digestive health.  It can help with both constipation and diarrhea.  Gas, bloating and indigestion can be regulated by the enzymes in the pumpkin.  Cook and blend in the pumpkin seeds as well.  They are loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidants – beneficial for coat, skin and eyes.  Pumpkins also have Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron.

Cooking fresh pumpkin is very easy and you don’t have to use the puree right away. It can be frozen in portions or in ice cube trays.  Cooking raw fresh pumpkin is simple!

  1. Halve the pumpkin
  2. Remove seeds, pulp, and “guts”.
  3. Cut into small pieces and peel.
  4. Cover with lightly salted water; boil for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Mash, purée in a blender or food processor, or put through a food mill.
  6. Feed a tablespoon or a bit more for a dog or cat depending on size of animal.  About a 1/2 cup for the average horse.

Happy pumpkin carving!

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