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Pumpkin Isn't Always Safe for Dogs


Someone once advised me to put a dollop of canned pumpkin as a topper on our dogs’ food daily for digestive health.  Because I’ve also heard that pumpkin is great for loose stools, I thought a daily spoonful might be too much.

So I passed on that well-meaning advice.

We give our dogs pumpkin as a treat throughout the year (easy recipe below).  When our puppies had diarrhea last winter, I immediately opened a can of 100% pure pumpkin and spooned it into their food.  Scout doesn’t like pumpkin and ate around it.

Zoey loves it.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi, a holistic vet from Hoofstock, reminded me that the diarrhea was quickly clearing our puppies’ bodies of the toxins from the chicken we purchased from the grocery store.

If diarrhea is clearing the body of toxins, do I want to stop diarrhea in our dogs by giving them canned pumpkin?

Compelling question, right?

I recently read an article on The Whole Dog about the misconceptions of pumpkin as part of our dogs’ diet.  In the article, Pumpkin is NOT Healthy for our Dogs (update: this article was no longer available as of 6/7/16), the author states…

“It must be understood that diarrhea is not a disease but simply is the body’s way of getting rid of toxins. These toxins need to be allowed to be forced from the body. Most of the time, firming up the stools can do the dog more harm than good as those toxins are now being suppressed and not being allowed to leave the body fast enough.”

The article goes on to remind us that it’s important to find the source of the diarrhea, not just do a quick “cure.”  And finding the source may involve getting our veterinarian involved.

Cleaning up loose stool and diarrhea isn’t pleasant.  Try doing this when you’re potty training littermate puppies, in the middle of the night.

We resolved our diarrhea issue and haven’t had a problem since Poopapalooza.  But this article gave me something to think about.  Not every health ailment has a quick solution and some just need to be allowed to run their course.  As hard as it is for me to stay up all night with sick dogs, I knew that I had to let our puppies' bodies do the work to clear out their system.  They were back to normal in no time.

Canned pumpkin would have prolonged the problem and could have possibly made it worse.

Do you feed your dog canned pumpkin?


Frozen Dog Treat Recipe

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