Fall is here and with it we’re all donning our flannel shirts, visiting the pumpkin patch, and of course, splurging on pumpkin spice lattes. Life seems pretty close to being perfect in autumn.
And while you shouldn’t share your coffee with your dog, that doesn’t mean that your dog has to completely miss out on pumpkin spice!
In fact, you can make pumpkin spice a regular part of her diet.
The typical pumpkin spice latte contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. But out of this list only one spice is safe for dogs: cinnamon. When paired with pumpkin, these two ingredients can provide an amazing array of benefits!
Let’s take a look at benefits of cinnamon and pumpkin for dogs.
Benefits Of Pumpkin For Dogs
1. Nutritious For Overall Health
Pumpkin is a great source of:
- vitamins A, E and C
- potassium and iron
Feeding 1/3 to 1/2 cup of raw or cooked pumpkin daily can keep help keep your dog in peak health by providing ample fiber and key nutrients such as potassium, copper, manganese and zeaxanthin.
2. Soothe Digestive Issues
Studies show that pumpkin is good for all sorts of digestive issues. It’s soothing on the digestive system and is 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 help loosen things up. For a medium size dog, add 1 to 4 tbsp of canned pumpkin to food for a few days until the issue resolves.
3. Natural Treatment For Intestinal Worms
The most surprising benefit is in the seeds, which Native Americans regarded as a sacred food. Fed raw or toasted, pumpkin seeds will help rid your dog of intestinal worms. 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.
[Related] There are several other natural remedies to get rid of worms. Find them here.
How To Feed It
Both fresh and canned pumpkin are good choices. Canned pumpkin has more fiber and nutrients than fresh, mainly because fresh has a higher water content. Canned is also easier and you can get it all year long.
Remember, you need to feed only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling! Canned pumpkin with added salt, spices, sugar, or other additives can irritate your dog’s stomach further, counteracting the beneficial effects of the pumpkin. It can also contain xylitol which is deadly to your dog.
These are three fabulous 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 what you find in every grocery store. Darker in color and with a stronger flavor, this variety is easier to grow and thus cheaper to buy. Cassia cinnamon is perfect to feed to dogs in small amounts. Small breeds should get no more than 1/4 tsp per day and large breeds no more than one tsp per day.
1. 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.
2. Help With Arthritis Relief
Have a dog who’s in her golden years? As our sweet pets age, arthritis becomes a potential problem that can affect her mobility. But there’s no need for her to struggle and suffer when you have cinnamon in your kitchen! 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.
Cinnamon is a wonderful herb to use for dogs, but there are a couple of important things to keep in mind before giving it to your pet:
- 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.
The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon spice has incredible benefits for your dog! With only two ingredients you can do so much to help your pet live her best and healthiest life.
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 (so, every day).
Raw Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats
Here’s what you need:
- 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup coconut 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.