Pumpkin spice is a huge hit, especially in the fall. And it’s no surprise – it tastes delicious.
But while these seasonal treats are safe for you to consume … they’re not so good for your dog.
Pumpkin spice is usually made up of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Out of this list, only one spice is safe for dogs – cinnamon.
But that doesn’t mean that your dog has to completely miss out on pumpkin spice! In fact, you can make pumpkin a regular part of her year-round diet.
When paired with cinnamon, these two ingredients can provide many 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:
Pumpkin also contains antioxidants.
Antioxidants help your dog stay healthy by scavenging free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable electrons that damage your dog’s healthy cells. This damage can lead to premature aging, cancer and chronic disease.
Beta-carotene and zeaxanthin are two of the antioxidants found in pumpkin. Both are plant pigments called carotenoids.
Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in your dog’s body and helps …
- Support healthy skin, coat, muscles and nerves
- Improve vision
- Boost the immune system
- Improve brain function
- Prevent cancer
Zeaxanthin is especially beneficial for your dog’s eyes. It’s one of the only dietary carotenoids that can fight free radicals in the retina. It can also protect your dog’s eyes from light damage.
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. Here are other ways pumpkin can help keep your dog healthy …
1. Beneficial To General Health
Because 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.
2. Soothes Digestive Issues
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.
For a medium-sized dog, add 1 to 4 tbsp of canned pumpkin to food for a few days until the issue resolves.
RELATED: How To Stop Diarrhea: 4 Simple Steps
3. Helps With 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.
Feeding Pumpkin to Your Dog
Both fresh and canned pumpkin are good choices. Canned pumpkin has more fiber and nutrients than fresh. This is mainly because fresh pumpkin has a higher water content. Canned is also easier and you can get it all year long.
Feed only pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!
Canned pumpkin with added salt, spices, sugar, or other additives can irritate your dog’s stomach. This counteracts the beneficial effects of the pumpkin. It can also contain xylitol which is deadly to your dog.
These are 3 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. But because of the coumarin in Cassia cinnamon, it’s only ok to feed to dogs in small amounts. Do not feed it yo your dog for an extended period of time.
Ceylon cinnamon is the best choice of cinnamon for your dog.
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. Helps With Arthritis Relief
Have a dog who’s in her golden years?
As our pets age, arthritis becomes a potential problem that can affect their mobility. But there’s no need for your dog 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.
Feeding Cinnamon To Your Dog
Cinnamon is a wonderful herb to use for dogs but … there are a couple of cautions:
- 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
- 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.