It starts showing up on grocery store shelves and coffee shops in early September. You are either giddy with excitement, disinterested, or completely grossed out.
Tis the season for all things pumpkin. Latte, coffee, tea, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, even gnocchi. The frenzy culminates with pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but those who love the orange gourd can find it everywhere, all throughout autumn.
Whether you’re a fan or a hater, pumpkin can be a healthy treat for your pup. It’s a great source of fiber that can help with digestive regularity; your vet may suggest mixing a tablespoon into your dog’s regular food to help ease stomach issues. It’s nutrient dense, rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, and is a low calorie, high water content food. What’s not to like?
In celebration of October, fall, and all things pumpkin, here are a few easy pumpkin recipes for dogs that you many want to try this season. NOTE: Dogs should never consume canned pumpkin pie, as it could contain xylitol, which is toxic to canines.
Pumpkin Kong Filler
No cooking involved! Stuff a Kong or similar toy with canned pumpkin purée, and add some ripe banana and/or plain, unsweetened yogurt. Let your dog have at it! Freeze the Kong first for a frozen treat that takes longer to finish. This site has a few more ideas as well.
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
Check out these three easy and fast pumpkin recipes for dogs from the American Kennel Club – these are great to make with kids, too!
Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats
If you’d prefer not to use flour, this Pumpkin Apple Dog Treat recipe uses oats instead, along with canned pumpkin puree, one apple, and an egg. Super easy! Make a bunch and freeze them to use later.
Make your own purée
While I prefer to use canned pumpkin purée because I’m a lazy cook, you can also make purée from scratch. Here’s one recipe from the Food Network.
So whether you can’t wait for Starbucks to start serving their pumpkin spiced latte each September, or you think pumpkins are only good for chucking, consider incorporating some of the ubiquitous gourd into your dog’s diet – he may love it!
Disclosure: This blog writer is a dog owner but not a medical professional; please consult your veterinarian before giving your dog pumpkin or any other “people” food.