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remarks Clows. “But about two years ago, I started seeing pumpkin prod- ucts labeled for pets, as well as pet treats that are pumpkin based. My dogs particularly love canned pump- kin, laced with a touch of cinnamon and ginger.”


As with all good things, use pumpkin in moderation, suggests Dr. Jennifer Monroe, of Eagles Landing Veterinary Hospital, in McDonough, Georgia. “Pumpkin is good for pets with digestive issues, especially those on a hypoallergenic diet, because it doesn’t typically appear in pet foods,” she says. “But it’s best in small doses, in order to prevent weight gain.” The low-calorie gourd comes loaded with carbohydrates; one cup of puréed, canned pumpkin has as much as eight grams.


Monroe observes that pumpkin has been a go-to item for pets with digestive issues since she was in veterinary school in the mid-1980s, primarily because it is a relatively in- expensive and readily available item. Bland, white rice is another popu- lar home remedy for settling pets’ stomachs, she notes, but its high fiber content typically makes pumpkin the better choice. Before stocking up on pumpkin, Monroe recommends starting with prebiotic and probiotic products, which have been tested extensively for their health benefits. When diarrhea strikes, Veterinary Doctor Alice Martin, of Eagles Land- ing, says it’s best to consult a profes- sional before attempting any home remedies. Monroe adds that cats with constipation need no more than one to two tablespoons of pumpkin per can of cat food. For dogs, the amount of pumpkin should be at least 10 per- cent of the day’s total caloric intake. As autumn temperatures drop and pumpkins become readily avail- able, many pet owners prefer the all-natural, do-it-yourself approach. Monroe likes to grow and purée her garden pumpkins as a good-tasting aid to ensuring a happy, healthy home.


Morieka V. Johnson is a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA. Reach her at Morieka@gmail.com.


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