Monday, October 17, 2011

All About Pumpkin: For Pets

Hello lovelies! It's another Monday in October, so that means a new way you can take advantage of the great uses of pumpkin! This week, we will cover how pumpkin can help our beloved canine friends.

First, yet another introduction to our dog, Katusmi. We call her our sweet & sour patch kid.
She has properly taken over the city
If you couldn't tell from my previous posts, we love and spoil our little Katsumi. She is a Shiba Inu, an ancient Japanese breed that was almost  killed off during World War II. While she is the main source of my frustration at home, she is our pride & joy. Our little puppy is now almost two! I still remember when we picked her up from a farm near my hometown. 
The first photo with our puppy. She was 2 months old.
Our our cat and dog are practically our children; and we spoil them, whether it's healthier (and more expensive food), lots of photos, even home-made dog biscuits. With that being said, we're always looking for new ways to pamper our pets.

Recently, little Katsumi started having tummy troubles. She acted like her normal self, but there seemed to be two extremes when she went to the bathroom. Since I've started looking into dog care, I've read in several articles that pumpkin can always help a disgruntled tummy (for dogs and humans!) This article from Blue Star Products credits pumpkin as a big source of fiber and a high water content. So, a little bit of pumpkin puree can help diarrhea and constipation! That same article also says pumpkin seeds can help eliminate parasites for dogs and humans too!

"Whatcha' Doin'?"
So naturally, we tried it. First, I cooked up a bland diet*. A day of fasting (but continual intake of water) followed by a bland diet is said to calm the angriest of tummies while providing the nutrients and fiber that our canine friends need. So I boiled one skinless chicken breast, chopped it up, and mixed with one cup of cooked rice, and a few teaspoons of puree pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie filling). That mixture lasted us a few days.

Several sources also said that after fasting for a day, you should feed only small portions to gently get the digestive system back to work.

I have to say, throughout this entire process, Katsumi anxiously awaited, as if she knew all of my work was for her! Then, there came the time to feed.
Looking back on it, she was probably starving after the day of fasting. But something tells me the smell of chicken and pumpkin probably caught her nose.
Our puppy has such good table manners
And while those ingredients together may not sound appealing to you, she loved it! And it seemed to help, and her system eventually got back on track. For the next few days with this diet, she whined while sitting next to the microwave as I heated up the food each time.
"Om nom nom nom..."
It turns out pumpkin is good for cats too! We have not tried giving Cricket pumpkin puree yet, though we may one day. I have to say, it is a heartwarming experience when you cook for your pet. As when I baked the home made dog biscuits, it felt weird at first. For some reason it's ingrained in my head that pets eat food pellets (how wrong and unnatural is that?!). But now, if we ever win the lottery, I would like to transfer both pets to a raw food pet diet. Too expensive now though... and time consuming. For now, our pets can thrive on their grain-free, by-product free food.

So pumpkin is the soother for upset tummies in animal and man. And yet, there are even more ways to use pumpkin puree! If you tune in next week same Muz time, same Muz channel, we'll cover how pumpkin can help your skin. See you then!

Oh and if you'd like more information regarding fasting & bland diets, look below:
*: Bland diet should only be tried if a)you see/speak with your vet first, b) your dog is 7 weeks or older, c) your dog is not acting abnormally.

Sources about 24 hour fasting and home remedies: WebMd: For Dogs, Well Vet, PetMd.

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