Fall is the perfect season for pumpkins. They are great for decorations, but they are also very healthy and delicious to eat as well. Not only are they healthy for us, but they are very healthy for our dogs too. Both the “meat” of the pumpkin and the seeds are very healthy and good for dogs to eat. If you are going to give them the seeds though, they should be roasted and not raw, since raw seeds can go rancid very quickly. Roasted pumpkin seeds for dogs are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which act as a natural remedy for parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. They can also help dislodge kidney stones, and are also beneficial to your dog’s urinary tract. Because pumpkins are high in fiber, and are good for your dog’s digestion, they help with both diarrhea and constipation. And if your dogs are on the pudgy side, like my Lucie, adding pumpkins to their diets helps with weight loss as well. Pumpkins are 90% water, so adding pumpkin to the diet can help hydrate your dogs too. You can use canned pumpkin puree or whole pumpkins that have been peeled and cooked. Do not let your dogs eat the skin or the core though. Not only are pumpkins healthy for your dogs, but dogs love them because they taste so good.
As most of you know, I make the wet food for my two Saint Bernards all the time. I give them a wide variety of foods high in protein and low in fats. I make them the same quality of foods that I make for myself and my husband. I usually make a batch that will last for most of the week. They are very healthy, with shiny coats. I will take this as a positive sign that they like their food, although they don’t exactly have the most discriminating tastes. There is some controversy about whether or not to give dogs raw food or cooked foods. I personally believe their foods should be cooked, not raw, only because of the risks of salmonella or trichinosis, or any other parasitic food risks that are out there, but if making your own dog food, each person has to make that decision themselves, and do what they feel is best for their own dogs. The argument against cooking their food is that dogs in the wild eat raw meat. And though this is true, the difference is that the wild dogs are actually hunting their own live prey and are catching their food, rather than having it butchered and prepared by humans, and therefore, there is much less risk for the parasitic or foodborne illnesses. This week, Lucie and Vinnie are feasting on a lot of P’s. I made their food with ground beef, and added peas, potatoes, pumpkin, parsley, and peanut butter, along with a dash of cinnamon. (I told you I would find a use for my pumpkins that I used for my fall decorations. From Sesame Chicken to Stir-Fry Pork) Other than the cinnamon, I did not add any other spices or seasonings. So with all the P‘s listed above, the most important P in their food was protein, and lots of it. Dogs in general, but especially the larger breed dogs, need a lot of protein in their diets. Lucie and Vinnie have no complaints about how mommy makes their food. They love every bite of it and gobble everything up within seconds.
Fritzie is helping me prepare everything.
I cooked all the vegetables in canola oil for about 10-15 minutes, or until the pumpkins and potatoes were mostly cooked and translucent. Then I added the parsley and cinnamon.
After mixing everything together, I added the lean ground beef, and continued to cook everything until the meat was completely cooked as well.
Once everything is completely cooked, it is time to add the peanut butter. The peanut butter not only adds both flavor and additional protein, but also acts as a binder to hold everything together.
Vinnie (left) and Lucie (right) enjoying a spoonful of peanut butter.
Mom, we’re hungry. It’s time to eat. NOW PLEASE!