Pumpkin is a fiber-rich food that also contains important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, E, and C, and potassium and iron. Plain, canned pumpkin is available year-round and can be a great addition to your canine first aid kit.
Pumpkin can ease digestion in several ways. The soluble fiber content in pumpkin adds bulk to your dog’s stool by absorbing water, and fiber fermentation produces beneficial fatty acids that supply energy to cells, stimulate intestinal sodium and water absorption, and lower the pH level of the large intestines.
Fiber also acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are different from probiotics. They stimulate the growth or activity of these beneficial bacteria in the intestines and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Fiber does this by lowering the pH level and providing the necessary nutrients these bacteria need.
These traits can all help with some cases of dog diarrhea. Depending on the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, veterinarians might recommend feeding either a highly digestible diet or a diet full of prebiotics (fiber). In some cases, they may also recommend adding probiotics, which are supplements that contain live beneficial bacteria. Pumpkin acts as a prebiotic booster for these probiotics.
How Much Pumpkin Should I Give My Dog?
To help abate your dog’s diarrhea, add 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin to your dog’s meal. It is a good idea to start out with smaller quantities to avoid adding too much fiber to your dog’s diet, and if you have any questions about exactly how much pumpkin to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian.