Pumpkin seeds have a host of nutritional benefits. They are filled with iron, calcium, and B vitamins, and like nuts, they are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc and magnesium, and omega-3.
This is all great for us, but are they safe for your dog? The answer is yes! Both cooked and raw pumpkin seeds are actually beneficial to your dog in small amounts. They are best served ground or pureed, raw, and unsalted to aid in your pooch’s digestion. Roasted pumpkin seeds are also great and will last longer, so make sure to give your dog only fresh seeds if they are raw. Let’s take a look at the benefits of pumpkin seeds in your dog’s diet.
High in Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Dried pumpkin seeds are around 2% water, 49% fat, and 30% protein.
A handful of ground pumpkin seeds are high in fiber and will aid in your dog’s digestion and gut health. They are also rich in bio-available vitamins and minerals that are often not present in commercial dry foods. These include: zinc, which can improve the skin and coat of your dog; vitamin A, which will aid in vision; and vitamin C, for general immune system boosting. Essential unsaturated fats like omega-3 will give your dog a healthy coat and are also a great source of protein.
Dog lovers the world over swear by pumpkin seeds as a natural solution to get rid of worms. Simply add a half teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds to your dog’s food every day, or double for bigger dogs, until the worms are gone. You’ll know that the parasites are gone when they no longer appear in your dog’s stool. You will save money on expensive de-worming agents, which are often toxic and sometimes cause more harm than good. Pumpkin seeds work as a natural de-wormer because they contain the amino acid cucurbitacin, which is known to kill and then eliminate the worms from your pooch’s digestive tract.
Inflammation and Illness
Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help relieve inflammation. Inflammatory diseases like arthritis and hip dysplasia can be a real issue in older pooches, and a daily dose of ground pumpkin seeds may help provide relief.
Pumpkin seeds also have natural oils that help maintain urinary health, and the calcium content will aid in the support of healthy bones and teeth.
Pumpkin Seed Disadvantages?
While pumpkin seeds are a great addition to your dog’s diet, there are a few minor caveats to be aware of. Feeding your dog too many pumpkin seeds can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, as they have a high-fat content. Also, organic seeds are best, as they will be free from pesticides and preservatives. Unsalted is also preferable, as you don’t want to give your pooch any added sodium. If you are giving your dog raw pumpkin seeds, make sure they are fresh and free from mold. Roasted pumpkin seeds will last longer and are easier to powder into food.
Pumpkin seeds are not dangerous to feed your dog and actually have several benefits. They are a great source of protein and unsaturated fat and can be used as a natural and safe de-wormer. Used sparingly, pumpkin seeds are a great addition to your pooch’s overall health.
Featured Image Credit: Julie, Flickr