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Critter Corner: The Cat is Out of the Bag

Pumpkin is not just for people

Summer is long gone. It's been raining here, and although the leaves have yet to start turning our yards yellow, Fall is in the air. It's time to consider baking, rather than pressing "Defrost", and look forward to cider and pumpkins.

Well don't reach for a cookbook or preheat to 350, there is something you can do to enhance your pet's diet just as far away as a can opener. Pure pumpkin puree (with out spices) has been used for years as a filler and bowel regulator in both dogs and cats.

Basically pumpkin has lots of good stuff like vitamin C, K and E, beta-carotene, and beneficial antioxidants.  Pumpkins greatest effect is digestive health. Although it is counter intuitive, this one ingredient can help stop both constipation and diarrhea. The fiber helps balance the too-rapid or too-slow transit through the intestines. What is even more important is that almost all dogs love the taste, as do many cats.

Start out slowly. It would be a safe to suggest adding 1/8 teaspoon (for cats) to one or more tablespoons (for large dogs) per meal depending on weight. Overweight dogs and cats who "insist" they are still hungry, even after a meal will also benefit from the full feeling pumpkin imparts.

Since the portions are so small, freeze leftovers in lunch-sized plastic bags or even ice cube trays.

If you are inspired try making your own pumpkin puree (clean large chunks of pumpkin of seeds, then bake at a medium heat till soft). For a sweeter taste bake or boil yams, mash, then add to the mixture. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just save the spices,raisins, chocolate, whipping cream and pie crust for your two-legged friends.

Here is link to a short video showing how to make your own treats.

Peggyvan October 08, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I often make my cat a mixture of pumpkin and salmon (or mackeral). Soak the salmon (canned) in water for a few hours to desolve out a lot of the salt. Mix pumpkin and salmon together and spoon into an ice cube tray. Freeze and then store in ziploc bag in freezer for handy servings.So handy and you can feed a higher grade food to your cat for better health. Peggyvan

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