In China the pumpkin is called the ‘Emperor of the Sun’ and has become the symbol of fruitfulness.
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin is incredibly healthy. What’s more, its low-calorie content makes it a weight-loss-friendly food.
Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A. It also contains minerals including calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins E, C and some B vitamins. Its nutrients and antioxidants may boost your dog’s immune system, protect their eyesight, lower their risk of certain cancers and promote heart and skin health.
Pumpkins have a very small carbon footprint, amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables, at just .09 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food.
9 Science Informed Reasons to Include Pumpkin in Your Dog’s Diet:
- Highly Nutritious and Particularly Rich in Vitamin A – pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. It’s also a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your dog’s body converts into vitamin A. (2)
- High Antioxidant Content May Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Chronic Diseases – pumpkin contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and many others, which may protect your dog’s cells against damage by free radicals. (3, 4, 5, 6)
- Packs Vitamins That May Boost Immunity – pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system. Its supply of vitamin E, iron and folate may strengthen their immunity as well. (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
- Vitamin A, Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Protect Your Dog’s Eyesight – pumpkins’ high vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents may protect your dog’s eyes against sight loss, which becomes more common with age. (13, 14, 15, 16)
- Nutrient Density and Low Calorie Count May Promote Weight Management or Loss – pumpkin is packed with nutrients and yet has under 50 calories per cup (245 grams). This makes it a nutrient-dense food. It’s also a good source of fibre, which may suppress your dog’s appetite. (2)
- Antioxidant Content May Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Cancer – pumpkins contain carotenoids, which function as antioxidants. These compounds are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers. (17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
- Potassium, Vitamin C and Fibre May Benefit Heart Health – pumpkin is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart health benefits. (22, 23, 24, 25)
- Contains Compounds That Promote Healthy Skin – pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock. It also contains vitamins C and E, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your dog’s skin strong and healthy. (5, 26, 27, 28, 29)
- Environmentally Friendly – pumpkins have a very small carbon footprint, amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables, at just .09 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food compared to lamb, at 26.45 kg CO2-equivalent per kg of food. (30)