Autumn is synonymous with everything pumpkin (and you didn’t need to read this blog post to learn that). From pumpkin bread, protein shakes and lattes to afternoons at the pumpkin patch with family and friends, this orange squash makes a fabulous return year after year. While you’re immersing yourself in the season’s signature fruit (yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit on account of its seeds!), don’t overlook your canine companion. He or she deserves a little pumpkin love this fall, too.
Of course, I’m talking about fresh, canned and cooked pumpkin (NOT your leftover jack-o’-lantern from Halloween!), which are all extremely beneficial for your four-legged friend! Here are some reasons why:
- Pumpkin is chock full of fiber, which will keep your pooch fuller for a longer period of time
- It’s rich in vitamins A and C
- Pumpkin contains omega 3 fatty acids
- It’s a good source of potassium—an electrolyte needed for muscle function
- Pumpkin is composed of 90 percent water, making it a wonderful way to increase their daily intake!
Although it’s perfectly safe—and nutritious—for your dog to enjoy pumpkin straight out of a can, here are five of the best pumpkin recipes your pampered pup is sure to enjoy:
1. Roasted pumpkin seeds
Directions: Remove seeds from pumpkin. Roast seeds on baking sheet. Grind them and serve. No added seasoning is necessary.
2. Frozen pumpkin treats
Directions: Blend banana and pumpkin puree until smooth. In large bowl, combine mixture with yogurt and honey. Spoon into ice tray and freeze overnight.
3. Pumpkin-peanut butter cookies
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine peanut butter and pumpkin puree. Stir flour into mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough is not sticky to the touch. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it’s approximately ¼-inch thick. Cut with dog bone cookie cutter (or other shape of your choice) and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes and cool completely before serving.
4. Pumpkin-apple biscuits
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk baking powder and flour together until any lumps are eliminated. Add pumpkin, apple, egg and water and stir until dry ingredients are completely moistened. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Transfer cut dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp. On a wire rack, cool completely before serving.
5. Pup-kin ice cream
Directions: Blend ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture into small container or ice cube tray. Freeze for several hours prior to serving.