Contributed by Jin Park, 9 to 5 Pets
From Halloween to Thanksgiving, there is always one thing on my mind during this season: PUMPKIN! For many of us, pumpkin is a staple treat in our drinks and food dishes, but did you know that it can also be a tasty treat and offer health benefits to your pet?
Pumpkin is safe to be consumed by both dogs and cats. According to the USDA nutritional database, one cup of cooked pumpkin is low in calories, but rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. It contains high concentrations of vitamin A (beta-carotene) and potassium, almost 3 grams of fiber, and small amounts of vitamin C, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate to name a few.
So how do these vitamins and minerals benefit your pet? Vitamin A promotes eye health and aids in combating the development of night blindness and other eye degeneration. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure, improve muscle health, and assist in metabolism. Fiber promotes a sense of fullness which can help with weight loss and also aid in diarrhea and constipation. Not only is pumpkin nutrient dense, but it is also composed of 90% of water. Adding pumpkin to each meal or serving it as a treat can promote your pet’s improved state of hydration.
Since pumpkin can offer such great health benefits, I decided to try out a homemade pumpkin treat recipe! As always, please consult your vet before starting your pet on a new diet and I hope you enjoy the treat recipe below!
Healthy 4 Ingredient Banana Pumpkin Dog Treats
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 banana, mashed
1 cup of pumpkin purée (make sure it is plain pumpkin, no added sugar)
Preheat your oven to 350F
Mix banana, pumpkin purée, and eggs together. Add flour and mix until all flour is incorporated.
Lightly dust counter and roll out dough to ⅛ thickness. I used cookie cutters to cut out the treats.
Bake approximately 20 minutes then completely cool before serving to your pet. For a softer cookie, reduce the bake time by 4-5 minutes.