Pumpkin Patch Up to the Rescue

I have known how beneficial pumpkin is for a dog or cat’s digestive system ever since I researched and wrote The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible. However, I’ve never really promoted the concept of adding pumpkin to the diet of any cat or dog because pure, unsweetened pumpkin was pretty hard to come by. People mistakenly purchased “pumpkin pie filling,” which is often the only thing to be found in cans at the supermarket, but that is counterproductive to digestive wellbeing in pets since it is flavored and sweetened. I let the topic of pumpkin drift to the back of my mind.

Then just this month I suddenly needed pumpkin to the rescue! My older Weimaraner, Maisie, recently had to take antibiotics for two weeks and she got a really upset stomach with terrible diarrhea. The vet prescribed some fine holistic digestive chews (Entero Health Pro from VetriSCIENCE Pro Line in my own state of Vermont) and refrigerated probiotic capsules. I began using them but they didn’t stem the flow (sorry to be graphic!)  Then I remembered Weruva’s Pumpkin Patch Up, pouches of pumpkin with an almost soup-like consistency, which in a totally organic way supply the vegetable fiber that the gut needs to slow things down. I discovered that Weruva now had different versions of Patch Up, including one with ginger and turmeric, renowned for their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. I quickly ordered some pouches and added them to the rice and chicken I was feeding Maisie. For one thing, the Pumpkin Patch Up made her more interested in the boring chicken and rice! It also seemed to give the final boost the digestive system needed to find its way back to normal.

I was so interested in this food-based natural remedy that I scheduled an interview with Chris Langelloti, who is the head of training for Weruva, and made him the third guest on a recent episode of my NPR show, DOG TALK®. We wound up discussing the value of pumpkin for overweight dogs (like my neighbor’s new re-homed overweight Golden Retriever), using the pumpkin as a non-caloric addition to their food to help support weight loss. But I was selfishly interested in how valuable and simple it was to add their pumpkin to “patch up” Maisie’s unhappy belly. You know how miserable it is when your dog or cat has “the runs” — miserable for them, and for us!  Relief in the form of a cheerful small pouch could not have been more welcome.

Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up - 3 pouches

Early on in their product development, Weruva came out with Pumpkin Patch Up in pouches for dogs and cats. David Forman, the founder and owner of Weruva, is the driving force behind their products and he’s a real nutrition geek. He knew that pumpkin can supply not only the fiber that is the perfect solution to GI upsets (tummy trouble) but also provides natural hydration which is important when cats or dogs have diarrhea and can get dehydrated. Weruva has been a stellar sponsor of my website and a wonderful radio sponsor going back to my very beginnings — when I discovered their then-new company and declared that they made my absolute favorite cat foods. My admiration was (and is still)  based on David’s consistent use of human quality ingredients for all their foods, which they make in human food facilities.

Dogs and cats throw up and get diarrhea. It’s just part of pet life. I recommend every pet home have an enzymatic spray cleaner (for cleaning up any bodily fluids) on their shelf. And I now also recommend having a stash of Pumpkin Patch-up in the pantry, too. It seems the perfect addition to the bland chicken and rice diet every vet recommends for digestive upset. Having it on hand to offer right away can help soothe the gut and restore things to normal, putting a smile on everyone’s face.

Note: Of course, you know to check with your veterinarian about any stomach upset, especially one that lasts more than a day!

—Tracie Hotchner

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