Valuable Nutrition Information Sponsored by Weruva

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Halloween

Back when I was researching my all-inclusive guide to dog ownership, The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know, I learned about the preventive and restorative value of pumpkin in a dog’s diet. Naturally-derived fiber was important in keeping a dog’s digestive system humming along, and nutritionists and veterinarians recommended pumpkin in its natural state as a great source of that healthy fiber. Pumpkin is a vegetable full of the soluble and insoluble kinds of fiber that keep the gut healthy and working at its best, while also supplying moisture and few calories. In theory, experts suggested pumpkin as a natural additive to keep a dog’s digestive system functioning at its best — to avoid or clear up diarrhea or overly soft stool. It was also recommended to help with anal gland issues, since some dogs are plagued by anal glands that get filled up from a lack of bulk in their stool, causing them to lick their hind ends and scoot their bottoms on a rug to try and relieve the discomfort. In turn, that means regular trips to the vet to have those glands manually expressed, which is not a fun outing for the vet technician nor the dog!

Pumpkin Pie Mix?

But when I first learned about pumpkin’s dietary importance I was skeptical. My own awareness of pumpkin was limited to pumpkin pie — a dense, sweet and spicy dessert usually made by buying canned pumpkin in the store, which already contained sweeteners and a flavoring known as “pumpkin pie spice.” This was surely not what was being recommended for dogs! Yet it was nearly impossible to find pure pumpkin in a can that was unadulterated. Where was a person supposed to find pumpkin except at Halloween on somebody’s front door step?!

When I finally did track down some cans, it was ridiculously costly and would have required a lot of trouble to transport and where was I supposed to find the room for a tower of tins of pumpkin? I actually could have used some nice pumpkin for a dog with a delicate digestive system who really would have benefited from the pumpkin fiber, and another dog whose anal glands drove her (and me) crazy when they needed to be professionally emptied. Regularly adding pumpkin to my dogs’ dinner dish would have been a healthy solution, but it seemed like my only access to fresh pumpkin would be at Halloween time. I considered asking my neighbor to give me his pumpkin after his kids were done carving it, but then I still would have had to spend hours peeling, seeding and boiling it, then freezing containers. Even I knew that was not going to happen!

Along came Pumpkin Patch-Up

Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up (pouch)

Then — Eureka! Weruva came along with a tidy little pouch of pureed pumpkin they called Pumpkin Patch Up — because it is considered a great “patch up” for a dog with a sensitive digestive system. Then Weruva got fancy and made a version of Patch Up with ginger and turmeric in it (spices known not for making Thanksgiving pie, but for soothing irritated tummies); they added another version with coconut oil and flax seeds, which took the all-natural digestive properties of pumpkin one step further. Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up in bowlWhen I pour a pouch on their evening meal, my dogs lap up the pumpkin soup (which is what it looks like to me) in all the versions, so I get the Pumpkin Patch variety box and open up a different one every day.

Sometimes the simplest things are actually hard to come by. Pumpkin is really a health tonic for a dog’s guts, but preparing it is way too labor intensive to attempt on your own. I’d suggest admiring field pumpkins from afar, or carving a creative face into one with your kids or grand-kids. Let Weruva do the work to create the health elixir in a pouch called Pumpkin Patch Up.

—Tracie Hotchner

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