Just a Regular GOURD

Dear Davi,

Do you know a quick remedy for canine constipation? Asking for a friend.

Dexter the Doberman pinscher


Tell your friend that irregularity is not unusual. Most dogs suffer from constipation from time to time — especially around the holidays. Whenever I suffer from abnormal poop patterns, I get a spoonful of pumpkin. The high water content and fiber in pumpkin helps keep me regular and gets things moving in the right direction.

Dogs who suffer from sudden bouts of diarrhea can benefit from pumpkin, too. The fiber in pumpkin helps to absorb water and creates firm orange stool, making poop easy to pass and even easier to find on the grass for pickup.

Besides relieving potty problems, pumpkin is incredibly delicious and nutritious. These health benefits will have you barking for more.

  • Pumpkin is low in fat and cholesterol, and loaded with magnesium and iron.
  • A cup of cooked pumpkin delivers a mega-dose of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light.
  • Pumpkin boasts beta-carotene, which slows the aging process and plays a role in cancer prevention.
  • Pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, the compounds that fight disease and give the gourd its bright orange color.
  • Oils found in pumpkin keep the urinary tract clean and the heart healthy.
  • Pumpkin is an excellent source of potassium and a perfect match for diabetic dogs — and cats.
  • Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and protects joints.
  • Pumpkin seeds — roasted, not raw — pack a healthy punch of protein, antioxidants and zinc.
  • The fatty acids in pumpkin help improve skin condition and produce a shiny coat.
  • Pumpkin can help maintain weight by adding fiber without extra calories.

That’s a lot of healthful goodness wrapped in a squash, and it doesn’t take much to see results. Grab a pumpkin from the patch or a can of pumpkin puree — not pumpkin pie filling — from the pantry and measure the right amount for your size:

  • Small dogs and cats: 1/2 to 1 tsp. daily
  • Medium dogs: 1 tbsp. daily
  • Large dogs: 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp. daily

If the idea of pumpkin has you licking your chops, try these tasty treat recipes:

No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkin Rolls

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-1/2 cups oats


  1. Add peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon and honey in a bowl and mix.
  2. Roll batter into balls and place on baking sheet.
  3. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Treats

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon


  1. Combine pumpkin, cinnamon and egg in bowl.
  2. Add flour one-half cup at a time into the bowl.
  3. Roll dough to about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Cut into half-inch pieces, place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until treat is golden brown.
  6. Cool and serve.

Word to my feline friends: Pumpkin is good for you, too! The fiber in pumpkin can help move hairballs along your digestive tract and into the litter box rather than hacked up onto the carpet.

Happy Squashing!

Davi the dachshund would be right at home in a pumpkin patch.