Izzy is sitting at one of my favorite places to buy local produce and of course, pumpkins! With all the love for decorative pumpkins this time of year, I thought I’d share some tips on the pumpkin we feed to our dogs.

Pumpkin is classified as a Cucurbitaceae, belonging to the gourd family of flowering plants. Pumpkin contains many anti-oxidants including Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is what gives orange veggies and fruits its color. High in fiber too, pumpkin is usually what dog parents seek out for tummy troubles.
Why does pumpkin help when it comes to loose stool?

Pumpkin contains soluble fiber which slows down digestion and can help manage loose stools. It also absorbs water which allows for the bulk up and control of loose stools.

Usually, pumpkin is the first go-to when your dog has loose stool. I’m not sure why or how this got started but I actually prefer some sweet potato to help firm up loose stool as well. Why? Because just as much as pumpkin can help with diarrhea, it can also help with constipation. I’ve actually found more success using sweet potato to firm up stool, and used pumpkin to act as a laxative. Sweet potato contains a nice mix of soluble and insoluble fiber that is really good for overall bowel health in humans and dogs. Insoluble fiber does add bulk to stool and can increase transit time. That transit time could cause a laxative effect but again, I’ve often found pumpkin acts more as a laxative than sweet potato. Another thing to note, pumpkin has a high water content it can be beneficial in softening stools for constipated dogs. Pumpkins are actually 90% water vs. sweet potatoes which are 70% water.

It’s often best to determine what works best for your individual dog, monitor your dog whenever using a food like sweet potato or pumpkin to help with diahrea or constipation and see what works best. 

My go-tos for tummy troubles:
Dog diarrhea: Slippery Elm powder and some sweet potato
Dog constipation? Canned (BPA free) or packaged pumpkin 
Also to note are the food energetics of the foods I am talking about. Pumpkin is a neutral food so for dogs who run hot or cold, pumpkin is great to feed to both! Sweet potato is slighting warming, but is still my preference for dogs with loose stool, as long as they aren’t a super hot or inflamed dog.