Pumpkin is a food that confuses many dog owners, because of the differing opinions on it. Some say pumpkin can help makes dog poop, others say it can help with diarrhea. The truth is actually somewhere in-between.
In this short guide I will explain how pumpkin can help dogs with constipation to make them poop but can also help stop diarrhea. Read on to find out how much you should feed them plus how fast pumpkin works for dog constipation.
Does pumpkin make dogs poop? Pumpkin can make dogs poop due to the fiber content which draws water into the stool, making it poop out easier. Fiber is a natural product that acts as a laxative to help with canine constipation.
Is canned pumpkin good for dogs?
The most basic answer to this question is, yes, canned pumpkin is good for dogs! However, like most things, moderation is important too. More on that in a bit. First, let’s talk about the benefits of canned pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin has a high water content that can help with hydration and digestion. Since there is so much water in pumpkin, this also means that it is less calorie dense than some other human foods you might consider giving your dogs.
It also is rich in vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins play important roles in the body.
Canned pumpkin also contains multiple beneficial minerals like iron and potassium. Additionally, one of the main reasons dog parents like to use canned pumpkin is because it is high in fiber. Just like in our diets, fiber is very important for your dog’s digestion and overall health.
Finally, there are decent amounts of PREbiotics in canned pumpkin. Many people are familiar with PRObiotics, which are the helpful gut bacteria. Their lesser-known companion, prebiotics, like those in canned pumpkin, are the “food” that helps the good bacteria grow. As such, prebiotics also have a role in aiding in digestion. (For more on the science behind prebiotics and probiotics, check out the Veterinary Information Network’s article: Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics.)
HowPumpkin Help With Constipation in Dogs
Pumpkin has high amounts of water and fiber and helps add bulk and soften a constipated dog’s stool. In other words, it acts as a natural laxative, making the stool easier to pass.
Besides helping your pup stay “regular”, pumpkin is a great addition to your dog’s diet because it is rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium.
Fiber is also known to act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s intestines and inhibiting the growth of bad or harmful bacteria.
But how can pumpkin help both diarrhea and constipation in dogs? This is a common concern among many dog owners, so you aren’t alone if you are asking this question.
The simple answer is: pumpkin has both soluble and insoluble fibers, which interact differently with your dog’s gastrointestinal health.
Soluble fiber, for instance, acts like a sponge when there is excess moisture in your pup’s GI tract (diarrhea).
On the other hand, insoluble fiber draws moisture into your dog’s GI tract when the stool is hard and dries (constipation) to make the stool bulkier and softer.
So, in the case of diarrhea, the soluble fiber in pumpkin slows down the GI tract while in the case of constipation, the insoluble fiber quickens bowel movements.
How much pumpkin can I give my dog?
How much pumpkin you should give your dog will depend on the reason you are giving them pumpkin, as well as their size.
To treat constipation, give your pooch 1 tablespoon of pumpkin for every 10 pounds of body weight, up to 2 times a day. You can try giving them a higher dose. However, too much pumpkin can cause the opposite problem, and give your dog diarrhea.
Surprisingly, pumpkin is also recommended for treating diarrhea. However, the amount you should give your dog is smaller. The fiber in the pumpkin seems to help firm up loose stools, in smaller amounts.
If you have a large dog, you can give them one tablespoon of pumpkin for diarrhea. Small and medium dogs should have one to two teaspons. Give the pumpkin with their regular meal, once to twice a day.
Larger amounts of pumpkin can make the diarrhea worse, because the excess fiber will pull more water into the poop, causing it to be looser.
Does canned pumpkin help dogs poop?
Can too much pumpkin cause constipation in dogs?