When the leaves begin to turn gold and orange, you can be sure that pumpkins will start to appear everywhere. Notices of pumpkin rides and pumpkin fests herald in doorsteps and windows filled with those bright orange gourds. It is the season to sip a pumpkin latte and devour a pumpkin pie.
It’s a shame that pumpkin is a celebrity only in the fall. This rotund fruit – yes, it starts with a flower so it’s a fruit – is so health-giving for us, and for our dogs, that we should be singing pumpkin praises all year long.
Why are we, a CBD company, touting pumpkin? Because CBD + pumpkin is an incredible, health-and-wellness-boosting combination that our pet-loving Resilience CBD family should know about.
What Pumpkins Provide
A diet that includes pumpkin is rich in vitamins like A, B, E, and C, as well as fiber. It is a diet with enough potassium and iron and with plenty of beta carotene, an antioxidant and a carotenoid that bodies turn into vitamin A.
Unfortunately, commercial dog foods often do not supply these necessities. Pumpkin, with its vitamins, copper, folate, manganese, and calcium, is a food that you want in your dog’s diet.
It can help with digestion, weight control, blood pressure, and protect heart health. A food this rich in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber is, of course, a cancer fighter, too.
Add Some CBD Oil
A diet that adds CBD is even better. CBD, cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that is derived from the hemp plant and is an integral part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
All creatures with a backbone have an ECS that works throughout the body. The ECS is the mechanism that cells use to communicate with other cells so that the body will function properly.
Receptors like CB1 and CB2 are found in the brain, in the nervous system – everywhere, even on the skin and in the stomach – and interact with CBD.
These interactions make sure that the ECS maintains equilibrium between the different elements of the body, a balance called homeostasis. This is crucial for a healthy, functioning being, whether it be human, dog, or cat.
CBD and Digestion
In our blog, How Can a CBD Supplement Keep a Dog’s Digestive System Healthy?, you will read that “CBD is a known anti-inflammatory. For the digestive system, a hemp-derived CBD supplement brings harmony, alleviates pain, and even stimulates appetite.”
When the ECS is not in balance, dogs – and people – may experience nausea and stomach problems; but when the CB1 receptors are stimulated, digestive functions like gastric secretion, gastric emptying, and intestinal motility rebalance.
Studies published by the nih.gov (National Institute of Health) show that cannabinoids beneficially effect intestinal inflammation, helping the ECS adapt and balance in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The cannabinoids “- via direct or indirect activation of CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors – exert protective effects in well-established models of intestinal inflammation.”
Let’s get back to the pumpkins that also help keep a dog’s body in balance by providing fiber.
According to the American Kennel Club, “Pumpkin can ease digestion in several ways. The soluble fiber content in pumpkin adds bulk to your dog’s stool by absorbing water, and fiber fermentation produces beneficial fatty acids that supply energy to cells, stimulate intestinal sodium and water absorption, and lower the pH level of the large intestines.”
We can call fiber – in this case, pumpkin – a prebiotic. That fiber fermentation energizes beneficial bacteria in the intestines while stopping bad bacteria from growing. Pumpkin can boost the probiotics that your dog needs to maintain good digestive health.
The Merck Veterinary Manual suggests pumpkin as a way of helping with mild constipation and diarrhea.
Now the real magic of pumpkin has been revealed: it helps with both constipation AND diarrhea!
Raise Your Hand
Raise your hand if your dog has never had a bout of diarrhea. No raised hands? Right, because every dog has their moment caused by stress, dietary change – especially from that something-something special found when out for a walk – or a more serious cause.
Colitis and other IBDs; an infection like the parvovirus – to which puppies are extremely vulnerable until they receive all three shots; or parasites like roundworms, hookworms, or giardia, are some of the more serious causes of stomach troubles and ongoing diarrhea.
If stress is an issue, remember that CBD helps with anxiety and we have a blog about that!
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will help determine what is causing your dog’s illness. One suggestion that will be made is to move to a mild diet, a three to one, white rice to protein (like boiled, skinless and boneless chicken) diet. But, of course, a little added pumpkin will upgrade this bland meal.
Still not on the pumpkin bandwagon? Here is another pumpkin tidbit: this potent fruit, with its high content of the amino acid cucurbitacin, a toxin to some common dog parasites, has been known to help ruminating animals like cows and sheep get rid of worms.
Talk to your veterinarian if you would like their input on how much pumpkin to give your dog – or, if your dog is diabetic, whether pumpkin is an appropriate food.
How Much Pumpkin?
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, general wisdom suggests giving your pooch a teaspoon (per 10 pounds of body weight) a day. As with CBD, start low – even less than suggested for small dogs that may only need ½ a teaspoon. Larger dogs are safe to have 1- 4 tablespoons.
Make sure that your dog is well hydrated. The result will be a softer, easier-to-pass stool. This is a general truth, but of even more importance when adding extra fiber to a dog’s diet (even though pumpkin is a wet food, so helps with hydration).
Don’t forget to supplement with some CBD, as well. Go for the one-two punch!
Why do we keep suggesting that you add a CBD supplement? A study explored motility issues in live mice with gut inflammation and in a control group of mice that had no such issues. The control group was given a dose of oil to increase motility – to cause diarrhea. When given CBD, the CB2 receptor stepped in to balance motility, so no diarrhea.
Mice in the ‘inflamed’ group, when given a CBD supplement, showed less inflammation and less intestinal motility. No diarrhea in these mice and that’s important because when motility is slowed, the body absorbs nutrition as food moves through the digestive system.
An acidic stomach can cause acid reflux, and dogs, like humans, can suffer from acid reflux. A little pumpkin + CBD supplement can help.
Researchers know that cannabinoids and their CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in the gut, as well as in the brain and intestines. They believe that the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) definitely has a role in maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the gut. The CB1 receptor, in particular, has been found to regulate nausea and vomiting, and to regulate stomach acid.
CBD + that little bit of added pumpkin can help control weight, as well. A dog with an upset stomach will lose weight and nutrients. Conversely, a dog that is overweight, will feel fuller after eating some pumpkin, a high-fiber food that also contains additional water.
From the Gourd or the Can?
Now, you can cook the pumpkin that has been decorating your home and that will be fine (no skin, no stems, or leaves, of course), but a can of pumpkin puree is an even better choice. Fresh pumpkin has a higher water content which dilutes, while canned pumpkin concentrates fiber and nutrients.
Beware! A Cautionary Note
We don’t mean to dampen your enthusiasm, but we do want to offer a cautionary word or two: if you are using canned pumpkin, make sure that it does not contain ingredients that are toxic for your dog.
This means spices! The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that make your pumpkin pie delicious, are toxic for your dog as are added sweeteners. Canned pumpkin should contain nothing but pumpkin. We cannot stress this enough!
A small spice-free, crust free pumpkin pie for your dog, supplemented with CBD, may be just what the upcoming holidays call for: CBD oil can benefit your dog by bringing balance back to the digestive system.
What About the Seeds?!
Remember at the beginning of this blog reading about all the good things pumpkin contains? We didn’t tell you everything.
Pumpkins have seeds that are packed with everything the pumpkin has to offer: vitamins like A and B, magnesium, folic acid, calcium, zinc, niacin, and more – manganese, potassium, iron, and antioxidants.
Essential fatty acids and antioxidants protect against kidney and/or bladder stones and help to keep the urinary tract healthy.
The seeds are as beneficial as a piece of pumpkin! Antioxidants help promote heart health and help prevent stroke, cancer, and even dementia. What else has antioxidants? CBD oil, of course.
Roast, then grind up the seeds, and serve them with dinner!
Pumpkin Treats Your Dog Can Eat
Make these as a Thanksgiving treat – or an any-day-everyday treat. Peanut butter is good all year long, but even better when matched with pumpkin and CBD oil. Try mixing:
- ½ cup peanut butter (ALL natural, NO additives, of course)
- A cup of pure pumpkin (not pie filling; again, no additives)
- 1 ½ cups of oats
- A little bit of honey (a tablespoon is more than enough).
Bonus: you can add some Resilience CBD oil, too!
How about some pumpkin-apple treats? This pumpkin-patches-and-apple-picking recipe comes from a military mom!
True for you Too!
We haven’t mentioned that pumpkin can help your dog not only feel good but look good, too. A sleek coat comes from the extra hydration plus nutrients like zinc and Vitamin A. And with better skin and coat health comes less shedding.
Now that you know how beneficial pumpkin is for your dog, consider that it is equally beneficial for you. So make yourself a pumpkin spice (+CBD oil) cookie. Then make yourself a soothing, exfoliating pumpkin face mask that will leave your skin glowing.
Pumpkin Face Mask
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- A dash of nutmeg
- A dash of cinnamon
- 1 Tbs honey
- Bonus: a drop of Resilience CBD oil.
Blend together; apply to face (add more honey if consistency is too loose); and finally, draw a bath, add a Resilience CBD Revive or Recover Bath Bomb and relax. ) After 15 minutes, rinse the mask off using warm water.
A Fall full of pumpkin and Resilience CBD oil, it’s the best!