When you think of autumn and the coming winter, the foods that come to mind are probably the key ingredients to some of your favorite holiday meals and treats: pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Pumpkins and sweet potatoes might both be orange but this is where their similarities might end.
Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes Are Both Good For Your Dogs
There has always been a debate on whether to give your dog pumpkins or sweet potatoes.
They are both equally edible by your dog but have a difference in the nutritional value and the role they play in your dog’s body.
When it comes to pumpkins and sweet potatoes, it is good to note that they are both loved by dogs. They are also both edible by dogs and have different nutritional value to them.
Pumpkin contains many antioxidants 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.
Dogs will eat almost anything, so a pumpkin isn’t out of the question, particularly since tiny pumpkins and gourds may resemble a toy or ball. The stem and leaves are covered with prickly hairs that could hurt your pets, and raw pumpkin isn’t particularly digestible for them. So, although your dog could eat a whole, raw pumpkin, it’s not recommended.
Canned pumpkin, however, is another story. Canned pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber and can even help with digestive upset. It’s also low in calories and could help with weight loss if substituted for a portion of their daily kibble. It’s also a great source of potassium, vitamin A, iron and beta carotene.
Pumpkin seeds can make a healthy and tasty treat, too, as they contain nutrients such as antioxidants, which play a role in overall health.
Sweet potatoes are a great, lower-calorie treat option for dogs. They contain beta carotene, which is an important contributor to vision and growth, as well as vitamins B6 and C. They’re also a natural source of fiber. Check out Nala’s Sweet Potato Dog Treats for an easy way to introduce sweet potatoes into your dog’s diet!
Fresh sweet potatoes have three times the calories of fresh pumpkin and they contain three times as many carbohydrates. Sweet potato has six times the amount of fiber that raw pumpkin does and nearly one and half more sugar as well.
A cooked, mashed sweet potato is also a tasty addition to a dog’s meals in moderation.
Pumpkin or Sweet Potato for Tummy Troubles
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.
Some dog owners have 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.
When deciding between the two, it is good to look at both the benefits and the downsides of both sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Both are nutritious but it is key to note that sweet potatoes have a lot more starch than pumpkins. As for pumpkins, they can be eaten to help with digestive problems but can cause diarrhea if given in excess to your dog.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Dog Treats
When it comes to baking for dogs, it is important to note things that should or shouldn’t be in your dog’s diet. These recipes are safe for dogs and will help get you on your way to baking some amazing treats for your furry friends.
Banana Pumpkin Dog Treats
- 3 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting counter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 banana, mashed
- Preheat oven to Bake at 350°F.
- Mix eggs, banana and pumpkin together. Add flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
- Lightly dust the counter and a rolling pin with flour, then roll out dough to approximately 1/8″ and cut out treats.
- Lay on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Cool completely before giving to your pup!
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Bites
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp organic maple syrup
- Preheat oven to Bake at 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown rice flour and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, mash sweet potato.
- Add pumpkin, water, egg, and maple syrup to sweet potato and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon until you’re left with a thick batter.
- With your fingers, pinch off a small amount of the mixture (approx. 3/4 tsp) and roll into little balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart.
- After treats are placed on the baking sheet, take a fork and flatten the little balls to around a 1/4” thick.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip them over and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
*When making changes to a dog’s diet, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian.
Happy baking, friends! But remember, if time is short, we here at Honest Pets have all the wholesome, real food, delicious, farm-to-food bowl items you might need.