When you’re looking at the health benefits of pumpkin vs. sweet potato for dogs, it can be difficult to decide which one is best. The good news is that once you learn about each one, you’ll likely find it much easier to choose one, or decide to give your dog both. Let’s get started.
Pumpkin vs. Sweet Potato for Dogs
The following information will outline all of the great health benefits of pumpkin vs. sweet potato for dogs.
Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
Sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to a dog’s diet. Dog owners can feel good about giving their pups sweet potatoes because of all the vitamins and nutrients they contain.
Healthy Digestive System
Due to the high fiber content, sweet potatoes are beneficial to a healthy digestive system. The fiber helps bulk up stool, which can also help dogs experiencing anal gland issues and suffering from diarrhea.
Protects Against Heart Disease and Cancer
The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer since it works against free radicals in the body.
Bone Growth, Vision and Skin Health
Steve Doeer, Technical Director and Research and Development Scientist at Redbarn Pet Products says, “Each Beta-carotene converts to two molecules of Vitamin A in your dog’s body, which is essential for your dog’s vision, bone growth, skin, and reproduction.”
Regulates Sugar Levels
Sweet potatoes are great for diabetic dogs because dietary fiber and magnesium can reduce insulin resistance and stabilize blood sugar.
However, moderation is key. Sweet potatoes have a high glycemic index, which can spike sugar levels. Don’t make sweet potatoes a major part of a dog’s diet.
Boost Immune System Health
Vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes supports healthy red blood cell functioning and the immune system. Sweet potatoes as part of a fresh raw dog food diet can keep a dog from suffering from viral infections.
Vitamin C in sweet potatoes also helps a dog’s immune system stay in tip-top shape.
Supports the Aging Process
Older dogs need additional nutrition, which sweet potatoes provide. Vitamin C in sweet potatoes can reduce cognitive aging problems in senior dogs.
Supports Kidney Functioning
Potassium is an essential mineral that’s important in the functioning of the kidneys. In addition to the kidneys, it benefits the heart, muscles, and digestive system.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?
Dogs should not eat raw sweet potatoes. They are hard to chew, hard on the stomach, and can cause intestinal blockage. Boiling, steaming, or baking are the best ways to cook your dog sweet potatoes.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato Skins?
Dogs should not eat sweet potato skins. While sweet potato skins are not toxic, they are difficult to chew which could be a choking hazard for some dogs.
Benefits of Pumpkin to a Dog’s Body
Now you know how beneficial sweet potatoes are to a dog’s diet. Let’s move on to pumpkin for dogs to understand how it differs when wondering about pumpkin vs. sweet potatoes for dogs.
Supports the Digestive System
Pumpkin also supports a healthy digestive system due to the high amount of soluble fiber in it. Like sweet potatoes, it can bulk up stool to help with anal gland issues or treat diarrhea.
Read More: Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues
Benefits Eyesm Skin and Coat
Due to the Vitamin A, which sweet potatoes also contain, pumpkin can improve eye, skin, and coat health. It’s great for aging dogs as they may suffer from age-related eye problems.
Immune System Support
The Vitamin C in pumpkin supports a healthy immune system. Vitamin E and other antioxidants destroy free radicals, which is what keeps illnesses and diseases away.
Treat Urinary Incontinence
Dogs suffering from urinary incontinence may benefit from pumpkin as it has a healthy dose of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Naturally Controls Parasites
Parasites can be a huge problem for some dogs. It can cause weight loss, nutrient deficiency, dry skin, and much more. Pumpkin has a lot of amino acids in it that can be toxic to parasites like tapeworms.
The majority of the dog population in the United States is obese. Pumpkin has a lot of water in them and fiber. A few teaspoons of it can significantly reduce the number of calories in a dog’s food, which promotes weight loss.
Canned Pumpkin vs. Raw Pumpkin for Dogs
Canned pumpkin is better than raw pumpkin for your pup. Raw pumpkin can cause stomach upset.
Be sure to buy pure pumpkin in a can vs. pumpkin pie filling, which has sugar, spices, and toxic Xylitol.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, pumpkin seeds are good for dogs because they are a good source of Omega fatty acids, which can treat parasites, urinary incontinence, and kidney stones. Just be sure they are roasted without anything added to them such as oil, spics, salt, etc.
Pumpkin vs. Sweet Potatoes for Dogs
When trying to decide between pumpkin vs. sweet potatoes for dogs, consider the goals of feeding your pup each one. Pumpkin has similar nutritional value as sweet potatoes but a third of the carbohydrates.
Fact: According to the NRC (Nutritional Research Council), dogs do not need carbohydrates as part of their diet. They can get all of the nutrition they need from protein and fat. Foods high in carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and white potatoes provide quick energy but can be troublesome for pups with diabetes due to the high glycemic index.
Moderation is key. When feeding your dog a fresh raw dog food diet, be sure to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats for good sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Just like with humans, the better your diet, the better your health.