This time of year you are virtually guaranteed to have bought or at least seen a place decorated with lots of pumpkins. But these orange gourds can be more than just decorations. If you find yourself with some extra un-carved pumpkins, consider offering them to your pet as a seasonal treat.
Although pumpkins are not packed with nutrients they are about 90 percent water and do have a sweet flavor to them. Some horses have even developed a taste for them, but stick to feeding this fruit as a treat rather than a significant part of their diet. In fact it is wise to limit how much pumpkin you feed your pet. Too much pumpkin, depending on your pet, can lead to loose bowl movements.
Slice your pumpkin up into small chunks to avoid choking and remember that the orange pumpkins commonly sold to make jack-o-lanterns and pies are safe for horse, cats and dogs. In fact, did you know that raw pumpkin seeds have natural worm expelling properties for horses. They are a great natural approach to parasite control. Other types of autumn gourds are toxic and can cause diarrhea, gastrointestinal irritation and even colic in horses.
For those of you who really want to spoil your pet and get a little festive then this treat recipe is the way to go. Sorry Kitties, only fresh pumpkin for you! Unfortunately, I do not recommend this treat recipe for cats. Their bodies are not made to process most of these ingredients other than the fresh pumpkin.
1 small pumpkin or 2-3 cups of sliced pumpkin
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 1/4 cups of oats
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice pumpkin up into cubes, removing the seeds and rind. Place pumpkin into a pot of boiling water, sprinkle a little cinnamon and let cook for about 45 minutes or until mushy, stirring frequently.
Let Pumpkin Cool and then mash together until you get soft mushy consistency
In a separate bowl mix together oats, brown sugar and molasses. Mix in the pumpkin. Next, roll into individual 1-1 1/2“ balls and place on greased cookie sheet. If your treat balls seem to be falling apart, you can add more molasses to thicken it up.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes depending on your oven and let cool. Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of cinnamon.
For Dogs: Add a little peanut butter to the mix and they are sure to love it.