National Pumpkin Day
It’s October and we all know what that means! Pumpkins are taking over! From food and drinks to contests and festivals, pumpkins are the star of the month, and rightly so. Pumpkins are an important part of the American culture, and for years, they’ve been recognized as the main symbol of Halloween and the face of autumn. Can you imagine Halloween without Jack-O’-Lanterns? Or, enjoy the autumn season without getting your fix of pumpkin pie? I bet not! That’s why every year, on the 26th of October, we celebrate National Pumpkin Day. It’s a special day where people everywhere can indulge in their favorite pumpkin-flavored desserts and have fun in pumpkin-themed parties and events. Do you know what the best thing is? Pumpkins are good for pets, too!
5 Reasons Why Pumpkins Are Good for Pets
While humans are free to enjoy all kinds of pumpkin delicacies on National Pumpkin Day, our furry pals may not be able to. Why? Because most pumpkin recipes made for humans contain ingredients that aren’t safe for pets to consume. Plain pumpkin, however, whether pureed, cooked, or canned, is great for pets! Apart from the skin, stems, and pulps, pumpkin has plenty of health benefits for cats and dogs. In fact, here are five reasons why your pet should have a celebratory pumpkin treat today!
1. Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and nutrients
Pumpkins are filled with vitamins and nutrients that can boost the immune system, improve vision, and promote healthy skin and coat! They’re rich in vitamins A, C, B, and E, which help remove toxins in the body and improve bodily functions. They also contain minerals, including Calcium, Potassium, and Phosphorus, which aid in body growth and body development.
2. Pumpkins help improve digestion
Did you know that pumpkins are a good source of fiber? They help to maintain the proper flow of contents in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
3. Pumpkins can settle an upset stomach
Because pumpkins are packed with fiber, they’re ideal for alleviating digestive issues, like constipation and diarrhea. In constipated pets, fiber helps draw water into the colon, and soften the feces, making it easier for bowels to pass. While in pets with diarrhea, fiber serves as food for the good bacteria found in the gut—just like prebiotics, keeping them healthy and thriving. Since the gut makes up 70% of the immune system, keeping it in good shape not only helps with diarrhea but improves overall health and well-being.
4. Pumpkins can help remove intestinal parasites
Pumpkins are also known as a natural way to get rid of intestinal parasites, like roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. While pumpkins don’t necessarily kill the worms, they do help the body push them out of the system.
5. Pumpkins aid in weight loss and management
If you have an overweight pet that needs to lose a couple of pounds, then you can try mixing in a small amount of plain pumpkin into their daily meals. It’ll make them feel full a lot quicker and prevent overeating.
8 Fun Pumpkin Facts
1. The world’s heaviest pumpkin weighed over 2,624 pounds!
According to Guinness Book Of World Records, a man named Mathias Willemijns grew the heaviest pumpkin up to date, weighing over 2,624.6 pounds. The pumpkin weighed more than the Mitsubishi Mirage, which weighs about 2,018 pounds.
2. Pumpkins are actually fruits.
Contrary to popular belief, pumpkins are not vegetables but fruits.
3. Pumpkins are in the same family as cucumbers and melons.
To back up pumpkin fact number two, pumpkins are in the same family as melons, watermelons, and cucumber—all of which are fruits. They’re collectively called as Cucurbits.
4. All parts of the pumpkin are edible.
No part of the pumpkin goes to waste. Its stems, flowers, seeds, leaves, and flesh are all edible!
5. Pumpkins are 90% water
It may seem absurd at first, but once you remember that pumpkins are in the same family as watermelons, it starts to make a lot of sense!
6. Pumpkins are grown all over the world except Antarctica
Out of the 7 continents around the world, pumpkins are grown in 6 of them. Amazing, right?
7. There are about 50 varieties of pumpkin
Yep, as in five-zero! There’s even one that completely white. Want to know what it’s called? Casper pumpkin!
8. Morton, Illinois claims to be “Pumpkin Capital of the World”
According to an article from CBS Chicago, 82% of the canned pumpkins in the world are canned in Morton. The town of 17,000 residents is also known to hold pumpkin festivals that gather about 35,000 people from other places!
How to Celebrate National Pumpkin Day
1. Have a pumpkin party
One of the best ways to celebrate National Pumpkin Day is to invite your best pals over together with their furry companions and have a pumpkin party! Everyone can bring their favorite pumpkin entrees and desserts to share, and of course, prepare a few pet-safe dining options for the fur babies as well. You can even bring the largest pumpkins you can find and have a pumpkin carving contest. Don’t forget to snap some photos!
2. Go to a pumpkin festival
Keep your eyes peeled for pumpkin festivals near your area on National Pumpkin Day! Farms usually hold family-friendly pumpkin festivals where people can enjoy delicious, freshly baked, pumpkin goodies, and all sorts of fun events, contests, and activities that you definitely don’t want to miss!
What are your plans for National Pumpkin Day?