Shopping alert: Canned pumpkin! On sale!

December 21, 2008

I always forget to mention this until after the holidays, but this year I remembered. Wow, a Christmas miracle.

Canned, pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is always a good thing to have in the pantry when you have pets. For dogs, it’s a good remedy for diarrhea; for cats, mixing a little regularly with some wet food helps with hairballs. (It’s the fiber that helps, in both cases.)

This time of year, you can often find canned pumpkin on sale, since it’s a key ingredient in pumpkin pie and other fall-winter-holiday yummies.

So keep an eye out and stock up. I just snagged a half-dozen cans of organic pureed pumpkin and a couple of pureed butternut squash, as well. If nothing else, you alway use them for soup … for you!

Filed under: pets, connected — Gina Spadafori @ 11:52 am


  1. I can vouch for the effectiveness of Pumpkin. It works on stool problems that are both too hard and too loose…. it kind of makes everything about the same consistency as the Pumpkin.

    Comment by Christopher — December 21, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  2. Christopher, are you saying pumpkin can also be an aid to a dog who has a difficult time going potty? What would be a good assist?

    Comment by VJ — December 21, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  3. Not Christopher, obviously, but popping in to say that the pumpkin adds fluid and fiber. Both help with constipation.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — December 21, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  4. Pumpkin helps both ways. Most vegetable fiber doesn’t do all that much for dogs except to add bulk, but pumpkin seems to be the exception.
    It’s a great boon to dogs with anal sac problems who are fed exclusively a kibble/canned diet with little or no access to bone, helping to firm the stool enough to make sure those problematic glands excrete. It’s a good additive for dogs with ‘simple’ diarrhea. Bet you would find lots of (oh boy here we go) testimonials on the Internet both from owners and vets regarding the efficacy of pumpkin judiciously added to your dog’s diet.
    And, if you do a search for pumpkin dog treats, there are lots and lots of recipes out there. I just did a pumpkin/peanut butter recipe that got raves from my pack.

    Comment by Anne T — December 21, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  5. Anne, would you care to share your recipe for treats? I am looking for some good treats that are not store bought. I just do not trust any of the packaged treats anymore.

    Comment by Susan G. — December 21, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

  6. We *heart* pumpkin and it’s even cheaper when you grow it yourself. Varieties grown for food instead of jack-o-lanterns are wonderfully tasty for 2- and 4-leggers and — as a bonus, are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

    We put a few vines in our rock garden and let others grow wild down a steep, weedy hillside. If I baby them for a week or two after they sprout, the only care they need is a some training (so they grow down the hill instead of into the lawn) and a bit of water when it’s dry.

    I put whole, washed pumpkins into the oven and bake them at 350 until you can push a finger in and leave a hole. Then cool, peel, seed, moosh up and freeze in baggies. We’ve got gobs of it in our freezer and it’ll all be gone by spring’s end.

    Dog food, WONDERFUL pancakes, mixed with yogurt, soup, as a side dish (like mashed potatoes but better) — there’s a lot more to pumpkins than just pie!

    Comment by Janeen — December 21, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  7. Great idea! I’m doubling my garden area this spring … maybe even more. Pumpkins will be in it now.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — December 21, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  8. If you want to do squashes ( equally efficacious) they usually fit well into a microwave oven. Conventional or microwave, I tend to have mine and scoop the seeds before cooking ( a BIG knife and hammer are essential).
    Then when cooked, I scoop out the filling and freeze as is. If you have ‘Joy of Cooking’, there is an awesome chiffon pumpkin pie recipe that will turn your head/stomach around regarding holiday pies, and it is beyound belief in deliciousness when ‘real’ pumpkin ( or squash) is used instead of canned.

    Comment by Anne T — December 21, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  9. GIna – have you looked into Square Foot Gardening? It can be used for some vining plants, too (although I’m not sure pumpkins would work unless you selected small varieties):

    Comment by The OTHER Pat — December 21, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  10. Square foot gardening or any raised bed works fine for any of the gourd family, or melons, as long as you are prepared for them to trail over the bed and into the lawn.

    Comment by Anne T — December 21, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  11. If you grow them yourself, you don’t have to worry about sales. I’ve still got two Jarradales, 3 Sweet Dumpling and several Jack-Be-Littles in the pantry, waiting until I need them, besides what’s in the freezer.

    Slice in half, take out the seeds (you can either eat them or save them for next year to plant), then put cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350. Take off the skins, puree in the food processer and then use for whatever you like.

    If you are making pie with your own pumpkin, don’t add as much milk as the recipe says — your own squash will probably have more liquid than the canned stuff.

    At the community garden, we toss all our extra squash seeds in the back areas. Nature tends to weed out the weaker plants and what’s left we eat, toss out the seeds, etc. With enough seeds you can develop your own landrace of “proven” squash for your area.

    Comment by Dorene — December 21, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

  12. Pumpkin fans! Who knew?

    I have “Square Foot Gardening,” but honestly, it’s just a little too organized for me. I’m into garden sprawl and overall untidiness.

    And I don’t have a problem with room. Besides my good-sized lot, I know I can ask the neighbors who own the acreage behind me to allow me to temp-fence off some of it right behind the fence for a “gourd garden.”

    It’s so funny! Here I blog with all this advice and end up learning at least as much as I share. :)

    I love the readers here.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — December 21, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  13. Dorene, you are so right! I forgot all about the added benefits of seeds thrown into the grass clippings, old potting soil, wood stove ash, coffee grounds and whatever. I don’t compost persee because of raccoons. I have yet to meet a composter that is ‘coon’ proof. Eggshells go to the dogs.
    From year to year I never know what will sprout. This year I had tomatoes and nasturtiums by the bucket load. 2009? Who knows what the vagaries of winter and what I have thrown out there will bring?

    Comment by Anne T — December 21, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  14. A little OT – one of my cats LOVES baked sweet potatoes. He cries for some when I make one. Go figure.

    Comment by 2CatMom — December 21, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  15. One thing that worked well with pumpkin for us, is I mixed it with a bit of water and put it in ice cube trays. Kasey loves chewing on a “cubie” and the pumpkin cubie is a special treat.

    Comment by Lori — December 22, 2008 @ 7:18 am

  16. Gina, Trader Joe’s has canned organic sweet potatoes, too. And I just bought dandelion greens for the girls today. We’ll see how they like them. They certainly don’t have any problem with the kale. I made eggnog recently, which left me with a dozen egg whites. I scrambled them all, ate some myself, and mixed the rest in with the girls’ food. Larry turned his beak up at his.

    Comment by Kim Thornton — December 22, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

  17. Susan and anyone else interested, here’s the link to the pumpkin & peanut butter treats I made. Be careful adding water. I added too much the first batch and had to add extra flour. Halfway through though, I got bored cutting out bone shaped cookies ( the only dog related cutter I have) so I just pinched off small balls of dough instead.

    Comment by Anne T — December 22, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

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