Sunday, October 02, 2016

Yes, it IS really pumpkin

As a gimpy dog owner, you've probably been advised by your vet to feed your gimpy some canned pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie mix) when a bit of gastro-intestinal upset occurs.

Whether it is diarrhea or constipation, pumpkin does the trick.  It's all in the fiber.  Any article you can Google on the interwebs (here's one) recommends feeding a small amount of 100% pumpkin to help with loose stools, gas, constipation.  Humans can also learn from this and save some money on all of the over-the-counter fiber "solutions" out there.

So, it wasn't a surprise when a recent Food and Wine article stated that all canned pumpkin was a lie, and everyone scrambled to repost and shriek "I KNEW IT!"... except the article is not true, and frankly I'm surprised the author and/or Food and Wine hasn't removed it yet, as clearly the author and the Food and Wine editors didn't spend any time doing research.

The reason for wanting to get to the truth is because it is important to the health and well-being of our dogs.  If real pumpkin isn't being used, then vets have also been duped and shouldn't be telling clients to use canned pumpkin.  If it isn't canned pumpkin, then are we feeding our dogs something that could end up harming them even more?

It took me a very simple post on the Libby's Facebook page to learn exactly what type of pumpkin they use... and it is a real pumpkin, but it's not the seasonal Jack-o-lantern variety.  Libby's uses the Dickinson pumpkin.

This is a Dickinson Pumpkin
These pumpkins are grown in Illinois.  Here is a link that explains where Libby's get their pumpkins.

From experience, I've purchased store-brand canned pumpkin and was taken aback by how much different it is from a can of Libby's pumpkin.  I've had dogs refuse to eat the store-brand "pumpkin" and frankly after tasting it myself, I can't blame them.  I've heard from people who tried a store-brand can of pumpkin and it didn't have the same wonderful healing properties as Libby's.  Do they add other types of squash in their product?  I don't know.

What I do know is that Libby's uses 100% Dickinson pumpkin in their canned pumpkin, so that's the brand I'll be using from now on to feed to my dogs and make my pies.

The biggest lesson here is that if you read something on the interwebs... don't just take someone's word for it.  Look into it first before believing it or spreading it around.  That includes what you are reading here.  Always be curious, careful, and diligent when it comes to reading anything.

Had I not asked Libby's and done a bit of research, I would have thrown away a very useful tool in dealing with dog stomach upset.

By the way: Libby's has not given me ANYTHING, nor do I expect anything other than for them to continue having high standards in the production of their canned pumpkin, and providing dog owners with a product they can trust... and I do trust that product.