Every dog parent has been told by their friends and families that pumpkin will soothe an upset stomach, but did you know that sweet potatoes are also a great option?
Pumpkin is also very high in potassium - about 505mg per cup- an electrolyte that is easily lost through dehydrating symptoms, like vomiting and diarrhea. Although it ranks high on the glycemic index, pumpkin has a low glycemic load (how much the blood sugar will rise after eating certain foods). There has also been studies that show pumpkin may restore beta cell function (the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas), making it a possible option for diabetic dogs, too- the high levels of soluble fibre help the body digest it slowly, thus reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes. If your dog is overweight and you’re hesitant to add anything extra into his/her diet, not to worry- pumpkin is low in fat, with only about 0.1g of fat and 80 calories per cup.
The skin of the sweet potato is a source of insoluble fibre, so make sure you peel it first if you’re dealing with a serious case of diarrhea.
The flesh of the sweet potato is a good source of soluble fibre- just about 4g per cup. Sweet potatoes also have a higher level of potassium, with just under 900mg per cup. Vitamin A is a big component of sweet potatoes, too! Despite having a medium rating on the Glycemic index, sweet potatoes have a relatively low Glycemic load, and can actually help to improve blood sugar levels, largely in part to their level of soluble fibre (which can reduce blood sugar spikes). Building on that, studies have recently shown that sweet potatoes can increase blood levels of adiponectin- a protein hormone that is an important modifier of insulin metabolism. So, if your pet is diabetic, sweet potato can be an option in moderation. And, like it’s big, orange partner, sweet potato is also a great option for overweight pets, with about 0.1g of of fat and 114 calories per cup.
Both sweet potatoes and pumpkins provide a good deal of moisture- great if your dog has been vomiting or having bouts of diarrhea. A great way to store extra sweet potato or pumpkin is in ice cube trays- just pop out a fun, frozen treat when needed! Wanting to spice up your digestive mixture? Adding small amounts of cinnamon and/or ginger can be beneficial, too! And don’t worry- we won’t tell if you sneak a bite.