Monday, October 25, 2010

Pooches and pumpkin: pup-ular ideas for decorating and eating

With Halloween just around the corner, and the supermarket full of pumpkins, here are some ideas to make the most of your pumpkins.

I found these neat dog themed stencils online last year. Although it looked easy, it was really tough cutting, and took a lot longer than I thought. Use the stencils, but instead of cutting, use a Sharpie marker to draw on your pumpkin. That way after Halloween, you can recycle and reuse your whole pumpkin.

In addition to being a super-food loaded with potassium, pumpkin is a wonderful natural remedy for your dog’s constipation or diarrhea. Just put a dollop of cooked pumpkin onto their regular food - or put it into a Kong toy as a treat – when there’s an occasional bout, or every day to keep them regular. Make sure it’s “just” pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which is loaded with sugar. However, if diarrhea or constipation lasts for more than a day or two, it may be serious and need a trip to your vet.

To process your fresh pumpkin:
  • cut the top off as though you’re making a jack-o-lantern
  • scoop out the seeds and “guts”
  • place it on a cookie sheet, pop it into the oven, and roast it; or pop it in your microwave on a vegetable setting, until it comes out soft so you can easily scoop out the flesh
  • to freeze it, put the cooked pumpkin into zip lock bags, or for single servings, in greased ice cube trays

You can even roast the seeds and eat them yourself or feed them to Fido.

  • rinse the seeds and pick out the pulp and strings
  • spread them out on a baking sheet (greased or lined with a silicone sheet) – if you’re eating them, you may want to add spices or salt. For Fido, that’s not necessary.
  • bake at 325’ F for about 25 minutes, stirring half way through

Anything left is perfect for the compost heap.

Happy Halloween!


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