Giving Thanks Happily

thankgiving

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, every kind of casserole you can imagine, gravy and cranberries – oh my goodness – never ending amounts of delicious food!

Once again, it’s that wonderful time of year. Thanksgiving!! We gather at this time with our friends and families to relax from our busy schedules and celebrate all the things in our lives we are thankful for.

This year I wanted to find a special way to include our four-legged family member in the festivities.  She brings us so much joy and laughter, teaches us kindness and patience so I really wanted to do something special for her to let her know we are thankful she is part of our family.

Instantly I thought of pumpkins. Pumpkin flavoured desserts, dishes and drinks are so popular at Thanksgiving it seemed like an obvious choice.  I wondered to myself if I could make her some scrumptious pumpkin cookies?

Are pumpkins even safe for our friend to eat?

I first started my search of the internet with whether or not pumpkin is a safe food for my dog to eat. Before feeding your dog human food, always make sure to do some research because some human food can cause your friend a lot of problems.  Depending on the item and the amount consumed, your dog could actually become very ill or even die. When you are satisfied the food is safe for your dog, be aware of any behaviour that may suggest stomach upset or even skin irritation. Each animal is an individual and although the food may be reportedly safe, your pet could actually have a sensitivity to it.

I happily discovered that this seasonal favourite is not only safe, it has some benefits as well.

Pumpkins are high in fiber and water so they can assist with constipation, bind loose stool and settle an upset belly. If your dog needs to go on a weight reduction diet, pumpkin can be helpful with weight loss.  Simply reduce the amount of food you serve and add in some pumpkin. Keep in mind that portions should be determined by the size of your dog.  A very small dog would only be served a couple of teaspoons while a very large dog could have up to a half a cup. The fiber content in the pumpkin will help your dog feel full and satisfied.

Now, if you choose to make your own, you should always use a fresh pumpkin. You can cook it or serve it raw but it is recommended it be pureed with absolutely no additives.  As an alternative, you can use canned organic pureed pumpkin with absolutely no additives. The key is, no additives.  If you are using the pumpkin with regular meals, keep a week’s worth of the pureed pumpkin refrigerated and freeze the remainder until you are able to use it as it will go bad.

Back to the cookies!

Here is a simple pumpkin cookie recipe you may want to try:

1/2 cup Peanut Butter;

1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned; and

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Stir in the flour until dough is no longer sticky.

3. Roll the dough out between to 1/4″ thick.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough, then place on the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

 

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