There are few things more refreshing on a hot day than a juicy slice of watermelon! It’s thirst-quenching, tasty, and packed with vitamins and minerals, but can dogs eat Watermelon?
Watermelon is a great healthy snack, but as healthy as it is for us two-legged types, what about our four-legged friends? Is it just as healthy for them?
Read on to find out the benefits and possible risks when it comes to watermelon for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Watermelon?
If you love nothing better than chomping down on a juicy thick slice of watermelon, I’m sure you’ve met the hungry gaze of your furry best friend. It’s hard to ignore that pleading, yet penetrating stare while your fluff ball quietly drools over your leg. As your trousers quickly become saturated, it forces you to wonder ‘can dogs eat watermelon?’
Get ready for some good news.
We can safely feed our dogs watermelon!
However, it is important to feed it to them in moderation. Remember to exercise caution when it comes to dogs and watermelon. As with many things, dogs can react differently to certain foods. It’s always wise to be cautious when introducing a new element to their diet.
Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks that watermelon has for your dog.
Is Watermelon Good for Dogs?
Watermelon has many health benefits for our canine companions. The fleshy pink part of the fruit is made up of 92 percent water, so it is a fantastic addition to your furry friend’s diet to keep hydrated. This deliciously healthy snack is low in calories and contains next to no fat or cholesterol.
Take a look at this fantastically informative video from AnimalWised
Watermelon is also incredibly rich in vitamins and nutrients such as:
- Vitamin A – Great for maintaining your pup’s eyesight
- Citrulline – An amino acid that can help to control blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart
- Vitamin B – Benefits your dog’s brain function and supports a strong immune system
- Potassium – An electrolyte that aids your dog’s nervous system to function properly and their muscles contract and relax which plays a big part when it comes to heart health
- Vitamin C – Vital for keeping your dog’s immune system strong
- Lycopene – A powerful antioxidant that fights cell damage in the body, and also contributes to lowering cholesterol, improving heart health and may even contribute to lowering the risk of certain cancers
Another amazing benefit of watermelon for dogs is that it’s packed full of fiber. Fibre keeps a dogs’ digestion running smoothly. Fiber-rich diets are vital for a healthy weight, a key factor in staying fit and active in later life.
Below is the nutritional values for watermelon:
|Vitamin B1 Thiamin||0.033mg|
Full nutritional information for watermelons can be found here.
When Is Watermelon Bad for Dogs?
Watermelon has many obvious benefits for our furry friends but is Watermelon safe for dogs?
As the saying goes, “you can have too much of a good thing” and this is no different when dogs eat watermelon.
When eaten in moderation your furry friend will certainly benefit from all the goodness crammed into this juicy fruit, but if dogs are allowed to overindulge, due to its high water and fiber content, it can result in an upset stomach and digestive issues such as diarrhea.
That’s no fun for you or your poor pup, so go easy on the portions to begin with.
Many fruits contain a certain amount of natural sugar and watermelon is no exception. There are around 6 grams of sugar per 100g of watermelon, so another reason to be mindful of how much you feed your pooch. Be extra cautious if your dog has diabetes. It’s always best to check with your veterinarian first before adding something new to their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rind?
The whole question of can dogs eat watermelon rinds seems obvious as the rind is not toxic to dogs. However, it’s not that simple, dogs should never eat the watermelon rind, and this is why…
Dogs and watermelon rind are a bad combination, while dogs love watermelon, the tough rind can cause an intestinal blockage.
For some dogs eating watermelon rind, teeth can get damaged. Chewing the rind can cause pain or even tooth loss for dogs suffering from problematic gums or teeth.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
You should not allow your dog to eat too many watermelon seeds. They can cause stomach upsets and create a dangerous choking hazard.
This is particularly true of smaller dogs, so be extra vigilant if you have a small breed of dog.
You should only give your dog watermelon without seeds. Take the time to remove the seeds from any slices of watermelon that you want to feed to your dog.
It is okay to miss a few seeds, and for your dog to accidentally swallow them. If your dog displays signs of intestinal obstruction, such as:
- abdominal pain
You should immediately contact your veterinarian to prevent any severe complications.
Feeding Dogs Watermelon Alternatives
Only give real watermelon to your dog. Artificially flavored watermelon, candy, or treats might contain artificial sweeteners or sugars that can cause stomach problems in your dog.
How Much Watermelon Can I Give My Dog?
The rule of thumb for watermelon and dogs is simple. Dogs should have no more than 10% of their calories a day from “treats”, and healthy treats at that. The other 90% of their diet should come from high-quality dog food.
As we mentioned earlier, the high water and fiber content can also affect a dog’s tummy, so it’s always best to start giving your dog a few small pieces and monitor them for any reaction.
How to Safely Feed Watermelon to Dogs
Always remember to remove the seeds and rind before feeding watermelon to your dog.
A few safe ways to feed watermelon to dogs are:
For a super simple way to feed watermelon to your dog, just cut up a few chunks and add them to their regular food or give them separately as a sweet treat.
Either take some of the chopped chunks of watermelon and put them in the freezer for a few hours or puree some fresh watermelon and pour it into ice cube trays for a delicious frozen treat that you can keep for later.
Dehydrate chopped chunks of watermelon to make watermelon jerky. Our furry friends just love chomping on this chewy fruity treat.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? – Conclusion
Is watermelon ok for dogs? To sum up – Yes, watermelon is safe for dogs to eat, but as with most other fruits that are suitable for a dog’s stomach, it should only be given as a treat once in a while.
When introducing any dog to a new type of food, always begin with a small amount and closely monitor for any adverse reactions.
Remove any hazardous seeds and avoid feeding the rind to your dog.
If your vet confirms that there’s no medical reason why your dog can’t have watermelon, you’re okay to try it out.
The next time you’re enjoying a juicy slice of watermelon in the sun, you’ll know what to do.
You can give in to those puppy dog eyes and chop some extra chunks for your hungry friend to enjoy.
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All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.