Can dogs eat watermelon? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat watermelon. But before you feed your dog this tasty treat, there are some things you should know.
This fruit has plenty of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial for your dog’s health, and they’re made of 92 percent water, so they can be especially refreshing on a hot day.
However, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and the rinds and seeds of watermelons can cause serious health problems. It’s important to know how to serve it to your dog safely so they don’t get sick.
As always, you must ask your vet before sharing human foods, including watermelon, with your pooch. Here’s what you should know about feeding watermelon to dogs.
How Is Watermelon Good For Dogs?
Watermelon is full of beneficial nutrients that are healthy for dogs, including potassium and vitamins A, B6, and C. It’s also high in fiber, which is good for digestion.
Although watermelon contains sugar, the fiber content in the fruit insulates the sugar and prevents it from being released into the bloodstream too quickly. It’s also a source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer.
Watermelon is low in calories, low in sodium, fat free, and cholesterol free, which makes it a healthier choice than many store-bought treats. Being made of about 92 percent water, this fruit can be a good source of hydration and an especially refreshing treat on a hot day.
When Is Watermelon Bad For Dogs?
Watermelon should not make up a large part of a dog’s diet. Dogs who eat too much watermelon will probably get a tummy ache along with some diarrhea or other signs of gastrointestinal upset.
Some dogs get an upset stomach when they try a new food that they aren’t used to. It is best to give your dog watermelon in moderation, especially if they haven’t eaten it before, and see how they react.
You can ask your veterinarian or nutritionist about the appropriate amount for your individual dog.
Some Parts Of The Fruit Are Dangerous
The seeds can pose a problem for dogs. One or two seeds might not make much of a difference, but many seeds can end up causing a blockage in the digestive tract. Some large dogs may be able to pass the seeds without problems, but smaller dogs are especially at risk for a blockage.
The rinds are also not safe to eat. Though dogs may safely nibble at the light green insides of the fruit, this part of the watermelon is firm and difficult to chew. Dogs may swallow the rind without completely chewing it, which can result in intestinal blockage.
The skin of the watermelon is also very difficult to digest and can cause further blockage. Again, smaller dogs are more at risk.
If your dog does eat the seeds or rind of a watermelon and you see the signs of an intestinal blockage, including vomiting, constipation, lethargy, and abdominal pain, get to your veterinarian right away to avoid serious complications.
You should be on the lookout for signs of intestinal blockage for at least 24 hours after your dog eats the rind or seeds.
Natural Watermelon Only
Sweet products that contain watermelon or anything that is artificially watermelon flavored are probably not a good idea for dogs. They are usually full of sugar, chemicals, or other substances that can make your dog sick.
Too much sugar can lead to gastrointestinal upset in the short term and diabetes or obesity in the long term. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can even be toxic to dogs, so stick to plain watermelon that you prepare, yourself. That way you know what’s in it.
How Should You Feed Your Dog Watermelon?
Before you feed your dog watermelon or any other human food, you should ask your veterinarian or nutritionist about how much you should feed your dog, if any, and how often. Many dogs have different dietary needs, and some have medical conditions that might make watermelon a bad choice.
Once you have the okay from your vet or nutritionist, make sure you remove any seeds or rind from the watermelon before giving it to your dog. Cutting them up into small, chewable cubes is the simplest way to prepare watermelon for dogs and makes for a nice, easy treat.
You can also freeze watermelon to make an extra refreshing summer treat, but make sure your dog’s teeth are healthy enough to chew frozen food without being damaged.
If you’re feeling extra creative, you can mix watermelon with other safe and healthy ingredients like blueberries to make a fruit salad or smoothie for your dog.
Follow any safety tips your vet gives you for feeding your dog safely.
Have you ever fed your dog watermelon? Do you have any recipes for watermelon dog treats? Let us know in the comments below!
During warmer summer days, watermelon is one of the most popular treats in the United States and is a common fruit served up in backyard BBQs and picnics. It’s a sweet, juicy fruit comprising of 92% water (giving it top status on fruits with high water content) and has a nutrient density few fruits have. While it’s a preferred choice for people, it’s also a healthy and hydrating dog treat!
As packed with nutrients and moisture as the watermelon is, there are some things to consider when offering a bite to your pooch. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits and precautions of feeding watermelon as a treat for your dog.
Are there any parts of a watermelon my dog CAN’T eat?
Watermelon is a tasty, moisture-laden fruit your dog will gobble up on hot days, but not all is as it seems with the watermelon. There are precautions you must take when offering this treat.
Watermelon seeds (the mature ones) aren’t safe for your dog. A couple of seeds accidentally swallowed will probably not cause harm, but if you let your dog munch away on a watermelon slice, they can ingest too many seeds. If that’s the case, the hard seeds may not slide through the dog’s digestive system causing an intestinal blockage. This is especially true for small dogs who have much smaller intestines than larger dogs. So removing the seeds and offering small chunks is the best way for your dog to enjoy this juicy fruit.
Is seedless watermelon the safest option? Yes!
Seedless watermelon is the best choice for your dog. The seeds are not mature enough or in high volume to bind up in the digestive tract. You’ll still want to be mindful of the seed content in the fruit, but it’s a far better option if your dog loves watermelon.
Can my dog eat watermelon rind?
The rind is another part of the watermelon that isn’t safe for your dog. While they can nibble on the light green part of the rind, the rind itself is too tough for your dog. Their digestive system can’t break it down effectively and it can cause an intestinal blockage just like the seeds can.
It’s best to remove the rind and the seeds before you offer the fruit to your dog.
What about the sugar in watermelon?
Watermelon has sugar, but the high amount of fiber acts as insulation for the sugar, letting it release into the bloodstream slower than the sugar in fruits. However, if your dog has diabetes, watermelon shouldn’t be offered until your vet has advised you about serving sizes and your dog’s diet needs.
What are some creative ways to offer watermelon to my dog?
By the chunk: Cut the watermelon into chunks, removing the seeds and rind, then offer the fresh fruit to your dog.
Frozen: Freeze chunks (seeds and rind removed) for a cold treat on a summery day.
Pureed: Puree the fruit (seeds and rind removed) and put it into ice cube trays to freeze and offer as a snack.
Doggie Ice Cream: Puree watermelon and some other dog-safe fruits like blueberries, bananas, or pineapple along with yogurt or peanut butter and freeze in ice cube trays for a novel treat. Or try serving them as a smoothie!
Dehydrated: Dehydrate the fruit (minus seeds and rind) for a chewy treat. This will eliminate the hydrating properties of the fruit, but your dog will still enjoy it.
How Much Watermelon Can I Give My Dog?
Watermelon is typically thought to be a safe fruit for dogs to eat in moderation, however it is important that you don’t give your dog too much watermelon or any type of fruit because most fruits contain natural sugar as well as fiber. These minerals can be beneficial to the health of your dog in moderation, but if your dog eats too much in one sitting, it could cause an upset stomach or even cause diarrhea in more severe cases. If you have a larger dog, your dog can eat more watermelon compared to a small breed. It is recommended that you only give your dog a small amount of cut up seedless watermelon.
When introducing your dog to watermelon or any other type of food, you should start small and then gradually work your way up to larger quantities of food if your dog is reacting well to it. You should always monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or an upset stomach after giving them a new type of food. It isn’t recommended that you give your dog watermelon with seeds or the rind of the watermelon as these could be difficult for your dog to digest.
Why Does My Dog Like Watermelon So Much?
Many dogs absolutely love the taste and texture of watermelon and this is mostly because of the sweet taste of the fruit but also the high water percentage that the fruit is made up of. Many dogs love the additional hydration that the get from eating watermelon but there is something about the soft texture that many dogs enjoy eating any even playing with. Some dog parents will choose to freeze small chunks of watermelon to give to their dog and the frozen texture will add more sensation to your dogs fruit. So if your dog doesn’t seem to like eating watermelon, you can try to freeze it to give it a more crunchy sensation when they eat it.