Can Dogs Have Watermelon? Is It Safe for Them?
The juicy, sweet and delicious watermelon is a summer staple in most households, and it is enjoyed in different ways, such as in a fruit salad, popsicles and even straight from its rind. But, as a dog lover, you are aware that if there is one thing our dogs enjoy sharing with us, it’s “human food.”
However, the last thing we want to do is give our pooches treats or foods that are not good for them. So, can dogs eat watermelon safely? If you wonder if dogs can have watermelon, how much of it and how often, read on.
Can Dogs Have Watermelon?
Yes, they can. Seedless watermelon is a good choice for your dog since it is mostly made of water and packs plenty of nutritional benefits. With so many ways to allow your dog to enjoy watermelon, it qualifies as a healthy addition to your dog’s snack menu.
Interestingly, the Watermelon Promotions Board, a department of USDA, considers watermelon a superfood. Although it’s 92% water and a perfect choice for hydration on a sunny day, it has a high nutritional value. This makes the fruit an ideal healthy snack for you and your dog.
Can My Dog Eat Watermelon Rind?
No. The rind is one of the parts of the watermelon that are not safe for our dog. Although your pooch can nibble on the light green area of the rind, the rind itself can be too tough for your dog.
The watermelon rind is not necessarily toxic, but it’s hard to chew and digest, making it a threat to your pooch’s teeth and digestive system. In addition, your pooch’s digestive system will not break it down effectively, which could cause intestinal blockages.
Also, if your dog has issues with its gums or teeth, chewing the watermelon rind could result in loss of teeth or pain.
Before you feed your dog some watermelon, you should remove the rind and the seeds. In addition, check for signs of intestinal blockage for 24 hours after your dog consumes the watermelon rind or seeds.
If you notice signs such as lethargy, constipation, abdominal pain or vomiting during that period, rush them to your vet immediately to avoid any complications.
Do Dogs Enjoy Watermelon?
Yes! Many dogs love and enjoy the taste and texture of watermelon, mostly because of the sweet taste of the fruits and the high water percentage. Apart from being a tasty treat, fresh or frozen watermelon has plenty of nutritional benefits.
The additional hydration dogs get from eating watermelon is a plus, but there is something about the texture that your pooch will enjoy eating and also playing with. To add more texture, some dog owners usually prefer to freeze small chunks of watermelon as it adds more sensation to the fruit.
Therefore, if your dog doesn’t enjoy watermelon, you can try freezing it to achieve the crunchy sensation, and maybe they will like it more.
What Are The Health Benefits of Watermelon for My Dog?
If you are wondering if watermelon has health benefits, then the answer is it is beneficial in small and infrequent amounts. However, like most safe human foods you can give your dog, watermelon should be served sparingly as it has seeds.
Despite the popular belief that dogs are omnivores, incorporating fresh vegetables and fruits into their diet is a good idea. For example, one cup of diced and seedless watermelon can benefit your pooch and offer some health benefits such as:
- It contains antioxidants that repair damaged tissue caused by environmental stresses. You can think of watermelon as oxidation soldiers to seek damaged cells and save them from decay that will break down your dog’s body as they age.
- Maintain their immune system and reduce inflammation thanks to Vitamin C. It also helps to protect your pooch against allergens and sniffles.
- Boost serotonin in the blood platelets, brain and bowels.
- Promotes moisture where watermelon contains a 94% moisture percentage which helps in hydration and is important, especially in hot weather.
- Potassium helps to support a healthy kidney, prevents heart disease, regulates fluid levels, and promotes a healthy bone density.
- According to research, it contains Lycopene, which supports eye health, helps in cancer prevention, and slows the rate of cancer growth. In addition, it prevents free radicals that may steal electrons from other cells and potentially reduce cancer.
- Vitamin A helps the proper functioning and quality of the skin, coat, nerve, muscle function.
- Thanks to Fiber, it keeps food moving through your intestinal tract to avoid constipation, resolves diarrhea and avoids blockages.
- With Vitamin B6, a critical coenzyme for the body and brain functions, watermelon regulates fluid balance, regulates hormone, build proteins and supports neurotransmitters in your pooch’s body.
- Convert food into energy and regulate blood pressure
How Much Watermelons Can I Give My Dog?
Watermelon is a safe fruit to give your dogs in moderation, and it’s important to give your dog in moderation.
Most fruits, including watermelon, contain natural sugars such as fiber. The minerals are beneficial to your dog’s health, and if your dog eats too much in a single serving, it can cause upset stomach diarrhea in severe cases.
A larger dog should consume more watermelon than small breeds of dogs. However, in general, your dog should consume a small amount of cut to seedless watermelon in your favorite feeder bowl. When introducing watermelon to your pooch, you should start with small quantities then work gradually up to large quantities if your dog reacts well.
Can my Dog Eat Too Much Watermelon?
Like with anything, too much of anything will cause problems, which is the same case with watermelon. Before you feed your pooch watermelon, you should consider that 90% of your dog’s diet should be nutritionally balanced dog food.
Treats such as watermelon should be occasional, and they should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet to prevent diabetes and obesity.
Too much watermelon can result in constipation, a stomach upset, and diarrhea for your pooch. Notably, the smaller dogs should enjoy fewer snacks than the larger dogs.
How Can I Feed Watermelon to Dogs?
Feeding watermelon to your dog doesn’t have to be one way, and there are several ways to feed watermelon to your dog. Watermelon should be given to your dog in moderation. However, if your pooch has special nutritional needs, it’s important to speak with your vet before introducing watermelon to their diet.
Some safe ways to feed your dog include:
You can freeze chunks, remove the rind and seeds and give your dog a cold treat on a hot summer day. These watermelon treats will help to cool down your dog.
Puree your fruit with the rind and the seeds removed and place it in an ice cube with trays to freeze, and offer it as a snack to your pooch.
3. By the Chunk
Cut your watermelon into chunks after removing all the rind and seeds, and offer fresh fruit to your dog. Serve the watermelon chunks in your favorite dog bowl and wait for them to enjoy.
Another way to feed your pooch watermelon is by making watermelon jerky. Watermelon jerky is a perfect alternative to processed jerky pet food in pet stores. To make it, cut your watermelon in strips than cubes.
Dehydrate your fruit after removing the seeds and rind until it has a leathery feel. This eliminates the hydrating properties of watermelon and allows your dog to enjoy it still.
Serve it as a chewy treat, and you can also use it to reward your dog for good behavior during training. In addition, you can also keep your dog entertained with healthy, fun and human food.
5. Doggie Watermelon Ice Cream
Puree your watermelon and other dog-safe fruits such as bananas, blueberries or pineapple together with peanut butter or yogurt. Freeze in ice cube trays to serve a novel treat or serve them as a smoothie.
Add the treats to a dog’s food bowl, stuff or a rubber toy like a Kong. Unless your dog suffers from lactose intolerance, plain yogurt is safe for consumption for most dogs. Yogurt is better for your dogs than ice cream, and the bacteria in yogurt are ideal for your intestinal health.
When Is Watermelon Bad For Dogs?
Watermelon is a tasty moisture-full fruit that your dog will enjoy on hot days, but not all is as it seems with watermelon. There are a few precautions a dog owner should observe while offering their dog this treat.
Watermelon seeds, specifically the mature ones, are unsafe for your dog. A few seeds will not have a large negative effect when swallowed accidentally. However, if you let your dog enjoy a whole watermelon slice, they can ingest too many seeds.
When that happens, the hard seeds may not get into your dog’s digestive system, and this causes an intestinal blockage. In addition, these seeds can cause blockage and a rind that may cause gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea. This is especially true with small dogs with smaller intestines than large dogs.
What About the Sugar in the Watermelon?
Yes, watermelon contains sugar and high amounts of fiber which acts as insulation for sugar and allows the release of sugar into the bloodstream to be slower in fruits. However, if your dog suffers from diabetes, watermelon is not the best option until your vet advises you on the serving sizes your dog’s diet needs.
Any type of snack or fruit should be fed to your dog in moderation, so you don’t let your pooch consume a lot of natural sugar in a single serving.
Meta Description: Has your curiosity and love of watermelons led you to ask can dogs eat watermelon safely? If so, this read will answer your questions in detail.