Sweet and fleshy watermelon is the perfect summer treat that can keep you hydrated even on the warmest of days. If you find the pink and juicy flesh refreshing, you probably wondered if your dog can have some to cool down.
So, can dogs eat watermelon? Yes, dogs can eat watermelon in moderation. Low in calories and made mostly from water, watermelon is a great treat for hot summer days. However, seeds and rinds can cause intestinal blockage, especially in smaller dogs. So, make sure to remove them all before feeding watermelon to your dog.
Properly prepared watermelon is perfectly safe for dogs and can be a healthy and nutritious summer treat. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits and downside of feeding watermelon to dogs!
Are Watermelons Good for Dogs?
Fleshy and sweet, watermelon is an ideal snack for a hot day. This refreshing fruit is full of valuable nutrients that are as beneficial for you as they are for your dog.
Naturally rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, watermelon also contains fiber that promotes good digestion. This fleshy pink fruit is also low in calories, low in sodium, and fat-free, which makes it safe for dogs to eat.
Although watermelon contains sugar, the fiber content in the fruit prevents the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream. Thus, your dog can eat watermelon without experiencing any spikes in blood sugar levels.
Note, most dogs can eat watermelon without experiencing any side-effects or adverse reactions. However, you should consult your vet before you offer any new human foods, including watermelon, to your dog.
Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Properly prepared and served watermelon can be an extremely healthy snack for dogs. Take a look at the biggest health benefits of watermelon for dogs:
1. Watermelon Boosts Immunity
Watermelon is naturally rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells which help protect your dog against infections (source).
2. Watermelon for Good Vision
The watermelon’s pink and fleshy fruit is chock full of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that has multiple functions. Vitamin A is needed by the retina in the eye to promote good night vision and can also lower the risk of cataracts.
Like all other antioxidants, vitamin A helps fight free radicals, thus preventing cell damage which causes aging and illness.
3. Watermelon Promotes Hydration
Since watermelon is made from 92 percent water, it’s a great source of hydration for your dog. Feeding your dog watermelon on a hot summer day can keep him properly hydrated and lower the risk of a heat stroke.
4. Watermelon Improves Muscle Health
Watermelon also contains potassium, a mineral that helps regulate muscle contractions, nerve signals, and fluid balance. Potassium may help reduce blood pressure and water retention thus lowering the risk of stroke and kidney stones.
Side Effect of Watermelon for Dogs
Although healthy and full of beneficial nutrients, watermelon shouldn’t make up the bulk of your dog’s diet. Instead, your dog should eat watermelon in moderation as an occasional treat.
If by any chance your dog gets his paws on too much watermelon, he can experience certain side effects. In most cases, eating too much watermelon can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
If your pooch eats too much of this fruit he will most likely get a stomach ache that is sometimes accompanied by diarrhea. An upset stomach isn’t a serious matter and it usually happens to dogs when they eat new food they aren’t used to.
If by any chance your dog gets diarrhea, just stop feeding watermelon and give his tummy a day to recover. However, if there are no improvements after a day, call your vet and take your dog to be checked up.
Parts of Watermelon That Are Dangerous for Dogs
The watermelon’s pink flesh is completely safe for dogs to eat, but the same can’t be said for seeds or rinds.
Watermelon seeds can pose a problem, especially for smaller dogs. Swallowing one or two seeds won’t put your dog at risk, but many seeds can cause an intestinal blockage in small dogs.
Furthermore, watermelon rinds are firm and can also cause intestinal blockage. And although some dogs can safely munch on the pale green portion of the rind, it’s still harder to chew and can cause a blockage.
Lastly, the skin of the watermelon is very hard and extremely difficult to digest, and if eaten can also cause a blockage. Again, smaller dogs are at a greater risk of a blockage than larger breeds.
If after eating seeds or rinds your dog starts to experience any symptoms of blockage, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and stomach pain, call your vet right away. Intestinal blockage is a serious problem that might require surgery (source).
How Much Watermelon Can a Dog Eat?
Watermelon is completely safe for dogs and can be a healthy alternative for commercial dog treats. Generally, treats should make up to 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake, so take that into the account when feeding watermelon to your pooch.
As always, consult your vet before you start feeding any human foods to your dog. Once your vet says it’s okay, he will also tell you how much watermelon your dog can eat based on his unique dietary needs.
How to Feed Watermelon to Your Dog?
There are many ways you can feed watermelon to your dog, but first, you’ll have to remove all the seeds and rinds. If removing the seeds is time-consuming, you can buy a seedless watermelon and just remove the rinds.
Popular ways to feed watermelon to dogs are:
- Cut the watermelon into small chewable cubes
- Make frozen watermelon treats with one cup of coconut milk or water
- Feed your dog a frozen slice of watermelon
- Make a healthy smoothie by mixing watermelon and blueberries
- Mix pureed watermelon with your dog’s pet food
Chewy and delicious watermelon can spice up your dog’s regular food and provide much-needed nutrients. While watermelon is healthy, you should feed it to your dog in moderation as an occasional treat.
Please remember, before you offer watermelon to your dog, you’ll need to remove all seeds and rinds since they can cause intestinal blockage. If, by any chance, your dog eats seeds or rinds, call your vet for advice and take your dog for a check-up if necessary.