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Watermelon is a favorite summertime treat. And, whenever you’re enjoying something wonderful, it’s tempting to share it with your dog. Who can say no when your dog is looking at you with those begging, puppy dog eyes?
But you should always do your research first to make sure any treat will be safe and healthy for your pup. Although watermelon is tasty and full of nutrients that humans need, it’s certainly not necessary for your dog’s balanced diet.
When it comes todogs eating watermelon, be sure to consider which parts of the fruit are safe for your dog to eat and how much he can have at one time. So, can dogs eat watermelon? I’ll answer this question and many more throughout the article below.
Iswatermelon safe for dogs? Yes, but you should only share small amounts of the fruit with your dog. As with most human foods, watermelon should only be offered in moderation and certain precautions should be taken.
Smaller dogs should only be offered small amounts of the fruit, while larger dogs can have more and still be safe. Remember that treats are not a substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet. They should make up no more than 10% of the food your dog consumes in a day.
Most dogs are not allergic to watermelon. However, although it is rare, it is possible for a dog to have a watermelon allergy. It is also important to remember that dogs digest food differently than humans do. Eating too much of the wrong foods, including watermelon and other fruits, can lead to digestive issues and other health problems.
Pure watermelon is not bad for dogs in moderation. However, be sure to only give your dog real, all-natural watermelon. Anything that’s processed or artificially flavored should be avoided. These types of products are generally full of chemicals, sugar, and other ingredients that are bad for dogs.
Too much sugar can lead to severe stomach upset in the short term and unhealthy weight gain over the long haul. Be especially careful to avoid anything that contains artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can be extremely toxic to dogs.
Watermelon and dogs can be a great pair, but I recommend cutting up and preparing the watermelon yourself. That’s the best way to know for sure what’s in it.
Watermelon is full of nutrients that can be beneficial to your dog, as long as you don’t overdo it. One of the best things aboutwatermelon for dogs is that it’s made mostly of water. In fact, the flesh contains about 90% water, so it’s a fantastic treat on a hot summer day.
In addition to water, this nutritious snack also contains vitamins like A, B6, and C, plus minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. Watermelon also contains lycopene and other antioxidants which may help to prevent cancer, fight inflammation, and keep the immune system strong. In fact, watermelon may also help to regulate blood pressure, improve muscle health, and prevent heart, disease, too.
And, there’s more good news! Watermelon is low in calories, as well as sodium, fat, and cholesterol-free. That makes it a healthier option than many store-bought treats for dogs. And, it can help them stay hydrated on hot days.
Just keep in mind that dogs are primarily carnivores, so they have no real need for fruits or vegetables as part of their diet. Offering watermelon as an occasional treat is fine, but the main portion of your dog’s diet should consist of high-quality animal protein.
No, dogs should not eat the watermelon rind. While the flesh of a watermelon can be safe and even healthy for your dog, the rind can actually be dangerous. Ingesting the rind can cause gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea.
The rind of a watermelon is also very firm and difficult to chew. Your dog might swallow the rind without chewing it up thoroughly, which could present a choking hazard or lead to an intestinal blockage. The skin itself is also very hard to digest, which can further contribute to the blockage.
Smaller dogs are at greater risk of choking or blockage than larger dogs, but it’s probably best to avoid giving watermelon rind to your dog altogether. According to the American Kennel Club, most of us spend up to $1500 a year for routine veterinary care. The last thing you want to do is create additional expense by allowing your dog to eat something he shouldn’t.
According to Bond Vet Garden City's trusted veterinarians, the rind can cause issues for your dog’s teeth too. That’s because the rind is extremely hard. If your dog has issues with his teeth or gums, biting into the rind could cause severe pain or even cause him to break or lose a tooth.
Yes, watermelon seeds are bad for dogs. Although one or two seeds probably won’t cause any harm, eating too many seeds at once could cause a potentially life-threatening blockage of the intestinal tract. Large dogs may pass the seeds without issue, but they’re especially dangerous for small dogs.
If your dog accidentally consumes a large amount of watermelon rind or seeds, you should watch him carefully for the next 24 hours. If he displays signs of a bowel obstruction, including constipation, lethargy, vomiting, or stomach pain, take him to the emergency vet right away.
Watermelon doesn’t contain any fat, so dogs with pancreatitis can eat it as an occasional treat. In fact, it’s fairly easy on the digestive system and provides much-needed hydration and nutrients, so it may actually help to heal and protect the pancreas.
Watermelon should be safe for dogs with diabetes too, as long as it’s offered only occasionally as a treat. Since it’s also rich in fiber, the natural sugars in watermelon shouldn’t have an unhealthy impact on your dog in small amounts. The fiber causes the sugars to be released into the bloodstream slowly, so there’s no risk of sugar spikes.
That said, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet, especially if he has an existing health condition.
So,can dogs have watermelon? If you’re a huge fan of watermelon, and your dog is too, then you’re in luck. Generally speaking, dogs can have watermelon in moderation. Go ahead and share your watermelon, but just like any other treat, offer it with caution. And remember that dogs can only eat watermelon flesh, never the rind or seeds.
Start out by giving your dog watermelon in small amounts at first, to be sure your dog doesn’t have an allergy. Dogs can react differently to human foods, too. Sometimes whendogs eat watermelon, they may experience diarrhea due to its high fiber content, especially if they eat too much at once and aren’t used to it.
The first few times you give your dog watermelon, watch him closely for the next few hours. If you notice any signs of stomach distress or other troubling symptoms, give your vet a call, especially if they become severe or don’t go away after 12 hours.
If you discover that your dog is crazy for watermelon, you can simply offer it freshly cut in small chunks as a special treat. However, there are some other fun ways to serve watermelon to your dog, too.
One way is to scoop the watermelon flesh out of the rind with a melon baller or cut it into bite-size pieces. As long as your dog doesn’t have any tooth or gum issues that cause sensitivity to cold, you can keep the chunks right in the freezer for a healthy, frozen treat on the fly. Frozen watermelon chunks have a softer texture, so they shouldn’t crack your dog’s teeth or present a choking hazard the way ice cubes can.
Another way is to make frozen watermelon treats. Simply blend chunks of watermelon flesh with coconut milk or yogurt, then freeze the mixture in ice cube trays. When choosing the coconut milk or yogurt, be sure to stick to unflavored, unsweetened varieties. These treats should be offered in moderation, just in case your dog is sensitive to dairy. T after a walk on a hot summer day.
Or, if you want to mix things up a little bit, you can turn a fresh watermelon into a chewy treat. Simply slice the watermelon into strips or bite-sized pieces and dehydrate them in a food dehydrator or your oven on low. Although your pooch won’t get the hydrating benefits of watermelon with this option, most dogs will relish a chewy treat once in a while.
Watermelon can be a healthy and tasty treat for your dog when offered in small amounts. In fact, it’s probably better for him than many chemical and preservative-laden store-bought treats. But just like with humans, too many treats can be unhealthy, so make sure the bulk of your dog’s diet comes from a nutritionally balanced dog food.
Nicole is a die-hard animal lover who has worked in pet care for years. She is a former vet technician, a dog mom to her two rescue pups, and she grew up living and working at her family's pet boarding facility. She loves using her writing talents to share the insight she's learned throughout her career in the hopes that her knowledge can help other pet parents out there!
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