Watermelon is a popular summer fruit. It is cool and crisp and delicious. It’s perfect for summer picnics and just chilling by the pool. But look! Fido wants a bite! Would it be alright to share this tasty summer treat with your best friend? Can dog eat watermelon? Should they?
Is it good for them? What about the rind and the seeds? Will they be a problem for your furry little friend? Are their any health benefits from feeding your dog watermelon? Enquiring minds want to know! We will answer all of your questions and concerns about feeding watermelon to Fido right here! Just keep reading.
Do Dogs Like Watermelon?
They certainly do. In fact, people who grow watermelons often have to keep them safe from nightly visits from coyotes, the dog’s wild cousin. And you thought it was just your furry friends you had to protect from old Wile E.! As the name suggests, the watermelon is mostly water.
It is also very sweet. The make-up of a watermelon is ninety-two percent water and six percent sugar. On a hot, dry summer day, both canines and humans would love such a cool, sweet treat to keep hydrated. The watermelon is full of vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene. At a mere fifty calories in a cup of the diced fruit, watermelon is a healthier choice than ice cream, the other summer favorite.
Should Your Dog Eat Watermelon?
We do acknowledge that your dog is not a coyote or wolf. Their diet is going to be different. However, this is one case where it is perfectly fine to let Fido have a little watermelon if he really wants it.
The fruit is mostly water with some extra vitamins and nutrients. Your dog should be encouraged to take in as much moisture as he can, especially in summer. Now, as was everything else, you do want to keep in moderation. While natural fructose is thought of as being better than refined sugar, the truth is, sugar is sugar. Keep all things in moderation.
The Great Parts About Watermelons!
One major nutrient found in watermelon is, of course, water! Water is very necessary for a dog’s health, especially on a hot summer day. Let’s look at all the vitamins and nutrients in a serving of watermelon and what they can do for your dog.
- Potassium This is an electrolyte that will give your dog energy.
- Fiber Dogs need these carbohydrates for healthy digestion.
- Vitamin A This prevents night blindness and is especially good for growing puppies.
- Vitamin B1 Also known as thiamin, this vitamin is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism.
- Vitamin B5 Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is needed for metabolizing food into energy.
- Vitamin B6 This is good for blood function and immune response.
- Vitamin C This antioxidant reduces inflammation.
- Biotin This nutrient is necessary for a healthy coat and solid nails.
- Lycopene This antioxidant maintains the fur and skin as well as prevents arthritis and heart disease.
- Beta-Carotene This antioxidant is great for the immune system.
- Magnesium This mineral is good for a dog’s kidneys.
Another good thing about watermelons are what they don’t have. Watermelons have no cholesterol or sodium. It has no fat at all. This is a healthy fruit that many people and animals can safely enjoy.
The Bad Parts About Watermelon
As said before, sugar is sugar. Be especially careful about giving watermelon to diabetic dogs. Some fiber is good, but too much means stomach aches and diarrhea. And that’s no fun for anyone! Some people like to add a little salt to their watermelon to enhance the flavor. Your dog does not need this, so skip the salt. Definitely skip anything with Xylitol. Some gourmets like to put a little feta cheese on their melon. It’s pretty high in fat and sodium content so don’t give Fido too much. If it has onions or garlic, don’t give him any at all. And then there are the seeds and the rind to think about.
Can Dog Eat Watermelon Rind?
Rind is not good for a dog. Unless Fido has some serious chompers on him, that rubbery thing may not go down at all. A nibble or two at the white part probably won’t hurt Fido, but the majority of the rind is tough to chew and some dogs that are able to chew it up may not chew it well.
This can cause intestinal blockage. If you feed your dog watermelon, only give them the red, fleshy part. Fido might get a little naughty and try to steal watermelon rinds from the trash. Don’t let him do this either.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Watermelon Rind?
Observe your dog. Maybe Fido didn’t eat too much and he’ll pass it with little difficulty. However, if Fido is lethargic, clearly constipated or vomiting, there’s trouble. Get him to a vet right away.
Can Dog Eat Watermelon Seeds?
It’s a popular childhood myth that eating a watermelon seed will cause a watermelon to grow in your stomach. Of course, there is no truth to it. The stomach is just too acidic for seeds to germinate in. Typically, they just pass right through the digestive tract with no issue. One or two seeds won’t hurt a large dog.
However, if it’s a lot of seeds and/or a very small dog, intestinal blockage can happen. For very small dogs, seeds can be a choking hazard. If you think your dog is suffering intestinal blockage, get him to a veterinarian immediately. If your dog is choking, remove the blockage immediately. For a small dog, you can do the Heimlich maneuver as you could for a baby or small child. Give your dog seedless watermelon just to be safe.
Can a Dog be Allergic for Watermelon?
It is highly unlikely. However, if your pupper has never had watermelon before, you may want to give him just a small serving and observe his reaction. If your dog experiences symptoms such as vomiting, constipation or diarrhea he may be having a bad reaction to the fruit. Don’t give him anymore.
Also, you may want to watch for vitamin A toxicosis. Some vitamin A is good and even necessary for your dog’s health. However, a dog that has had too much of this good thing may suffer from stiff joints, which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. These changes are irreversible, so don’t let Fido over indulge in anything, even healthy foods.
How to Feed Watermelon to Your Dog
Keep in mind that watermelon should be only an occasional treat. It should only be ten percent of your dog’s diet in order to avoid obesity or diabetes. Use only real watermelon and not watermelon flavored candy, which is mostly just sugar. You can feed Fido melon balls or cut up chunks of watermelon that have no rind or seeds in them.
You can freeze whole chunks or watermelon purée and feed them to Fido as something to cool down with on a hot day. It may take him longer to eat frozen watermelon, but Fido will enjoy it! If your dog is not lactose intolerant, you can make him some relatively healthy watermelon ice cream by mixing frozen watermelon chunks with plain, unsweetened yogurt.
Read the label! Don’t give Fido Xylitol. Try dairy free yogurt if your dog is lactose intolerant. It’s a great filling for toys like Kong. If Fido’s been a little constipated, a spoonful of this in his bowl might clear things up.
Are Cracked Melons Safe to Eat?
Some melons will have cracks in the internal flesh. Watermelon farmers call this condition “hollow heart” and is caused by a combination of a lack of pollen and wild fluctuations in temperature as the melon grows. (This generally takes about three months.)
The sugars in these melons tends to congregate among the cracks. This can cause a watermelon that tastes unusually sweet in the parts with the most cracks. It is perfectly safe to eat, it will just have a flavor that is inconsistent.
Watermelon is a rare food in that it is both healthy and delicious. It is especially a good food to eat on a hot day. People have been eating watermelon since the days of King Tut, perhaps even longer. In many regions, watermelon is not just a snack but a valuable source of clean water.
Over the many centuries, people have been cultivating watermelons to have more flesh, fewer seeds and less in the way of rind. The red, moist flesh is what everyone loves best about a watermelon, and it’s really the only part of a watermelon your dog should eat.
This is a healthy food with lots of the good things your dog needs to be healthy with none of the bad things. Just don’t overdo it! As long as Fido only has a little watermelon every once in a while as a treat, watermelon can be a healthy part of his diet.