As the hot summer days approach, we’re all looking for refreshments to make the heat bearable. And is there a better and healthier treat than the watermelon? But what about our furry companions? Can dogs eat watermelon? They need some refreshment during summer just as much.
Let’s break down all the details about watermelon and dogs:
- Watermelon Facts
- Watermelon Health Benefits for Dogs
- Side Effects
- Ways to Give Your Dog That Slice of Summer
- How Much Watermelon Can I Give My Dog?
Watermelon Tastes Better When You Eat It With Your Pooch
Everything is better and tastier when you share it with your dog.
But is watermelon good for dogs? The short answer is yes, but some parts of it aren’t edible, and you shouldn’t give them to your dog. We’re talking about the watermelon seeds and rind.
And before we go into the “what” and “why,” let’s learn why this juicy fruit is so awesome.
Watermelons 101 — The Smile of Summer
Nothing spells “summer” better than a watermelon slice. Before we find out more about dogs and watermelon, here are some curious facts you should know:
The Latin Name Is Citrullus Lanatus
The large and refreshing sweet fruit is also called Citrullus Lanatus. It originates from South Africa, but it’s popular all around the world.
Child of the Botanical Family Cucurbitaceae
It’s a family of 965 species, including cucumber, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cantaloupe. You’ll be right to say that watermelon is a fruit and a vegetable. But since it’s a berry, fruit is more accurate.
Watermelon is very rich in nutrients, low in calories, sodium, and fat, and cholesterol-free, so we can say it’s a superfood.
According to the USDA: “Every time you eat watermelon, you’ll be improving the health of your cells, organs, and nervous system.” Do you need more reasons why dogs can eat watermelon?
The “Hollow Heart” Condition
Sometimes, when you crack open a watermelon, you see hollow areas inside. And you’ve probably wondered if that watermelon was good for you. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, you can go on and dig in, you and your dog. There’s nothing to worry about.
They Take Three Months to Grow
The watermelon needs a temperature of above 77 degrees and 85–100 days, or approximately three months, to mature. That means they thrive in tropical to temper climates. No wonder South Africa is their place of origin.
There Are Seedless Melons
Watermelon for dogs should be seedless and without the rind, and you’d be happy to learn that you can find that on the market. The first attempt at seedless watermelons was made in Japan in 1935, but their popularity grew in the 21 century.
Watermelon Benefits for Dogs: They Make Dogs Life Sweeter & Healthier
Watermelon is made of 92% water, but it’s still packed with many vitamins and minerals. This summer fruit boosts the immune system, has powerful antioxidants, and it’s awesome for the eyes and coats.
If you want to find out why watermelon is good for dogs, you should check the most important information about its nutrient value:
- Moisture — Watermelons are among the most hydrating foods. That’s crucial as it keeps the body healthy and functioning properly, especially on hot summer days.
- Vitamin B6 — It’s an essential vitamin for brain and body function. Also, B6 is an awesome coenzyme for keeping your dog’s coat shiny and strong.
- Vitamin C — boosts the immune system and decreases inflammation.
- Vitamin A — awesome for eye, skin, coat, and muscle function
- Fiber — great for the intestinal tract. Fiber moves the food through the body, prevents constipation, and helps resolve diarrhea.
- Antioxidants — They play a major part in supporting your pet’s overall health and are particularly good for reducing inflammation and restoring active muscles. They’re also amazing for dogs with allergies or skin problems.
- Lycopene — Watermelons contain a large amount of it. It’s essential to fight free radicals and helps with cancer prevention.
- Potassium — supports kidney and heart function, and it’s great for muscle development.
And that’s not all. The list goes on and on. Another important health benefits of watermelon for dogs is that the fruit has the potential to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Read This Before You Let Your Dog Grab a Slice of Summer
Like all other human food, you should know the risks involved before giving them to your dog. Here’s what you should be careful with when offering a watermelon to your pet.
Rinds, Skin, & Seeds May Cause Intestinal Blockage
The watermelon rind or skin is very hard and indigestible. Your dog might swallow it without chewing, causing a choking or intestinal blockage, especially in small dogs.
So, if you ever wondered whether dogs can eat watermelon rind, they shouldn’t. While it’s not toxic, you’ll risk blockage in the digestive tract.
In contrast, swallowing one or two watermelon seeds won’t cause a problem, especially if you have a large dog. But if your furry pal digs in a large part of watermelon full of hard black seeds, it could face intestinal blockage, constipation, or upset stomach.
The signs of intestinal blockage include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you spot any of these within 24 hours after your dog ate watermelon, talk to your vet immediately.
Canned, Sugared, & Packed in Syrup Is a Big No-No
Canned, sugared, or packed in syrup are types of watermelon that are bad for dogs.
Why? Because they’re full of sugar. That can cause tummy problems where you’ll need upset stomach remedies for dogs. If consumed in large doses and often, that can lead to diabetes or obesity. In some cases, if the watermelon contains artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, your dog might even face intoxication.
Long story short, only give fresh watermelon to your dog.
Too Much Watermelon Causes Loose Stool
If your dog ate seedless watermelon without the rind and got a loose stool, that can mean two things — it’s your pet’s first time trying watermelon, or it had too much of it in one sitting.
Watermelon does give dogs diarrhea due to its high water, sugar, and lycopene content. In that case, you might want to have some washable dog diapers on hand.
If you want to prevent this from happening, start with very small amounts when introducing watermelon. And if you still see loose stool, this fruit probably isn’t the right treat for your pooch.
Not Ideal for Diabetic Dogs
Like any other fruit, watermelon is high in sugar. So, is watermelon good for dogs with diabetes or other health issues? If that’s your case, it’s best to avoid it.
Talk to your vet first. They already know your dog’s health and will give the best advice on whether watermelon is ok for your dog and what’s the right amount for a treat.
If your dog can’t eat watermelon, but you still want to provide all needed vitamins, don’t despair. You can try chewable dog vitamins to keep your pet in good shape.
Ways to Feed That Slice of Summer
Since dogs are allowed to eat watermelon, here are some ways you can offer this healthy fruit to them.
It’s the healthiest and easiest way to share some watermelon with your dog. Just don’t forget — no seeds and no rind.
Watermelon Ice-Cream — Doggo Edition
Always wash the watermelon and cut it into small chunks. Remove the seeds, skin, and rind. Then, put the pieces in the freezer overnight. On the next day, mix them with yogurt, and voila! You’ll have a healthy yet delicious treat for your pooch.
It’s an awesome treat for puppies or smaller dogs. All you need to do is cut the watermelon into smaller pieces, remove the rind and seeds, and put it in the blender. You’ll get a different texture, but it’s still a great way to serve watermelon to your pup.
There’s nothing better than a frozen watermelon on hot days. And the recipe cannot be easier. You just have to mix, blend, and freeze the pieces. You can add a bit of yogurt for extra nutrition. Put the blended mixture in ice cube modes or trays and leave them in the freezer for a while.
How Much Watermelon Can Dogs Eat?
It depends on the dog’s size and health condition.
The general advice is approximately one cup of seedless watermelon at one sitting. It’s best to start with just two to three bite-size chunks of watermelon for your dog. The smaller the pooch, the smaller the dosage.
Does Watermelon Have Too Much Sugar for Dogs?
Yes! Watermelon is high in water and sugar content. Too much watermelon can lead to stomach upset, obesity, or even diabetes. That’s why you should serve it only occasionally and stick to a smaller amount.
So, can dogs eat watermelon? Yes, you can offer this awesome superfood to your pet. Just leave the watermelon rind and skin aside and remove the seeds.
If you have more dilemmas about human food and dogs, like feeding dogs apples, pear, grapes, or orange, check our blog for more information to put your mind at ease.