Can Dogs Have Watermelon?
Is it safe to give watermelon to your loved pet? The answer is yes, but there are some things you need to know before you feed watermelon to your dog.
Watermelon is a healthy treat for humans, and it’s also good for your dog – in moderation. It contains magnesium, Vitamins A and C, and potassium, which can benefit a dog’s immune system. And it’s especially refreshing on a hot summers day because watermelon consists of 92% water. However, like all human food given to pets, the serving size should be limited to prevent your dog from getting an upset stomach and/or diarrhea. Importantly, the skin and seeds of watermelon can be harmful to your dog so you should always ensure these are kept right away from your pet.
Before you share any human food with your dog, we strongly suggest you speak to your local veterinarian and ask their advice on whether it’s safe for your dog to consume,
Why Watermelon is Good for Your Dog
So is watermelon good for dogs? Watermelon contains a number of beneficial nutrients that are healthy for your dog, including Vitamins A and C, potassium, and Vitamin B6. And it’s high in fiber, which is a great digestion aid for your pet. In addition, watermelon contains the antioxidant Lycopene, which helps prevent cancer. And while watermelon does contain sugar, the fruit’s fiber insulates the sugar, preventing early release into the bloodstream.
Low in calories, fat and cholesterol-free, and low in sodium – watermelon is definitely a healthy choice for both you and your dog; it’s certainly a better choice for your pet than most store-bought treats. And it contains 92% water, which also makes it a great source of hydration.
Can Watermelon Be Bad for My Dog?
Yes, it can. If fed too much watermelon your dog will probably suffer with a tummy ache, have diarrhea, and show signs of gastrointestinal upset. Watermelon should be a very small part of your dog’s diet. Always start small with any new food you introduce to your dog and monitor their reaction to it. Again, we suggest you discuss this with your local veterinarian and follow their advice on the appropriate portion for your dog.
Not All Parts of Watermelon are Safe for Your Dog
While the pink, fleshy part of a watermelon contains healthy nutrients for both humans and dogs, it’s the seeds that can cause problems for our pets. The seeds can create an intestinal blockage which can be very painful for your pet, maybe even requiring surgery to correct the problem. Smaller dogs are more at risk of this problem, while most larger dogs are able to pass the seeds without experiencing any issues.
We also suggest you don’t allow your pet to eat the rind of watermelon – the green, hard outer skin – as it can cause gastrointestinal distress leading to vomiting and/or diarrhea. This is caused by your dog swallowing the rind without thoroughly chewing it. Again, smaller dogs are more susceptible to this problem. And while the fleshy part of the watermelon is a healthy treat for your dog, make sure you only give your pet this delectable fruit in small serves. Because it has a high fiber content it can give your dog a tummy upset.
Should you realize your dog has consumed the seeds or rind of a watermelon, keep a close eye on your pet for a minimum of 24-hours for symptoms of intestinal blockage – this may include lethargy, constipation, vomiting and/or abdominal pain. At the first sign of a problem, avoid serious health complications for your dog by consulting your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Natural Watermelon Only
Only give your pet natural, fresh watermelon. Other products that may contain watermelon, or are watermelon flavored, should not be given to your dog. This is because they will typically be full of chemicals, sugar, and other substances that could make your dog ill.
Prepare the plain watermelon yourself so you know exactly what’s in it. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic to pets and too much sugar can cause obesity or diabetes in the long term, and gastrointestinal problems in the short term.
Similar: Can Your Dog Eat Peaches?
How to Feed Your Dog Watermelon
You should only give your dog pieces of watermelon with all the seeds removed, or seedless watermelon. Alternatively, use a melon baller to scoop the fruit out or cut the fruit into small bites, ensuring there are no seeds and no rind.
We do suggest that, prior to giving watermelon or any other human food to you dog, you consult with a nutritionist or your local veterinarian as to how much, if any, is safe to feed your pet – and how often your dog can have it.
Like humans, many pets have medical conditions that could make watermelon a bad choice for them, and some dogs have special dietary requirements, so make sure you take your vet’s advice. With their approval, you can now feed watermelon to your dog, remembering always to remove all the seeds and the rind before offering it to your pet. Our suggestion is that when you decide to offer your dog a nice, refreshing watermelon treat, you cut the watermelon into small, chewable pieces.
Always follow your vet’s advice when feeding your dog human food or any type of treats, remembering that treats should not make up any more than 10% of your pet’s calorie intake.