Fleshy, juicy, and refreshing, watermelon is a fruit that many enjoy, especially on a hot day.
While we enjoy this delicious treat that keeps us cool and hydrated, we can’t help but wonder if the same applies to our pup.
Well, today, we set the record straight once and for all, shall we?
So, can dogs have watermelon?
Dogs can have watermelon as it’s chock-full of healthy nutrients like Potassium, Vitamins A, C, and B6, and Fiber, which can benefit your dog’s overall health.
However, while the fleshy part of watermelon may be safe for your pup, other parts like the seeds and rind can be dangerous.
This article will discuss everything dogs and watermelons.
This will also include the health benefits of watermelon for your pup.
Can dogs eat watermelon?
Yes, watermelon is one of the safest choices as a treat for your pup as it’s low in calories and sodium, and it’s also fat-free and cholesterol-free.
It’s also high in fiber, making it an excellent resource for your dog’s digestive tract, encouraging good quality and regular bowel movements.
However, other parts like the seeds and rind may be dangerous as they may cause choking or intestinal blockage, which may require surgery to correct.
The rind can also cause gastrointestinal distress for your pup, including vomiting, constipation, lethargy, and abdominal pain.
What are the health benefits of watermelon for my dog?
Watermelon, if fed correctly, can be an excellent source of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins C, B6, and A, which can be nutritionally beneficial for your dog.
It’s also rich in Lycopene and fiber, making it a healthier option for your dog than store-bought treats.
Some of the health benefits of watermelon include:
- Moisture – Watermelon has a high moisture percentage (94%) which helps your dog stay hydrated, especially during those sweltering days. The extra moisture also helps the kidneys flush out toxins while protecting other systems for a long, healthy life
- Antioxidants -The antioxidants in watermelons help reduce the effects of chronic inflammation, which causes various health problems in your dog. Unlike humans, dogs are regularly exposed to more toxins, making antioxidants vital for optimal health
- Lycopene – Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to fight cancer cells, aid in skin and coat health, and promote eye health. It also can protect your dog against cardiovascular disease and also boost its immunity
- Potassium – Potassium is an electrolyte that aids in functioning electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles. It also works together with calcium and phosphorus to promote healthy teeth and bones in your fido
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce potentially harmful free radicals in your dog’s body, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation. It also supports your dog’s immune system, improves energy, and provides relief to dogs who suffer from UTIs
- Fiber – Fiber helps increase bulk and absorb excess water, aiding in bowel regularity and helping produce firm, formed stools. It also helps produce a healthy intestinal pH which aids in preventing the growth of unwanted bacteria in your fido’s gut while aiding the colon recover from injury
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is a vital fat-soluble vitamin that has functions supporting vision, bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation, and immune response in dogs. It also helps promote a healthier, shinier coat and clearer skin
- Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is a critical coenzyme responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, hormone regulation, immune response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation. It’s also vital for maintaining a potassium-sodium balance in your fido’s body
When does watermelon become dangerous for dogs?
While watermelon may be an excellent treat for your dog, other parts may be incompatible with him.
For example, if your dog consumes too many watermelon seeds, they may cause an intestinal blockage which may require surgery to correct.
The rind also can be problematic to your dog as it has a tough texture which can end up lodged in your dog’s digestive tract if swallowed.
Similarly, if your dog consumes watermelon in excess, it can cause gastrointestinal distress that triggers vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
You should also introduce watermelon gradually, as some dogs can develop an upset tummy, especially if they haven’t tried it before.
This will help your dog’s system adjust while checking for any reactions.
If your dog gets sick after eating watermelon, call the vet immediately if the symptoms don’t disappear within a day or two.
You might also need to keep watermelon out of your dog’s reach as a precaution.
How to feed your dog watermelon
There are several tips you need to remember before feeding your dog watermelon.
Some of these guidelines include:
- Introduce watermelon slowly into your dog’s diet to avoid vomiting or diarrhea while allowing his system to adjust
- Only give your dog seedless watermelon to avoid choking or intestinal blockage in your pup
- Scoop out the fruit with a melon baller or cut them up into small bite-size pieces while carefully removing any part of the rind
- Avoid artificially flavored watermelon treats or candy as they may contain other ingredients like added sugars or artificial sweeteners that could harm your pup
- Only feed your dog watermelon after the approval of your vet, as some dogs may have pre existing medical conditions that can make watermelon a bad choice
- You can freeze watermelon in small chewable cubes to offer your dog during hot summer days. However, ensure your dog’s teeth are healthy enough to chew frozen treats without causing damage.
How much watermelon can I give my dog?
Generally, treats, including watermelon, should only form 10% of your dog’s diet, with the rest being its regular nutritionally balanced food.
You can offer your dog just one cup of diced and seedless watermelon, which can be a great way to boost his immunity and his overall wellness.
However, if your dog overeats watermelon, it can cause an upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea.
Is the sugar in watermelon bad for dogs?
Although watermelon contains sugar, it’s also high in fiber which insulates the sugar preventing it from being released into the bloodstream.
For dogs with preexisting conditions like diabetes, watermelon should only be offered under the instructions of your vet or nutritionist according to your dog’s dietary needs.
Like all safe human foods or treats, you should give watermelon sparingly with a couple of precautions.
Consult your vet before feeding your dog watermelon, as he will be able to provide you with serving ideas according to your pup’s dietary needs.