Is there anything better than a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer day? The refreshing tropical fruit helps to keep us hydrated and is packed with beneficial nutrients that keep us feeling healthy.
As you chow down on a delicious wedge of this juicy treat, have you ever wondered: "can dogs eat watermelon?" You may be surprised, but the short answer is yes - dogs can eat watermelon!
This human food is a treat that is also safe for dogs, but there are a few things to bear in mind before you feed your dog watermelon. Below we will run through why watermelon is good for dogs, what to be aware of when adding it to your dog's diet, and the best way to prepare and serve this delectable hydrating treat.
What makes watermelon good for dogs?
Feeding your dog watermelon is a great way to make sure they stay hydrated. For your sweating and panting dog, it is also a more exciting source of water than plain old H2O!
Just as us humans eat watermelon for its nutritional value, the sweet treat can also be good for your pet's health. The health benefits of feeding your dog watermelon include:
- it contains a variety of nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A and vitamin C. These nutrients are great for boosting your dog's immune system. It is also full of antioxidants which may help prevent cancer
- it is low in sodium, as well as being fat-free and cholesterol-free
- one cup of watermelon contains just 50 calories
This juicy fruit makes for a healthy dog treat thanks to its nutrients and low calorie value. However, watermelon should still be very much a treat. Although it is much healthier than processed chews and biscuits, watermelon shouldn't appear too frequently in your dog's diet. Veterinarians recommend that treats account for no more than 10% of your dog's calorie intake each day, so bear this in mind when feeding watermelon to your dog. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet for your dog can help prevent and manage medical conditions.
What to consider before feeding your dog watermelon
Now we have an affirmative answer to the question, "can dogs eat watermelon?", let's run through the factors that you need to taken into consideration before serving your dog a slice.
As with all occasional treats, watermelon can be a pleasing addition to the pet food that your dogs eat. However, there are a few precautions that pet parents should take before sharing this fresh fruit with your four legged friend. Before you let your dogs eat watermelon, you should make sure that the serving is safe. To prepare watermelon, you must remove all watermelon seeds - both brown and white seeds - before giving your dog this snack. Watermelon seeds can cause an intestinal blockage in dogs. Similarly, you should cut away all of the watermelon rind as this can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.
As long as you properly follow these steps, watermelon can be a healthy treat enjoyed as part of your dog's diet.
How to feed watermelon to your dog
You can feed your dog watermelon after cutting off all of the watermelon rind and seeds to avoid causing an intestinal blockage. For peace of mind, you can let your dogs eat seedless watermelon as the young seeds in the fruit are of low volume and will not damage your dog's digestive tract.
Purchasing a fresh and juicy watermelon from the store evokes memories of summertime, even if right now it is not a particularly hot day. The fruit can offer an escape to a tropical paradise, so why not let your canine friend enjoy a slice of healthy sunshine too? As happy as you may be with your newly-secured but perishable watermelon, we have all felt the frustration of getting it home for it to turn rotten and inedible within a matter of days. To make this tasty treat last longer, you can cut into small chunks and freeze. It is important to make sure that your dog's teeth are strong and healthy enough to chew frozen food. Freeze enough watermelon and both you and your dog can enjoy watermelon and other delicious fruity refreshments on warmer summer days.
Yes, in breaking pet news, dogs can eat a number of other fruits in addition to watermelon! Given to your dog sparingly, they can be a great treat that fits in with your dog food schedule. Before feeding any fruits to your dog, you should carry out thorough research and consult your veterinarian as dogs cannot eat and digest all fruits.
How much watermelon can I give my dog?
It may be a healthy snack packed full of nutrients, but you should be mindful of serving sizes when letting your dogs eat watermelon.
A good rule of thumb is to cut the watermelon into cubes that are one inch thick. You should also adjust the amount for the size of your dog. For small dogs, one to two pieces is an ideal portion. When large dogs eat watermelon, they can enjoy two to three pieces.
It is very important to take into consideration the size of your dog, as watermelon is laden with sugar. Although this is naturally-occurring sugar, smaller dogs and larger dogs will digest it differently.
What makes watermelon bad for dogs?
Just as we shared the watermelon health benefits above, we must tell you about the warnings with some watermelon facts. The question of "can dogs eat watermelon?" comes with a few caveats surrounding moderation and preparation.
Following the advice above, you have removed the seeds and rind. Now it is safe for your dog to eat watermelon, right? Technically yes, but that doesn't mean that your dog can chow down on the whole fruit.
Following the below guidance will make watermelon safe for dogs.
Too much watermelon can make your dog sick
You should limit the amount of watermelon that your dogs eat. It can be easy to think that letting your dog eat a lot of watermelon is healthy and hydrating, especially when it is a new food for your dog. The key is moderation, as allowing your dog to eat watermelon in excess can cause health problems in many dogs.
Too much sugar in your dog's diet can also be very harmful, so you should ensure that watermelon is given sparingly in line with treats making up no more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake.
To protect your dog's health, limit portions each time. After cutting the watermelon into cubes, you should make sure you do not overfeed it to your dog. Too much watermelon can cause a tummy upset and other digestive problems in your dog.
Only feed your dog natural watermelon
It is worth noting that not all watermelon products are made equally. Can dogs eat watermelon fruit? Yes. But can dogs eat watermelon flavored sweets? Nope. Watermelon candy is laden with sugar and artificial sweeteners that could harm your dog. The benefits of watermelon do not apply to flavored candy, so stick with tasty natural watermelon and your dog will thank you for it.
If your dog swallows a lot of seeds in one go, seek medical assistance right away
You should always remove seeds from watermelon as they can be damaging to your dog's digestive system. If your dog does ingest one seed, just keep an eye on them. They will likely pass the seed and be back to their usual self. However, if they manage to consume a lot of seeds at once you should call your veterinarian for medical advice.
The golden rules of watermelon for dogs
So, the answer to your question of "can dogs eat watermelon?" is a resounding yes! Watermelon makes for a healthy snack that, with a water content of over 90%, hydrates your dog in a quick and tasty way. To recap, there are a number of things to be aware of before dishing up the delicious fruit:
- consider watermelon a treat. It should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake
- watermelon rind and seeds can be damaging to your dog's internal organs. Make sure you remove all seeds and rind before feeding watermelon to your dog
- cut into one-inch cubes. This size is important so that they are easy to chew without being so small that they pose a choking hazard
- depending on the size of your dog, a serving size should be 1-3 cubes
- only feed your dog fresh and natural watermelon - never watermelon-flavored sweets. They are filled with added sugar which is detrimental to your dog's health
- try and guarantee that your dog does not swallow any watermelon seeds. If they do ingest a high volume, seek medical advice
As long as you follow the guidance above and the advice provided by your veterinarian, your dog can join you in enjoying some juicy cubes of watermelon!