Lots of human foods could be dangerous for dogs — but some human foods can make for a fun snack. So, where does watermelon fall on the list?
Can dogs eat watermelon? The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat watermelons as a healthy treat.
Watermelon is packed with nutrients that both you and your canine companion can enjoy within certain guidelines. Keep reading to explore possible health benefits of watermelon for dogs, how best to serve watermelon, and helpful pet safety tips to consider.
Short answer, yes. Watermelon can provide a number of benefits for your dog. Watermelon contains vitamins and nutrients that are essential for your dog’s health. Like many fruits and vegetables, watermelon is rich in antioxidants, that help repair cell damage caused by day-to-day environmental stress.
Plus, since watermelon is mostly made of water, it is an excellent choice to help keep your pup hydrated and cool on a hot day.
Some of the nutrients watermelon might provide your pooch include:
● Vitamin A
● Vitamin B6
● Vitamin C
The key to any balanced diet for your dog is moderation, and watermelon is no different. Eating too much watermelon can cause your dog to have diarrhea or other symptoms of an upset stomach.
Think of watermelon as you would any other dog treat — something to be given as a special snack, not as a regular part of your dog’s diet.
There are plenty of ways your dog can enjoy watermelon after removing the seeds and rind.
● Fresh: A few chunks of fresh watermelon are an easy treat. It is best to stick with one to two, one-inch thick pieces for small dogs and two to three, one-inch thick pieces for larger dogs.
● Frozen: Frozen watermelon chunks can be an extra refreshing snack on a hot, summer day.
● Pureed: A watermelon puree mixed with plain, unsweetened yogurt, or peanut butter can be an enriching, lickable treat. You can also try freezing the puree mix for a doggie ice cream. Just be sure your yogurt and peanut butter are free from artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol.
Remember, consult your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet and stick to fresh watermelon. Do not feed your dog any watermelon with artificial sugars or watermelon-flavored snacks.
As healthy as watermelon is for your dog, some parts of the fruit are best to avoid altogether.
You should not let your dog consume the watermelon seeds. Since the seeds are small and dense, they can get stuck in the dog’s digestive tract, creating an intestinal blockage. Keep in mind, the smaller the dog, the larger the seeds are relative to the dog’s digestive system. Therefore, the risk is even greater for smaller dogs.
It is best to cut up fresh watermelon into bite-sized chunks and remove all seeds before sharing the fruit with your dog.
If your dog does enjoy snacking on watermelon, seedless is the best option.
You may have noticed smaller, white-colored seeds in seedless watermelon. While these are often mistaken for seeds, they are coats where the seeds did not fully mature.
The seed coats are not developed enough, and there are likely not enough of them to cause significant problems for your dog’s digestive tract. However, it is a good idea to remove as many as you can before feeding it to your dog.
No, just like watermelon seeds, dogs cannot eat watermelon rind. It is too tough for your pup’s digestive system to break down. The rind can potentially cause a blockage or upset stomach. Additionally, your dog could damage his or her teeth and gums by chewing on the hard rind.
As mentioned before, when a dog eats watermelon rind or seeds, there’s a risk of an intestinal blockage and other stomach problems. If you suspect your dog ate either, monitor your dog’s behavior and consider calling your vet for further consultation.
Signs of intentional blockage to look for can include constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If your dog is showing signs of a blockage, seek your veterinarian’s help right away.
As previously mentioned, before feeding your dog any type of food, including watermelon, consider setting up an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide the best guidance on what food is safe for your dog to consume and any specific needs your pet may need for their diet.
Your vet can also help you make a plan for when food-related accidents turn into emergencies. Having a plan can help save your pet’s life.
Planning ahead can also help save your wallet. Emergency trips to the vet can become expensive quickly. You could get help covering unexpected costs with pet insurance. Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1