It is reckless for any dog owner these days to feed their pets a new type of food without doing the proper research first. Certain fruits are perfectly acceptable for dogs, while others could cause some pretty serious health risks. So, what is the deal with cantaloupe?
Dogs do just fine with cut-up cantaloupe as a snack periodically. It has numerous vitamins in it that will help with a balanced diet, and it is soft enough for dogs to eat with ease. Keep everything in moderation, and it will be a perfectly acceptable snack.
What is the limit for cantaloupe for dogs?
As is the case with most fruits, try to keep portions down quite a bit to avoid any complications. Not only will dogs have a lower risk of an upset stomach, but they also are not going to be consuming a ton of sugar in one sitting. A few bites should be sufficient enough, no matter how much they end up begging for more.
Much like humans, this fruit is excellent for the summer months, as it is a refreshing treat that can boost energy levels a bit as well. Let them have a few extra bites if they are finishing up a long walk or playing around in the yard since it will perk them up a bit. Giving them too much sugar when they are acting somewhat lethargic can excite them to the point that some people do not want that.
Veterinarians typically recommend no more than 10% of daily calories coming from treats and snacks. One cup of cantaloupe is a little over 50 calories, so keep that in mind when it comes down to portion control.
What are some early warning signs that a dog has had too much cantaloupe?
Dogs react to overeating cantaloupe the same way they do with other types of foods out there. For example, early warning signs will be acting incredibly lethargic and vomiting. If problems continue, there could be signs of diarrhea and a long-term lack of appetite. These might seem pretty mild and in most cases are, but if it lingers for too long, it might be worth taking them to the veterinarian to see if they can figure something out. They will be able to notice right away whether or not the dog is reacting more seriously.
If dogs have a terrible reaction to cantaloupe, cut down on that fruit for the near future. They could have a poor response to this particular fruit, but they are fine eating others. With so many other fruits out there that offer similar nutritional value, it just makes sense to eliminate this option instead of running the risk of illnesses coming back.
Why ripe cantaloupes matter
The vast majority of people purchasing a cantaloupe is doing it for themselves first and foremost. They might be fully ready to share with their dog, but they are not usually as picky with eating cantaloupe as humans.
One of the only ways to fully enjoy cantaloupe is to pick a ripe option. There are some fruits out there that taste significantly different if they are not ripe, and it can be frustrating.
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The general thought process is that cantaloupe is going to be at its best during the summer. Finding a ripe cantaloupe comes down to look and feel to a certain degree, but the smell will also be a huge warning sign. A ripe cantaloupe is going to have a sweet and musky scent. The melon will also detach from the stem and feel firm to the touch.
When going to a local grocery or farmer’s market, it is pretty common to see people going around and feeling cantaloupes to try to find the best one. Once purchased, enjoy the cantaloupe in the next day or two for the full value.
The only true negative to a ripe cantaloupe over other options is that it will contain the highest amount of sugars at this time. This is what provides a sweetness that makes it such a popular choice.
What is the best way to serve cantaloupe to a dog?
Cantaloupe does not need as much prep work as other fruits, but it is still important to help out the dog as much as possible. For example, a dog is not going to open up any melon that is hard outside easily, so cut up before handing it over.
Some of the options can get a bit monotonous at times, so trying different ideas to keep a dog interested can make a lot of sense. They are likely going to enjoy any cantaloupe the same, but it is nice to give them options that might be particularly strong for a dog out there.
Perfectly sized pieces
After opening a cantaloupe, one of the easiest ways to serve it is to cut it in bite-size pieces like those used for a fruit salad. It is effortless for dogs to consume, and it gives them virtually no risk of choking or overeating. People can control precisely how much cantaloupe goes to a dog, and that makes it a healthy snack overall.
Frozen pieces of cantaloupe
If it is an incredibly hot day, dogs might enjoy having a frozen slice of cantaloupe instead of something that is room temperature. It is essentially going to be the same vitamins and nutrients provided, but it could help cool them down a bit. Some people use this trick as a way to help with younger puppies who are going through the teething process.
Dogs that want a little bit more to chew on might be happy to have some dehydrated cantaloupe instead of something a bit fresh. It is going to be sweet, and a lot of the nutrients will still be there as well. However, it turns into a bit of a fruit chew that is easy for them to consume while giving them a little bit of a challenge.
What makes cantaloupe a good snack for dogs?
A cantaloupe is extremely easy for dogs to eat, as long as it is cut up properly for them beforehand. Cantaloupe contains about 90% water, so it is automatically going to help with proper hydration and overall health. There is also fiber in cantaloupe, which is going to help a dog’s comprehensive digestive system.
Nutrients that people should particularly look out for with cantaloupe include the following. While there are other sources for these nutrients, including traditional dog food, it is nice to get these benefits from something else as well.
Vitamin A is available in a lot of fruits and vegetables, and melon is an excellent source for it. Dogs can benefit in a bunch of different ways, including improved vision, healthy growth, fetal development, overall immune system functioning, and more. It is one of the essential vitamins that helps out many mammals, and dogs are no different.
Dogs can synthesize vitamin C in their livers, but that does not mean that they can’t benefit from this vitamin in their diet as well. Having supplemental Vitamin C can help free radicals in the body and cut down on overall inflammation. It is one of the essential antioxidants out there for dogs.
Folic acid is necessary for helping with metabolism in a dog’s body, as well as cell membranes. If a dog has a lack of folic acid in their diet, the cell membranes can begin to weaken. It is something that sometimes gets overlooked, but it is an essential B vitamin found in a lot of different fruits and vegetables.
Having healthy amounts of fiber in a dog’s diet is very important. It helps with digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, cutting down the chances of diabetes, and so much more. It also helps to make sure the dogs do not overeat, which can be a problem for some owners who can’t keep their human food away from their pet.
Getting this mineral for a dog is helpful when looking at cellular functioning. It is one of the most critical components that help allow muscles to work correctly and for nerves to create impulses. There is potassium in other foods for dogs, but with it serving such a vital part of living, it is never a bad thing to get more.
Low in calories
The cantaloupe might be pretty filled with sugar, but the calories are overall low. That is good news for dogs that are on a strict diet from a caloric intake perspective. A dog will not feel bloated when they snack on this food compared to so many other options out there. Even when directly compared to other fruits, it is one of the lightest snacks out there.
Why overweight and diabetic dogs should stay away from cantaloupe
It was touched on a bit earlier, but there are too many negatives with cantaloupe for diabetic or overweight dogs. Sugar is always going to be part of the equation with just about every fruit out there. Melons are on the high side. Yes, water is 90% of the equation, but most of the rest of the melon contains sugar.
There are diabetic sweet food options available for dogs out there if they have special health needs. Make sure to ask a veterinarian for suggestions as well, as they will be able to get their recommendations for people looking.
Even if a dog is perfectly healthy right now, there is such a thing as developing a sweet tooth. Do not get them to the point that they are craving sweets all the time, or they will be much more likely to dig around and see what they can find. It can be very frustrating for people to figure out what to do with their animals when they seem always to be getting themselves in trouble by uncovering new food opportunities. Dogs can put on weight in a hurry if they are a bit older and not as active, so pay attention to their eating habits as much as possible.
Why should cantaloupe rinds be avoided at all costs?
The rind of a lot of fruits out there it is not healthy for a dog, and the candle is no different. It is not toxic and capable of doing significant damage, but it is just not something for them to mess around with and chew consistently.
A rind on the cantaloupe is very tough and hard to chew, which gives dogs a challenge right away. It is so hard to chew that digesting even a little bit of rind can end up being a choking hazard because they will swallow before chewing it properly. This is a bit more of a risk for older and smaller dogs, but we have to look out for big dogs as well.
The rind is so hard that it can also do damage to a dog’s teeth if they try to bite through it too much. There is no reason for them to have to battle through a ride when they have so many other chewing options in the home to keep their attention.
People can take a lot of precautions avoiding the rind of a cantaloupe, but dogs seem to find a way to get themselves in trouble. If for some reason a dog does have a cantaloupe rind, monitor them for the next day to make sure that they are not showing any signs that something is wrong.
If it is just a little bit of rind, it is probably not going to do too much damage. Only if a dog gets to a lot of cantaloupe will they possibly show severe stomach pain, vomiting, irregular bowel movements, and more. If that happens, contact a veterinarian right away and see what they can do.
It is straightforward to cut up a cantaloupe, so there is no reason for rinds to be sticking around too much. Make sure to properly dispose of them after cutting up the cantaloupe, because dogs will sniff it out and go to trash if it is easy to access.
What other similar fruits make sense for dogs?
Pretty much all melons fall in the same category as cantaloupe for dogs. They are good in moderation and could be a nice change of pace for a dog looking for something sweet. Overeating melon is going to cause problems potentially, but nothing that dogs owners should worry about too much.
As hard as the rind is for a cantaloupe, some melons out there that have even tougher exteriors. This does do a good job of making sure that dogs do not sneak too much cantaloupe on the side, but it can definitely do some damage if people do not worry about it enough.
Never think that giving them variations of melon is fine. They all are very high in sugars, so if they eat watermelon earlier in the day, do not follow it up with cantaloupe later on.
Are cats fans of cantaloupe as well?
Getting a dog to eat different types of human food is usually a lot easier than cats. There are some pretty picky eaters when it comes to felines, but it seems like cantaloupe is something that they thoroughly enjoy.
One of the reasons why is almost certainly related to the texture of melon. Any type of melon is very soft and filled with water, so they are comfortable eating it without making too much of a sacrifice. Even if they are incredibly picky eaters in the first place, they are likely going to sample at least a little.
Cats are not as big of a problem when it comes to the rind either, but it just makes sense to cut it up into very easy bites for them as well. It is one of those rare treats that both dogs and cats can enjoy in a home.
The final word on cantaloupe
There is a lot to like with cantaloupe as far as a dog treat is concerned, and it is not going to do too much harm in moderation. Do not be a very easy-going pet owner to the point that they are snacking on it quite a bit every single day. It should compare to candy for humans in that regard.
When properly cut up and prepared, cantaloupe is an effortless fruit that can be portion-controlled as well. More than likely, dogs are going to fall in love with the fruit, wanting to have as much as they are allowed. Some people use it as a treat to the point that they can train them for specific tasks as well. Not bad for a fruit also filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy living.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.