We all know how refreshing fresh juicy watermelons are. It’s the favorite go-to choice when temperatures become aggressive, and you might even be tempted to share it with your lovely furry friends. But can dogs eat watermelon?
Watermelon has multiple benefits to your dog’s health and general body wellbeing. It’s a worthy tasty treat and provides plenty of water for hydration and superb nutrients (vitamins and minerals). However, you need to prepare it properly and feed your dog with moderation.
In this article, we’ll expound the questions: Can dogs have watermelon? Is watermelon safe for dogs? More so, we’ll let you know the health benefits, when it’s bad for dogs and how to prepare fresh juicy watermelon slices for your dog so that the next time you feed it, you do it right.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Many dog owners keep asking this question. The simple answer is yes, but with precautions. Dogs enjoy eating the seedless watermelon juicy meat, and they easily digest it to obtain nutrients. Watermelon is not only sweet, but also a powerhouse for vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium. More so, it contains iron, calcium, and fiber. Your dog also benefits from the traces of fiber, proteins, zinc, natural sugar, and carbohydrate, resulting in a boost in energy. That tells you that your dog enjoys antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, lycopene, and minerals in one serving. That said, let’s talk, in detail, the watermelon health benefits to your dog.
Health Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Is watermelon a good fruit for dogs? Watermelon has multiple benefits when given occasionally and carefully to dogs. These benefits include:
Boosts the Dog’s Eyesight
Beta-carotene plenty in watermelon is converted to Vitamin A in the liver giving your dog sharp and powerful eyesight. Vitamin A also plays a significant role in lowering the chances of cataracts. That means you’ll have rare or no visits to the vet with cases of blindness, cataracts, or problems with eye muscles.
Boosts the Dog’s Immune System
Antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, in the watermelon have various benefits. Among the major significance is strengthening the pup’s immunity by fighting all the free radicals that damage the body cells. Free radicals expose the dog’s body to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Scavenging these radicals keeps them healthy.
Promotes the Dog’s Hormone Production
With Vitamin B6, watermelons can stimulate thyroxine production, ensuring a perfect metabolism. The refreshing treat also regulates a dog’s body enzyme activity to ensure growth and development. Vitamin A present in the watermelon aids in proper body muscle and nerve functioning while keeping the skin and body coat good looking and healthy.
Brings Satisfactory and Cooling Effect
According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, there is 92% water in the watermelon. Just like humans, that amount is enough to hydrate, satisfy the dog’s summer quench and cool the sweaty body after an outdoor walk.
Helps in Dog’s Weight Management
If your dog has weight problems, you need to find a way to keep it satisfied while limiting daily calories. That’s when a juicy watermelon serving comes into action. It will easily fill the dog’s stomach, bringing about satisfaction, hydration, colon health, and ease of digestion.
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Regulates Dog’s Blood Sugar
Among the nutritional constituents of watermelon is natural fruit sugar (fructose). The fiber content in watermelon insulates fructose to ensure that the release of sugar is slow but effective. That controls sugar in the bloodstream. Thanks to the potassium present, your dog gets to enjoy a healthy heart.
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
Watermelons have, for years, remained staple fruits during summer outings. With the abundant supply during summer, every dog owner wants to know whether watermelon is safe. The answer is a resounding yes, but you must know the parts your dog needs to eat and when watermelon is bad for your dog. With that, you’ll have observed safety, and your dog will thank you later.
Which Parts of a Watermelon Can Dog Eat?
The watermelon consists of the rind, the flesh, or meat (it can be yellow, red, or orange) and the seeds. The flesh is the only recommended part that you need to feed your dog. The reason dogs can have their juicy watermelon flesh comfortably is because of its ease to masticate and doesn’t pose any danger during digestion. It’s also evident that all the nutrients your dogs need are on the flesh part. Watermelon consumption doesn’t guarantee 100% safety to your dog. Below, we’ll look at the parts of a watermelon that you must be extra cautious about when feeding your dog because they’re dangerous.
When Is Watermelon Bad For Dogs?
According to the American Kennel Club, seeds and rinds are not appropriate at all for your dogs. Here is the reason.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Seeds can expose your dogs to danger. There is no cause for alarm when your dog consumes a few seeds, but when in multiples, things can get worse. Seeds choke the dogs and may block their digestive tract. It’s even worse when in small dogs that are yet to develop their digestive system.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?
Rinds are not safe for your dog consumption. Dogs might seem to chew the rind, but the reality is that it’s quite a hard task. The rind is very firm, and the majority of dogs will swallow it even without chewing. That poses a great danger because it increases the chances of intestinal blockage. Seeds and rinds affect the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. If your dog has eaten watermelon and you’re not sure whether the dangerous parts were removed before eating or fed it seeds and rinds unaware of the risks, check the signs of intestinal blockage like abdominal pain, constipation, or vomiting. Also, check the signs of lethargy. If any mentioned sign shows up, that’s an emergency. Get in touch with your veterinarian immediately to avoid serious issues.
How to Prepare and Feed Your Dog Watermelon
Preparing watermelon for dogs is the first thing to do before you serve it the juicy treat. It involves removing the rind and seeds and cutting the watermelon into small fresh slices or cubes. Here’s how you do it, but first, remove the seeds.
- Cut the watermelon into two halves, equally
- Let the watermelon face down and get rid of the skin
- Get rid of the top of completely
- Cut the melon into an inch length horizontal slices
- Cut it again vertically into smaller cubes then serve your dog.
Feeding Your Dog Watermelon
Note that your dog only needs the natural unsweetened watermelon. Artificial watermelons are full of chemicals, sugars, and other substances that might pose many dangers like diabetes, obesity, or gastrointestinal upset to your dog.
How Much Watermelon Can You Feed a Dog?
Experts say that only 10% of your dog’s calorie comes from random training, summer outing, or good behavior treats. Your dog’s diet should not exceed 20% of vegetables and fruits. Before you embrace the 10% rule, consult your veterinarian or nutritionist for an easement of your dog’s physical activity, age, dietary needs, and much more. Don’t just copy what others are doing.
How Can You Feed Your Dogs Watermelon?
Besides having an occasional raw watermelon, coming up with the seedless watermelon recipe is the best thing you can do. Ready to get creative? There are multiple recipes you can prepare. To begin with, try out the following: Dehydrated watermelon: Dry the watermelon and let your dog enjoy the dehydrated jerky. Cut watermelon strips, remove seeds, dehydrate them, and entertain your dog. Frozen watermelon: Slice the watermelon into chunks and place them in a clean freezer and they’ll be ready in a few hours. Don’t feed it to dogs sensitive to cold.
Serve Your Dog Watermelon Safely
Despite watermelon showcasing multiple benefits, it should not replace the usual main feast of your dog. Instead, it works perfectly as an occasional snack. Your dog will obtain the majority of calories from the usual daily dog diet, and you can’t replace it entirely with fruits. Overfeeding your dog with watermelon turns out to be messy. High levels of fiber are quite beneficial but not for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It leads to diarrhea. It’s even worse with high potassium levels. That’s why you need to feed the dog moderately.
Watermelon in Dogs with Underlying Conditions
“Can dogs eat watermelon?” is a random question to dog owners with ill or senior dogs. Seedless watermelon nutrients have been proven effective for aging and ill dogs due to high dietary amounts of Vitamin C. But, since dogs in such circumstances, especially with kidney disease and diabetes, require excessive attention, consult first. Talk to your vet or nutritionist, and let them know about your dog’s condition. They’ll advise on whether watermelon is right for consumption, the exact amount to consume, and intervals to consider when feeding them.
Summary of Watermelon for Dogs
Can dogs eat watermelon? The straightforward answer is yes. Remove the indigestible rinds and seeds and feed it to your dog in moderation. Don’t replace watermelon with a regular diet, but give it as an occasional treat, and your dog will benefit from its surplus nutrients. A healthy dog is a happy dog. Have you shared watermelon recipes with your dog before? How did they react? Please do share your experiences; we’ll appreciate it.
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.