Who doesn’t love a piece of watermelon? It is refreshing, and enjoyable in the summer. Even dogs love watermelon. The question owners have is can dogs eat watermelon. How safe is for your dog to eat watermelon?
The short answer is watermelon is safe for dogs, but with some precautions. You should never give your dog watermelon with seeds. Why? Because seeds can cause intestinal blockage. It is also not a good idea to let your dog chew on the rind, as it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Watermelon on its own is a great fruit and packed with nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
Being that watermelon is made of more than 90% water, it is a quite refreshing treat in the summer. So, how much of a good thing can be a bad thing? What are the safety precautions for feeding watermelon to your dog? Read on.
Benefits of watermelon for dogs
As mentioned previously, watermelon is a nutritional powerhouse. It is packed with healthy nutrients including many vitamins that are great for digestion. Watermelon also contains sugar, but due to the fiber content in the fruit prevents it from being released into the bloodstream too quickly.
Another benefit of watermelon is the fruit contains lycopene. That is an antioxidant, usually found in tomatoes, that helps prevent cancer. Speaking of the vitamins, the three major vitamins found in watermelon are vitamins A, B6, and C.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports bone growth, reproduction, and vision of your dog. Vitamin B6 is used in more than 100 chemical reactions, forming amino acids that support a healthy coat and reduce tooth decay. And vitamin C is the most important vitamin for your dog’s immune system.
Watermelon is low in calories, making it a great treat. And since it is made of 92% water, the fruit is a great source of hydration on a hot day.
Can watermelon be bad?
Now, while watermelon is a great treat for your dog, it should not make up a large part of his diet. If your dog eats too much watermelon, he can get a tummy ache. Also, too much watermelon can cause diarrhea and similar signs of gastrointestinal upset.
Bear in mind, some dogs often get an upset stomach when they try new food. Therefore, it is best to give your dog moderate amounts of watermelon.
See how he reacts, and then follow accordingly. Also, all dogs are different and unique. Some dogs might love watermelon, others might not.
Be careful with seeds
Not all parts of the watermelon are healthy for your dog. In fact, some parts of the fruit are dangerous. Seeds, for example, can pose a problem for dogs. One or two seeds might not make much of a difference.
However, too many seeds can cause intestinal blockage. Large dog breeds may be able to pass the seeds, but small dog breeds are at higher risk.
In addition to the seeds, the rinds are not safe for consumption. Because it is firm and difficult to chew, dogs might swallow without chewing it. The result is an intestinal blockage.
Signs and symptoms your dog has eaten some seeds or the rind of the watermelon include vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, and lethargy. Make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately.
Stick to natural watermelon
In addition to can dogs eat watermelon, dog owners often ask about watermelon products. Forget about them. Sweet products that contain watermelon are usually artificially flavored.
They are not a good idea for your dog due to the high amount of sugar. Not only sugar, these products often contain chemicals and other substances that can cause problems with your dog.
As most of you know, too much sugar often leads to gastrointestinal upset, and with prolonged usage, diabetes, and obesity. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are also dangerous and toxic for dogs. Therefore, stick to natural watermelon.
How to feed watermelon to your dog?
Dogs have different dietary needs. Before giving watermelon to your dog, it might be a good idea to consult a veterinarian. Some medical conditions can be problematic.
Now, for feeding, make sure to remove the seeds and rind from the watermelon. Give your dog only clean watermelon. Cut the fruit into small and chewable cubes. That is the simplest way to prepare watermelon as a treat.
Another option is to freeze watermelon and make it refreshing summer treat. Just make sure your dog has healthy teeth that can chew frozen food without being damaged. You can also mix watermelon with other healthy fruity treats for dogs, like blueberries.
How to make frozen watermelon treats
Probably the simplest and easiest way to prepare watermelon treats for your dog. Blend two cups of seedless watermelon flesh and 1 cup of coconut milk or water. Pour into ice cube trays. Freeze into simple cubes or fun shapes. Give your dog one treat at a time.
Some people prefer to dehydrate the watermelon and turn it into chewy treats. You can use a dehydrator for this purpose. Just keep in mind, dehydrating the watermelon will mean it has less hydrating power. It will still be tasty and fun to chew, but without hydration.
Cut a seedless watermelon into slices, and then place in the dehydrator. You can also use the oven for this purpose, but it will take at least 8 hours, and that is just too much wasted electricity.
Watermelon and yogurt
For a more nutrient-dense and refreshing treat, freeze watermelon and yogurt. Puree the watermelon in a blender, and then add yogurt. Use 1:1 ratio, and pour into ice cube molds. Use natural low-fat or non-fat yogurt, one that is not full of additives.
Some dogs don’t do well with dairy, so be careful if your dog has problems digesting dairy.
How much of a good thing is bad?
While it is safe to feed your dog with watermelon, you should only do it in moderation. Veterinarians and nutrition experts always suggest just 10% of your dog’s diet to be treats. The remaining 90% should be regular food. In addition, only 20% of your dog’s diet should come from fruits and vegetables.
With that in mind, how much can you give to your dog? Keep in mind that a dog weighing 25 pounds should consume between 500 and 750 calories per day. With that in mind, it would be between 50 and 75 calories of watermelon per day or 150g.