Watermelon is a synonym for summer according to many people. Maybe you’re one of them?
If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to share some with your dog when he’s looking at you with his “begging eyes”.
So, are watermelons safe for dogs or should you be the only one enjoying them?
Dogs love to eat, that’s a fact. To the point that they can end up eating something they shouldn’t and that’s bad for them. Having in mind they’re not too choosy, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what you can and can’t give your dog.
Today we’re taking a look at the watermelon and answering the question you’re probably asking yourself:
Can I Give My Dog Watermelon?
The short answer to this question is – yes. The long answer is – yes, if you keep in mind some information on how to serve watermelon to your dog. This text will explain the long answer as we continue.
But before we do that, let us just repeat that watermelon itself isn’t toxic or poisonous in any way to dogs. This means that you can share watermelon with your dog and let him or her also cool down with this refreshing fruit.
Now – let’s take a look at how you should serve the watermelon and what benefits could come from it.
What Benefits Can Come From Watermelon?
The watermelon is very rich in Vitamin C and A, magnesium, thiamine, beta-carotene and potassium – just like another melon, the cantaloupe. Even though dogs don’t have the same need for vitamins and other dietary supplements, they are still beneficial to them in moderate amounts.
The biggest benefit is probably its high level of vitamin C. Even though dogs can produce vitamin C on their own, these additions in watermelon contribute to a stronger immune system. Thanks to vitamin A the dog’s coat will be healthy and shiny while its reflexes will be improved thanks to thiamine, that is vitamin B-1.
On top of that, watermelons mainly consist of water – as the name reveals – and are therefore great during hot days, when you want to keep your dog hydrated. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should supplement water by watermelon. It just makes a good addition to the water he’s having during warm summer days.
Finally, watermelon is very low in calories as it’s actually 90% water! It also consists of natural sugars, which makes it great for dogs with health problems who can’t have processed sugar.
This makes it a great treat if your dog enjoys eating watermelon. You can even freeze it and make fun dog treats. Check out how you do that in the video below!
How Do I Serve Watermelon To My Dog?
It’s important to keep one thing in mind when you want to give watermelon to your dog. That is – the rind and seeds from the watermelon are bad for your dog and should definitely be avoided. This is why you have to make sure to remove both rind and seeds before giving watermelon to your dog.
Buying a seedless watermelon is therefore a good idea. However, even if its called seedless, and it’s true it doesn’t have the black seeds watermelons usually have, it still has white seeds. Even though they’re not as problematic as the black ones, for reasons we’ll explain later in the text, it would still be a good idea to remove as many of them as possible.
How Much Watermelon Should Dogs Eat?
As with all fruit and vegetables, keep it moderate and in normal amounts. This is especially important in the beginning, when you first start introducing watermelon to your dog. Like with any new food, start slowly in order to see how your pet reacts.
If he or she seems to tolerate and like it you can start giving watermelon occasionally, as a treat or as a refreshment when it’s warm. Dogs with longer coats will especially appreciate it in the summer!
You should also keep in mind that watermelon is very sweet and can create an illusion of a full stomach. This is why it’s best to serve it some time before the meal or a couple of hours after so it doesn’t interfere with the regular meal.
However, don’t overdo it – the benefits won’t be any bigger and your dog can end up with diarrhea and upset stomach if it has too much of this watery fruit.
Can Watermelons Be Bad For Dogs?
As mentioned, watermelon itself is completely harmless and can even be beneficial if given in moderation. However, the rind and the seeds can create some problems you should be aware of and prevent from happening.
The watermelon rind is said to be great for humans for its many benefits – increased energy level and improved focus being only some of the positive effects that could come from eating the rind. However, dogs are very different at this point. Not only is the rind without benefits, it’s also quite dangerous.
This is because they have a really hard time digesting the rind and will almost always end up with gastrointestinal problems. Besides being hard to digest, it is also very hard for dogs’ teeth. If you have a stubborn dog that won’t give up until it has chewed its way through the rind it can only end up with tooth damage.
When it comes to the watermelon seeds, they’re also really bad for dogs and should be taken out. As you know, watermelons are full of seeds and even the smallest part has some seeds in it. These could lead to intestinal blockage and digestion problems you don’t want your dog suffering from.
Even though they’re not a choking hazard, like the pit in avocados for example, they can create problems after they’ve been swallowed.
Finally, the watermelon seeds can lead to intoxication in some cases, just like orange seeds. These are all reasons why you should remove ALL the seeds prior to giving watermelon to your dog.
What Do I Do If My Dog Eats The Rind?
There’s no need to panic if you notice that your dog somehow got a hold of the rind. Take it away from him and make sure it doesn’t happen again. You should also be prepared on the digestive problems that will most likely occur.
Your dog’s stool will probably be really loose and it might have stomach aches. In cases where your dog suffers from a loose stool, carrots can be real life-savers as they regulate the bowel movement.
However, if the problems don’t go away after some time pay a visit to your vet in order to get proper diagnose and treatment.
Luckily, watermelons are safe for dogs to have. However, the rind and the seeds are not, so you should always remove them before giving some to your dog. If you do that, watermelon can be quite beneficial.
Apart from making the immune system better and the coat shinier, watermelon is also a great refreshment during hot days. It’s also made of natural sugars so it can be a great alternative treat for dogs that shouldn’t consume treats with processed sugar.
The bottom line is – serve the watermelon occasionally and cleaned from rind and seeds and your dog will be able to enjoy this refreshing fruit with you!