It’s approaching summertime, and you’re wondering what’s the best snack to cool off your dog. The heat in the summer is already overwhelming for your dog. It’s important to try and satisfy them as much as possible when they’re panting from the sun.
So, Can Dogs Have Watermelon?
No need to fear! Your dog can eat watermelon. However, there are some things you should consider before tossing your dog a watermelon to munch on. Watermelons, when consumed incorrectly, can present a lot of health hazards for your dog.
What’s Bad About Watermelon?
Well, for starters, consuming too much watermelon can cause major tummy aches for your pup. Just cause your dog can eat watermelon, doesn’t mean there aren’t any limits. This goes for all sorts of foods. If you’re feeding your dog a food that they’ve never had before or aren’t used to, they’ll react pretty badly to it. So if you plan on giving your dog watermelon, it’s important to feed them small portions. This will allow your dog’s body to adjust to the fruit, and you’ll, therefore, be able to feed them larger amounts over time.
Parts of the Fruit are Unsafe
Dogs eat watermelon all the time, so why are they getting sick? As all of us know, watermelons contain a numerous amount of seeds. While these seeds don’t really have a negative effect on humans, it’s a different story for dogs (especially puppies or small dogs). The ingestion of seeds can lead to intestinal blockage. This can be extremely dangerous for your dog. Intestinal blockage causes vomiting, dehydration, loss of fluids, and an imbalance in nutrients/electrolytes. By all means, don’t freak out if your dog consumes a few seeds. Seeds normally dissolve in your dog’s stomach acid. But, of course, too much of anything can lead to issues. In fact, there can be up to 800 seeds in a single watermelon! So Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
The same problems occur when you feed your dog the rinds of watermelon. They’re pretty hard to actually chew, which means it’ll easily block your dog’s stomach. Some dogs don’t have an issue chewing watermelon rinds. Smaller dogs, however, lack the ability to thoroughly chew through the rinds. While larger dogs may be able to handle the rinds much more easily than a small dog, it’s safer to exclude both rinds and seeds from your dog’s plate.
What’s Good About Watermelon?
Watermelon is 92% water. Your dog needs to stay hydrated, especially during a hot day. However, they won’t always drink a ton of water. This is why it’s good to introduce hydration in a different way. Watermelon is a very low-calorie fruit, and it contains an abundance of nutrients your dog needs. The fruit contains Vitamins A, B6, and C. It’s also filled with amino acids, antioxidants, and potassium. These are all nutrients that your dog will thrive off of. It’ll improve their energy and decrease their risks of cancer or heart problems.
Some owners fear for the rich amount of sugar in watermelon. Isn’t this bad for your dog? Well, not necessarily. Watermelon contains loads of dietary fiber. The fiber will help to mitigate the amount of sugar that’s in the watermelon. This also means that the sugar in your dog’s blood will be regulated. Because of this, there will be no random spikes of blood sugar.
Watermelon isn’t as bad for your dogs as some people make it out to be. Evidence has shown that it can be very beneficial for your dog’s health. So it’s encouraged to incorporate it into your dog’s diet somehow.
How Should I Be Feeding My Dog Watermelon?
When it comes to actually feed your dog watermelon, make sure you remove all the seeds and exclude the part of the watermelon that includes the rind. It’s also very important that you buy a natural watermelon. Avoid packaged fruit or any foods that are watermelon-flavored. Most of these consist of added sugars and artificial sweeteners, which can harm your dog. Purchasing organic watermelon will ensure the most natural and healthiest form. However, organic foods tend to be slightly more expensive. Regular watermelon from the grocery store will work just fine as long as it isn’t pre-sliced.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to feed your dog watermelon is by freezing it. It sounds a bit odd at first, but it’ll make sense once you see that this is one of the safest ways to feed your dog watermelon.
Frozen Watermelon Cubes: Blend 2 cups of watermelon and 1 cup of coconut milk together. Blending the watermelon will allow you to drain the seeds, thereby making the removal process much easier. Pour this mixture in an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. They’re super-easy, yet tasty treats for your dog (and yourself as well). The fact that they are frozen will also cool your dog down much quicker than regular watermelon. These treats would be the best for a hot summer day, but you can give them to your dog whenever. You may also substitute the milk with yogurt, but make sure it’s either dairy-free or low in fat and sugar.
Chewy Watermelon: You can also use a dehydrator to dry the watermelon—most dogs like the feeling of chewing on something hard. Drying the watermelon will allow them to have fun while getting their nutrients in. Granted, dehydrating the fruit will take out a lot of its water. Your dog wouldn’t get as much H2O as he or she would with a juicy watermelon. Once again, you have to make sure the watermelon is seedless.
So, not only can dogs eat watermelon, but it’s also recommended. You want your dog to be as healthy as possible! By giving them watermelon, you’re contributing a lot to their health. Watermelon can do more good than harm. Along with removing the seeds and rinds, you just need to be watchful of how much watermelon you’re giving your dog.
If you are in the market for a puppy from the worlds best dog breeders checkout our Puppy Finder.
Amber L. Drake is a world-renowned Canine Behaviorist and Professor of Canine Ethology and Cancer, as well as the Author of numerous publications (books, columns, news, etc.) about dog behavior, safety, and training.