Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Becky Roberts
There’s nothing more refreshing than a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. And it’s only natural that we’d want to share the experience with our canine companions. However, there are some fruits which are perfectly healthy for us humans to eat, but are very harmful for dogs. It’s always a good idea to check whether or not a certain food is safe for your dog before you give them a taste. Also, it’s important that you introduce your dog to new culinary experiences slowly to minimize the chance of things going wrong.
The good news: Yes, dogs can eat watermelon flesh. There are some parts of the watermelon that you shouldn’t feed your dogs, such as the rind or seeds. However, in general, watermelons are a great treat for your dog.
Watermelons offer several health benefits that you won’t find with many other fruits. They are made up mainly of water, which makes them a great way to ensure your dog stays hydrated during the hot summer months. While watermelon does induce peeing, the benefits of getting so much water far outweigh the diuretic effect, resulting in a net gain of hydration.
Watermelon is also packed with tons of valuable nutrients and vitamins. It contains fiber, which can aid in digestion as well as keep your dog’s blood sugar normal. Watermelons also contain vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as antioxidants and minerals like potassium. Regularly feeding your dog a small amount of fruit can help them live longer and stay healthier, as long as you take a few simple precautions when you begin.
Potential Dangers of Watermelon
Watermelon is considered safe for your dog to eat because it doesn’t contain any chemicals that are known to be harmful to dogs. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe for all dogs to eat, as some dogs may react quite badly to eating watermelon for the first time. Like people, dogs can suffer from food allergies. While these are rare, they can happen and may have devastating consequences if you’re not looking out for them.
Food allergies can manifest in a number of different ways, ranging from mild to potentially fatal. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, hives on the skin, swelling of the mouth and face, and even anaphylaxis. If your dog starts to manifest any of these symptoms, stop feeding them and take them to the vet immediately.
In addition to many beneficial nutrients, watermelon is loaded with sugar. The regular consumption of sugar can have negative health implications for your dog, such as an increased risk of developing diabetes or becoming obese. Serving sizes are very important to consider when giving watermelon as a treat. Small dogs can get a lot of their daily caloric intake from a relatively small amount of watermelon. Speak to your vet or nutritionist to get a good idea of the recommended serving size for your dog.
Finally, some dogs just have sensitive stomachs and may need some time to get adjusted to a new addition to their diet. Starting with a small amount of watermelon helps your dog’s digestive system adjust with minimal mess and fuss.
Feeding Your Dog Watermelon Safely
When introducing your dog to any new food, take it slow, and offer them small pieces at first. You should then keep an eye on them to see if they develop any adverse reactions, such as allergies or an upset stomach.
Be careful to only feed your dog the flesh of the watermelon, avoiding seeds and the rind. Most dogs can tolerate a couple of seeds, but large amounts of seeds will inevitably lead to diarrhea. Dogs, just like humans, tend to find the rind unpalatable, and feeding your dog the rind may also result in an upset stomach.
Once you’re certain that your dog tolerates watermelon well, you can start incorporating it as a treat instead of calorie-packed commercial treats. One of the easiest ways to give your dog watermelon is to blend watermelon flesh with some water and freeze it into delicious frozen treats. If your dog really loves watermelon, you can dehydrate the flesh to make watermelon jerky. It won’t be hydrating, but it will still be delicious and nutritious. Watermelon can also be combined with a small amount of yogurt as a filling and refreshing snack.
Watermelon is a great addition to any dog’s diet as it’s a high water content food that helps your dog stay hydrated. It also contains many vitamins and minerals that help keep your dog’s diet balanced. Moderation is the key to ensuring that your dog doesn’t suffer from any negative symptoms. However, it’s likely that your dog won’t be interested in moderation after tasting watermelon for the first time.