Watermelon is a refreshing fruit to keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. It is a healthy and delicious snack for humans but is it beneficial for dogs as well? Yes they can, but make sure to feed this watery fruit to your pup in moderation and with some precautions.
Watermelon typically got its name because of its high level of water content (about 92%). It is also full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, B6, amino acids, potassium, calcium, fiber, and lycopene. Here is everything you need to know about watermelon and how you can treat your dog with this summery fruit.
Health Benefits of Feeding Watermelon to Dogs
Watermelon is not just a hydrating treat, it promotes your overall health system. Similarly, feeding watermelon to your dog also comes with a handful of health benefits.
Let’s look at how watermelon is good for your pup’s health:
- Watermelon is loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that causes the cherry red color in the fruit. This antioxidant helps to curb the risks of diabetes and cancer in dogs.
- This refreshing fruit also boosts your pup’s serotonin in their brain, blood platelets, and their bowels.
- An amino acid called citrulline found in watermelon promotes healthier hearts in dogs by lowering their blood pressure. The acid helps in your dog’s blood circulation throughout the body, hence reducing their blood pressure.
- Watermelon is an excellent source of fiber; therefore, feeding watermelon to your pup can also help in easy digestion.
- The fiber content also stops the sugar in watermelon to cause any unhealthy effects in your dog by insulating the sugar and slowly releasing it into your pup’s bloodstream. This consequently leads to a reduction in sugar spikes.
- Watermelon is also known to support muscle functions in dogs. A natural pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin found in this fruit helps protect your pooch’s joints from inflammation.
- Since watermelon contains 9-11% of vitamin A, it also aids in your pup’s eye health.
When Is Watermelon Bad for Dogs?
Feeding watermelon isn’t dangerous to dogs, but it can be bad when you aren’t aware of what parts of the fruit to provide to your four-legged friend. A watermelon’s fleshy part is safe to consume, however, you should know that watermelon seeds and rind (skin) can be problematic for dogs’ digestive health. If your pup swallows the seeds, it doesn’t only upset their intestinal blockage, but sometimes it can be severe enough to require surgery. While a seed or two doesn’t necessarily cause any problems in larger dogs, smaller dogs can feel obstruction with just a few seeds.
Similarly, the rind or the outer green skin of the watermelon is also harmful to dogs. When dogs ingest the skin, they can have difficulty in digestion, which further causes gastrointestinal distress, followed by symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and stomach pain. Besides, the hard rind can also be a choking hazard in dogs.
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How Many Watermelons Can a Dog Eat?
Watermelon can be given as an occasional summer treat to your dog. Its excess water content can help your pup remain hydrated and refreshed during hot summer days. But make sure that you feed this fruit in smaller quantities as feeding in large amounts to your dog might cause an upset stomach due to its high fiber content.
You might also want to monitor your dog’s reaction when giving them watermelon for the first time because there is always a risk of stomach stress when adding new food to a dog’s diet.
For the exact amount of watermelon to give your dog, you can always consult with your vet.
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
Watermelon is undoubtedly safe for dogs to eat. But as we’ve mentioned before, make sure that you don’t feed seeds and the rind part of the watermelon to avoid any gastrointestinal problems.
How Should You Feed Watermelon to Dogs?
So how should you feed watermelon to your pooch? Here are our top guidelines to follow when you give this fruit to your dog:
- First and foremost, make sure you remove all the seeds and the rind before feeding watermelons to your dog.
- You can cut it into small pieces to avoid the chances of choking hazards.
- Scoop out the fruit with a melon baller to efficiently remove any part of the rind.
- You can also freeze the watermelon for an extra refreshing treat for your furry friend.
- If you want to be creative enough, you can always prepare a fruit salad or smoothie for your pup.
- Do not give your dog any artificially flavored watermelon since added sugars and other sweeteners can be harmful to your dog’s health.
- You can also hang on to the rind of the fruit while your dog eats chunks of edible parts from it.
Preparing Watermelon Treats for Dogs
The best way to give watermelon to your pup is when it is fresh and artificially unsweetened. But if you want to be a little creative, we have gathered three recipes for preparing watermelon treats for your pooch.
But first, you might want to watch this simple yet brilliant way to cut a watermelon.
Frozen Watermelon Treats
Frozen watermelon snacks for your dog is the simplest way to treat them during training sessions. Simply place a cup full of seedless watermelon in a blender and blend it with a 1:1 ratio of water or coconut milk. Then pour the smoothie into ice cube trays and freeze them for at least two hours. This delicious treat is now ready to be served!
Watermelon And Frozen Yogurt
As an alternative to mixing watermelon with coconut milk, you can also create a delicious treat by freezing the watermelon with yogurt (plain and non-fat). Smoothen your watermelon in a blender, then fill up your ice cube trays halfway with yogurt and top up with the smoothened watermelon. Next, freeze them for a while. The result will be a sweet treat that your dog will absolutely enjoy!
Dehydrated And Chewy Watermelon
For this treat, all you need is a seedless watermelon and a dehydrator. Start with removing the rind of your watermelon. Cut it into small pieces and then spread out the pieces into a dehydrator. Dehydrate them for 8-10 hours at 135 degrees F and serve these chewy pieces after they’re cooled. Keep in mind that the dehydrator will lessen the water level so, the watermelon might have less hydrating power.
So, can dogs eat watermelon? Yes, they can since the fruit itself is a healthy powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins. Watermelon can serve as a hydrating snack for your pooch while also boosting their immune system and assisting in their overall health.
Visit our website for more information on what fruits your dogs can eat.