Dogs have entirely different nutritional requirements from humans, and what humans might consider a tasty snack can be dangerous for your dog. Watermelon is one of those delicious summer treats that most humans are eager to share with their dogs. Before you go handing human food to your pet, however, you should ask yourself, “Is this safe for my dog to eat?”
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
While many human foods are dangerous to dogs, such as grapes and chocolate, watermelon is both safe and enjoyable. It is a hydrating snack that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your dog.
Of course, fruits should only be given to your dog as an occasional treat. As long as you feed your dog watermelon in moderation, as well as take the proper steps to ensure it is safe for your dog to eat, watermelon won’t cause your pooch any issues.
What Makes Watermelon a Good Snack for Dogs?
Not only is watermelon delicious, but it’s also filled with nutrients and vitamins. According to Michigan State University, watermelon is high in potassium, as well as vitamins A, B6, and C. They are also high in fiber, which can promote gut health and improve digestion.
Watermelon is also fat-free, so you don’t have to worry about your dog putting on some extra pounds- so long as you only feed your dog watermelon as a treat.
Finally, true to its name, watermelon is packed with water, which can help to rehydrate your dog on hot summer days.
When is Watermelon Bad for Dogs’ Health?
While watermelon is generally good for dogs, they can still be dangerous if they are not fed properly. It is your job to ensure that every part of your dog’s diet is provided in healthy moderation. You should also make sure to avoid any potential dangers that can be caused by certain foods.
Firstly, you should never feed your dog watermelon with seeds. According to WebMD Pets, the seeds, stems, leaves, and rind of watermelons are all dangerous to dogs. Watermelon seeds can block up your dog’s intestines, which can quickly become an emergency. To prevent this from happening, you should only feed your dog seedless watermelon with the rind cut off.
You should also avoid feeding your dog excess amounts of watermelon. Like any fruit, watermelon contains a lot of sugar, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and a host of other health problems. Watermelon should only be given as an occasional treat, and it should not make up a significant part of your dog’s diet. Fruit should never be a substitute for regular dog food.
Dogs’ digestive systems are more delicate than that of a human’s. As such, new foods can quickly cause an upset stomach. When introducing watermelon to your dog for the first time, you may be tempted to give him a lot. However, it would be best if you only let your dog eat a little bit at a time so that its stomach can get used to the new food.
Quick Tips: How Dogs Can Have Watermelon
Humans have developed tons of different methods for serving watermelon, and now we’ve developed a few new ways so that our dogs can enjoy it, too. Firstly, it is essential to note that you should only feed your dog natural and fresh watermelon. Watermelon flavoring, from candies and other sweet foods, includes unhealthy added sugars and other unnatural products, which can be bad for your dog.
When serving watermelon to your dog, you should always make sure that there are absolutely no seeds in the fruit, and you should also cut the rind away. Rather than giving your dog a whole slice of watermelon, it would help if you cut it up into small chunks to prevent choking.
You can also freeze small chunks of watermelon to give on long, hot walks. This way of serving makes a cold and refreshing snack that will also keep your dog hydrated. Another snack idea is to mix watermelon with other dog-safe fruits and vegetables, such as cranberries, apples, bananas, blueberries, or cucumbers, and freeze them in an ice cube tray.
Finally, you can also put chunks of watermelon into a food dehydrator to feed to your dog later. Dehydrated fruits will keep well during hikes and long walks, although dehydrated watermelon will no longer contain water.
Overall, there are tons of safe ways you can let your dog enjoy watermelon. So long as you serve it in moderation, with the seeds and rind removed, your dog will love melon just as much as you do.
Read more: Can Dogs Eat Shrimps?