When you are a dog-owner, you are probably treat your pet as family - like your dog is one of your kids. If you love your dog like your own little one, you are likely meticulous about what you feed them.
You make sure that they remain healthy and strong. Aside from the regular dog food that you may give your dog, you can also give them fresh fruits, like watermelon. These are good for keeping your pet healthy and full of energy.
However, you have to consider if watermelon, or any other fruit, is good for your dog.
Can your dog eat watermelon?
The answer is, YES, you can give your dog watermelon!
How Is Watermelon Good for Dogs?
Dogs are omnivores, so giving your pet fruits and vegetables daily is an excellent idea. Now, let’s zero in on watermelons and what you need to know before you feed your dog.
Watermelon makes a good healthy snack for your pet dog because it contains some of the vitamins and minerals dogs need.
Watermelon has Vitamin A, which is good for your dog’s eyes, cells, and overall immune health. It also contains B6, which helps keep their coat strong and shiny. Watermelon also contains Vitamin C, which helps manage allergens and sniffles.
Watermelon is about 92% water, so it keeps your pet hydrated and refreshed, especially during the hot summer months. It is low in calories, making it a viable alternative to pre-packaged dog treats on an extremely hot summer day.
It has sugar, but it is not released quickly in the bloodstream, as the fiber in watermelon effectively wraps around the sugar, slowing its release. The fiber in the watermelon will aid in the absorption of sugar into your dog’s bloodstream.
Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which is a phytochemical found in naturally red fruits. Lycopene is an excellent antioxidant, as it effectively fights harmful free radicals in your dog’s system. These free radicals may cause havoc to your dog’s cells and can severely affect their immune system.
It also has fiber, which boosts your dog’s digestive system.
It does not contain sodium, cholesterol, or fat.
When Is Watermelon Bad for Dogs?
The bright pink or red flesh of the watermelon is rich in vitamins and minerals your dog needs, but the other parts could be harmful to your dog when ingested.
If your dog eats watermelon parts besides the flesh, they could develop chewing problems, which won’t be good for their teeth. It can also cause issues in the digestive tract.
Some parts of the watermelon may also cause intestinal blockage which could lead to problematic bowel movement, causing too much discomfort. Other parts might also put smaller dogs in danger since they have smaller intestines compared to bigger dogs.
Biting on the rind might even cause your dog’s teeth to fall off.
Some Parts of the Fruit are Dangerous
The flesh of the watermelon is safe and healthy. However, its seeds and rind may put your pet in danger.
The seeds nestled in the flesh, if swallowed, may result in intestinal blockage. This scenario is quite painful to your pet dog and if it becomes more serious, your dog might need to undergo surgery.
One or two seeds might not cause the above health issues to large dogs. However, for smaller dogs, it’s a different story - even two or three seeds is enough to cause intestinal blockage.
The rind is also not good for your dog. The rind is the hard green outer skin of the watermelon. If your dog eats it, gastrointestinal distress could trigger nausea and vomiting, even diarrhea.
Take note that even if you are careful to give your dog seedless watermelon and separate the flesh from the rind, there are still instances that this healthy treat could backfire. When you are introducing new food to your pet’s diet, begin with small amounts.
If your pet starts to show symptoms of diarrhea, it's an indication that your dog had too much of the food that’s not usually part of their daily diet. If your pet gets diarrhea each time they eat watermelon, it could be an indication that this particular fruit is not right for them.
Natural Watermelon Only
Be careful feeding your dog candies or other sweet products with watermelon, or anything that has artificial watermelon flavor, as these may not be good for your dog. These products often contain lots of sugar, chemicals, and other ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.
Feed your dog fresh fruit only.
How Should You Feed Your Dog Watermelon?
First off, if your pet dog has special nutritional needs, you should consult with your vet first before feeding your pet watermelon. You can also ask your nutritionist for advice.
Once you get confirmation that it is safe for you to feed your dog watermelon, it is important to remove all the seeds and rind from the flesh of the watermelon before giving a tiny slice to your dog. It is wiser to slice them up into smaller, chewable pieces or cubes.
You may also freeze watermelon cubes before giving them to your dog for a more refreshing summer treat. A useful technique is to cut small chunks of watermelon and spread them on a freezer-safe tray. But, you have to ensure that your dog’s teeth are strong and healthy enough to chew on frozen food without causing damage.
Here's another technique: if you have a dehydrator, you can make a watermelon jerky. It is an ideal alternative to the processed jerky pet food that you can buy from pet stores. Simply slice watermelon into strips. Be sure to remove all the seeds, then dehydrate until you get a leathery texture. You can keep the watermelon jerky for a few days and give them to your dog as treats.