So summer time is upon us, and what’s better than a few cold, refreshing slices of watermelon on a hot day? It’s a delicious, nutritious fruit that everyone loves, but what if you want to give a few pieces to your pup? Can dogs eat watermelon? This article will discuss the pro’s and con’s and if it’s safe for your dog, so you know exactly what’s okay when you whip out the watermelon next.
Is watermelon safe for my dog to consume?
Not only is watermelon safe for dogs to consume, but it’s actually good for them as well! Here’s a breakdown of what vitamins and minerals can be found in watermelon:
- Vitamin A – Encourages healthy vision
- Vitamin B6 – Helps convert food into energy and produce serotonin which regulates mood
- Vitamin C – An antioxidant that boosts immune function
- Potassium – Helps with optimal muscle function and blood pressure
- H2O – Watermelons are 92% water
- Low in sugar
- Antioxidants – Protects cells from free radicals
There’s a few things you need to know, though, before you think about sharing your watermelon with your dog.
Potential issues with feeding your dog watermelon
Whilst this is a fruit that your dog can consume without any problems, you need to be mindful of the seeds and rind. Both of these can cause serious digestive issues for your dog, especially for smaller breeds.
Watermelon seeds can actually cause intestinal blockages if too many are consumed, and in smaller dogs even just one seed can cause big issues. Similarly, the rind of the watermelon may look like an inviting chew toy for your dog but can cause blockages and gastrointestinal upset as well. This can lead to diarrhoea and dehydration, if you notice this happening then you need to keep your dog hydrated and get them to a vet to be checked over.
If you’ve got dogs around, the best thing to do is buy seedless watermelon or remove the seeds before your start to consume them. You should also be cutting off the rinds so there’s no chance of the dog getting a hold of it.
- Make sure to remove the seeds of the watermelon or buy the seedless variety
- Cut off the rind and cut watermelon into bite sized pieces to avoid dog choking
- Everything in moderation – don’t over-do it, stick to small amounts of watermelon
- Watermelon has plenty of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog if you follow the above rules
Remember to consult your vet first
It’s best to speak to your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your pet’s diet, just to be on the safe side. They can give you tips regarding portion control so you can take the guesswork out.
Watermelon treat ideas
It’s always best to give your dog watermelon in its most natural form, to ensure he’s getting all of the good bits and none of the bad. But this doesn’t mean you can’t change it up a little bit. Here are some great treat ideas:
- Ice cubes
Hot day? How about some watermelon in ice cubes? This is so easy to do, simply cut up some small pieces of watermelon and place in ice cube trays filled with water. When frozen, pop them into a bowl for your dog to lick as they melt. Not only will your dog be hydrated and cooled, they’ll also get a tasty treat when they get to the watermelon pieces.
- Frozen watermelon
Need something even easier? Cut up some watermelon into bite size pieces and pop into the freezer. Bust them out when they’re frozen and give to your dog.
- Sweet watermelon popsicles
For something a bit sweeter, take 2 cups of seedless watermelon, a cup of coconut water and ¼ a cup of honey. Then blend together until it’s pureed and basically liquid. Pour into ice cube moulds and serve once hardened. You can help yourself to some as well!
What else can dogs eat?
So now you might be wondering exactly how many other fruits, or even veggies, are safe for your dog to consume. Here’s a list of a few that are great for them and a list of fruits and vegetables that are strictly not safe for them to consume and must be avoided.
- Apples – There’s potassium, fiber, vitamin C and phytonutrients that dogs can benefit from in apples of all varieties. Just remember not to give them any of the cores of seeds as this can be very harmful.
- Oranges – More vitamin C but also A, B1 and B6 along with calcium, iron and more! Be careful to only feed your dog oranges in very small amount (about half a segment at a time) and don’t let them eat any of the rind or seeds.
- Berries – Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries are all great little treats to give your dog. A couple at a time is fine and they can provide everything from copper and magnesium to a myriad of essential vitamins.
- Avocados – As long as you avoid the skin areas and feed in moderation.
- Raw potato
Always do your research before feeding your dog a new kind of treat, their digestive systems are very different to ours and need to be treated as such. If in doubt, don’t feed your dog the new food and instead consult a vet for their professional opinion.
Similarly, if your dog ever does get his jaws around any of the fruits or veggies on the ‘avoid’ list, or any seeds, then it’s best to get them to a vet ASAP to double check no damage has been done on to their sensitive insides.
A great tip is to have a list printed out and stuck to the fridge with all the foods your dog shouldn’t be eating, so that the whole family is aware and can be proactive about it. And be sure to have the vet’s number on a magnet next to the list, just in case of emergencies.