A warm summer day in the garden with a refreshing piece of chilled watermelon to share with your dog. What could be better than that? But are dogs even allowed to eat watermelon? Would it hurt the dog if you shared the summer treat with him?
Dogs are allowed to eat a none piece of watermelon occasionally. Watermelon is low in calories but high in liquid and fiber, which are essential for dogs. However, always remove the rind and seeds before giving your dog any of the watermelon.
So, you can safely share your summer snack with your dog if you keep a few things in mind. Watermelon rind and seeds are a no-no.
The following article explains why watermelon is suitable for dogs and what nutrients watermelon contains.
We also go over the benefits and risks of watermelon for dogs.
Is Watermelon Suitable for Dogs?
A small piece of seedless watermelon without the rind is a harmless, refreshing treat that contains few calories, provides plenty of hydration, and has a few other beneficial properties.
Like some other fruits such as bananas, peaches, strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries, watermelon is also one of the more suitable treats for dogs.
What Are the Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs?
Watermelon is rich in vitamins and mainly contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Vitamin A provides dogs with healthy skin, coats, muscles, and vision, especially night vision.
Vitamin B6 is essential for many body functions, including the nervous and immune systems and red blood cells.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes healing, inhibits inflammation, and counteracts signs of aging.
Watermelon is also a source of another powerful antioxidant called lycopene. This is responsible for the pink-to-red color of melon.
Lycopene is also found in tomatoes, guavas, and pink grapefruits. It is thought to reduce the risk of some cancers in dogs and humans.
The watermelon flesh contains a lot of sugar, but because of the high fiber content, the sugar is absorbed slowly and does not cause blood sugar spikes.
Watermelon is also rich in potassium and is sodium and fat-free. These are all properties that make watermelon safe for dogs.
As the name suggests, the watermelon is packed with water. The pink flesh is mainly water, 92% to be exact.
This makes watermelon not only a wonderful treat in warm weather but also a good source of fluids.
What Are the Risks of Watermelon for Dogs?
Of course, not everything about watermelon is healthy and safe for dogs. It starts with the amount dogs should eat.
If you allow your dog to eat as much watermelon as he likes, the sudden intake of liquid, sugar, and fiber could cause gastrointestinal upset. This could cause your dog to vomit.
However, it is much more likely that he is showing signs of intestinal distress, which could lead to unwanted diarrhea.
The rind of the watermelon, while not toxic, is very tough. It is much tougher than the flesh and relatively indigestible.
Feeding it to your dog or, even worse, letting him tear off a piece himself can lead to problems.
If the peel gets stuck when swallowed, the dog could choke on it. If it gets stuck further down, the resulting blockage could lead to surgery.
Of course, the peel can leave the dog unassisted, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so remove the peel.
What Should Be Done When Dogs Eat the Peel of Watermelon?
Even though the watermelon rind usually passes through the dog without any problems, it can cause problems. If your dog is struggling to breathe because he just choked on a piece of the rind, you need to act quickly.
If you can administer first aid for choking yourself, you should. Call your veterinarian or have someone call if you cannot help your dog.
If the dog swallowed the bowl, note the time and estimate the size of the piece swallowed.
Then, call your veterinarian for his or her advice. If the piece is not very large, he will probably ask you to observe your dog.
Look for vomiting, signs of discomfort, or anything else unusual.
A piece of shell stuck in the esophagus can cause drooling or retching and a generally depressed or restless dog.
If everything seems fine initially, continue to observe your dog and do not give him anything else to eat for 6 hours. Then, allow him to eat a small meal.
Make sure your watermelon is fresh before giving it to your dog. A soft or soggy rind, discoloration, or blackish spots on the flesh are signs that it is no longer fresh.
Rotten fruit of any kind, moldy bread, cheese, nuts, and all sorts of rotting foods can be very dangerous to dogs. Keep such foods safe and out of reach in sealed containers.
Call your veterinarian urgently if you find that your dog has gotten into a garbage can or compost pile.
Many dogs have probably swallowed watermelon seeds without experiencing any discomfort. However, you should know that the seeds could cause a blockage.
A few seeds are probably not harmful, but many seeds at once could cause constipation. Therefore, you should always remove the kernels, especially in small breeds.
What Should Be Done if Dogs Have Eaten Watermelon Seeds?
In most cases, a few seeds will not harm your dog. Only tiny dogs or a large number of swallowed seeds may cause constipation.
Note approximately when and how many kernels he ate, and observe your pet over the next 24 to 48 hours. During that time, watch for any signs that may indicate constipation.
These include vomiting, loss of appetite, sadness, huddling, or a posture in which the rear end is extended into the air while the front end is down.
Can I Feed Watermelon to My Dog?
In general, you can safely feed small amounts of watermelon to your dog. The flesh is fine as an occasional treat or even a regular snack.
Once again, here are a few pointers on how best to offer watermelon to your dog:
Remove the rind, and don’t let your dog eat it.
Only give him the pink flesh of fresh, ripe watermelons.
Unripe watermelons are not dangerous, but they probably won’t taste good to your dog any more than they will to you.
If possible, buy a seedless watermelon.
If you buy a watermelon with seeds, remove the seeds before eating.
Be careful with the total amount your dog eats at one time.
Conclusion: Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Watermelon?
Watermelon is a tasty and safe treat for dogs. However, to be on the safe side, you should remove the seeds and hard rind. Also, don’t give too much watermelon at one time.
Not all dogs like watermelon. So if your dog turns up his nose, there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables he can eat without hesitation.