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Watermelon is the perfect, thirst-quenching sweet treat. Filled with vitamins and nutrients, the flesh of the watermelon is often as wet as the puppy-dog eyes our buddies will show us when they want a share of our snack. Before you break a piece of watermelon off for your pooch you must ask: can dogs eat watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
In short - yes, dogs can eat watermelon, but with some crucial caveats and precautions.
Firstly, much like everything you feed to your dog, it is always best to seek expert advice from your vet. What we can say, however, is that the fruit of watermelon is a great, tasty treat to give to your dog in moderation and with careful feeding: made of 92% water and filled with plenty of nutrients - including vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as loaded with fibre - it is one of the most healthy fruits you can share with your dog.
Effectively, dogs can reap many benefits from eating a proportionate amount of watermelon: essential hydration, vitamins, nutrients, important fibre for healthy digestion and full of antioxidants. Watermelon is a perfectly refreshing reward for your dog on a warm, sunny day.
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
When sharing watermelon with a dog, it is best to only give them seedless watermelon, unless you are prepared to remove all seeds from the fruit before allowing your dog to eat. Dogs have a difficult time breaking down and digesting the majority of seeds, though one or two may not be harmful to your pooch, ingestion of a moderate amount of watermelon seeds can cause a painful intestinal blockage which may only be remediable via expensive surgery and veterinary care. This is increasingly more likely in puppies and smaller dogs.
Another thing to be alert to when your dog is around watermelon is the rind - the green skin - as allowing your dog to ingest the rind is likely to cause internal distress and discomfort, potentially leading to diarrhoea, sickness and vomiting.
Whenever you treat your dog, always remember that moderation is key - though they may be your best friend, dogs are not humans - overfeeding watermelon, or any other food, can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. As a rule of thumb, treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet - this is generally referred to as the 90/10 rule.
As watermelon is a healthy snack for dogs, it is relatively easy to make it safe to consume by only feeding them seedless watermelon and making sure that the rind of the fruit is not accessible to your dog and safely confined to the waste bin or compost container.
Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Watermelon is one of the healthiest, leanest and low-in-sugar fruits, as a result, it has many health benefits for your dog. Packed with nutrients and vitamins, it can aid in maintaining a healthy coat as well as eye health and cognitive function.
As watermelon is rich in fibre, the low amount of sugar that is naturally found in the fruit is not likely to cause any unhealthy effects on your dog, such as weight gain, as fibre aids in digestion.
Rich in the antioxidant lycopene - which has been linked with anti-inflammation properties - watermelon may be beneficial in maintaining joint health, particularly advisable for older dogs, especially if used in tandem with fish products, such as salmon oil.
How to Feed Watermelon to Dogs Responsibly
Any watermelon you feed to your dog must be seed and rind free. Once the fruit is free from the dangerous elements, there are many ways you can feed watermelon to your dog:
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon-Flavoured Products?
Though watermelon is mostly safe for dogs to eat, you must be sure that you are only sharing the watermelon fruit with your buddy: natural watermelon fruit only.
You should not give your dog sweet or candy products that contain traces of watermelon or that are watermelon flavoured, as the processed sugars, preservatives, colours and other chemicals are likely to cause sickness in your dog - no matter how much they think they want to try some of your sweets.
Here are some of the key things to remember when you wonder if dogs can eat watermelon:
- Yes, dogs can eat watermelon
- Dogs should only eat seedless and rindless watermelon
- Watermelon is a fun, nutritious food you can use as a reward for your dog
- Watermelon offers many diverse ways to treat your dog
- It is useful to keep seedless watermelon around in hot months to cool and hydrate your dog
Did you enjoy this guide? If you did, please have a look at our other guides on the relationship between people-food and our pet pooches:
Alternatively, Bug Bakes do high-value 10-day trials of our nutritious, lean and tasty food - give one a try today. Featured on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, we have grown from strength to strength, feeding dogs across the UK.