Few things say summer quite like eating a watermelon. If you’re munching down on it, you might have wondered if your dog can have a bite, too. So, can dogs eat watermelon?
Yes, watermelon is a great snack to offer your dog. You will want to avoid giving them the rind or seeds, as either of these can cause issues such as intestinal obstructions.
Watermelon belongs to the same family as cucumbers and squash, Cucurbitaceae. While planting a watermelon plant in your backyard is a great way to keep yourself supplied with watermelon throughout the summer, this vining plant can take over your garden!
Benefits of Feeding Watermelon
Watermelon is low in calories. It has minimal effects of you or your pet’s glycemic index, making it a great snack to offer your dog. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, C, and B-6.
Vitamin A is used by your dog’s body to help with vision and bone growth. In addition, vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine, helps form amino acids in your pup’s body, contributing to a healthy coat and skin, as well as helping to protect their teeth. By feeding watermelon as a snack, you’re contributing to minimizing the possibility of your dog having tooth decay and night blindness.
A cup of watermelon without the rind has less than 50 calories in it. In addition, it’ll help keep your dog–and you–hydrated on a hot summer’s day. Roughly 92% of the watermelon is water. You’ll also find that this is an economical snack: a single 20-pound watermelon can yield approximately 11 cups of cubed watermelon.
Watermelon is packed with antioxidants in the form of lycopene, which contributes to the reddish-pink color of the watermelon’s flesh. Watermelon also has some fiber, which can help regulate your pooch’s gastrointestinal tract.
Things to Consider When Feeding Watermelon
While the rind of the watermelon is non-toxic for your dog to ingest, it’s still not a good idea for them to eat it. The rind or skin is tough and difficult for dogs to digest, particularly if they bite off a big piece. This part of the watermelon can lead to intestinal obstructions.
The pips or seeds of a watermelon are also a good thing to avoid giving your dog. They are not readily digestible and they can cause impactions or blockages in your dog’s gut, especially if you have a smaller sized dog. (Eating a seed or two is not likely to cause any issues, so don’t worry too much about getting every seed out of the cubes of watermelon. Or better yet, stick with a seedless watermelon!)
Because of the water content of watermelon, it is possible for it to cause diarrhea in dogs. Introduce the treat to your dog slowly and in small amounts to minimize the possibility of GI issues.
Delicious Treats with Watermelon
An easy treat with watermelon is just to offer it to your dog in small cubes. While this might seem to lack creativity, it’s easy for your pup to eat and makes less of a mess for you to clean up.
You can also try blending watermelon flesh with a little bit of water and pour it into ice cube trays. Allow the watermelon cubes to freeze and enjoy with your furry friend. Many dogs love chasing after ice cubes, and this is a refreshing way to keep them cool.
Consider using a food dehydrator to make “watermelon jerky.” After the water evaporates from the fruit, it’ll leave behind a chewy treat. Cut a seedless watermelon into small cubes or strips and follow the dehydrator manufacturer’s guidelines to create a tasty treat.
Watermelon is a great snack for dogs of all ages and sizes. It can be used as a training treat or simply as a way to cool down in the summer sun. Just remember to give it in small amounts and avoid the rind and seeds to minimize the impact on your dog’s digestion.