When the beautiful warm weather finally comes back around, it brings a bountiful variety of fruit with it. Berries become a staple in desserts while melons offer a refreshing treat after a day in the hot sun.
When you’re relaxing on your patio in the summer evening, your dog might nudge your leg for a bite of the melon you’re snacking on.
Are Melons Safe for Your Dog to Eat?
Melons can be quite safe for your dog if you feed them in moderation. Many dogs enjoy the delicate sweetness of melon, as well as the water content they provide. Melons are naturally rich with vitamins and minerals. They are great sources of antioxidants, too.
Antioxidants are great for reducing the effects of aging and reduce the risk of cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Antioxidants are essential in a dog’s diet because of exposure to various environmental pollutants. These can include pesticides, cleaning chemicals, and cigarette smoke.
Antioxidants are designed to prevent damage done to cells by these pollutants. Dog foods do have a small amount of antioxidants, but some experts argue that there aren’t a sufficient amount and some dogs might require supplementation.
Is Cantaloupe Good for Dogs?
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. It is also low in calories and high in water content, making it a tasty way to rehydrate without packing on the pounds.
Vitamins A and C provide lots of health benefits for dogs, most notably in their role as antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in capturing free radicals, which slows cell aging, promotes healthy cell function, and may help reduce the risk of certain diseases.
The high water and fiber content in cantaloupe also promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation and dehydration.
Feeding Melon to Your Dog
A melon and all of its nutrients are excellent for dogs, but too much melon can cause some of its own problems. Before you start giving your dog as much melon as they want, you should know what too much will do to your dog.
First, remember that your dog is a carnivore. While melon is good for your dog, their body isn’t equipped to digest a lot of fruit. When they get too much, it’s basically going to run right through their body and result in diarrhea.
Because melons are quite high in water, it’s normal for a dog’s stool to become softer than usual, even after eating small amounts.
How you feed the melon is important, too. Melons have very thick, outer skins that are not digestible by dogs. The skin is also difficult to chew, so it’s best to remove it completely before you give your dog any melon.
You should also remove any seeds from the fruit. They can get stuck in the teeth, lodge in the throat, or even block the intestines if enough are eaten. They’re also not very digestible, so you should pick them out.
Finally, melon can be quite filling to dogs. Don’t feed them any right before their meal. It’s best to space out the meal and their melon by a few hours. Their nutrition should still come from their dog food, not the supplemental foods you give them.
Melon is a delicious summer snack for everyone, but you shouldn’t give your dog as much as you want. Stick to small amounts fed fairly infrequently to ensure you aren’t overloading their system with fruit.
It’s important to remove the seeds and rind of a honeydew melon before sharing this tasty snack with your pup. The seeds are not toxic but could pose a choking hazard.
Additionally, the rind of a honeydew melon is tough and difficult to digest. Swallowing a large piece of the rind could cause choking or an internal blockage.
Consuming too much honeydew at once could mean tummy troubles for your dog, so be sure to limit the amount of fruit you share. Because honeydew is full of fiber, eating too much can lead to vomiting or diarrhea.
This fruit contains natural sugars, so it’s best to consult your vet before sharing with a diabetic dog. As with all foods and treats outside of your dog’s regular meals, moderation is key to maintain good health. The general rule of thumb is that added fruits and veggies should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s diet.