Watermelon is quite safe for dogs as long as you give it in moderation. Many dogs enjoy the taste of melon because of its delicate sweet flavor and abundance of water. They’re filled with vitamins and minerals, and they’re also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked to a reduction in diseases like cancer, diabetes, and even neurological disorders.
The high water content in watermelon is good for keeping dogs hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. This doesn’t mean watermelons should take the place of normal hydration in a dog, but melon can be a nice refreshment on muggy afternoons.
Use Caution When Feeding Dogs Watermelon
You don’t need to do anything special to watermelon to make it tasty, but there are a few precautions you need to take to ensure the watermelon doesn’t cause any negative side effects in your dog.
First, always remove the rind. The rind is very tough to chew and extremely hard to digest.
Dogs don’t have the teeth or intestines necessary to break the rind down, and it can either lodge in their throat or intestines or cause digestive upset. Some owners think it makes a decent chew toy because it’s natural, but it’s best to toss the rind in the trash or compost pile.
Second, make sure the seeds are removed. Watermelon seeds can’t be digested at all, so they’ll just be passed in a dogs stool. They can also lodge inside a dogs teeth if the dog tries to crush them, leading to pain in the mouth.
Finally, you should only give your dog small amounts of watermelon at a time. No matter what type of melon you’re feeding your dog, too much is going to cause loose stools. If your dog gets diarrhea or has bowel movements that are softer than normal, stop feeding them watermelon and simply stick to their regular diet. No matter how much they love watermelon, loose stools are a sign that their digestive system can’t handle the fruit.
It’s best to feed your dog watermelon either an hour before their regular meal or a couple of hours afterwards. Watermelon is quite filling, and you don’t want your dog skipping their regular meal because they’re filled to the gills with this tasty fruit.
Skip the Smoothies and Watermelon Recipes
There are a lot of different ways to feed watermelon, but some people only like the taste of watermelon if it’s tucked into a smoothie or dessert. Smoothies are definitely not dog-friendly because they’re loaded with sugar and dairy, both of which can make a dog sick. If you like your watermelon loaded with frothy whipped cream, save the extra cream for yourself and give your dog plain watermelon.
Watermelon in fruit salads should also be reserved just for humans. Most fruit salads have grapes in them, and grapes are absolutely never okay for dogs. Some fruit salad recipes also have sugar or some type of simple syrup to sweeten the ingredients. Dogs can’t process sugar very well and it may cause weight gain or even diabetes.
Watermelon is relatively safe for dogs, and it can even be good for them if it’s fed in moderation. Treat watermelon as an occasional goodie and your dog will definitely benefit from these refreshing fruits.