When summer is in full swing, it may be quite tempting to give dogs some watermelon, but can dogs eat watermelon or can watermelon be harmful for dogs? Can dogs eat watermelon seeds? And what about watermelon rinds? These are all good questions considering that there are many human foods that may not be appropriate for dogs, and in some cases, they may be even toxic.
Let’s face it though, everybody seems to like watermelon, and it’s no surprise if your dogs make a bee-line in hopes of getting a piece of this succulent, refreshing fruit. So should we give into our dog’s pleading eyes, asking just for a little piece of watermelon? Let’s see what the experts say.
Can I give My Dog Watermelon?
Can dogs eat watermelon? The answer is yes, but as with everything, give your dog watermelon in moderation and be careful to follow important guidelines.
Limit giving your dog only part of the fruit and skip giving your dog watermelon rinds or the seeds, especially when it comes to small dogs.
Why are watermelon seeds possibly bad for dogs? While just one seed in a small dog will likely be metabolized by the dog’s strong stomach acid, ingesting too many watermelon seeds may cause a blockage in a teeny dog.
As always, there are risks for a bit of an upset stomach in dogs when they are eating something new, and one must remember that in small dogs a little bit goes a long way.
According to veterinarian Dr. Gary, owners of dogs who ate a lot of watermelon may expect a little diarrhea or mild GI upset.
Benefits of Watermelon For Dogs
Now to the good stuff! The best part of giving watermelon for dogs is that is quite refreshing when dogs are feeling hot and they are thirsty. Consider that watermelon is about 92 percent water, so it sure can be quite a retreat for dogs on those “dog days of summer!”
Best of all, you may be delighted in learning that watermelon is not only highly refreshing and sweet, but it comes packed with nutrients. How about some vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium for Rover?
But what about all that sugar in watermelons? Isn’t that bad for dog? Well, not as bad as thought. The good news is that watermelon contains dietary fiber. Fiber basically insulates the sugar and since it takes a little while for your dog’s digestive tract to break down the fiber, the sugar is released in the bloodstream slowly, preventing those annoying peaks in blood sugar, explains veterinarian Jean Dodds in the book, “Canine Nutrigenomics. ”
So yes, a bit of fresh watermelon (skip the rotten watermelon with mold, of course!) can be actually beneficial for you dog and is on the OK list along with several other fresh, whole fruits such as apples, bananas, some types of berries and cantaloupes.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?
And what about giving dogs watermelon rinds? Is it OK to give? It may seem like a pity to toss watermelon rinds when there is still some tasty watermelon fruit attached! The main problem with watermelon rinds is the fact that some dogs may not chew them thoroughly enough and this may lead to possible intestinal blockage, further explains Dr. Gary.
While it might not necessarily be a problem with a large dog, in a small dog who doesn’t chew the watermelon rind well, it can cause a blockage in the intestinal tract. Ingesting too many seeds may also be a problem, especially for small dogs who may also have a hard time passing them.
See your vet if your dog eats watermelon and starts vomiting, acting lethargic or having a hard time passing stools and seems to be having abdominal pain. These may be signs of a dog intestinal blockage.
Watermelon Dog Treats for Dogs
Sure there are many watermelon products such as watermelon candy, watermelon ice-cream and watermelon smoothies, but as always, it’s best to just give watermelon in its most natural, plain form. You don’t know what is added in those prepared products you get at the grocery store and they may be more harmful than good. For example, artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, may be even potentially toxic and we all know that dogs don’t thrive on artificial sweeteners, additives and colorants.
Watch these three happy huskies waiting for their refreshing watermelon dog treats!
Disclaimer: this article is not meant to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary or nutritional advice. Please consult with your vet or veterinary nutritionist if your dog is acting sick of if you are looking for the best diet for your dog.