It may be healthy, nutritious, and great for keeping cool on a hot day, but can dogs eat watermelon safely?
In short, the answer is yes. Like carrots, apples, and countless other human foods that dogs can eat, it’s perfectly safe to feed watermelon to your beloved pooch provided it’s properly prepared and they don’t gorge themselves sick on its sugary sweetness.
In this guide, we’ll outline the best way to make watermelon safe for your dog to eat, explain why you might want to feed it to them in the first place and look at a couple of alternatives if it turns out Fido isn’t a big fan of this tasty and refreshing fruit.
Is Watermelon Good for Dogs?
If you’d rather avoid store-bought multivitamin chews for dogs, then watermelon can prove to be a tremendous, natural alternative for ensuring that your prized pooch gets all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
The fruit is loaded with potassium, which is highly effective in promoting muscle growth and bone health, boosting metabolism, and encouraging proper functioning nerves and organs.
Dogs typically get much of their potassium from foods such as salmon or chicken, so if you’re feeding your dog a vegetarian, vegan, or raw food diet, giving them a little watermelon from time to time can be a great way to ensure they’re getting enough of this vital nutrient.
What’s more, watermelon is packed with some essential vitamins including:
This is important for maintaining a healthy coat and skin, promoting muscle strength and ensuring proper neurological development.
If you notice that your dog’s fur is looking unhealthy or that they’re suffering from any number of common skin conditions, watermelon may prove helpful.
This promotes the production of red blood cells, healthy brain growth and helps your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Again, this makes watermelon a great choice for dogs on a raw food diet as they’d typically get this from meat-based dog foods containing chicken, beef, and salmon.
This incredibly useful antioxidant helps reduce the inflammation and the risk of disease and provides a restorative function when your cherished companion gets sick.
While dogs can naturally produce vitamin C on their own, providing them with extra can help them bounce back from illness or injury much faster.
Other Health Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Along with its nutritional properties, watermelon is also 92% water, making it very helpful indeed to keep your pup hydrated on those long, hot summer days.
What’s more, it’s fat-free, boasts zero cholesterol, and contains only about 50 calories per cup, making it a very healthy treat.
How to Ensure Your Dog Can Eat Watermelon Safely
So, we’ve determined that watermelon can work wonders for your pooch, but if it isn’t properly prepared then you may find that it does more harm than good.
First things first, you’ll need to take a good quality knife or purpose-made watermelon cutter and remove the rind from the fruit.
The rind is notoriously difficult to chew completely and even more difficult to digest. Your dog may end up swallowing the whole thing without first chewing it properly, which is likely to cause intestinal blockage and other digestive issues.
The seeds can also cause further intestinal blockage and similar issues, so take good care to remove the seeds before you feed them any watermelon.
We should also point out that even though watermelon has lots of health benefits, too much of a good thing can prove problematic. If Rover overdoes it, they’re likely to end up with an upset tummy and other problems such as diarrhea.
As such, it’s worth feeding it to your dog in moderation, perhaps using it as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of their daily diet.
Healthy Alternatives to Watermelon for Your Dog
Of course, though it may be perfectly safe for your dog to eat a small amount of watermelon, and even good for them to do so, that’s no guarantee that they’re actually going to like it.
Fortunately, there are many other fruits and vegetables that your dog can eat. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to ensure your puppy gets all the proper nutrients they need, you can always try these healthy alternatives:
Apples have long been a popular snack for dogs. They’re low in protein, low in fat, and high in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Apples also prove to be a great food for hiding your dog’s medication in if they’re none too keen on swallowing pills.
However, as with watermelon, you’re better off removing the seeds before you feed a dog an apple to stop them from getting sick.
Bananas contain lots of vitamins, fiber, potassium, and biotin, the latter of which is really good for the skin. Keep in mind that bananas also have a really high sugar content, so it’s best to reserve them only for an occasional treat.
Blueberries are often known as a superfood for us humans but don’t underestimate how beneficial they can be for your four-legged friend too. All those antioxidants can promote healthy cell production and prevent your pup from getting sick.
There’s a good reason why carrots form a part of many homemade dog food recipes:
They’re really good for them.
Carrots contain plenty of fiber and help with your dog’s natural production of vitamin A, as well as proving to be a great way to keep their teeth nice and healthy.
Final Word: Yes, Dogs Can Eat Watermelon
If you’ve read this far then, you’ve no doubt learned that yes, dogs can eat watermelon and it’s perfectly safe for them to do so.
As long as you remove the rind and seeds to prevent digestive blockages and feed it to them in small quantities so that they don’t get sick, watermelon can prove to be a wonderful, natural way of ensuring your dog gets all the nutrients they need so that they stay fit and healthy and enjoy a good quality of life.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.