Fruits are a fantastic source of vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While several dogs can easily digest most common fruits, some fruits can have toxic effects on them.
So, before you think of pampering your pet with something tasty, you should know the answer to these year-round questions. Does watermelon fall in the category of toxic foods for dogs? Can dogs eat watermelon? Are they safe? Let’s dive into the answers.
Can dogs eat watermelon?
Generally speaking, most dogs love watermelon. Of course, their willingness to eat something also matters. What might taste good to humans may not necessarily taste good to dogs. So, not every dog will beg you for whatever you are eating.
Even if a fruit is not a natural part of your pet’s diet, it’s perfectly acceptable to serve watermelon to your dog, especially if it suits his taste buds. Needless to say, it can prove to be a refreshing treat for him, especially during summer time. You can freeze the watermelon to make the treat extra refreshing.
That said, you should avoid sweet products that have watermelon in them. In other words, artificial watermelons are not a good choice. Stick to natural watermelon and not the ones that are coated with sugar, chemicals, and whatnot. Also, serve the watermelon in small chewable sizes.
In short, plain watermelon is both safe and healthy. Of course, it’s tasty too. Seriously, it’s a great alternative to pre-packed dog treats available these days. As long as you follow some basic guidelines (given below), you can serve it to your pet on any given day of the week.
Introducing new food comes with its share of problems, like allergies or stomach issues. So, it’s better to serve them in small quantities at first. As they say, the golden rule with new pet food introduction is ‘moderation.’
If you are not sure about the appropriate quantity to be served to your dog, you can always have a word with your veterinarian or nutritionist. This is important, especially when your dog hasn’t eaten watermelon before.
Not to mention that many dogs may have certain health issues that might make watermelon a ‘bad’ choice for them. So, a vet’s advice can go a long way over here, especially for dogs that are suffering from some ailment.
You should also make it a point to wash the fruit very well and get rid of any inedible seeds before feeding the fruit to your dog. A few seeds may not be an issue. However, when consumed in large quantities, seeds can cause intestinal blockage.
The rinds are equally hazardous. This part of the watermelon is firm, making it difficult to chew on, which can result in intestinal blockage upon consumption without proper swallowing.
Keep in mind that smaller dogs are at more risk over here because they have smaller intestines than larger dogs. So, you have to be extra careful if you have a small puppy at your hands.
In short, you should serve your dogs with only the fleshy pink part of the fruit. Everything else, such as the seed and rind, should be removed before sharing the watermelon pieces with your dogs.
The good news is that you can serve all types of watermelon to your pet, like cantaloupe and honeydew watermelon, keeping in mind the same precautions that are listed above.
It’s still important to spot health changes in your pet dogs after them having consumed any new fruit. Ideally, you should look for signs of vomiting, lethargy, constipation, stomach pain and get help from a veterinarian if any of these issues worsen.
Generally speaking, the smaller your pet is, the less quantity you should serve to your dog. Although rare, some dogs can be allergic to watermelons. If a watermelon is consumed accidentally by allergic dogs, you should seek help from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What about the sugar content in a watermelon?
Although watermelon has sugar in it, it’s also rich in fiber, which prevents a blood glucose spike by ensuring its slow release. Basically, the fiber in it wraps around the sugar, causing a slow release of sugar in the process.
So, it’s safe to include melon in your pet’s diet. That said, serve it as a light snack and not as a feast. In other words, the bulk of their daily calories should not come from fruits. As always, monitor their health when giving this juicy fruit for the first time.
Of course, use your best judgment as well to decide the frequency. After all, even feeding extra food to an already overweight dog is not advisable. You might just be adding unnecessary calories to his/her diet, which is definitely not advisable.
This is to say that you might want to serve seedless watermelon sparingly to overweight or obese dog. As expected, you might have to be extra careful when offering treats to such dogs.
As you may have been told in the past, it’s important to have a word with the dog’s vet before including any human food in the pet’s diet. So, stick to this advice so that your pet doesn’t fall sick unexpectedly in the middle of an ordinary day.
Just because something has many health beneficial properties, it’s not for everyone. Pets have a different digestive system than humans. That said, watermelon can be safely served to your dog as long as it does not make a large part of your pet’s diet.