Is Watermelon a Safe & Healthy Dog Treat?
Wondering if your dog can eat watermelon? Both you and your dog can enjoy this nontoxic, good-for-you summer snack safely with these tips.
Whether you’re looking for a healthy treat to share with your four-legged friend on a hot summer day or you accidentally left a bowl of fresh watermelon within your dog's reach, there’s not much to worry about when it comes to dogs eating this juicy fruit. Watermelon is a safe treat for dogs! But keep in mind the veterinarian guidance below when it comes to watermelon and your pup’s healthiest life.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat watermelon—but with a few limits. Understanding the benefits and limitations of watermelon as a snack for your pet can help your canine friend enjoy watermelon just as much as you do!
“Watermelon is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, as long as the rind and seeds aren’t eaten,” says Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, and senior director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Rinds and seeds can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, upset stomach, or intestinal blockages—so remove them before sharing any watermelon with your dog.
How Much Watermelon Can My Dog Eat?
Moderation, as Wismer says, is key. Like many other fruits, too much watermelon can cause loose stool, so it’s best to offer your pup a few small pieces of watermelon with the rind and seeds removed, and then keep an eye on them to ensure it agrees with their stomach. Feed watermelon to your dog in small chunks to avoid choking hazards, and keep those rinds and seeds out of reach.
The rinds are too thick for your dog’s gastrointestinal system to digest, and watermelon seeds can cause intestinal blockage, so don’t forget to remove them.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon?
Watermelon is packed full of vitamins A, C, B6, and B1, as well as calcium and potassium, which can help boost your furry friend’s immune system. According to the USDA, watermelon clocks in at about 92 percent water, so having your dog snack on watermelon can help them stay hydrated on a hot day. But because of its high water content, Wismer advises that your dog might need to go out more often. Be sure you keep an eye on your pup if they don’t have ready access to the outside.
Watermelon is also fairly high in sugar, so it’s best to limit watermelon to a tasty, once-in-a-while treat. You can even freeze a few chunks and feed your dog a nice cool treat when it’s extra warm out.
No matter the time of year, watermelon is a great treat to share with your dog, but like most fruits, less is more. Introduce watermelon to your pup in small amounts and infrequently. Your dog will love this refreshing, nutrition-packed snack.