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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Summer Fruit Tips

Many would agree that watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit, especially enjoyable on a warm summer's day. You may be wondering if dogs can have watermelon, too. What role does it play in canine nutrition? Finding healthy treats for dogs can seem challenging at times. This article explores watermelon for dogs and food safety while looking at some safe serving suggestions and alternate warm-weather refreshments.

Watermelon for dogs: sweet treat or sneaky danger?

As summer fruits for dogs go, watermelon is one of the best. They enjoy the crunchy texture, while the taste is not overpowering or sour. Due to the high moisture content (up to 90% in some parts of the world), watermelons provide great hydration for dogs, mainly when the weather heats up.

Watermelon is a good source of micronutrients such as:

  • Vitamin C for immune support and wound healing
  • Vitamin A for skin health and vision
  • B vitamins for metabolism and nerve function
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Understanding the limitations

While watermelon is a nice treat to offer in moderation, too much of it is bad news for dogs' digestive health. The high sugar content can lead to nausea, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.

The sugar content is also why a dog with diabetes and watermelon don't mix. Sugary fruits will cause blood sugar spikes, which are to be avoided in those with diabetes. For the average dog, no more than 10% of their diet should consist of treats, which should be less than this for those with diabetes.

Watermelon could worsen diarrhea symptoms in dogs. While it may seem like a good idea to provide a watery fruit when your dog has loose stool, a bland diet is best.

Can dogs eat watermelon seeds?

If you've dropped some watermelon on the ground and your dog ate the seeds, there is a small risk that these could get stuck in their teeth or cause a gut obstruction. As the seeds are tiny, the risk is greater in small dogs that eat many seeds. Most dogs will be able to eat a few seeds without issue.

Watermelon seeds contain cyanide, but as this is in trace amounts, it is more of a theoretical risk than anything else.

When you are serving watermelon, always remove the seeds.

Can dogs eat watermelon rind?

The rind of the watermelon poses the most risk as it is tough and difficult to digest. If not chewed well, it could lead to choking or a gut obstruction, which is a life-threatening emergency that requires urgent surgery. It is best to completely remove the rind before serving the fruit to your dog.

Safe watermelon serving tips for dogs

Is watermelon safe for dogs? When you can, stick to seedless watermelons. However, if not available near you, thoroughly remove all seeds before serving. Removing any rind or tough pieces of melon (usually found just above the rind) is also essential.

Cut up the melon into small bite-sized pieces to reduce any risk of choking.

If your dog has never eaten watermelon before, offering a small amount at first is a good idea. Monitor for any reactions over the next day or two. If well-tolerated, you can continue to provide watermelon in moderation.

Alternative summer treats for dogs

If your dog is not a fan of watermelon or you simply want to vary things for them, you can offer other refreshing delicacies. Some nice examples include frozen berries, dog-safe popsicles, or ice cubes.

Another great option is to use a lick mat. You can smear some wet dog food or peanut butter on top, then pop it in the freezer overnight. The following day, your dog has a yummy lick mat that should keep them occupied (and cool) for hours. A similar (but more challenging) option is a Kong, which can be stuffed with treats in layers and then frozen.

Of course, make sure any treat you share with Fido is dog-safe. Steer clear of yogurt or peanut butter containing xylitol, and don't offer any frozen fruit mixes containing grapes. Even in small amounts, xylitol can be dangerous, leading to low blood sugar and acute liver disease.

Dogs can enjoy watermelon as part of a well-balanced diet as long as it is offered in moderation. The wet, crunchy texture and refreshing taste perfectly combine for a warm summer's day. Be sure to chop the melon into small pieces, removing any rind or seeds. In addition to watermelon, you can offer other watery fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, carrots, berries, and chopped apples.

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