Is watermelon safe for dogs to eat?
In short, yes. But there are some things you should know before using this tasty treat as a healthy snack for your pooch. And as always, when in doubt, consult your vet before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet.
Potential health benefits of watermelon
Watermelon is full of nutritional benefits that make it a healthy treat for dogs and a better choice than many store-bought treats. Some of these benefits include:
- Packed with potassium, vitamins A, B6, and C
- High in fiber (which helps with digestion) and antioxidants (such as lycopene)
- Low in calories and sodium
- Fat-free and cholesterol-free
- Good source of hydration (since it’s made up of 92% water, makes it an especially refreshing treat on a hot day)
Be sure to avoid products that contain artificial watermelon flavors. While plain watermelon contains sugar, the high fiber content in the fruit prevents the sugar from being released too quickly. Artificial sweeteners can even be toxic to dogs, so stick to natural watermelon. Dogs who eat too much watermelon can also get an upset stomach or other signs of gastrointestinal upset, so be sure not to go overboard.
How to feed watermelon to your dog safely
Watermelon seeds and rinds can cause serious health problems so it’s important to know how to serve it to your dog safely so they don’t get sick.
- Before feeding watermelon to your dog, you need to remove the seeds. Ingesting too many seeds can end up causing a blockage in the digestive tract. Some larger dogs may be able to pass the seeds without problems, but smaller dogs are especially at risk for a blockage.
- The watermelon rinds and skin are also not safe to eat. Though dogs may safely nibble at the light green insides of the fruit, these parts of the watermelon are firm and difficult to chew and digest. Dogs may swallow the rind without completely chewing it, which can result in intestinal blockage. Again, small dogs are at more of a risk.
- Cut up seedless watermelon into small, chewable cubes. This is the simplest way to prepare this easy, healthy snack. You can also freeze watermelon in ice cube trays to make an extra refreshing summer treat.
- Consider cantaloupe and pineapple as alternatives. Along with watermelon, dog owners can feed their pups cantaloupe and pineapple as additional safe and nutritional dog treats.
👉 If your dog does eat the seeds or rind of a watermelon and you notice vomiting, constipation, lethargy, and/or abdominal pain, call your vet immediately. These are signs of an intestinal blockage and can lead to serious complications.