Has your dog experienced watermelon yet? You know dogs love it.
And you know your dog will love watermelon too
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So, when you come home with a huge seedless watermelon, you slice it up and save one for your dog.
While holding a slice of watermelon in front of your dog’s face, you suddenly hesitate–
Should I take out the seeds first?
And what about the green part? The white seeds are okay, though, right?
Don’t fret. The good news is that watermelon is perfectly safe for dogs to eat–as long as you serve it up, dog-friendly style.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about dogs eating watermelon so you can give your dog a new, sweet treat, with confidence.
Is Watermelon Safe For Dogs?
Watermelon is a great snack to give to dogs and they love it. But as with the similar question “can dogs eat tomatoes” there are a few precautions to consider first. Prepare watermelon for dogs by:
- Getting rid of seeds
- Cutting off the rind
Watermelon seeds and watermelon rind should not be given to dogs because it can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, before you feed your dog watermelon, assess your dog’s individual health and needs, such as:
Most dogs can eat watermelon and feel fine. And eating fresh watermelon is much better for a dog’s body than eating processed dog treats made from mysterious ingredients.
Will Watermelon Hurt a Dog?
Dogs that eat too much watermelon may feel sick and experience digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation as well as vomiting. A dog’s bad reaction to eating too much of the sweet fruit is due to the high contents of natural sugars and powerful nutrients in it.
Allergic reaction to fruit
Although it’s rare, dogs may suffer from fruit allergies. Fruit allergy symptoms typically look the same but could be triggered by different fruits. A fruit allergy to watermelon, for instance, would make enjoying watermelon impossible.
Fruit allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy skin
- Inflamed skin
- Infected skin
- Ear infection
- General discomfort
- Loss of fur
When introducing a new fruit to a dog’s diet it’s important to recognize signs of abnormalities signaling a food allergy reaction in your dog.
What’s the verdict? Low in fat and high in fiber and lots of healthy vitamins makes watermelon the perfect safe and healthy treat for dogs!
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rind?
What is a watermelon rind? The outermost portion of the watermelon is known as the rind. A watermelon rind consists of two parts which include:
- The light green part (inside the melon)
- The hard, tough, green outside portion with the skin
Know that the rind itself is not harmful, it’s not poisonous to the body or inherently bad for your dog. However, the rind should be removed before you give dogs watermelon. The texture and toughness of the rind is what’s problematic for dogs.
Watermelon rinds are much harder for dogs to chew compared to the red part of the watermelon. Dogs have a difficult time trying to break it up into smaller sized pieces. Dogs may swallow pieces that are too big to swallow properly, large pieces of watermelon rind can get lodged in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. And that’s not good.
Because of the potentially serious risks, watermelon rind should always be completely removed before giving dogs watermelon–just assume the dog will eat it. Every time.
Some dogs try to be sneaky though.
But, sometimes dogs will succeed and get a watermelon rind. And sometimes dogs chew on things they shouldn’t and swallow things that get stuck.
So, what happens when a watermelon rind gets lodged somewhere in your dog’s digestive tract?
Blockage can be painful and require surgery. When dogs have digestive tract blockage, from a large piece of stuck watermelon rind, a bowel obstruction can occur. A bowel obstruction is when the stomach or intestines are either partially or totally blocked.
Is intestinal blockage serious?
Yes. intestinal blockage can become bad quickly. The most frequent cause of intestinal blockage in dogs is foreign bodies, like watermelon rind.
Stuck watermelon rind is one of the more obvious problems you can prevent by properly preparing the watermelon before serving it to your dog. There are a few other risks to consider when giving dogs watermelon though.
Take a look below for information about preventable worst-case scenarios related to giving dogs watermelon.
|The Culprit||The Risk||What Happens?||Symptoms in Dogs||Possible Outcomes?||Prevention and Treatment|
|Watermelon Rind||intestinal blockage.|
Blockage can occur in any part of the digestive tract.
|Food and water cannot pass through the digestive tract.|
Blood flow decreases.
Loss of Appetite
Straining to go
Pain in abdomen
|Death within 3-7 days without treatment.||Do not give dogs watermelon rind to eat or to chew.|
Don’t leave rinds in the trash or within your dog’s reach.
Surgery for blockage is major, uses anesthesia
|Seeds||Intestinal blockage||*see above|
Additionally, white seeds may cause stomach upset
|*see above||*see above||Take black seeds and white seeds out before feeding watermelon to dogs.|
|Fruit Allergy||Dogs can develop an immune response to a new fruit.|
Rare-only 1-2 percent of dogs are allergic to fruit
|Allergy can respond suddenly or over several years.||Itchy skin|
Loss of fur
|If untreated, more allergies can develop, skin infections from itching.|
At worst, anaphylaxis shock.
|Watch dogs closely if giving them a new fruit.|
Monitor dogs’ diet as allergies may develop to foods they’ve eaten.
|Consuming too Much Watermelon||Exceeding daily recommended intake of Vitamin A||Vitamin A toxicity suddenly or over time.||Vomiting|
Excess bone formation in x rays
|Untreated, aspiration in lungs, and fatal blood sodium levels can occur.|
Irreversible excess bone growth
|A vet may induce vomiting and give activated charcoal to decrease vitamin A in the body. Reduce Vitamin A intake.|
Signs of intestinal blockage are easily missed.
Symptoms may be hard to assess, is it kennel cough or something stuck in the throat? Unless you are aware that the dog ate a watermelon rind you may overlook and disregard any sudden symptoms.
Intestinal blockage is a serious condition that requires vet care. Waiting too long to seek treatment may lead to surgery to save your dog’s life which could have been avoided with earlier intervention.
What to do if dogs accidentally eat watermelon rind?
Recognize abnormal symptoms like constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, and lethargy.
Then immediately call your vet.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Skin?
Watermelon skin is on the outside of the rind. It is typically the darker green, the stripey, thick-skin outer layer of watermelon, also referred to as watermelon peel.
Watermelon rind and the skin attached to it are typically found in the garbage, the scraps of the watermelon leftover after the delicious red part has been devoured.
Like watermelon rind, the skin is indigestible. If a dog consumes the skin it can lead to constipation, vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain. The smaller the dog, the greater the risk.
Can Dogs Eat The Green Part Of A Watermelon?
The light green part of the watermelon is that part towards the rind where you can see a gradual loss of the red color signaling it’s time to grab another piece. While not quite as tough as watermelon rind right by the skin, the light green part is still generally tougher than the red part and best that dogs avoid it.
The green part of the watermelon consists of two parts:
- The rind
- The skin
The green part of the watermelon is harder to digest and it can cause stomach upset.
It is best to cut a portion of the red part out and separate it from the entire green part of the watermelon–the light green portion, the tougher green part of the rind, and the skin. And be sure to take out the seeds!
The risk of injury is too great if the rind is swallowed so it’s best to avoid giving any part of the watermelon that’s green to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Peel?
Watermelon peel is a term often used interchangeably with watermelon skin or watermelon rind. It is best to avoid giving dogs watermelon peel because it is naturally stuck to the rind, which can be hard for dogs to swallow.
Giving dogs watermelon peels is risky. Avoid it altogether.
Watermelon peel may get lodged causing intestinal blockage. While some stuck objects pass on their own, others do not. Essentially, intestinal blockage is a severe medical emergency requiring to act fast.
Anyway, dogs aren’t missing out on the health benefits of watermelon by not eating the peel. The red part is packed with nutrients including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Supports bone growth, reproductive health, and vision.
Reduces inflammation from a dog sinus infection and prevents cognitive decline.
Supports a healthy coat and reduces tooth decay.
Possible cancer-fighting antioxidant.
Watermelon has even more cool benefits for dogs.
Watermelon is saturated with H20. It’s hard to imagine that 92% of a watermelon is water but it’s why watermelon is the perfect way to hydrate your dog.
Dehydration is dangerous for dogs, a dog coughing after drinking water might indicate thirst they can’t communicate. Hydrate dogs regularly. Reduce dog motion sickness symptoms on long trips with a hydrating snack. Watermelon is like a water-soaked sponge you can eat and supply a dog with plenty of water preventing heat exhaustion.
Also, avoid overhydration by limiting water intake right after dogs eat watermelon. Overhydration can cause adverse reactions in dogs like an upset stomach.
Watermelon is best given to dogs in moderation.
Diet-friendly snack for dogs
The top three dog breeds ranking as some of the highest at risk for obesity include:
- Golden Retrievers
Some dog breeds lean heavier on the scale compared to other dogs. Certain breeds are prone to weight gain due to their genetic makeup. So, dogs that are a bit chunky may have to diet frequently to maintain a healthy body mass.
It’s a healthy treat to include in a dog’s low-fat diet, recommended for dogs that need to shed unhealthy pounds or maintain weight. Additionally, foods high in fiber support healthy digestion which can help dogs with weight problems.
How Much Watermelon Can A Dog Eat?
Watermelon should be given to dogs sparingly. Eating too much watermelon may lead to stomach upset like diarrhea. One cup of seedless, rindless, watermelon is generally a good amount to boost dogs’ immunity and dog cold symptoms.
Can dogs eat watermelon every day?
Yes, as long as it’s measured strategically. You can use rules as guidelines for how much watermelon to give your dog. Watermelon has high levels of nutrients that are good for dogs but not all are good in excess.
It’s recommended that 10% of a dog’s diet at most are treats or snacks. And not more than 20% of a dog’s diet are fruits and vegetables. A dog will need more or less calories depending on its size.
For a 25 pound dog who eats 500 to 750 calories per day, 10% of calories from total food intake daily is equal to 50 to 75 calories for treats. If you treat your dog to 50 calories of watermelon, they consume about 150 grams of watermelon total.
But did you know that 150 grams of watermelon exceeds your dog’s daily intake of Vitamin A?
The suggested daily allowance of Vitamin A for dogs is 380 micrograms.
Giving your dog 150 grams of watermelon means that your dog would consume 865 micrograms of Vitamin A. That’s more than double the recommended amount of vitamin A for dogs.
Too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity.
Vitamin A toxicity may either be very sudden or may build up in a dog’s body over many months.
When very large amounts of vitamin A are consumed all at once, sudden toxicity may occur. Too much vitamin A in the dog’s body may cause sudden symptoms including:
Dogs get Vitamin A from a variety of sources including raw food and packaged dog food. The Association concerned with the integrity of dog food (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends 5000 IU of Vitamin A should be contained for every kilogram of dog food.
Vitamin A in dog food is one source of vitamin A in addition to naturally occurring vitamin A in whole foods, like:
- Egg yolks
- Sweet potato
The amount of watermelon dogs should consume depends on the individual dog.
Dogs have unique diets and dietary needs, so consider the amount of Vitamin A already in foods your dog regularly consumes, as well as any supplements they take. This can help you decide how much watermelon is safe to give your dog and how often.
You can give your dog less watermelon to meet their recommended daily intake of Vitamin A by giving your dog 50-75 grams of watermelon instead of 150 grams.
150 grams of watermelon is only about the size of a small cup. So, 50 grams of watermelon will be one third of that amount. Yes, it is tragically small.
But when portions are small, you can make the food fun to eat by transforming the experience of eating it.
Here are some fun ways to feed watermelon to dogs, including::
- Frozen chunks
- Watermelon ice-cream
Find the recipe below for delicious frozen watermelon ice-cream treats for dogs. These are easy to make and they taste so good.
|Three Ingredients||Steps and Preparation||Serve and Enjoy|
|2 cups of seedless watermelon (be sure to de-seed if using seeded watermelon).||Cut up chunks of melon and add to a juice grinder to puree.||You can serve these treats anywhere but outside, especially on a hot day is always fun!|
|100 ml of unflavored/unsweetened soy milk or coconut milk.(some dogs are allergic to soy so always check!)||Add soy milk and honey into the puree and mix it up well.||Use treats to reinforce good behavior. Learning a new trick? Your dog will remember the popsicle treat when they do good!|
|1 tbsp of honey||Pour the mixture into a mold (silicone molds come in many shapes) then stick it in the freezer.||2 cups of watermelon equals about 300 grams which is about 1730 micrograms (380micrograms daily is recommended for dogs). Portion out melon-cubes to serve daily as a dog vitamin-pop!|
Can Dogs Eat Yellow Watermelon?
If you didn’t know that yellow watermelon is a thing, you aren’t alone! And yes, dogs can eat yellow watermelon too.
Yellow watermelon looks nearly identical to red watermelon, only it’s yellow-golden-orange in color. The rind and seeds in yellow watermelons look the same as those in red watermelon and both have white or black seeds. There is a slight difference in taste, though.
Yellow watermelon has the slightly sweeter taste of honey. The most noticeable difference between a yellow and red watermelon is the color. Although, there are other differences that you cannot taste or see directly.
Why are red and yellow watermelons different colors?
Red and yellow watermelons contain different vitamins but all are beneficial for dogs’ health.
Otherwise, yellow watermelon is full of the same vitamins found in red watermelon.
An antioxidant found in yellow watermelon that supports dogs’ eye-health and can ward off cancer-causing free radicals.
Other watermelon color varieties include bright orange, and even white. Dogs can enjoy them all!
Can Dogs Eat Seedless Watermelon?
Watermelons have two types of seeds, black and white. Black seeds are fertile, mature seeds that are ready to be planted. The white seeds actually seed pockets from which the seeds are absent.
Seedless watermelon must be man-made because without seeds it cannot naturally reproduce. The seedless watermelon is the sterile variety among watermelons crafted over 50 years ago through cross-breeding.
It’s natural to wonder whether seedless watermelons are genetically modified and thereby potentially harmful for dogs to eat.
So are seedless watermelons GMO?
However, both types of seeds (black seeds and white seed pockets) are indigestible and can cause digestive issues. Remove all seeds before giving your dog watermelon to minimize the risk.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon With Seeds?
Seeds can cause intestinal blockage. Dogs should not eat watermelon with white seeds or black seeds as both are indigestible.
Additionally, undigested seeds slow down the digestive process and may cause constipation.
Can Small Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Why should we leave small dogs out of all the fun? Yes! Small dogs can eat watermelon but with greater precautions.
Seeds are a greater risk for gastrointestinal blockage in smaller dogs. It follows that the smaller the dog the less watermelon it should eat to avoid stomach upset or other complications..
Rules and guidelines help you check important nutritional information about your dog’s diet and track how much of what your dog eats. Dogs can eat watermelon, it’s safe and super healthy!
As long as steps are taken to ensure watermelon is dog-friendly, dogs can enjoy it without experiencing any issues. Watermelon is a safe, dog-friendly treat!
Not only is watermelon safe for dogs, but it’s also packed with tons of healthy vitamins making watermelon a very cool snack idea to share with your best canine buddy.