It is that time of the year again when there is an abundance of watermelon. This fruit is so refreshing that it is perfect during the summer months. It quenches not only our thirst, but that of our furry companions, too. However, the question is how safe this fruit is for dogs. The answer is YES, it is safe, but of course, there are some precautions that you have to take into account when giving this fruit to your canine buddy.
Watermelon is packed with nutrients which are very beneficial for your dog, especially when the heat is scorching. When eaten, the watermelon decreases the body temperature, thus avoiding a heatstroke and dehydration. In this article, I will be explaining what a fur parent like you needs to know when giving their furry pal one of the most delectable summer fruits – watermelon.
Is Watermelon Good for Dogs? (The Benefits)
Yup, this fruit is good for your doggie! It is sweet, juicy and your fur baby will definitely love it just as much as my doggie loves it. Every time I cut one, my Shitzu just cannot resist the scent and is always excited to get her share. Not to mention that she usually ends up barking and begging for more after the first slice. Not only is it tasty and oozes with sweet juice, but the watermelon is also rich in benefits for your Fido. Here are the advantages of giving watermelon to your dog:
1. Watermelon is Good for Hydration:
When the temperature is soaring, your doggie is likely to suffer even if it stays indoors, unless the air-conditioning unit is turned-on 24/7. If you see your dog panting heavily, this means that it lacks hydration, which is very dangerous. Most of us think that water is the only way to provide hydration, but this idea is actually wrong. Apart from water, you can also give your doggie a fruit like watermelon.
A watermelon contains between 93% and 99% water, which makes it the perfect source of hydration for your dog. So, go ahead and give them a slice of this summer fruit before the heat gets unbearable.
2. Watermelon is Bursting with Antioxidants:
The vibrant red color of a watermelon is due to an antioxidant called lycopene. This is a plant nutrient which is known to have many health benefits, ranging from heart protection all the way to anti-cancer effects. What lycopene does is provide protection to the body by reducing free radicals. Antioxidants keep your dog’s body in tiptop condition, meaning that it will not succumb to health issues easily. If your dog’s body lacks in antioxidants, its cells will not rejuvenate properly and thus become prone to various diseases.
3. Watermelon is Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals:
There are basically two kinds of vitamins which your doggo will get if you allow it to eat watermelon. The first one is Vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed by your dog’s body for bone growth and good eyesight. If your dog lacks vitamin A, its muscles and bones stop developing properly. In addition, your furry pal may end up suffering from night blindness.
Vitamin B6 is the second vitamin which watermelon provides your dog with. This is needed by your dog’s body for protein synthesis, more specifically it is required for the absorption of fats and proteins from your dog’s food. Vitamin B6 also aids in the production of red blood cells, proper brain function, and in maintaining a good balance of potassium and sodium.
Vitamin C is good for dogs, and they can get it by having a few servings of watermelon. This vitamin helps doggies avoid diseases because it provides them with antioxidants. It also helps in the prevention of cell damage, thereby speeding up the recovery process after all kinds of illnesses.
In other words, your dog will benefit a lot from your sharing a slice of watermelon with it.
4. Other Advantages of Watermelon:
This fruit is also a good source of potassium, which is needed by your dog’s body for good digestion. In addition, although the watermelon contains a high amount of sugar, the fiber found in this fruit insulates the sugar and stops it from releasing into the dog’s bloodstream too quickly.
If you are looking for a low-calorie, non-fat treat for your Fido, you will never go wrong with watermelon.
Watermelon – Nutritional Facts:
We all know how delicious this fruit is, and your dog will most definitely love it. But did you know that, apart from being super tasty, the watermelon is also highly nutritious? Here is what your Fido will get if you give it one cup of seedless watermelon.
- 40 micrograms of Vitamin A
- 5 micrograms of Vitamin C
- 5 milligrams of Vitamin B6
- 35 milligrams of Iron
- 155 milligrams of Potassium
- 10 milligrams of Calcium
- 1 gram of protein
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 5% Fiber
- 5 grams of sugar
When is Watermelon Not Good for Dogs?
Just like any type of food or dog treat, watermelon should also be eaten with moderation, because large servings can make your Fido suffer from an upset stomach.
There are also some parts of this fruit which should not be given to your dog:
- The Seeds: I advise you to buy seedless watermelon. In case you cannot find one, carefully remove the seeds before serving the fruit to your fur baby. Why? Because too many ingested seeds can cause blockages of the digestive tract. Certain breeds can digest the seeds properly, but others, especially the small ones, will not be able to do so. As such, it is best to avoid them altogether.
- The Rinds: Although the rind of the watermelon is not toxic, it can also cause an intestinal blockage. The rind of the watermelon is tough, and if the dog swallows it without chewing it well, this can lead to health issues. Large breeds are less likely to experience problems, but as the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound”. Thus, to avoid intestinal blockage, avoid the rind altogether.
Can Diabetic Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Although watermelon is a sweet fruit, you do not have to worry about the sugar intake when serving it to your dog. This fruit is low in sugar, so it is perfectly safe for diabetic doggies. It also contains dietary fibers which slow down the release of sugar in the bloodstream.
How to Serve Watermelon To your Dog?
Before you start giving something to your Fido, it is best to talk to a vet and get information on the proper quantity. As I have previously mentioned, too much of anything is bad. Now, once you have consulted a vet, here are some of the ways in which you can serve the watermelon to your doggie:
- Slice the watermelon or cut it into cubes. Remove all the seeds before you serve it to your dog.
- You can also try freezing a few slices of watermelon before serving them to your dog.
- Make ice cream or sorbet out of it. Here is how to do it:
Watermelon ice cream for dogs:
- 1.5 cups of frozen watermelon
- 1/4 cup of plain yogurt
Blend the frozen watermelon and then add the yogurt. You may add more yogurt to thicken the composition. Serve the mixture to your doggie.
Watermelon sorbet for dogs:
- 3 cups of frozen watermelon
- 1/4 cup watermelon juice or coconut juice
- a few squirts of honey
Blend the frozen watermelon with the honey. Then slowly add the watermelon or coconut juice. Once you reach the right sorbet consistency, remove the composition from the blender and serve it to your furry pal.an extra act of love, top the sorbet with fresh fruits like banana or apple.
How Much Watermelon is Safe for Dogs?
A lot of experts say that only 10% of calories should come from dog treats, and that includes fruits. For example, a 25-pound dog should only be given an average of 500 to 750 calories of treats in a day. In the case of watermelon, that is 50 calories or 150 grams of watermelon a day for a 25-pound dog. If you have a bigger dog, say one that weighs 50 pounds, then it is okay for them to serve 300 grams of watermelon.
What About Puppies, Is Watermelon Safe for Them, too?
Puppies can also be served a few slices of watermelon. Since pups are very active physically, they need to stay hydrated at all times. After playtime, give them some watermelon for hydration and added nutrients.
So, if you are wondering whether dogs can eat watermelon or not, the answer is yes, of course! Puppies can have watermelon, too. Keep in mind that you should remove the seeds and rind before serving this fruit to your doggie, as these parts can block your furry pal’s intestines, especially if you own a smaller breed. Despite this tiny drawback, though, the watermelon provides your dog with many benefits:
- Maintenance of the immune system
- Quick regeneration after tissue damage
- Good eyesight
- Prevention of heart disease
- Prevention of tissue and organ damage
- Muscle development
The next time you buy watermelon for dessert, do not forget to share a slice with your fur baby, because this is a delicious and nutrient-packed doggie treat during the hot summer months.