Can Dogs Eat Watermelon
When you are looking to give your dog a healthy treat, have you ever thought about offering them some watermelon? Some dog owners routinely give their furry friend fruit and vegetables to eat, while others prefer to stick to ‘regular’ dog food and treats. In short, dogs can eat watermelon, but there are one or two other things that you should know before we go any further.
As it suggests from the name, watermelons consist of over 90% water, which makes them a nice, refreshing, and hydrating treat. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the health of your pooch. However, like any other ‘human food’, you shouldn’t give your dog too much of it. Plus, you need to serve it in the right way to reduce any potential choking risks.
But most dog owners find that the positives outweigh the negatives when offering their furry friend a nice slice of this ‘superfood’. In this blog post, we will look closer at some of the main health benefits of watermelons, as well as outlining and potential risks that you need to be wary of. We also have a section on how to feed watermelon to your dog in a way that is nice and safe. So, let’s get into it!
Health Benefits of Watermelons
First, let’s look closer at what sort of health benefits a nice piece of watermelon contains. It is packed with nutrients including vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium. Vitamin A supports bone growth, vision, and reproduction. As for Vitamin B6, it supports over 100 chemical reactions in your dog’s body.
It is also high in fiber, which makes it ideal for dogs suffering from gastrointestinal problems. And it is also low in calories, so you don’t have to worry about your pooch piling on the pounds after enjoying some. It is also low in sodium, cholesterol free, and fat free.
One thing that dog owners worry about when feeding their hound fruit is the high sugar content, but the fiber content of watermelons help to insulate the sugar and stop it from being released into the bloodstream at too rapid a rate.
Many owners like to feed their dogs watermelon on hot summer’s days as they have such a high water content. It also acts as an antioxidant, and it has high anti-inflammatory properties too.
As well as benefits, there are also one or two inevitable risks involved in feeding your dog watermelon. If you give your pooch too much, it is likely that they will get an upset stomach, which could lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting. Even if you only give your dog a small amount of the fruit, this could still happen as dogs’ stomachs often react this way when you give them a food that they aren’t used to. Try giving your dog a small amount at first to see how they react. If everything is A-OK, you can start giving them a little bit more. Speak to your vet or animal nutritionist if you have any further questions.
We should also mention here that you should only feed your dog with natural watermelon products. Don’t offer anything artificially sweetened or tinned as it will be laden with sugars, which can be problematic to your dog. Stomach problems are the short-term risk, but these can spiral into obesity and diabetes in the long-term. Prepare the fresh watermelon yourself and you have absolutely no concern as to what is in it.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog
While the benefits certainly outweigh the risks when it comes to watermelons, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Experts have concluded that only around 10% of your dog’s diet should be made up of treats and snacks, and we can put watermelon on this list. Also, only 20% should be made up of fruit and vegetables, and many of the top brand dog foods contain these anyway. So, watermelon should fall under the category of being an occasional treat rather than a central part of your dog’s diet.
Different dogs have different calorie and nutritional requirements, so it is worth knowing more about yours so you can work out the right amount to offer your dog.
Safe Watermelon Feeding
First, if your dog has a pre-existing medical condition or some specific dietary requirements, you should think twice and consult with your vet before adding watermelon to their diet. Once you are confident about feeding, preparing the watermelon properly is an important step in ensuring that it is totally safe. You will need to take care to remove any seeds or rind, as these present possible choking hazards to your dog. The safest and easiest way of feeding watermelon to your dog is by cutting it up into bitesize cubes. Obviously, what constitutes ‘bitesize’ varies from dog to dog and is bound to be different for a Chihuahua and a Tibetan Mastiff!
We have already mentioned how watermelon contains plenty of H2O, making it a refreshing treat for a summer’s day. If you want to make it even more refreshing, you could freeze the watermelon before feeding. However, you want to make sure that your dog’s teeth are in good condition to reduce the risk of any potential damage.
Watermelon is a healthy and nutritious treat to offer your dog, but it is still worth exercising caution before rushing to add it to your pooch’s diet. Introduce it slowly into your dog’s diet and see how they react. If it is causing stomach upset or they simply don’t enjoy the taste, it is time to stop. You should only feed the flesh of the watermelon to your dog, avoiding the non-digestible bits like the skin, seeds, and rind. These parts are not poisonous, but they can cause gastrointestinal blockages – particularly in smaller dogs.