By Kim Rain
Published: 05/25/2021, edited: 09/21/2021
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Crunchy, juicy, and delicious, there’s nothing as satisfying as a slice of watermelon on a hot, summer day. Often a favorite at picnics and BBQs, watermelon can be served at room temperature, chilled, or even thrown on the grill for a smokey, sweet treat. But if your dog has been giving you the hungry eyes as you munch on this pink fruit, you may be wondering if they can enjoy it too.
The good news is that yes, dogs
can eat watermelon! But before you just hand over a piece to your furry
furiend, you should learn about the furbulous benefits of watermelon, as well
as how to safely give it to your best pal.
Why Watermelon is Pawsome!
Packed with vitamins and minerals, watermelon is not only yummy, but its healthy too! While it shouldn’t replace your dog’s regular food, it can help your dog in many ways. Watermelon contains:
- Vitamin A for good vision, and bone growth in puppies.
- Vitamin B6 that aids healthy cognitive function.
- Vitamin C that can boost immunity.
- Potassium for healthy nerve function and heart rhythm.
- Fiber to maintain healthy bowel movements.
- Lycopene, the antioxidant that makes watermelon pink, to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease cholesterol levels, and control high blood pressure.
Plus, watermelon is low in calories and sodium, and is
completely fat and cholesterol free! And since it consists of 90% water, it’s a
pawfect way to help keep your dog hydrated on a hot day outside.
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
Watermelon is pretty safe to give to your pooch, but it does carry a few precautions. First of all, it does contain sugar which can be problematic for dogs, especially if they are diabetic. Always talk with your veterinarian before giving fruit treats to your dog if they have diabetes or any other health condition.
While watermelon seems to agree with most pup’s bodies, there will be the occasional dog who is allergic to it. If you are feeding your dog watermelon for the first time, give them a little bit at first and watch for any signs of an allergic reaction, which can include skin inflammation and itching, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting or trouble breathing. Always seek medical help immediately in cases of allergic shock.
And lastly, you should always take off the rind and remove
the seeds before you give your dog watermelon. While these parts of the fruit
aren’t toxic to dogs, they can cause an intestinal blockage
which can become deadly if not treated right away. Plus, chewing on a hard rind
can cause damage to teeth, especially if your dog has had dental issues.
How to Give Your Dog Watermelon
Ok, now that you know the good and bad of watermelon, are you ready to give your pup a super tasty treat?
Once you’ve cut away the rind and removed those seeds, you’ll need to do a little mental math before letting your dog dive in. Since watermelon does contain sugar, it needs to be fed in moderation to prevent obesity, diabetes and inflammation. It’s best to use the 10% rule, which is making sure all treats including fruits only make up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Too much watermelon for your pup could also lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea, so take it slow.
Some people love salting their watermelon, but be sure to skip this step when you are giving it to your dog as the excess sodium can become dangerous for them.
Your dog is drooling, and giving you that begging look, so let’s give them the treat they are waiting for! Some puptastic ideas your pup is sure to love are:
- Cut up watermelon- Be sure they are in bite size pieces appropriate to your dog’s size.
- Grilled watermelon- For a sweet and smokey taste.
- Frozen watermelon- Freeze chunks for a tasty cool-down on a hot day.
- Watermelon smoothie- Throw prepared watermelon chunks into a blender with some ice cubes for another icy treat. Add a couple mint leaves for another layer of taste, or even a dash of honey or some plain yogurt.
- Fruit salad- Cut up other dog-safe fruits like bananas, apples, blueberries or strawberries for a furbulous salad your dog will love.
So, the next time you are grilling or enjoying a summertime
get-together, go ahead and make your dog’s day with some healthy, scrumptious
and woofderfully crunchy watermelon!