There's nothing like a cool slice of watermelon on a warm summer day. It's delicious and refreshing, and it goes great with all the food you're cooking up on your barbeque when it's nice outside.
So when Fido runs up and begs for a piece with his eyes, what should you do? Is it okay to give him a piece? Can dogs eat watermelon?
CAN DOGS EAT WATERMELON?
Dogs can eat watermelon, and it's a great snack that's filled with nutrients for them. On top of that, because it's mostly water (about 92 percent), it helps with hydration too. It's extremely low in calories and has no fat plus very little sodium to speak of, so there's really not much downside from a nutritional perspective. That said, it's important to watch out for the seeds and the rind, which can cause issues for your pup.
IS WATERMELON GOOD FOR DOGS?
Watermelon has some excellent nutritional content. It has plenty of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium. Watermelon is also high in fiber, which is good for your dog's digestion.
Also, it's delicious!
RISKS OF GIVING WATERMELON TO DOGS
Be careful with those watermelon seeds - they can cause intestinal blockages (which can become serious enough to require surgery) and other digestive issues. The rind is also potentially problematic from a digestive perspective and can cause vomiting or diarrhea, which neither you nor your dog will be happy about.
Watermelon contains a fair bit of sugar, which isn't great for dogs, but that risk is minimized by the amount of fiber the fruit contains, which helps dogs absorb sugar more slowly and safely.
Lastly, stay away from watermelon-flavored candies or other foods. These rarely use real watermelon and are likely to be packed with sugar and other problematic foods.
HOW TO PREPARE WATERMELON FOR DOGS
First, cut off the rind and dispose of it. Then get rid of any seeds in the melon (or you can, of course, also just buy seedless watermelon). One or two are unlikely to cause any serious issues, but make sure you get the vast majority of them out before you hand watermelon over to your dog. Then you can dice a piece up or scoop it with a melon baller, or you can just had over a big chunk to let your pup munch on (just keep an eye out to make sure they don't bite off any pieces bigger than they can swallow).
Also, don't overdo it. Fiber, which watermelon has plenty of, is good for your dog in reasonable amounts, but if you overdo it you can cause stomach issues.
SO CAN DOGS EAT WATERMELON?
Watermelon gets a resounding yes from us - it's a healthy, delicious snack that'll help hydrate your pup when you're having a summer picnic at the park. Get those seeds out and cut off the rind, and after that you're good to go!
Of course, as with all treats it's best to make sure that you don't overdo it. Your dog should be getting most of her nutrition from a high-quality dog food. While watermelon can make a great snack, it's lacking in protein and lots of other nutrients that your dog needs to be healthy and happy.