Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? - Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
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Watermelon is one of the most consumed fruits in the world, especially in the hot months due to its high water content. Fresh fruits like watermelon can be very refreshing when temperatures rise. But is watermelon safe for dogs? When it comes to feeding dogs, doubts always arise because studies have shown that certain fruits that people consume can be toxic for dogs.
The following AnimalWised article explores the question of whether it is safe for dogs to eat watermelon.
Nutritional value of watermelon for dogs
According to data obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture database, 100 grams of natural watermelon have the following nutritional values:
- Water: 91.45g
- Calories: 30kcal
- Protein: 0.61g
- Carbs: 7.55g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Sugars: 6.2g
- Calcium: 7.7mg
- Iron: 0.24mg
- Magnesium: 10mg
- Phosphorus: 11 mg
- Potassium: 112mg
- Sodium: 1mg
- Zinc: 0.10mg
- Vitamin C: 8.1mg
- Vitamin A: 28 µg
- Total vitamin B: 0.30 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.05mg
- Saturated fatty acids: 0.016 g
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.037 g
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.05 g
Can dogs eat watermelon?
The answer is yes, watermelon can be a healthy treat for dogs, but only if it is fed properly. Dogs can eat watermelon because it is full of healthy nutrients that are as beneficial to humans as they are to our dogs. In addition, watermelon is a fruit that provides them with plenty of water, which they need to stay well hydrated in the summer and avoid heat stroke. However, it is important to know that no matter how much your dog likes it, we must not offer our dog large quantities of this fruit. While watermelon is a healthy snack, eating too much of it can also cause your dog to have an upset stomach.
Benefits of watermelon for dogs
As mentioned earlier, watermelon can be a healthy snack for dogs. The fruit itself is a healthy powerhouse, low in calories and packed with nutrients. Below, we explain the main benefits that watermelon has to offer our dogs:
Citrulline serves as an intermediate in the synthesis of arginine, an essential amino acid that promotes the formation of proteins in the body and acts as a vasodilator. Which is good for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, citrulline promotes muscle recovery, which makes it ideal for dogs with a high level of exercise.
It is diuretic and digestive
Watermelon has important diuretic and digestive properties, so its consumption is recommended to cleanse the intestines and regulate bowel activity. Due to its water and fiber content, it is also recommended for dogs that suffer from constipation.
It is rich in antioxidants
Its antioxidant properties are very beneficial to prevent cell oxidation in dogs, which improves their overall health as their immune system is strengthened. By improving the dog's immune system, it is possible to prevent or delay the development of degenerative diseases.
Provides vitamins and minerals
Each of the vitamins and minerals contained in watermelon performs different functions in the body. ON On the one hand, calcium is good for maintaining bone health. On the other hand, iron helps prevent and fight anemia. Finally, vitamin A promotes vision, and vitamin C is necessary to properly absorb iron.
It is low in calories, fat, and cholesterol
As we saw in the previous section, 100 grams of watermelon contains 30 calories, a very low number. For this reason, it is an ideal fruit for overweight dogs. It also contains no fat or cholesterol, so it's pretty much guilt-free.
Helps prevent heat stroke in dogs
Since the fruit is 90% water, watermelon is highly recommended in the hotter months to keep dogs hydrated and cool. Heat stroke, due to dehydration and sugar loss, causes a whole range of reactions and negative consequences in the animal, including death.
If you want to learn more about other fruits that can be useful for your dog, read this other article, where we discuss the main recommended fruits and vegetables for dogs.
Contraindications of watermelon for dogs
Despite the benefits of watermelon for dogs, there are certain contraindications that must be considered when eating this fruit. Watermelon is one of the fruits with a high content of sugar. As a result, watermelon can increase blood sugar levels and promote obesity, which can pose a serious threat to dogs suffering from any of the diseases listed below:
- Kidney failure
As a general rule, before feeding your dog any human food, check with your veterinarian to make sure it is okay. Although watermelon can be a healthy treat for many dogs, make sure it does not have any negative effects on your dog's unique digestive system.
For more information about what other fruits you should avoid so that your dog won't get health problems, please read this other article, which details all fruits dogs should never consume.
How to give watermelon to a dog?
It is best to offer the fruit pieces without the rind or seeds, because although watermelon is not toxic to dogs, these parts of the fruit can cause problems. While it is unlikely that one or two seeds will cause health problems in large dogs, a few are enough to cause constipation in small dogs.
So is watermelon rind bad for dogs? Yes and no. The rind contains large amounts of fiber, minerals, vitamins and sugar, so depending on the condition of the dog, it is good to give it or not. Also, it is important to remember that the dog do not need to consume high amounts of fiber, sugar or certain minerals. In addition, ingestion of the rim may cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some dogs, causing vomiting or diarrhea.
Dosage of watermelon for dogs
Since it is a very sugary fruit, it is not advisable to give it to the dog every day. A weekly maximum is ideal for offering small portions as a reward or natural snack. When the dog eats watermelon for the first time, be sure to offer him a very small piece and observe his reaction to make sure he tolerates the fruit well and has no allergies.
Can puppies eat watermelon?
Yes, even puppies can eat watermelon if they follow the above instructions and observe certain precautions. In view of the fact that their digestive system is still in the process of developing, new foods should be gradually introduced.
Other options for offering watermelon to dogs
For additional refreshment, you can also remove the peel and seeds from the fruit, cut it into small pieces, freeze it, and give it cold to your dog. Another option is to purée the fresh fruit after you remove the seeds and peels, and then freeze it in an ice cube tray.
For more information about other ways to treat your dog with fruit in the summer, read this article on how to make 4 super easy and quick dog ice cream recipes.
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- Martín, A. Vegan food for dogs and cats. How to lengthen and improve your life . University of Salamanca.
- Agulas, RR Basic canine nutrition. Omissions and Confusions vs. Scientific Facts . NUTEC Group.