Yes, you can give your beloved hound several small slices of watermelon as occasional treat. Be careful to remove the seeds as these have the potential to cause intestinal blockage. You may not want to give the rind, either, as it can also upset your dog’s tummy. Other than that, it should be okay to give your dog watermelon.
Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Watermelons contain nutrients that are beneficial for your pet’s health. They are also filled with water and contain very few calories per ounce. It is a healthy fruit powerhouse that can provide the following benefits to your pet:
- Improves Hydration
Containing 91 percent water, watermelon is one of the best ways to maintain the hydration status of your dog. This is especially during hot days when your dog is losing more water because of evaporation. It is also a good way to cool down your dog and prevent overheating. Some pet parents love to cut watermelons into small cubes. These are made into a frozen delight that dogs love to lick.
- Improves Integrity of the Cells
Watermelons contain potassium that is responsible for maintaining the integrity of all cells in the dog’s body. It is especially useful in the contraction of the muscles as well as the transmission of electrical nerve impulses. Without potassium, your dog may experience weakness and easy fatigability. In short, it will not be able to enjoy the things that it loves to do.
- Improves Eyesight and Skin Health
Two of the vitamins that are present in watermelons are vitamins A and C. Both of these nutrients are potent antioxidants. They can help minimize inflammatory conditions while also ensuring better eyesight and skin health. Vitamin A is important for vision as it is necessary for the health of the cells of the eyes. Vitamin C, as we all know, promotes the production of collagen. This substance gives form to the dog’s skin. It makes the skin firmer and more resistant against environmental factors.
- Aids in Bone Health
You might not know it, but watermelons also contain calcium and phosphorus. We always have this idea that these two minerals are only present in dairy and bone products. As it turns out, even watermelons have them. As such, giving watermelons to your dog can also help in the strengthening of its bones.
- Promotes Healthier Heart
There are breeds of dogs that are more susceptible to heart problems than others. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dachshund, and Miniature and Toy Poodles are examples of dog breeds that are at risk of developing heart disease. Giving these dogs watermelons will not prevent these dogs from having a heart disorder, but it can help lower the risk. Watermelons contain lycopene which is an antioxidant that is beneficial to the heart. It also helps regulate blood pressure so that the heart will not be over-burdened.
How to Give Watermelon to Dogs in a Safe Manner
Watermelons are healthy and safe for dogs to eat. There are certain “rules” you have to observe, however, not to undermine the safety of this fruit.
- Remove the Seeds
Watermelons have very small seeds. You may think that these seeds can easily pass your dog’s digestive tract without incident. This may be true in some cases but it’s always better to play it safe. As such, if you decide to give your dog watermelons, be patient enough to remove the seeds as they can lead to an obstruction in your pet’s intestines. The intestines come with many folds where small seeds can get lodged in. Over time, these can cause problems. So, can dogs eat seedless watermelon? Absolutely! Giving seedless watermelons addresses the issue of seeds causing obstruction in your dog’s gut.
- Don’t Give the Rind
Can dogs eat watermelon rind? The answer is “no”. Just as watermelon seeds can be a safety risk for your dog, the rind can also cause problems for your pet. This is a very fibrous part of the fruit that cannot be digested well by your pet. It can also cause intestinal blockage since the dog’s stomach and gut cannot digest it well. Most dogs that eat watermelon rinds can present with stomach upset. These dogs may need your veterinarian’s attention. Stick with the flesh of watermelons. Stay away from the rind and seeds.
- Give Only in Moderation
Like all things, we should give watermelon to our pets in moderation. This fruit also contains the sugar fructose that can be disadvantageous for dogs with diabetes. The sugar content may be low, but it can still be risky for dogs that have problems with glucose metabolism. As such, giving one to two slices of watermelons once a week is fine.
Watermelon as Treats for Dogs
Because watermelons are a great choice as safe treats for dogs, here are some ways you can serve this fruit to your pet.
- Fresh, Raw Watermelon
Nothing beats the fresh taste of watermelon. This is especially true for the juicier ones. Your dog will love munching on the raw flesh of this fruit. It will also love slurping the juices that come from the fruit. When giving fresh watermelons to your dog, it is important to remove the seeds and rind. Also, keep in mind to slice it into bite-sized pieces rather than giving the entire chunk.
- Yogurt and Watermelon Frozen Delight
Put several slices of watermelon in your ordinary blender. Pour Greek yogurt into your ice cube molds. Fill it up about halfway. Pour your pureed watermelon over the yogurt and put the ice cube tray in the freezer. Once frozen, give an ice cube or two to your dog.
- Watermelon Jerky
If you have a dehydrator at home, you can remove the water content of the watermelon. This will turn it into a chewy jerky. It’s a good alternative to dog chews. However, keep in mind that dehydrating the watermelon slices removes its water content.
Dogs enjoy watermelons as much as you do. By removing the seeds and the rind, you can give your dog a treat that is nutritious and hydrating.