Watermelon is the perfect summer treat, and whenever you're enjoying a treat, it's tempting to share it with your dog. Your dog always wants what you have, and it can be hard to say no, but you must if what you're eating won't be healthy for your little friend.
But, can dogs eat watermelon?
If you're a big watermelon fan and so is your dog then you're in luck. You can feed your dog watermelon but, like anything else, it's important to give it to them in moderation. Exercising caution is always a good idea, as all dogs can react differently to certain foods, and you don't want to have to put your pet insurance to use if you don't need to. Watermelon can sometimes cause diarrhea or other digestive problems if your dog gets too much of it. There are some rules you can follow, like only giving your dog the flesh of the fruit.
Benefits of watermelon for dogs
Watermelon can have some great health benefits for your dog if you're cautious about giving it to them. One of the best things about watermelon is that it's mostly made of water - in fact, it's more than 90% water. That makes it a good treat to help your dog stay hydrated, especially on a hot day. Some say that watermelon is a diuretic, meaning it will make your dog pee more, but considering it has so much water in it, they're likely to benefit from it.
It's also a nutritious snack, with lots of vitamins like A, B6 and C, as well as potassium. Watermelon contains fiber too, which helps to stop the sugar in the watermelon from having a overly unhealthy effect on your dog. The antioxidants in watermelon have also been linked to a decrease in inflammation.
Watermelon feeding rules
Yes, watermelon might be generally safe for your dog, but you still need to be careful. It's important to remember that any new foods could give your dog an upset tummy, so introducing watermelon in moderation is a good idea. Here are some other rules you can follow:
Avoid giving seeds or rinds to reduce the likelihood of digestive issues
One or two seeds won't matter, but eating too many seeds, or the rind, could create blockage
Watch out for diarrhea
Take your dog's size into account - small dogs only need small amounts
Safe watermelon ideas for dogs
Watermelon in its pure form is one of the healthiest options for dogs. You can also find dog treats that have been made with watermelon but if you buy them, make sure you check the ingredients carefully. They're probably tasty, but they might have ingredients like sweeteners or preservatives that you don't want your dog to have. If you want to switch things up a bit, there are some easy ways to make watermelon more exciting.
Frozen Watermelon Treats
These frozen watermelon treats are fun and easy. Simply blend 2 cups of seedless watermelon flesh with 1 cup of coconut milk or water. Then spoon or pour into ice cube trays and freeze them into simple cubes or fun shapes. They're great for both your dogs and you!
You can use a dehydrator to turn a watermelon into chewy treats. Keep in mind that doing this will mean the watermelon will have less hydrating power, but it will still be tasty and fun to chew on too. Just cut your seedless watermelon into slices and then place in your dehydrator. While you can technically use your oven to do this, it does take a long time, so you might not want to waste the electricity. It's likely to take at least 8 hours to dry out your watermelon at around 135 degrees.
Watermelon and Yogurt Frozen Treats
As an alternative to mixing watermelon with coconut milk, you can also freeze it with yogurt. Puree your watermelon in a blender, then fill up your ice cube molds halfway with yogurt and top up with the watermelon before freezing. Make sure you use a plain and natural low-fat or non-fat yogurt and not one that's full of sugar or additives. Keep in mind, also, that some dogs don't do too well with dairy, so be careful about giving your dog too much.