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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rind? Is It Safe for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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A picnic isn’t a picnic without your best friend along for the ride — and you can’t truly enjoy a meal outside without a little watermelon for dessert.

Of course, you know what will happen as soon as you bust out the fruit: Your buddy will bust out their puppy dog eyes. We’re not expecting you to resist those adorable peepers, but before you spoil them, you should know whether watermelon is safe for dogs.

The flesh certainly is — and most dogs absolutely love it. But what about the rind? Can you give your pooch an entire slice, or do you need to carve out the pink stuff for them?

We did a bit of research to find out the answer to this question.

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Is Watermelon Rind Safe for Dogs?

We can give you a 100%, completely-definitive answer to this question, and that answer is: it depends.

There’s nothing about the rind that would be toxic to your dog, so you don’t have to worry about them getting poisoned. It’s the texture you have to worry about.

As you already know, watermelon rind is extremely tough and fibrous. As a result, it needs to be chewed extremely thoroughly, or your dog could choke on it. Large chunks could also cause an intestinal blockage.

Watermelon Rind
Image credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Even if it makes its way through the digestive system without gumming up the works, there’s a good chance that it will cause an upset stomach along the way, as it’s extremely difficult to digest. You’ll likely see large chunks of it in your pup’s stool, assuming you take the time to examine it.

So, watermelon rind is safe, provided that your dog chews it thoroughly — but it’s still probably better not to risk it.

Does Watermelon Rind Have Any Health Benefits for Dogs?

There’s little nutrition inside the watermelon rind, so your mutt probably isn’t missing much if they never get to eat it.

One thing that it can offer is fiber, but as we discussed, it’s probably not worth it, given how it can cause an upset stomach.

Is There Anything Else to Worry About with Watermelon?

The seeds are actually the most worrisome part, as far as dogs go. They’re not toxic, but if eaten in large enough quantities, they can cause an intestinal blockage. Thus, you should remove them before offering the fruit to your dog.

Watermelon Rind
Image credit: NataljaDanilchenko, Pixabay

So, Should I Avoid Giving My Dog Watermelon Entirely?

Not necessarily. The flesh of the watermelon is actually quite good for dogs.

It’s full of water, so offering it to your pup is a great way to keep them hydrated on a hot day. Just don’t use it as their only source of moisture.

There are quite a few vitamins in watermelon as well, like A, C, and B6. These help maintain a healthy coat, improve eye health, and bolster the immune system.

Beyond that, watermelon is a tasty treat, so it’s a great way to reward your dog while also strengthening the bond between you.

How Much Watermelon Is Safe for My Dog to Eat?

Watermelon isn’t toxic to dogs, so there’s probably not any amount that’s “unsafe” for them to eat — provided you remove the seeds and rind, of course.

However, many dogs have issues digesting fruit, so if you give them too much, you may have quite a mess on your hands later. To avoid an upset stomach, start slowly and monitor how they take it; if they can handle a few cubes with ease, you can give them a bit more.

Overall, though, you should probably only give them a few small chunks at a time.

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What’s the Verdict? Is Watermelon Rind Safe for Dogs?

As long as your dog chews it thoroughly, watermelon rind should be safe for them to eat. Ultimately, though, there should be no reason that you would want them to.

It can cause an upset stomach, so you may have a colorful green mess to clean up later. Also, there’s little nutritional value in the rind, so they won’t be missing anything by not eating it.

So yes, you can feed your dog watermelon rind — but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Featured image credit: sergeitokmakov, Pixabay

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