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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Vet-Approved Benefits, Risks, & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Watermelon is a juicy, hydrating fruit often enjoyed by the pool on a hot summer’s day. While you tuck into a juicy slice of watermelon, your dog may look at you with those eyes that are hard to resist saying no to. Dogs can eat watermelon and will likely enjoy it too! However, offering your dog watermelons has some precautions to consider. In this article, we’ll go more in-depth about feeding your dog this excellent summer fruit and how you can do so safely.

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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Dogs can enjoy a slice of watermelon, but you have to prepare it properly. You will need to remove all the large seeds since they can cause potential issues in the intestine if your dog eats too many, and we all know how watermelons seem to have a never-ending supply of seeds! The rind will also need to be removed as it has the potential to cause a blockage or get stuck in their mouth.

Watermelon should only be offered as a treat, perhaps on a hot summer’s day, and shouldn’t be a part of your dog’s regular diet. It is also important to remember to speak to your vet before offering your dog any new food.

watermelons
Photo Credit: Paul Brennan, Pixabay

Is Watermelon Good for Dogs?

Watermelon can be a safe and nutritious snack for your dog to enjoy. However, it is high in sugar, like most fruits, so caution needs to be taken with dogs that have diabetes or are overweight.

Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit that contains no fat and is made up of 92% water, which can provide hydration, especially on a hot day. However, your dog should not depend solely on watermelon for hydration but only as an additional hydrating snack. The juicy fruit is also packed with the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6

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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Along with the rind, the watermelon’s large black seeds should also be removed. Watermelon seeds are generally not a toxic threat to your dog, even though they contain cyanide, because your dog generally should not eat enough seeds to cause poisoning.

However, there are several seeds even in one slice of watermelon, and they are large, which may be a choking hazard, especially for small-breed dogs. Some watermelons are “seedless” but still contain thin, softer white seeds that may potentially cause stomach issues if your dog eats too many.

Can Dogs Eat the Rind of Watermelon?

As we mentioned before, the rind of the watermelon should be removed before serving it to your dog since it is not entirely safe to consume. The rind is tough and hard to chew, so it can become a risk for choking or create a potential intestinal blockage.

watermelon slices
Photo Credit: Any Lane, Pexels

How Much Can You Give to Your Dog?

Watermelon should only be offered to your dog as an additional snack or treat and should never replace components of their balanced diet or source of hydration. Treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet, including healthy treats like watermelon, while the remaining 90% should come from well-balanced, high-quality dog food.

You can offer your dog a small slice of watermelon about 1 inch thick. If it’s the first time offering your dog watermelon, you should watch for any signs that it may not agree with your dog’s stomach.

If your dog ate too much, and it has you worried, look for signs such as a loss of appetite, fatigue, looking unwell, lip licking, vomiting, and diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian if your pet displays any worrying signs after eating watermelon.

How to Feed Your Dog Watermelon Safely

When preparing the watermelon, you first need to ensure that the seeds and rind have been removed. You can then offer it to your dogs in various ways.

You can serve it in small chunks about 1 inch thick or freeze them beforehand for a cool summer snack. You can also puree the watermelon to add to a lick mat or freeze it to add to puzzle feeders.

If you want to get fancy, you can blend up a smoothie with watermelon and other safe fruits, such as bananas and blueberries, and serve it as a food topper or on its own. For a delicious summer treat, try this watermelon ice cream recipe you and your dog can enjoy!

homemade watermelon ice cream

Watermelon “Ice Cream”

Course treats
Cuisine Dogs

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Freezer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups of watermelon
  • ¼ cup sugar-free, xylitol-free yogurt You can also use milk if you prefer.

Instructions
 

  • Remove the seeds and rind and dice up your watermelon.
  • Blend the watermelon in the food processor.
  • Add the yogurt and blend again until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Freeze until the consistency is more like ice cream.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock
Keyword watermelon ice cream

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Conclusion

Watermelon is a summertime favorite, and you can safely share it with your canine friend. However, the rind and seeds must be removed; you should only feed them the fruit’s pink flesh. You can quickly dice up a few small pieces and serve them alone or make a smoothie or ice cream for your dog to enjoy. While watermelon is safe and nutritious for your dog, it should only be served as a treat or snack.

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