Watermelon makes a healthy snack for your dog — whether it’s summer or anytime of the year. According to Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian who works at Wellness Natural Pet Food, watermelon is a safe and healthy treat for dogs that’s both tasty and nutritious. Not only is it filled with refreshing water, but melons are also rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, fibre, and lycopene that have a wide range of health benefits for dogs.
Watermelon is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefits your dog’s health. Not only that, watermelon is 92 percent water which makes it even more so refreshing on a hot day!
As good as the watermelon sounds, the rind and seeds of watermelons is hazard and has the potential to cause serious health problems.
Benefits of Watermelons for Dogs
Watermelon, like many other fruits that dogs can eat, contain a rich source of fibre which helps maintain healthy digestion.
It also contains Potassium which helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
It has vitamins such as A, B6 and vitamin C which overall improves your dog’s health which includes but not limited to being responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function.
Watermelon is low in calories and sodium, it is fat-free and cholesterol-free making it a much healthier choice than other store-bought treats.
Risk of Watermelon for Dogs
Just like mangos and most fruits, watermelons are high in sugar content. This means, you would need to be careful on the daily intake as too many watermelons at once is dangerous for your dog, which will be resulting in making them very sick. Depending on your dog size and breed, your dog may only be able to eat a few bites of watermelons at a time.
Never give your dog canned watermelons, and only give him fresh ones in moderation. Fresh fruit is good for dogs but canned, sugared, and packed in syrup far from safe and healthy. Canned food usually have added preservatives or sweeteners that are toxic to dogs and pets.
Watermelons in Sweets
When buying sweets for your dog, always inspect what is contained, as treats that includes watermelons are usually made with canned watermelons as opposed to fresh watermelons. However, even with fresh watermelons as the base fruit ingredient, treats often have added sweeteners, additional sugar, chemicals, and other things that can make your dog sick.
As a rule of thumb, you should never feed your dog, dog sweets or baked pastries with or without fruits. Treats like these are dangerous to them.
Watermelon Seeds & Rind
Dogs must never be fed the watermelon seeds. You should always only feed seedless watermelon to your dogs. Watermelon seeds are hazards and has a potential to cause intestinal blockage. You should always prepare watermelon and cut off any of the outer hard green skin, otherwise known as the rind. The rind can cause gastrointestinal distress that may produce vomiting or diarrhoea.
Similar to Kiwis, watermelon’s flesh are super soft and easy to chew, however, this still may present a choking hazard. When you have a dog who enjoys swallowing food as a whole as opposed to chewing, this risk magnifies intensity. Instead to minimize any risk, you should always cut fresh watermelons into smaller portions or turn it into a puree or mash up before feed them to your dog in that form.
Frozen watermelon are perfectly fine for your dog if it is not too many at once. Frozen watermelon are still best served as sliced and in smaller pieces.
Just as with any kind of food, it’s possible for your dog to be allergic to watermelons. Allergic reactions aren’t common, but they can happen. If you notice any kind of adverse reaction after giving your dog watermelons, give your veterinarian a call immediately.
How to Safely Feed Watermelons to Your Dog
When feeding your dog watermelon, always remember the following tips
• Only prepare seedless watermelon
• Do not feed the grind or the green hard skin
• Do not add additional sugar, seasoning or spices
• Always prepare in smaller portions to avoid choking
• Only feed watermelon as a treat and never substitute as a meal
When introducing new foods to your dog, be sure to check with your vet. If you do begin to give your dog some watermelon, always start out with small portions to monitor for any behavioural changes or digestive issues. If you notice anything unusual, cease giving any further watermelons and consult with your vet.