Everyone we know loves the sweet, tangy taste of watermelon, even our dogs! But everything that dogs love isn’t always safe for them to eat. So let’s settle this once and for all, can dogs safely eat watermelon?
Luckily, the answer is yes, but you need to take some precautions. Watermelon seeds can cause intestinal blockages, and the watermelon rind can cause a serious tummy ache for your pet. So make sure to only offer them fleshy, sweet bits without the seeds.
How to feed your dog human treats safely
Whenever you’re feeding human food to a dog, it’s best to consider the food a “treat,” meaning you don’t want to overdo it. Dogs require regular, balanced diets that real dog food offers. Just because they visibly enjoy the taste of human foods like watermelon doesn’t mean those types of foods should become staples of their diets.
The easiest way to feed your dog watermelon is in small chunks. If your dog likes chewing ice cubes, you can freeze small pieces of pet-safe fruit for a cool treat on a hot summer day. Freezing treats also extend the time it takes for the dog to physically eat the treat, which is good for working breeds who love to have a job to do.
If you’re afraid of your dog choking on a piece of fruit, you can blend it, and maybe even freeze the puree. You can also add some plain yogurt to the mix to make an ice cream treat (most dogs can stomach regular, unsweetened yogurt — just make sure it doesn’t have artificial sweeteners like Xylitol).
The benefits of watermelon for dogs
There are a few benefits of watermelon for dogs. The fruit itself is a health-food powerhouse, low in calories and packed with nutrients—vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium. Plus, watermelon has only about 50 calories a cup and is made up of 92 percent water, so it’s great for hydration on a hot day. It also has no fat or cholesterol, so it’s great for a simple dog treat.
Ever wondered why “cracks” in the flesh of watermelons taste even sweeter than the rest? The cracks are due to fluctuations in temperature during growing season. When the flesh cracks (known as Hollow Heart), sugars tend to accumulate in the spaces in-between. Your pup will especially love those “cracked” bits, but you may want to save them for yourself!