Can dogs eat watermelon? Yes, they can!
If you are wondering if dogs can have watermelon, how much and how often, the good news is that this juicy, sweet, delicious melon, fresh or frozen, is safe for dogs to eat. Low in calories and packed with nutrients, it’s a healthy addition to your dog’s diet when served in moderation and a few precautions taken such as removing seeds and rind.
We spoke with Dr. Deborah Bayazit, co-owner and Medical Director of Brilliant Veterinary Care, for tips and advice on how to include watermelon in your pup’s diet.
Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Aside from being a tasty summer treat, fresh or frozen watermelon contains many nutritional benefits for dogs, too.
- High in vitamins A, B1,B5, B6, and C
- High in minerals including potassium and magnesium
- High in anti-oxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene
- Low in calories
- High in water content for helpful hydration
- And, it’s fun to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can dogs eat watermelon rind?
A: No, dogs should not eat the green and white rind sections of a watermelon as these can cause potential digestive issues as well as potential chocking issues if consumed in large pieces.
Q: Can dogs eat watermelon seeds?
A: It is best to avoid giving watermelon seeds to your dog. An easy, stress-free solution is to opt for seedless watermelons which do not contain hard black seeds (there may be some softer, white seeds which should be removed if possible).
Q: Why do dogs like watermelon?
A: Just like their human counterparts, Dr. Bayazit says that dogs too may find watermelon a refreshing treat in season or even during the out-of-season months. It’s tasty, sweet, juicy, and can be extra-cooling when served frozen. And, since you are eating it and loving it, your dog probably wants in on this summer pleasure too.
How to Feed Watermelon to Dogs
You should always consult with your vet before serving watermelon to determine the right portion size for your dog. Even a healthy treat like watermelon should be factored into your dog’s optimum daily balanced diet. Dr. Bayazit recommends:
- Only feed fresh or unsweetened frozen watermelon to your dog. Do not feed them watermelon that is canned, sugared or packed in syrup. The sugar content is too high, and these foods might have added preservatives and sweeteners like xylitol which can be deadly to dogs.
- Remove the fruit from the rind as the green and white section of the rind can be rough on a pup’s tummy. Remove any seeds from the melon as these can cause intestinal blockage and also might present a choking hazard.
- Allow you dog to nibble away at a slice of watermelon with your supervision or simply cut the pink sections of the fruit into bite-sized chunks. Freeze bite-sized pieces of watermelon to make a fresh, fruity popsicle for your pup.
- Add a few small pieces to your dog’s prepared food as a vitamin-booster.
If possible, Dr. Bayazit says buying and serving organic watermelon is always preferable; either way, careful and thorough washing of the fruit is vital prior to serving.
As with any new food added to your pet’s diet, start out serving watermelon very slowly to see how well the fruits are being digested. Soft stool or diarrhea can be indications that watermelon does not agree with your dog, or they have consumed too much.
Watermelon Treats for Dogs
If your dog loves the flavor and taste of watermelon and you’re looking for options outside of chunks of fresh fruit, here are some treats that are filled with that yummy flavor.
A Mutt Mocktail
Got a blender? DIY an alcohol-free Mutt Mocktail for your dog with just a few ingredients. Served chilled on a hot day, it’s a way to hydrate your pup while slipping in some good-for-you food, too. Oh, this recipe can be adjusted for you, too!
Healthy Watermelon Treats
Fruitables Skinny Minis are full of watermelon (and pumpkin) flavors and are low-calorie treats free of gluten, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors or flavors. An excellent source of dietary fiber and natural antioxidants.
Turkey & Watermelon Dog Food
Real turkey, turkey heart and turkey liver are combined with fruits and vegetables, including watermelon! Fresh ingredients are freeze-dried to help retain all their naturally enticing aromas, delectable flavors and rich nutritional value.
Watermelon Ice Cream
Before serving any new foods, even healthy ones such as fresh watermelon to your dog, consult with your veterinarian for appropriate serving size. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)