Nothing says summer like a slice of sweet, juicy watermelon — but is it safe for your dog to eat? We’ve got good news: Yes, dogs can eat watermelon, as long as it’s prepared the right way. Keep reading to learn more about safely serving your dog watermelon, plus the unique health benefits that come with it.
Are There Any Risks to Feeding Watermelon to Dogs?
As with any new food for your dog, you should check with your veterinarian, start small, and feed treats like watermelon in moderation. If you aren’t sure about what portion size to give, your vet can answer that too. Below, we’ll cover a few more precautions you should take when feeding your dog watermelon.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?
Watermelon rinds aren’t toxic to dogs, but it’s not a good idea to let your dog eat them. Rinds are difficult to digest, so if your pup eats a chunk or even swallows it whole, they’re at risk of a stomach blockage. Watch out for the symptoms of an intestinal blockage — like vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weakness, and bloating — and tell your vet immediately if you notice the signs.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Avoid letting your dog eat watermelon seeds. Although they aren’t toxic, the seeds are a choking hazard and may cause a stomach blockage if your dog eats enough. This is especially true for smaller dogs. So, stick to buying seedless watermelons (but double-check for seeds) or pick out the seeds before giving your dog a slice.
To recap, make sure any watermelon you give your dog is de-seeded, rind-free, and sliced or cubed for your pup’s safety and enjoyment. Another quick tip? If you don’t want sticky floors or carpets, or stained furniture, feed your dog watermelon outside the house.
3 Big Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs
Watermelon doesn’t just taste good, it’s packed with health perks for your pup. Check out this snapshot of the benefits.
1) Super Hydrating
With “water” right in the name, it’s no surprise that watermelon is a hydration powerhouse. Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods there is — it’s 92% water and also rich in fiber. A small serving keeps your dog hydrated and feeling full.
2) Very Low in Calories
Given occasionally, this fruit is a wonderful alternative to calorie-dense, store-bought dog treats. One cup of watermelon is just 46 calories. It’s the perfect low-cal snack if your dog is on a weight-loss plan, and it’s filling thanks to the water and fiber content.
3) Full of Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Despite being a light, watery fruit, watermelon contains lots of different nutrients that are beneficial to your dog’s health. For example, it’s high in antioxidants like vitamins C and A, as well as potassium and magnesium.
How To Serve Watermelon to Your Dog
Every dog owner knows that their pet lives for the moments when they get to gobble up a favorite new snack, and watermelon is a great choice. Here are a few different ways you can serve it up.
Slice It Up for a Quick, Simple Treat
Sometimes, the simple pleasures are best. Cut a small chunk or slice of watermelon, take out the seeds if there are any, and remove the rind. Just like that, you’ve got a fast, healthy snack for your dog.
Freeze It To Keep Your Pup Cool and Refreshed
For a special, refreshing treat, you can make frozen watermelon treats and pop them out when you want to reward your pup. Puree, freeze, and serve.
Dehydrate It To Make a Chewy, All-Natural Snack
Another pup-pleasing idea is to make watermelon jerky. It’s a chewy delight for your dog, just like beef jerky, and the oven-drying process brings out the watermelon’s sweetness.
Other Yummy Fruits Your Dog Can Enjoy
Looking for more dog-friendly fruits to satisfy your pet’s sweet tooth (and sneak in some vitamins and minerals at the same time)? Read our list of fruits that are safe for dogs to eat or learn more about some crowd favorites below.
Health Disclaimer: This post is educational in nature and doesn’t constitute health advice. Please consult your pet's veterinarian or other healthcare professional for specific guidance on this topic.