Watermelon is a fantastic fruit. It’s a refreshing treat, especially during the hot summer months. You may enjoy watermelon, but can dogs eat watermelon?

Yes, as long as you’re careful. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of watermelon, and how to give it to your dog in the safest way possible.

Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs

A cup of watermelon is 92 percent water, so it can help keep your dog hydrated. But watermelon also contains many nutrients that your beloved pet needs. These include vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium and calcium.1 Here’s some information on the benefits of each:

can dogs eat watermelon | Dr. Marty PetsVitamin A

Vitamin A is critical to your dog’s health. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to a host of health issues. These include a dull coat, stunted growth, and even night blindness. Female dogs who don’t get enough vitamin A also run the risk of developing reproductive issues. Their puppies often have problems with their eyes as well as hair loss. Male dogs are at a risk of becoming sterile.2

Vitamin B6

Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods. But it can also be easily destroyed when foods are processed. Vitamin B6 helps the body properly use amino acids. It helps build proteins and also aid in metabolism.3 Vitamin B6 insufficiency may increase the risk of certain health conditions in dogs, including tooth decay, lesions on the skin, and kidney stones.4

Potassium

This mineral is needed for the nerves and muscles to work as they should. A potassium deficiency can often lead to weakness, appetite loss and, in some instances, even heart problems. When a dog has diarrhea, kidney problems, or vomiting, that usually leads to a loss of potassium.5

Calcium

Calcium is very important to a dog, just as it is a human. This vital mineral helps a dog build strong bones and teeth, and it also helps blood coagulate properly. Calcium also helps to ensure the muscles contract properly and that nerve impulses travel through the body correctly. A dog with a calcium deficiency might have difficulty moving and slow reflexes.6

Precautions When Feeding Your Dog Watermelon

When giving watermelon to your dog, remember the old adage when it comes to feeding any type of melon: “eat alone or leave alone.”

“Giving a dog a little bit of watermelon is fine, but make sure you do it first thing in the morning before feeding time. The reason is that watermelon passes through the gastrointestinal tract very quickly. If that passage is delayed for any reason, the watermelon could turn rancid. If there is other food mixed in with the watermelon, the fruit could rot,” explains celebrity veterinarian Dr. Marty.

When giving watermelon to a dog, take out the seeds. The reason is that the seeds could create a blockage in the intestines. Or better yet, seek out seedless watermelons in your local grocery store or at a farmer’s market. Also, the rind of the watermelon isn’t toxic, but it’s tough. If your dog doesn’t chew it thoroughly, pieces of the rind could lead to an upset stomach or, like seeds, an intestinal blockage.7 Toss the rind to be on the safe side.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon: The Last Word

As you can see, watermelon can provide several health benefits to your dog. But give it to your pet sparingly, and take some precautions when doing so. That way, you can rest assured your dog will stay safe and healthy.

Want more dietary advice for your pooch? Keep reading here:

Human Food for Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?


Sources
1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2393
2. https://www.vetinfo.com/vitamin-a-for-dogs.html
3. http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/aa.htm l
4. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=712
5. http://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=3865690&pid=11262
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1680828/
7. http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/can-dogs-eat-watermelon/