Some fruits that are great for us are actually harmful for our pets and others are just as nutritious for them as they are for us. To differentiate between these two categories you need to do some research and always check if the fruit is ok before giving it to your dog. With that in mind let us find out the answer to the question can a dog eat watermelon.
Facts about Watermelons
This vine-like plant came from southern Africa and its fruit is delicious, being tasty raw or cooked. Since it has been around for a long time it was frequently cultivated throughout history and today there are over 1200 cultivars of watermelon that range the flesh color from red to orange, yellow or even white.
A lot of effort went into the creation of the varieties that are resistant to disease and into the seedless varieties and there are many hybrids that offer better flesh quality, an improved appearance as well as higher yields.
When it comes to the nutritional value 100 grams will provide 30 calories and many essential nutrients with vitamin C predominating. The fruit is 91% water, 6% sugar and is low in fat so there are a lot of health benefits when eating watermelons and the rind is also healthy even if most people discard it due to the taste.
Along with tomatoes, the watermelon has one of the highest contents of lycopene which is important for the cardiovascular and bone health. Lycopene and other compounds in the watermelon give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
The Main Question
To put the answer shortly: watermelon is safe for your dog. The fruit provides hydration due to the high water content and since it tastes sweet you can consider it a great treat. You need to be careful with the seeds though because they can do a lot of harm.
If the seeds get into the intestines of your pet they can lead to blockages and these might be really painful so it is much easier to just remove the seeds before feeding a piece to your dog or, even better, try to buy the seedless varieties to spare yourself of any effort.
Aside from the water this is also a great source of vitamins A, B complex and C along with containing some fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and colic acid, all of which are important for the well-being of your dog, so once you take out the seeds then there is no reason not to allow your pet to nab on the cantaloupe.
Arguments against It
Some theorists consider the watermelon to be bad for dogs because it has diuretic qualities that will actually counter the hydrating effect it has after it is eaten. This isn’t actually that relevant if you consider the large amount of water contained in them and it’s quite certain that most of the water will still do well to the pet.
Going overboard with fruits can lead to problems because dogs can’t digest fruit as well as we can and thus they should only have some in small quantities. The rind especially can lead to gastrointestinal upset so you should try to cut it away and just put some of the pulp in a bowl.
Moderation is always the key because diarrhea isn’t something you want your pet to have if you can help it and this is a symptom that is quite common after feeding canines some watermelon.
Introducing a New Food
Any new food can have different effects depending on the organism of your pet and even if we pointed out the many health benefits that you get from a watermelon it might do harm to your dog if he suffers from some conditions.
As with any food that he hasn’t tried before the best thing is to ask your vet first before feeding this to him but even after that start with some small portions to see what the reactions are. How much you give and how you cut it will depend on the size of the dog.
Another thing is to remember that you don’t have to go out of your way to get this for your dog because the nutritional elements found in this fruit can also be gotten from other sources, so think of it more as a treat or as a way to cool down during a hot summer day.
What to Buy
The nutritional values and the lycopene will be the highest when the fruit is ripe so if you buy slices make sure you choose the ones that have the deepest color and those without any white streaks. If the watermelon is uncut then check the weight, a fully ripened one will feel heavier for its size and look for a smooth rind that is dulled on top.