Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Summer is coming and grocery stores are starting to stock watermelon, mangos, apples much more (beware of fruits such as grapes because they are not safe for dogs to eat). These fruits are tasty and refreshing for us humans but are they safe for dogs? Yes, dogs can eat watermelon. In fact, watermelon is a very healthy option for your pooch.
Watermelon Health Facts
Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol. The fruit itself in its natural form is more than 90% water! Watermelon is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium, which is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and controls heart rate. 100 g fresh fruit provides 569 mg or 19% of daily-required levels of this vitamin. It is essential for vision and immunity. Vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals. They can protect and strengthen your pooch’s immune system! Rich in electrolytes and water content, melons are nature’s gift to beat tropical summer thirst. If this was not enough reason to go and buy a watermelon for your best friend, think about the fact that watermelons are easily grown and available in over 96 countries and is universally known as a healthy, hydrating fruit!
Some Dangers of Watermelon
That being said, we need to be very cautious about what parts of the watermelon we feed to the dogs so that we can also have a healthy, happy pooch!
As with other food, be very careful about the seeds of the watermelon because cores and seeds can be toxic. Many fruit seeds contain cyanide and when consumed in high amounts can be fatal for your dog. You may be asking yourself — how many is too many? Clearly that is going to depend on the size of your dog! If you have a tiny miniature poodle it is going to be able to tolerate much less than a 70 pound chocolate lab!
Watermelon seeds, just like other fruit seeds, can also be very hard for dogs to digest and push through their digestive tracts. This means that trying to digest these seeds can at times lead to bleeding out of the rectum and perhaps a visit to the vet. This does not mean there is not any dog on this planet that has digested watermelon seeds, but I would use caution.
I am also not OK with feeding a lot of the skin of the watermelon to dogs. Sometimes skins have a lot of important nutrients but at the same time can contain toxins. So what is the best way to make sure dogs can eat watermelons? Wash the fruit and cut it like you usually would when you want to eat it. I would take out the seeds (or just cut the seedy part out to make it easy) and pull out the juicy part of the watermelon (the red bits) just like they do when cut watermelons are sold. That is the best part of the fruit that your beloved dog can eat safely.