Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Effects of Watermelon for Dogs as a Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon_ Effects of Watermelon for Dogs as a Dog Food

Dogs can eat watermelon, both the pink and fleshy parts, safely. This moisture-laden fruit is delicious and packed with vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial to dogs’ health.

Watermelons are majorly made of water with up to 92% water content. This makes them a great hydrating snack for dogs, especially on a hot summer day. These fruits are also low in sodium, calories, and fats, making them healthy snacks. What’s more, watermelons are packed with vitamin A, C, B6, and minerals such as potassium necessary for keeping a canine’s health in optimal condition. They are also high in fiber which aids in digestion.

However, just like any other treat, watermelons should be fed in moderation to avoid causing a gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Additionally, watermelon seeds and rinds should not be fed to dogs. This is because they are not easily digestible and can cause intestinal blockage.

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Why Do Dogs Love Watermelon? 

Dogs love watermelon because it contains a high water content. With its high water percentage of about 92%, this juicy fruit provides a good source of additional hydration for dogs. 

The outstanding texture and taste of watermelon is another reason why dogs love this fruit. It comes with an appealing sweet taste that dogs find irresistible. Dogs also love the soft texture of watermelon flesh hence they enjoy eating and playing with it.

In order to give your dog an enhanced feeling, you can freeze little bits of watermelon. This will give them a frozen and crunchier texture that will encourage even dogs who do not like this fruit to enjoy it.

What are the Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs? 

The benefits of watermelon for dogs are listed below.

  • Improves energy: Watermelon can give more energy to dogs thanks to its high sugar levels. One cup of watermelon contains 12 grams of carbohydrates and gives about 52 calories. These are converted into energy necessary for keeping dogs active.
  • Source of hydration: Watermelons are 92% water. This makes it not only an excellent treatment but also an innovative way to keep your dog hydrated, especially during those hot summer days. Feeding watermelon to a dog that doesn’t fancy drinking water can help keep it hydrated.
  • Boosts immunity: Watermelons are rich in vitamins A and C plus antioxidants like lycopene which help combat free radicals that cause cell destruction leading to an improved immune system. Good immune health is essential for improving the overall well-being of dogs.
  • Improves digestion: Watermelons have moderate amounts of fiber. This is necessary to promote gut health in dogs and facilitate the smooth flow of food through the intestinal tract. This prevents constipation and other digestive issues such as diarrhea.
  • Promotes eye health: Watermelon contains beta carotene, which is turned into vitamin A by the dog’s body. Vitamin A, in addition to lycopene, which is abundant in watermelon, helps improve vision in dogs.
  • Supports kidney and heart health: Watermelon has minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which aids in the proper functioning of a dog’s heart and kidneys.
  • Improves skin and coat health: Due to their high hydrating power, watermelons can help keep dogs’ skin well moisturized and supple. Vitamin B6, also present in watermelon, is crucial for maintaining a healthy coat in dogs.

What are the Harms of Watermelon for Dogs? 

Although watermelon is generally safe for dogs, it may cause some harm to dogs in some circumstances.

The harms of Watermelon for dogs are listed below.

  • Stomach upset: Like any other thing, too much of a good thing can also cause health problems. As such, feeding too much watermelon to dogs may result in them getting tummy upsets.
  • Choking/ Intestinal Obstruction: Although the watermelon rind is not toxic to dogs, its hard texture makes it extremely hard for dogs to break it down. This may cause gastrointestinal disturbance or blockage in the dogs’ digestive tract if ingested. Swallowing too many hard watermelon seeds can also cause stomach upset or intestinal obstruction, especially in small dogs.
  • Obesity/ Diabetes: Watermelons are high in sugar, leading to unhealthy weight gain and consequently obesity or diabetes if fed excessively to dogs. Always consult a vet before feeding these fruits to dogs with diabetes as it may worsen the condition.

When Should a Dog Eat Watermelon? 

Dogs can consume watermelon at any time of the day and benefit from its various health benefits, including hydration, energy-boosting, and other antioxidant effects.

However, feeding watermelon to dogs in the daytime during the hot summer days can help them cool off and keep them well hydrated. Since these fruits are mainly made of water, feeding them during the daytime on these hot days is a creative way of providing extra hydration to dogs.

Watermelons can also be fed before bedtime to help improve sleep. This is because these fruits are packed with vitamin B6, which aids in the production of serotonin and dopamine. These two compounds help alleviate stress, fatigue, and anxiety, enabling dogs to feel more relaxed and sleep better.

Watermelon is also rich in natural sugars, which help raise dogs’ insulin levels, thus allowing tryptophan to enter the brain. This amino acid helps the body produce serotonin, which is then turned into melatonin. Melatonin is a component that helps improve sleep patterns in dogs and humans. 

How Much Watermelon can a Dog Eat per Day?

Just like other treats, watermelon should be given in moderation and should never make up more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake. Giving too much can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.

However, the precise amount of watermelon that a dog can take depends on various factors, including its breed, size, weight, and age. Generally, large dogs can take more watermelon than small dogs. As such, a large breed dog such as a German Shepherd can take a larger quantity of watermelon than a small dog such as a chihuahua.

The table below can help you determine the right amount of watermelon to feed to your dog:

Average Daily Calorie Need for dogs

Dog’s weight

Total calories per day- inclusive of  calories from treats 

Allowed calories from all treats per day 

10 lbs 

200-275

20-28

20 lbs 

325-400

32-40

30 lbs 

500-575

50-57

50 lbs 

700-900

70-90

70 lbs

900-1050

90-105

90 lbs

1100-1350

110-135

Which nutritions from Watermelon are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health? 

The beneficial nutrients from Watermelon for a dog are listed below.

Potassium: 

A 100g, equivalent to one cup of diced watermelon, contains around 112 mg of potassium. This is sufficient for meeting the daily potassium requirement of 0.6%  for dogs. This mineral is essential for various body functions, including building strong bones, body fluid regulation, promoting a healthy heart and kidneys, and aiding muscle growth.

Lycopene: 

Watermelon is abundant in lycopene, a component responsible for the attractive red color in tomatoes and watermelons. This macronutrient is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells all over the body from harm and promotes good eyesight in dogs.  Lycopene has been shown in research to be useful to dogs suffering from cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Antioxidants: 

Watermelon boasts several antioxidants, including vitamin C, cucurbitacin, carotenoids, and lycopene which help save cells within a dog’s body from oxidative effects. It helps combat free radicals that destroy a dog’s cells, causing issues in the immune system.

Vitamin C: 

A 100 g of watermelon contains about 8.1 mg of vitamin C. This vitamin is an important antioxidant that’s crucial for protecting dogs from the damages caused by free radicals. It also helps reduce inflammation and boost the immune health of dogs. According to research, vitamin C can also limit the spreading of carcinogens in dogs’ bodies and help control the function of a dog’s adrenal glands.

Fiber:

 Watermelon has a good amount of fiber with several health benefits. Fiber is important in aiding digestion and helping food flow smoothly in the dog’s digestive tract. This helps avoid constipation and other gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and obstruction.

Vitamin A: 

Watermelons provide an excellent source of vitamin A with about 569 IU in 100 grams. This fat-soluble vitamin also referred to as retinol, is crucial for supporting eye, cell, and immune health. It also plays an essential role in keeping the skin and coat of dogs in optimal condition.

Vitamin B6: 

Watermelon provides a good source of vitamin C, also called pyridoxine. This water-soluble vitamin is essential for various body functions in dogs. First, it helps a dog’s body break down carbohydrates and fatty acids. It’s also a key coenzyme for brain and body functions, hormone regulation, fluid balance maintenance, protein synthesis, and support of neurotransmitters in a dog’s body.

Moisture: 

As their name suggests, watermelons mainly consist of water with up to 92%. This makes them not only low in calories but also highly hydrating. Feeding watermelon to dogs provides a creative way of giving extra hydration, especially during warm summer days. The high water content also helps keep dogs’ skin supple and well moisturized. The high amount of water in watermelon is also important in improving digestion in dogs.

The nutritional profile of watermelon

A100 grams of diced watermelon contains the following nutrients

  • Calories: 46
  • Carbs: 11.48g
  • Sugar: 9.42g
  • Total fat: 0.23g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 0.93g
  • Water content: 139g
  • Vitamin C: 123mg
  • Vitamin A: 865 IU
  • Potassium: 170 mg

Which Nutrition from Watermelon is Harmful to Dogs’ Health? 

Watermelon is generally safe for dogs to consume. However, some of its nutritions may cause harm to dogs.

The harmful nutritions from watermelon are listed below.

  • Too much sugar: This juicy fruit is laden with sugars. When consumed in excessive amounts, these sugars can cause diabetes or exacerbate the condition in diabetic dogs. It’s, therefore, essential to consult your vet before feeding watermelon to diabetic dogs.
  • Too much moisture: Watermelons mainly consist of water, with up to 92% water. The excessive water content in this fruit may cause loose stool and diarrhea in dogs.
  • Artificial ingredients: Artificially flavored watermelon contains other added ingredients such as artificial sweetener, xylitol which is very toxic to dogs. It’s, therefore, best to feed dogs only on natural watermelons.
  • Lack of moderation: Like any other treat, watermelon should be fed to dogs in limited quantities. Consuming this fruit in large amounts can cause gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea in dogs.

Can Watermelons Affect Dog’s Moods? 

Watermelon is high in vitamin B6, which aids in the production of serotonin and dopamine. While the polysaccharide carbs present in watermelons enhance serotonin levels, vitamin B6 makes dopamine which arouses happy feelings in a dog’s body.

The two components, serotonin and dopamine aid in limiting susceptibility to disturbances thus enhancing pleasurable feelings in dogs. In this way, watermelon can help with weariness, tension, worry, and other negative emotions that negatively impact a dog’s mood.

Low levels of tryptophan are linked to depression and irritability. Consequently, since tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, low serotonin levels are also linked to depression, irritability, and aggression. Eating melon can help increase the levels of both components, thus boosting a dog’s mood.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Watermelon?

Yes, puppies of all breeds can safely consume watermelon. This is because this fruit is packed with vitamins and other essential minerals beneficial to baby dogs. Watermelon is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, B6, and C, potassium, fiber, lycopene, among others necessary for optimal growth in puppies. Additionally, watermelons are moisture-rich, which can help keep puppies adequately hydrated.

However, there are some precautions that you should observe when feeding watermelon to puppies. First, you’ll need to remove the seeds as they pose a choking risk to the puppies. They can also cause intestinal blockage when ingested in large quantities. It’s also advisable to do away with the rind, which is difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal upset. You’ll also need to chop the watermelon into minute pieces to make it easy for baby dogs to munch on.

Can Old Dogs Eat Watermelon? 

Yes, regardless of the breed, all senior canines can eat watermelon without adverse health impacts. Watermelons are highly nutritious fruits that can be fed as healthy snacks to aging dogs. 

Besides being high in moisture, watermelon is also rich in fiber. The high water and fiber content can help promote healthy digestion in dogs. This is especially helpful for senior dogs due to their slower metabolisms.

Additionally, watermelons are high in antioxidants which help reverse oxidation effects and slow down the aging process in senior dogs. These dogs will also benefit from other nutrients present in watermelons, including potassium, lycopene, and vitamins.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Watermelon with Different Amounts? 

Yes, different dogs can consume different amounts of watermelon, depending on their size. Generally speaking, large dogs can eat larger amounts of watermelon than smaller dogs. For instance, a large dog such as a Labrador, with a weight of 55-80 pounds, can consume more watermelon daily than a pug that weighs between 14-18 pounds.

The dog breeds below can eat more watermelon daily.

  • Akita: Akitas are large breed dogs that weigh between 70-130 pounds and require about 2200 calories per day. They can get up to 220 calories daily from eating watermelon. more about Akitas social life & diet information.
  • German Shepherds: Their average weight is 50-90 pounds while their daily calorie need is 600-950. Watermelon can supply them with up to 95 calories per day. 

The dog Breeds below can eat less Watermelon than other dog Breeds daily.

  • Chihuahuas: These weigh up to 6 pounds with a calorie need of 150 calories. They can obtain 15 calories daily from watermelon.
  • Pomeranians: With around 10 pounds of weight and up to 400 daily calorie requirements, these dogs can get 40 calories from watermelon daily.

Which Dog Breeds are Watermelon More Beneficial for?

Watermelon is beneficial to all dogs, irrespective of their breed and size. This nutrient-dense fruit can help boost immunity, enhance heart and kidney health, improve digestion, and keep dogs hydrated, especially on hot summer days. 

However, dog breeds prone to pancreatitis can benefit more from watermelons. These fruits are free from fats and are low in calories. As such, it can be fed to these dogs without the fear of exposing them to pancreatitis.

Additionally, dogs prone to indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues can benefit from eating watermelon due to its high fiber and moisture content which helps improve digestion.

Which Dog Breeds are Watermelon Less Beneficial for? 

Watermelon is not less beneficial to any dog breed. It can, however, become less beneficial if fed in excessive amounts. Without moderation, watermelon can cause gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea in dogs.

Additionally, watermelon can become less beneficial for dog breeds prone to diabetes and kidney issues if given without proper guidance from a vet. This is because watermelon has high sugar content, which can harm diabetic dogs. 

Which Watermelon Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs? 

The following is a list of watermelon parts and recipes that dogs can/can’t eat safely.

  1. Watermelon Rind
  2. Watermelon Seeds
  3. Frozen Watermelon
  4. Yellow Watermelon
  5. Dried Watermelon
  6. Watermelon Jelly
  7. Watermelon Juice
  8. Watermelon Puree
  9. Watermelon Frozen Chunks
  10. Watermelon Popsicles

1. Watermelon Rind

Although the flesh of watermelon is safe for dogs to eat, the outer green skin can be harmful.

Dogs cannot eat watermelon rind. The rind is tough to chew and digest and thus presents a choking risk, intestinal blockage, or other gastrointestinal issues like vomiting if swallowed.

2. Watermelon Seeds

Ingesting one or two watermelon seeds is unlikely to cause harm to dogs. However, in large amounts, they can be dangerous.

Dogs cannot eat watermelon seeds; watermelon seeds can cause potentially fatal intestinal tract blockage.

3. Frozen Watermelon

Frozen watermelon treats make excellent snacks for dogs

Dogs can safely eat frozen watermelon; besides being highly hydrating, these are healthy snacks for dogs.

4. Yellow Watermelon

Yellow watermelons are highly nutritious and make good vitamin A and C sources. 

Dogs can safely eat yellow watermelon just like their red counterparts; yellow watermelons are healthy and nutritious and can be safely consumed by dogs. 

5. Dried Watermelon

This is a watermelon that has had its moisture removed.

Dogs can safely eat dried watermelon; although lacking in hydration, dried watermelon makes a nutritious and chewy treat.

6. Watermelon Jelly

Watermelon jelly is made with pureed watermelon and added sugars.

Dogs cannot eat watermelon jelly safely. It is not recommended for dogs as it is extremely high in sugar and calories. However, dogs can safely eat the jelly if it is made without any artificial ingredients and added sugars.

7. Watermelon Juice

Watermelon juice is a healthy treat choice for dogs.

Dogs can safely drink watermelon juice; besides being nutritious, watermelon juice is an excellent hydrating treat safe for dogs.

8. Watermelon Puree

This is made by blending chopped watermelon in a blender.

Dogs can safely take watermelon puree as long as it contains no added ingredients that may harm dogs.

9. Watermelon Frozen Chunks

These are pieces of watermelon that have been chopped and frozen.

Dogs can safely eat frozen watermelon chunks. Frozen watermelon chunks are a great chewy treat for dogs. It’s packed with nutrients that are beneficial to dogs.

10. Watermelon Popsicles

Popsicles made from natural watermelon are a healthy treat for dogs.

Dogs can eat watermelon popsicles provided they are made without added sugars or sweeteners.

Which Dog Food Brands Do Use Watermelon within Dog Foods?

The following dog food brands include watermelon in some of their foods:

  • Fruitables Skinny Minis: This dog food company utilizes wholesome ingredients to make healthy and mouthwatering treats for canines. Some of their treats such as Fruitables Skinny Minis Watermelon Flavor Soft & Chewy Dog Treats include watermelon. It has an ideal calorie level perfect for use training or everyday treating. It also has no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial flavors or colors hence suitable for sensitive tummies.
  • Pooch Creamery: This makes ice cream-flavored dog treats. Their Click to open expanded view Pooch Creamery Watermelon Flavor Ice Cream Mix Dog Treat is among their formulas that include watermelon in its recipe. It’s made with quality ingredients, including lactose-free whole milk. It’s also gluten and grain-free making it ideal for sensitive dogs

Which Dog Diseases Can Affect Dogs’ Watermelon Eating? 

Some diseases can limit watermelon eating in dogs. These diseases include:

Diabetes: Watermelon is high in sugars. When consumed in large quantities, watermelon may trigger diabetes in dogs or worsen the condition in affected canines due to the high sugar content. If not properly handled, diabetes can be fatal to dogs. Symptoms of this condition include;

  • Low appetite
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss
  • Recurring skin and urinary tract infections
  • Cloudy eyes

Allergies: Although very rare, some dogs may be allergic to watermelons. Feeding melon to such dogs can trigger allergic reactions. You should be careful while feeding these fruits first by introducing them in tiny amounts and watching out for any reactions. Allergies manifest through symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Constant itching
  • Skin and ear infections
  • Paw licking
  • Hives and swelling, etc

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon When Sick? 

Yes, dogs can eat watermelon when sick. These healthy fruits can give ailing dogs a nutritious punch and make them feel better with their various nutrients. Additionally, watermelon has a texture and a taste that may entice sick dogs to eat. The abundant antioxidants in watermelons can help improve dogs’ immunity, which will assist their bodies in fighting infections.

Can dogs with pancreatitis eat watermelon? 

Yes, dogs with pancreatitis can eat watermelon safely. This juicy fruit is free from fats and cholesterol making it okay for dogs with pancreatitis. Additionally, it contains potassium and fiber, which are great for the digestive tract and excellent for dogs suffering from pancreatitis.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Watermelon? 

Yes, anemic dogs can eat watermelon safely to improve this condition. Watermelon is known to increase the hemoglobin level in dogs. This fruit is packed with vitamin C, which aids in improved iron absorption. Additionally, watermelon also has some iron, which is essential for red blood cells formation in dogs.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Watermelon?

Yes, dogs with kidney disease can eat watermelon safely. Watermelon is rich in potassium which helps promote healthy heart functioning in dogs. In addition, the high water content in this fruit helps in flushing out toxins and cleansing the kidneys. However, consult a vet before feeding watermelon to a dog with kidney issues.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes, dogs with diarrhea can eat watermelon to obtain some relief. The high fiber content in this fruit can help improve digestion in dogs with gastrointestinal upset hence relieving diarrhea. The high water content in melon is also useful in rehydrating dogs with diarrhea.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Watermelon? 

Yes, watermelon is safe for nursing dogs. This fruit is packed with nutrients such as potassium, lycopene, antioxidants, and many vitamins, which are beneficial to the nursing dog and can also foster good health in a puppy. Watermelon is also high in water which promotes milk production in nursing dogs.

What Else Can Dogs Eat together with Watermelon? 

The following are some foods that dogs can eat together with watermelon:

  1. Cantaloupe
  2. Strawberries
  3. Pineapple
  4. Blueberries
  5. Cucumber
  6. Carrots

1. Cantaloupe

Fresh cantaloupe is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a healthy treat for dogs. This fruit is high in dietary fiber and is made up of 90% water, making it great for digestion and a good way to keep your dog hydrated. However, Cantaloupe should be fed to dogs in moderation as too much can cause problems.

2. Strawberries

These juicy fruits are abundant in healthy nutrients that are good for dogs. Strawberries contain vitamins such as vitamin B, C, and K, antioxidants, plus several minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and iodine. These fruits help promote immune health, aid in weight management, boost skin and coat health, and improve digestion. can dogs eat strawberries? 

3. Pineapple

Pineapple is a succulent and nutrient-dense fruit that’s both safe and nutritious. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals that promote your dog’s health. It’s also an excellent way of providing extra hydration for dogs. However, the spiky pineapple skin, the tough core, and the spiky crown should be avoided as they may cause stomach upset. can dogs eat pineapple?

4. Blueberries

Blueberries have a low-calorie density making them a healthy snack for dogs. These fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber, anthocyanins, and minerals which are essential in supporting immune health and enhancing the overall wellness in dogs. However, they have high sugar content and should be fed in moderation. dogs can eat blueberries.

5. Cucumber

Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to consume. The crunchy vegetable delights contain 96%  water making them great for hydration. They are also packed with other useful nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, molybdenum, biotin, vitamin B’s, C, and K. Cucumbers should be diced into small pieces before feeding to avoid the risk of choking in dogs. Seasoned cucumbers such as pickles should be avoided.

6. Carrots

Carrots are a good source of vitamin A, which promotes eye health. Vitamin K is useful in blood clotting, Vitamin B6 helps in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber that helps promote healthy digestion in dogs. However, carrots are high in sugar and should only be fed in moderation. can dogs eat carrots?

What are the Watermelon Dog Food Recipes? 

The following are some easy watermelon recipes that you can try making for your dog:

  • Watermelon and Cucumber Salad: Want the ultimate summer salad for your dog? This is it. This easy-to-prepare treat requires diced seedless watermelon, half-moon chopped cucumbers, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, cheese, and sea salt. To make it, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with feta cheese and salt, then serve.  
  • Watermelon and Banana Popsicles: With just two ingredients, you can provide delightful refreshment to your canine companion. This requires frozen, cubed watermelon and peeled banana. To make this, add the ingredients into a blender and puree, then put the mixture into ice molds and freeze for 4 hours. Finally, remove from mold and store in airtight containers.
  • Watermelon Slices: For an easy and quick treat for your dog, simply slice the flesh of watermelon into chunks and serve them at room temperature, chilled or frozen.
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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.