Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Three Feeding Rules

A dog sat eating watermelon in the park

Fido’s human friends love to eat watermelons, but is it safe to feed your dog watermelon?

Yes, in short watermelon is safe for your dog to eat; especially helpful in keeping them hydrated during a hot summer’s day. This huge fruit has plenty of superb nutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals) which are great for your dog’s health and wellbeing. However, it’s important to know:

  • Rinds and seeds should not be consumed by your dog as they can cause gastrointestinal issues (e.g. diarrhea, intestinal blockage and upset stomachs).

Considered by many to be a super-fruit it is absolutely packed with: vitamin A, C B6 and B1, calcium and potassium.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the delicious fruit only has 50 calories per cup (e.g. one slice) as 92% is water.

Next time the temperatures begin to soar, and you reach for fruit to feed your dog, make sure to grab a fresh slice of pineapple or watermelon to keep her hydrated with a healthy and tasty treat.

If you do decide to feed your pooch this juicy fruit, keep on reading to learn about:

How Much Watermelon Can a Dog Eat?

How Much Watermelon Can a Dog Eat
When preparing this fruit for your dog make sure you remove all of the rind, seeds and cut it into chunks which are no larger than a small ice cube.

There is an old saying “too much of a good thing” (i.e. excess can cause harm). As humans we know this only too well with chocolate, alcohol and other taboo food items. But can too much harm your dog?

Like with most fruits, there is a natural imbalance of certain minerals and nutrients in Watermelon. Watermelon has high doses of Vitamin A, B6 and C which means you should not consistently overfeed your dog with fruits.

A better idea is to use watermelon during hot days, to help hydrate Fido, or to use it as a reward for positive behavior during training session.

Top-Tip
Experts suggest that in your dog’s diet, only 10% of calorie consumption should come through treats or snacks. In addition, fruit and vegetables should not make up more than 20% of a dog’s diet. Finally

For a dog weighing 25 pounds, she should consume between 500 to 750 calories each day depending upon their age, physical activity and if they have been neutered.

If you want to use it as a treat, using the maximum 10% rule, she should eat 50 calories of watermelon a day; which is 150 grams in total.

However, with the high doses of Vitamin A and B6 this would exceed the recommended vitamin A suggested allowance (see table below)

Daily Dog Nutritional Guidelines
Watermelon nutrients
(per 150 grams)
Dog suggested nutrition
(weighing 25 pounds)
Calories 50 50 to 75 calories as a treat
Vitamin A 865 micrograms 380 micrograms
Vitamin B6 100 milligrams 100 milligrams

A better serving size would be which translates to around between 50 and 75 grams of fresh tasty watermelon.

Health Benefits for Your Dog

Dog standing on hind legs
If you decide to feed your dog watermelon you should do so knowing it is packed full of heathy macro nutrients (i.e. minerals and vitamins) and is fat free.

One of the best aspects is just how much water content it has; over 90%! So on those hot days, when your dog is panting heavily, you can go ahead and help hydrate them with some fresh watermelon.

Whilst being 92% water, is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to Lycopene which gives it its red color.

There are two major vitamins which your dog will get from eating this fruit:

  1. Vitamin A which is a fat-soluble vitamin used by your dog to support bone growth, reproduction and vision. A vitamin A deficiency results in stunted growth, night blindness and reproductive issues.
  2. Vitamin B6 (i.e. pyridoxine) is used in over 100 chemical reactions in your dog’s body to form amino acids which support healthy coats and reduce tooth decay.

If you haven’t been convinced of its super-fruit and healthy snack status, it also has important minersl such as potassium and calcium as well as fiber.

Which Parts of a Watermelon Can a Dog Eat?

Watermelon Slices
Don’t allow your dog to eat rind or seeds from the watermelon as these are choke hazards.

Exercise caution when feeding this juicy fruit to your dog; there are two parts from a watermelon which should not be fed to your dog: the rind (i.e. skin) and seeds (i.e. pips).

The reason why rind and seeds are dangerous for dogs is because they are an obvious choke hazards and your dog will also have difficulty digesting them. Whilst the seeds can be consumed by bigger dogs, due to the reduced chance of intestinal obstruction, it’s better to just avoid them all together.

Before you offer up a juicy snack to your dog, make sure to read the table below for a quick summary of reader’s questions.

Summary of which parts of a watermelon are safe for a dog to eatt
Watermelon Part Dog Safe?
Can dogs eat watermelon rind / watermelon skin? No, whilst watermelon rind is not poisonous to your dog, it is very difficult for your dog to digest.
Can dogs eat watermelon seeds? No, the seeds can cause intestinal obstruction; especially in smaller dogs.
Can dogs eat watermelon fresh? Yes, make sure to use the feeding guide above to get the perfect portion size.
Can dogs eat frozen watermelon? Yes, make sure to use our preparation guide below to lock in the taste!

If by accident, you notice your dog has managed to get into the trash and eat the seeds or rind – don’t panic. If they have chewed and swallowed the food, then you will want to wait and observe if they have a intestinal blockage. You will see obvious symptoms within 24 hours such as vomiting and lethargy.

Preparing and Serving Watermelon for a Dog to Eat

Serving watermelon to a dog

In its simplest form (small fresh cubes) watermelon is very easy to prepare. Watch this video, or follow the simple six steps below:

  1. Cut it into two equal halves
  2. Place both halves flat face down and remove the skin (i.e. rine)
  3. Remove the top off
  4. Cut the flesh into even one inch slices
  5. Turn it through 90 degrees and cut the flesh into even one inch slices
  6. Dice the rectangle slices into cubes

The best way to feed watermelon is fresh and unsweetened in small cubes. Make sure the seeds are removed before feeding your pooch. If you want to get a little more creative when serving watermelon you can freeze it.

Frozen watermelon snacks, instead of dicing/cubing the watermelon place the one full cup of slices in a blender. Simply blend with a 1:1 ratio of water and pour the smoothie into ice cube trays. Freeze for two hours and serve.

Giving your dog too much fruit may result in diarrhea (i.e. loose stool), we have already spoke about avoiding the skin, rind and seeds.

Top-Tip

Fruit should only make up a very small part of your dog’s diet through their treats and snacks calorie intake. This is typically around 50 to 100 calories a day depending upon the size of your dog.

Summary

Yes, watermelon is a safe, natural and tasty treat for Fido. You should still exercise caution when feeing him. Use the portion size above to determine how much to feed in one serving; aim for a serving size of 50 grams for smaller dogs and 64 grams for larger dogs.

Keep in mind the parts of this super-fruit which are safe for your dog to eat (e.g. flesh) and those which aren’t (e.g. skin, rind and seeds). Avoiding skin and seeds will reduce the chances of your dog having gastrointestinal issues.

Remember that you should introduce new food to your dog’s diet slowly and in small portions, and always watch them eating the fruit to make sure they chew and digest it properly.

Have you fed your dog watermelon in the past, do you have any favourite recipes for dog treat recipes using this fruit to share with us? Share them with us in the comment section below.

John Woods Autho Bio Picture
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

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