Is Watermelon Good For Dogs? A Quick Guide For Dog Owners

A German Shepherd laying by a fence with a whole watermelon in front of her.

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Summer is here and that means watermelons. Watermelon seems to be the staple fruit of summer cookouts and get-togethers.

With watermelon so common this time of the year, you may be wondering if your dog can enjoy this fruit as well.

Yes, they can enjoy this juicy and refreshing snack. Watermelon is a great treat for dogs when given in moderation and with a few precautions (like removing the seeds). 

Read on for more information about giving this tasty treat to your dog.

Can Dogs Have Watermelon?

Pin image of a cut watermelon and two whole watermelons with a text overlay that reads can dogs eat watermelon: what you need to know.

The short answer is yes, dogs can have watermelon.

Watermelon is a healthy and hydrating treat for your furry friend, thanks to its high water content. 

In fact, watermelon is about 92% water, making it a great source of hydration for your dog in addition to their regular water intake. 

Is watermelon safe for dogs?

Yes, watermelon is safe for dogs as long as you remove the seeds and rinds of the watermelon.

The seeds and rinds can be a choking hazard for your dog. Additionally, the seeds contain cyanide compounds which are toxic to dogs. So it’s important to make sure you remove all of these dangerous pieces before feeding watermelon to your pup. 

Benefits of watermelon for dogs

A German Shepherd trying to lick a piece of watermelon being held in a person's hand.

Watermelon is not only a delicious and refreshing treat, but it’s also packed with numerous health benefits for your furry friend. When you offer watermelon to your dog as a snack, you are providing them with essential nutrients and vitamins that contribute to their overall well-being.

First and foremost, watermelon is a low-calorie snack that is perfect for keeping your dog’s weight in check. With its high water content, it also helps to keep your pet hydrated, especially on a hot day or after intense physical activities.

Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and potassium. These essential nutrients play an important role in maintaining your dog’s health.

Finally, watermelon is rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial in maintaining and supporting your dog’s overall health. Overall watermelon is a healthy treat for your dog when given in moderation.

Risks of giving watermelon to my dog

Cut pieces of watermelon without the seeds on a cutting board.

While watermelon can be a refreshing and nutritious treat for your dog, there are a few precautions and risks you should be aware of.

First, always remove the seeds before feeding watermelon to your dog. Watermelon seeds can cause an intestinal blockage and should not be given to your dog.

Watermelon seeds also contain traces of cyanide and can also pose a choking hazard. Although it’s unlikely that your dog would eat enough seeds to be poisoned, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Additionally, avoid giving your dog the watermelon rind. The rind is not toxic, but it can be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea or constipation. 

Watermelon also has a naturally high sugar content and should be given in small amounts to your dog to prevent them from having too much sugar. For those dogs that have diabetes or other health problems, it is best to consult your vet before giving watermelon to your dog.

Can my dog eat too much watermelon?

Yes, too much of anything can be bad for your pet. While watermelon is a healthy snack option, it should still only be given in moderation as treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet. 

The specific amount of how much is too much will vary largely on the size of your dog. Even within size, some dogs may be more sensitive to watermelon and may have to have smaller amounts than other dogs.

The biggest risk of eating too much watermelon for dogs is that they may get an upset stomach and may have diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

It’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and bowels and contact your vet if anything seems unusual. Most of the time an upset stomach will resolve itself, but occasionally veterinary care is needed.

How much watermelon can I give my dog?

Watermelon cubes on a counter.

The exact amount of watermelon you can give to your dog will depend largely on the size of your dog and how many calories they are supposed to consume daily. 

All treats given in a day should be no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie consumption. Based on that and the fact that a cup of watermelon has about 46 calories, you should be able to come up with your dog’s daily limit of watermelon.

Of course, just because that’s their daily limit, doesn’t mean you have to give them that much all at once. 

If you’ve never given your dog watermelon before, it’s best to ease into the amount you give them. Any new food should be given to your dog in small quantities at first and increased over time.

How to Safely Share Watermelon with Dogs

A white poodle terrier with a piece of watermelon in her mouth.

To safely share watermelon with your dog you need to make sure to remove all the seeds and the rind before giving it to your dog. These parts of the watermelon are not good for your dog.

Even buying a seedless watermelon doesn’t mean you can skip removing the seeds before giving your dog a piece.

Seedless watermelons contain mostly white seeds, which are less of an issue for your dog, but can still potentially cause problems and should be removed.

I’ve also had seedless watermelons contain the more risky black seeds, so it is best to check any watermelon for seeds before giving them to your dog.

A cube of watermelon with a black seed in it.

The picture above shows a black seed that I found in a piece of watermelon from a seedless watermelon. While most of the seeds were the white ones, I did find a few black ones like this.

Treats Made With Watermelon

A fun way to share watermelon with your dog is to create homemade watermelon treats. 

Frozen watermelon dog treats are an easy to make frozen dog treat made with just watermelon and water.

Watermelon ice cream for dogs is another easy to make treat made with watermelon puree and Greek yogurt. 

Whether you give your dog fresh pieces of watermelon or make a treat with watermelon,  your dog is sure to love it! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs have watermelon rind?

No, it’s best to avoid giving the green and white rind sections of a watermelon to your dog. These parts can cause potential digestive issues and choking hazards if consumed in large pieces.

What are the health benefits of watermelon for dogs?

Watermelon is a hydrating and nutritious treat for your dog. It has a high water content, which helps keep your furry friend hydrated during hot summer days. Additionally, watermelon contains soluble fiber, promoting healthy digestion in dogs. It also provides your dog with essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritionally valuable occasional treat.

Can dogs eat watermelon seeds?

It’s best to avoid giving watermelon seeds to your dog. While the black seeds contain cyanide, it’s unlikely that a dog would consume enough to be poisoned. However, the seeds can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal blockage. Always remove the seeds before feeding watermelon to your dog.

What parts of a watermelon CAN’T my dog eat?

Your dog should not eat the watermelon rind or seeds. The rind is difficult to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset. Additionally, the seeds can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal blockage. Make sure to always remove these parts before giving watermelon to your pet. 

How much watermelon can I give my dog?

Watermelon can be safely enjoyed by your dog in moderation. The specific amount that they can have depends on their daily calorie limit. Watermelon (along with any other treats) should make up no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.

Is watermelon a laxative for dogs?

Watermelon’s high water content can contribute to maintaining regular bowel movements in dogs. While it is not a strong laxative, it may have a mild laxative effect in some dogs, and can help alleviate constipation due to its high water content. Always monitor your dog’s response and adjust the amount of watermelon you give them accordingly.

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