It’s good to be choosey about what you feed your dog. Many fruits we consume every day such as grapes, avocados, and figs can be toxic to our pets. Watermelon, on the other hand, is safe and nutritious when fed responsibly. Technically both a fruit and a vegetable, watermelon is from the botanical family Curcurbitaceae and is closely related to pumpkin, cucumber, and squash—all healthy, low calorie treats for our canine companions.
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Watermelon’s high nutrient content has been shown to help fight free radicals that cause cancer, reduce blood pressure, and ease inflammation. In fact, each juicy bite is packed with antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, vitamins A, B6 and C, and even more lycopene than tomatoes. And since watermelon is over 91% water, it’s an easy way to help keep your panting pup hydrated in the summer heat.
But before you pull up an extra seat at the picnic table, there are a few important things you should be aware of.
Never Feed Seeds or Rind
The only part of the watermelon your dog should be eating is the pink, fleshy part. Although watermelon rind and seeds are healthy for humans, they can cause intestinal blockage and other serious digestion problems in dogs. Always cut the watermelon off of the rind and either buy a seedless melon or remove the seeds before serving.
Don’t Over Do it
You may feel generous when you look into their big brown eyes, but go slowly. Start with around 2 to 3 pieces of 1-inch watermelon cubes, less if you have a tiny guy or gal on your hands. Since our carnivorous canines don’t digest fruit and vegetables as well as we do, too much can mean diarrhea for your dog—and no sleep for you.
When in Doubt, Ask a Doc
Some dogs are super sensitive to even the smallest changes in their diet. If your dog is prone to food allergies or an upset stomach, it’s a good idea to check with your vet first.
When responsibly fed, watermelon is a healthy and refreshing summer treat that you can enjoy with your best bud. Want to keep them hydrated while freshening their breath too? Try this easy recipe for crunchy Watermelon “Mojito” Pupsicles.
Watermelon Mojito Pupsicles
- 2 Cups of watermelon
- 2-3 fresh mint leaves
- 1-teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
Directions: Use a blender to puree the watermelon, mint leaves, and coconut oil then fill a nylon ice cube tray with the mixture (fun bone shapes recommended). Freeze for a couple hours, pop them out and enjoy.
Your dog will be happy, healthy, and hydrated. Get ready for some extra fresh thank you kisses!