If you’ve ever owned a dog, you probably know that they’ll eat anything and everything they can get their paws on. With summer just around the corner, we’re dreaming about all the delicious watermelon recipes we’re going to make—but is it safe for our pups to sneak a bite or two? Wait, can dogs actually eat watermelon? The answer isn’t quite what you’d expect.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Watermelon…
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Yes, dogs can eat watermelon—but with a few precautions . The flavorful fruit is actually chock-full of nutrients that can benefit your pet.
Health Benefits of Watermelon In Dogs
Watermelon is low in calories, but high in potassium and vitamins A, B6, and C. Basically, it’s a guilt-free treat for chunky pups looking to shed a few pounds.
Watermelon is also full of fiber which aids digestion. Although the summer fruit does contain a decent amount of sugar, according to DogTime, its high fiber content insulates the sugar and prevents it from being released into the bloodstream too quickly.
It could even help prevent serious diseases: Watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that may prevent cancer in dogs, according to CertaPet.
Related: 13 Pet-Friendly Recipes Your Furry Friends Will Love
…But Dogs Can’t Eat Watermelon Seeds or Watermelon Rinds
Before you toss your dog a slice, there are a few things you should know: Dogs should not eat watermelon seeds, as they can cause intestinal blockages. Don’t worry if your dog accidentally eats one or two—but consuming a lot of seeds could be a cause for concern. If this happens, monitor your dog for changes in behavior. If you notice any alarming symptoms, like straining to go to the bathroom or loss of appetite, a vet visit is probably in order.
You should also keep watermelon rinds out of your dog’s diet. Rinds are tough, and pups may swallow the rind without completely chewing it. This too could cause an intestinal blockage.
How Much Watermelon Can Dogs Eat?
While the fruit is safe for your dog in small quantities, you don’t want to go overboard. Watermelon’s high fiber content can be a blessing or a curse for dog owners: In moderation, fiber is great for digestion. Too much, however, can give your pet an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Pups come in all shapes, sizes, so you should ask your veterinarian for guidelines before you feed your dog watermelon. Larger dogs will be able to eat more than smaller dogs, and medical conditions may make any watermelon at all unsafe for your pet.
Related: 27 Watermelon Recipes That Are Perfect for Summer
What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
According to the American Kennel Club, watermelon isn’t the only fruit that can be good for your dog in moderation. Your furry friend can also snack on bananas, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, cranberries, cucumber, green beans, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, peas, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, and spinach.
However, there are some foods that are not OK to include in your pup’s diet: Avocado, cherries, grapes, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes could make your dog sick in even small quantities.
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