Did you know that the first watermelon was said to have been grown 5000 years ago in Egypt? That’s some history behind this common fruit.
There’s nothing quite like having a really cold glass of watermelon juice on a hot summer day. Even better if you blend it with some carrots or green apples.
I know of many dog owners that feed their dogs watermelon. But can our dogs drink watermelon juice as well?
Even though it is safe to let our dogs eat watermelon, watermelon juice might not be the best way to feed your dog watermelon. Watermelon juice contains more sugar than the actual fruit and juicing destroys a lot of the vitamins and minerals in watermelon which can be beneficial for dogs.
Let us take a closer look at the dos and don’ts when it comes to feeding watermelon juice to your dog.
What Is A Watermelon?
The humble watermelon is part of the cucumber family which is also known as the Cucurbitaceae.
Technically, we all know the watermelon as a fruit but some botanists also classify it as a vegetable since it can be cooked like one.
No prizes for guessing how this chunky fruit got its name. The watermelon is 92% water which makes it one of the juiciest fruits in the world.
Most of us would only eat the flesh and drink the juice but some cuisines will also use watermelon rind as an ingredient.
Watermelon seeds can also be roasted and eaten as a snack.
100g of watermelon contains:
- 30 Calories
- 112mg Potassium
- 6g Sugars
- 0.6g Protein
Besides red watermelon, there is also yellow watermelon which is part of the 1200 watermelon varieties grown globally.
Here’s a fun fact.
The most expensive watermelon in the world, Densuke watermelon, is grown in Japan and can cost up to a mind-boggling $6000!
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Safely?
There are some differences between giving your dog watermelon juice and the fruit itself. However, if a dog isn’t able to eat the fruit that would make the juice undrinkable as well.
Thankfully, you can let your dog eat watermelon without worry.
I know that dogs are carnivores which means that they need to have a lot of protein from animal meat as dog food.
But dogs evolve from wolves which also makes them opportunistic scavengers.
This means that they can eat almost everything and anything. Don’t be surprised to even see your dog wolfing down spoiled meat and get away with it.
Feeding your dog watermelon every now and then won’t be a problem for their digestive system.
What About Watermelon Juice For Dogs?
We now know that our dogs can eat watermelon without much issues. But what about giving your dog watermelon juice instead?
Some watermelon juice might seem like a healthy snack but I would still very much prefer it if you fed your dog the flesh of the fruit instead.
Watermelon juice contains a lot more sugar than the fruit itself. Think of watermelon juice as a more concentrated form of watermelon pulp.
To make a cup of watermelon juice, juicing a cup of watermelon pieces won’t cut it. You will need a lot more than that which means more sugar in the drink.
Your dog doesn’t need any sugar in its diet. Excess sugar can lead to health problems like canine obesity, diabetes, cancer, pancreatitis and heart disease.
Be mindful when giving your dog fruits like rambutan, bananas, apples, etc. Some fruits is ok for your dog’s diet but you don’t want to overload your dog with fructose.
Many vitamins and minerals also don’t make it into the cup even if you use a cold press.
Fibers are also removed from the pulp when you juice the watermelon. Some fiber in your dog’s diet is helpful for healthy digestion and bowel movement.
There are some dogs that enjoy eating grass regularly. It is said that grass acts as roughage, helps with more regular bowel movements and makes them feel better when sick.
Watermelon juice does provide good hydration for your dog.
But the high sugar content and less than optimum amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in the cup don’t make it an ideal healthy snack for your dog.
Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Dogs
I like giving my dog watermelon due to its high water content and it is somewhat low in calories.
Dogs are better at drinking water than cats but it is still good to give your dog as much hydration as possible when the weather is hot.
Another great way to hydrate your dog is to soak your dog’s food in some chicken broth. It tastes and smells great to your dog.
Watermelon is also rich in vitamin A, C, B, potassium, antioxidants, etc. All the good stuff that your dog’s body can benefit from.
How Much Watermelon Can I Give My Dog?
I think you can agree with me that most dogs love watermelon.
When I bring back a watermelon from the grocery store, my dog already knows that I have it in the bag even without me having to cut it.
Even though feeding your dog watermelon is considered a healthy treat, it is still wise for you to practice a good amount of moderation in terms of serving portions.
My dog is medium-sized and is close to 40 lbs.
He gets a slice of watermelon or enough pieces to fill a cup 1-2 a week.
I am pretty sure my dog is capable of eating a lot more than that based on the sad look I get after he is done.
But too much watermelon isn’t good for your dog’s digestive system.
Here’s a pro tip.
If the weather is hot, freeze some watermelon juice or watermelon pieces in the freezer and let it ice up.
Many dogs love licking frozen watermelon chunks or watermelon ice balls.
What To Do If My Dog Ate Watermelon Rind?
My dog has tasted watermelon rind before and isn’t a fan of the taste. So now when eating a slice of watermelon, he knows not to bite into it.
But if you have a dog that just gobbles the entire slice, swallowing the rind can be dangerous as it can cause an intestinal blockage in your dog.
An obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract can cause canine bloat which is a deadly medical condition.
Any form of digestive obstruction needs immediate medical treatment,
It might not be that big an issue for large or giant dog breeds but it’s definitely not a good idea to let a small dog eat watermelon rind.
Cut it up into smaller pieces before feeding it to your dog to be safe.
With regards to watermelon seeds, I don’t think they pose much of a blockage treat as compared to the rind.
The seeds are really small and can be passed out in your dog’s poop.
However, it can cause a problem if your dogs eat watermelon seeds in huge amounts. You can feed your dog a seedless watermelon if you are worried.
Can Watermelon Give Dogs Diarrhea?
Too much watermelon will definitely give your dog bad diarrhea. Fruits contain a simple sugar called fructose and too much fructose can act as a laxative in dogs.
As a benchmark, treats for your dog should not be more than 10-15% of its total calorie intake. If your dog eats about 300 calories a day, 30 calories can come from treats.
Then again, I wouldn’t advise you to give your dog sugary treats on a daily basis. There are safe and nutritious dog treats that are made of protein and do not contain sugar.
What Fruits Are Toxic To Dogs?
The majority of fruits are ok for your dog to consume. I prefer to stick to fruits that are low in calories like strawberries, cranberries, apples, pears, etc.
However, at no time should you ever allow your dog to eat anything grape related.
Grapes are very toxic to dogs and even a small amount can cause kidney failure in your dog.
If your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, please take it to the vet immediately for an examination.