Cantaloupe is a summertime favorite for humans of all ages. Did you know cantaloupe is a healthy, vitamin-filled treat for your dog?
We spend more time outdoors at BBQs, pool parties, and outings. We require more hydration in the summer. Your dog does too. Aside from water, ripe fruits can make staying hydrated easy and tasty. Plus, precut cantaloupe is portable and available pre-cut in nearly every grocery store.
Is Cantaloupe Safe for Dogs?
According to the experts at Vet Street, cantaloupe is perfectly safe for your dog in moderation. You can feed it as an occasional snack or treat, but you shouldn’t use it to replace meals. Be careful if your dog is overweight too.
Cantaloupe contains nutrients your dog will benefit from. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals are three major reasons it makes a great snack or part of a meal. It also hydrates your dog since it’s mostly water.
Antioxidant support is prevalent in cantaloupe. These help fight cellular aging and could slow down disease progression in dogs.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of eye-health vitamins and nutrients. Beta-carotene (vitamin A) can assist your elderly dog with aging sight and protect the eye health of your younger ones. It’s also helpful in promoting growth in puppies.
B6 in cantaloupe can provide your dog with energy. The vitamin helps metabolize other nutrients and amino acids present in your dog’s diet too.
Anti-inflammatory properties are present in cantaloupe, which might be beneficial for dogs with painful conditions like arthritis or skin irritations.
Are there concerns with feeding cantaloupe? Yes. Your dog’s diet should contain 10-20% fruits and vegetables per meal. Snacks will make up less of their overall diet, which is about 10%.
A lot of research on cantaloupe talks about the high vitamin C content. We want to point out that canines create their own, and they don’t need a lot from outside sources. When fed within the 10-20% guidelines, you shouldn’t worry about a vitamin C overdose. However, it is a possibility.
How Should I Prepare Cantaloupe for My Dog?
Start with a ripe melon. A good rule of thumb here is if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t give it to your pet. Under-ripened fruits can cause stomach discomfort.
Remove the cantaloupe from the rind. The rind is a choking hazard, and it can cause severe digestion issues for your dog. According to the AKC, your dog might try to eat the rind. The rind might obstruct their stomach or intestines, which could lead to surgery, but the rind itself is not poisonous. (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-cantaloupe/) The seeds aren’t a danger, but the AKC suggests removing them to lower choking risks.
If your dog eats a cantaloupe rind, watch them for 24-48 hours. If you notice symptoms of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, call your vet.
Once you’ve removed the seeds and the rind, you can slice the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces appropriate for the size of your dog. Again, you want to avoid choking. Larger dogs might prefer ¼-inch thick slices.
If you’ve bought precut cantaloupe, remember to cut the pieces smaller. Avoid feeding any bits that seem too hard as they’re likely unripe.
Frozen cantaloupe is another option, but let it thaw before feeding. Otherwise, it can be a choking hazard for some dogs.
Begin feeding small amounts as a treat. One or two bite-sized pieces or a slice should be enough for an adult dog. Feed puppies less.
This allows you to see if it will negatively affect your dog. If your dog does well, you can try to increase their serving the next time if you desire, try it in recipes, or begin increasing the amount in their meal.
Pureed cantaloupe and unsweetened yogurt make a healthy dog-safe ice cream treat. Ahead of time, freeze about 300g of ripe cantaloupe (or 300g of dog-friendly fruits) and 2 teaspoons of yogurt or low-fat sour cream. You can purchase pre-frozen melon too. Blend frozen ingredients in a blender or food processor until combined and no chunks remain. Start dogs with ¼ cup serving and freeze leftovers.
Remember to always supervise your pet during treat and mealtimes.
Pros and Cons of Feeding My Dog Cantaloupe
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Beta carotene
- Pantothenic acid
- Natural treatment for constipation
- Great for avoiding dehydration
- High is sugar; moderation is key!
- Can cause loose stools if overfed
- Not great for diabetic or overweight dogs
- Can lead to tooth decay
- Possible vitamin C overdose if fed in excess of 20% of their daily diet
What About Feeding My Dog Other Melons and Fruits?
Dogs can nosh down on your watermelon and honeydew melon too. In fact, dogs can enjoy many fruits you eat in summer with proper preparation and in moderation. Remember, melons are high in sugar.
All melons have generous fiber content, so you have to watch overfeeding to avoid stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
You will prepare them the same way as you would the cantaloupe, removing the rind and seeds. Seedless varieties of watermelon might be best because of choking and possible intestinal blocking.
Other summertime fruits your dog might enjoy are blueberries, strawberries, and apples without seeds.
Poisonous Fruits You Should Avoid Feeding Your Dog
All melons are safe for dogs, but some common summery fruits are off limits.
- Un-pitted peaches
- Un-pitted cherries
- Un-pitted apricots
- Raw tomatoes
- Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin B6 and A
- Cantaloupe contains many essential nutrients your dog needs
- Melons are a natural laxative and contain plenty of dietary fiber
- Remove rind and seeds to avoid complications
- Thaw frozen cantaloupe to avoid choking
- Cut into bite-sized pieces or slices appropriate for the size of your dog
- Feed cantaloupe as a treat, starting with small amounts to gauge digestive reaction
- Cantaloupe can make a great addition to dog-friendly recipes