Every dog owner has experienced it. There you are, digging into your favorite snack. While blissfully munching away, you look down at your beloved, furry companion and feel a little bit guilty. Those beautiful eyes watching your every move start tugging at your heartstrings. Of course, you would not mind sharing a bit with your pal, but is it safe to do so?
This question is incredibly important for the well-being of your dog. You should ALWAYS be sure that the food you choose to share with your dog is 100% safe for dogs.
Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?
On a sweltering summer day, a cool slice of watermelon can really hit the spot. That juicy, sweet burst of flavor is incredibly refreshing. A glance down at your four-legged friend panting and gazing at your treat with eyes full of hope and longing may leave you wishing you could share a bite or two with your buddy. Can dogs eat watermelon? Well, the good news is that yes, they can! Giving a bit of that sweet treat to your dog is fine as long as the seeds and rind are removed first.
Why not Seeds and Rind for Dogs?
The mature seeds in the fruit simply cannot be digested whole and could possibly cause an intestinal blockage. Although the seeds are packed with nutrients such as vitamin B, potassium, zinc and magnesium, the seeds would have to be sprouted before consuming in order for the nutrients to be accessible. A dog is going to wolf down that bite and wind up swallowing the seeds whole.
Those seeds will then pass through the digestive tract, whole, and possibly cause a blockage. It is safer for your pet if you either take the time to remove the seeds first or buy seedless watermelons.
The rind of watermelons also has quite a few nutrients. Vitamins C, B6, and A, as well as potassium, zinc, citrulline and lycopene are all present in the rind. For people, eating the rind can be beneficial. Dogs, on the other hand, are not likely to chew up a piece of rind into tiny, easily digestible pieces before swallowing. Big chunks are likely to find their way into your dog’s tummy and could lead to problems.
Intestinal blockage is one of those problems. Those chunks could also cause some gastrointestinal upset, which in time could lead to diarrhea and possible dehydration. It really is not worth the risk, so simply avoid allowing your pup to eat any rind.
Do Watermelons Have Any Vitamins?
Yes! Watermelons are actually quite healthy for both you and your dog. Naturally low in calories with no fat or cholesterol, watermelons can be a guilt free snack.
That delicious juice running down your chin can be credited to watermelon’s high water content – 92% to be exact. So it is not only guilt free, but very hydrating as well. Watermelons also contain:
- Vitamin A helps maintain skin, hair and eye health.
- Vitamin B5 helps the body create red blood cells, maintain digestive tract health and synthesize cholesterol.
- Vitamin B6 helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats. In other words, it helps convert food into energy. B6 also aids in the growth of the brain’s neurotransmitters and the production of serotonin.
- Vitamin C, an antioxidant, helps to rid the body of disease causing free radicals. Vitamin C is an integral part of tissue repair and gives the immune system a boost too.
You can visit here for some more information on the vitamins found in watermelons.
Do Watermelons Have Any Minerals?
Yes! Watermelons contain a variety of minerals. Here are several:
- Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain the function of the heart, digestive tract, muscles, nerves and kidneys.
- Magnesium is critical for bone strength, nerve function, muscle relaxation, heart rhythm, immunity, metabolism and the regulation of blood glucose. A body deficient in magnesium can suffer from weakened bones, muscle cramps, anxiety and a poor immune response.
- Calcium is essential for bone health, nerve transmission, prevention of osteoporosis, and the contraction of cardiac and skeletal muscles.
- Phosphorous is crucial for the proper formation of bones and teeth, the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, the maintenance and repair of tissues, and the production of ATP, which is the body’s energy storage molecule.
- Iron, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium, are found in small amounts and are needed to maintain a healthy body.
Are there Any Other Nutrients in Watermelons?
Yes! Watermelons are an important source of two other nutrients as well:
- Citrulline is an amino acid that, when ingested, is transformed into arginine, another essential amino acid. These two amino acids dilate and relax blood vessels within the body and can actually help to lower blood pressure. Arginine not only can help wounds heal faster but also is critical for the proper function of the immune and reproductive systems, the lungs, kidneys and liver.
- Have you ever wondered why watermelons have red flesh? The antioxidant lycopene is responsible for that pretty color. Most people associate lycopene with tomatoes, but watermelons are actually a better source of this antioxidant. Lycopene is linked with the prevention of certain cancers such as prostate cancer and is associated with improved heart health.
For more details visit this site.
How Much Can I Give my Dog?
Now that you know just how healthy watermelons are, you may be tempted to indulge your dog and may wind up sharing too much.
Remember, moderation is the key. At first, give your buddy just a small piece. If your dog handles it well and seems to enjoy it, perhaps try two small pieces next time. Your goal here is to simply share a treat with your dog, not provide a huge meal. A dog needs a complete and balanced diet in order to stay healthy and fit. Sadly, neither you nor your dog should attempt to live solely off of watermelons. A healthy, tasty treat now and then is okay though. Just use common sense.
How Should a Treat be Given?
While many dog owners often have no problem offering their dog a bone or other treat directly out of their hand, this may not be such a good idea with watermelons. Most people throw manners out of the window when it comes to eating watermelons and choose to eat this messy summer treat with their hands. After all, getting wet and sticky is part of the fun. Well, if you happen to break off a small bite for your pet and feed it directly from your hand to his or her mouth, chances are good that your hand will come away with a bit more than you bargained for. You guessed it- dog slobber! Perhaps without being aware of that extra juiciness on your hand, you go back to enjoying your slice. Yuck! As much as you love your dog, do you really want to be eating his or her slobber? That is why it is a good idea to place the snack in your dog’s bowl. It will also help your dog to maintain the good manners that you worked so hard to teach.
Did You Know?
- Watermelons, officially known as Citrullus Lanatus, are grown in ninety-six countries, with China ranking as the top producer.
- In the United States and South America, farmers grow more than three hundred varieties.
- Watermelons are classified as both a fruit and a vegetable! Not very many foods can claim that distinction.
- In Egypt and Israel, watermelons are often served with feta cheese.
- In Japan, they are sometimes grown in a glass box to produce cubed shaped melons.
- With some extra TLC, some varieties can grow to be well over three hundred pounds!
- While most watermelons have bright red flesh, there are some kinds that have white, yellow, orange or green flesh.
- If cut carefully, one melon can provide a snack for up to three dozen people.
- Rinds can be pickled, stir-fried or stewed for some variety.
While your dog might not benefit from these fun facts, you might appreciate that next bite a little bit more.
Go Ahead and Share Your Watermelon!
The next time you treat yourself to a slice of summer goodness and discover that you are being closely watched by your furry friend, you won’t have to wonder, “Can dogs eat watermelon?” You can confidently share a bit, knowing that it is a healthy treat that will not cause any harm. The many nutrients found in watermelons are necessary for healthy bodies. You need nutrients. Your dog needs nutrients. This is one snack that you can feel great about sharing. Just remember – everything in moderation. Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. A bite or two is enough to make your dog feel loved and pampered. Sharing is a great way to increase that special bond that you and your dog share, bringing the two of you even closer. So, go ahead and share a healthy, guilt free treat with your best pal!