Watermelons are undeniably a healthy fruit enjoyed by everybody! This fruit is loaded with citrulline and lycopene, two of the most powerful plant compounds that have great health benefits. It also has a sweet and delicious taste that is refreshing. It is packed with water, too, making it an excellent hydration alternative.
But can dogs eat watermelons too? Yes, but…
Your friends here at Doggypedia will do our best to provide you all the information you need connected to dogs and watermelon consumption. So sit back, relax, and read on for more details.
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Can Dogs Eat Watermelons?
To be straightforward, the answer is YES.
But one should take note that it should be consumed with a couple of precautions.
The watermelon itself, minus the rind and seed, is a health-food powerhouse. It is known to have low calories and packed with nutrients, such as, vitamins A, B6, and C as well as potassium.
It is believed that one fruit only contains about 50 calories a cup and 92 percent of water. Thus, it is best to keep your dog hydrated. It does not contain any fat or cholesterol, according to National Watermelon Promotion Board.
On the contrary, watermelon rind and seed should be avoided at all cost.
For one, seeds could cause an intestinal blockage. It might be small, but it can still be destructive. You don’t like that to happen, so make sure you remove them.
Two, the rind may not also be a good idea feed on dogs. Well, dogs can nibble on the rind, but they should not eat the green skin because they are unable to digest it. Also, it can cause gastrointestinal upset. Again, you don’t want that to happen.
In short, keep your furry family members safe by ensuring all the seeds are removed and the rind has been discarded. Take note of these precautions so your dog can reap the benefits of having watermelons as a treat or snack.
Are Watermelons Safe For Dogs?
Again, to reiterate, watermelons are safe for dogs as long as its given in moderation.
To give you an idea on how to prepare the watermelon for your dog, you can either give it fresh or have it frozen.
For fresh watermelon, cut it into small cubes and give it directly to your dog. Just remember to get rid of the seeds and watch out for the rind.
On the other had, if you’d like be creative, use an ice cube tray to make frozen watermelon treats or add simple ingredients that are safe for the dogs to make a watermelon sorbet.
Here’s a simple recipe you can follow:
- 2 cups seedless watermelon (pureed)
- 1 cup coconut water or milk
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Scoop out watermelon – it must be seedless. Remove seeds if any, or buy a seedless watermelon. Add to blender and puree until smooth
- Add coconut water/milk and honey to blender and pureed watermelon. Blend well.
- Pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap or bag to avoid spillage.
- Freeze overnight.
- To remove from tray, let sit on counter for a few minutes to loosen frozen treat. Twist tray to remove treat from mold.
If you’re having second thoughts or are hesitant to do it, then it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet. Again, prevention is better than cure.
How Much Watermelon Can My Dog Eat?
Watermelons don’t have a lot of calories and has no fats and carbohydrates. This fact might be tempting for dog owners and might even encourage them to feed the fruit in plenty to their dogs.
However, it’s very, very crucial and vital that your dogs get most of the calories and nutrients from real dog chow or food. Remember, fruits do not have the same nutrients as those found in meats or commercially prepared dog food.
On the other hand, feeding even a little fruit to an overweight or obese dog can add unnecessary calories. This is something you are trying to avoid.
Finally, sweet products that contain watermelon or anything that is artificially watermelon flavored are probably not a good idea for dogs. They are usually full of sugar, chemicals, or other substances that can make your dog sick. Too much sugar can lead to gastrointestinal upset in the short term and diabetes or obesity in the long term.
So, when it comes to the right amount of watermelon to feed your dog, then the best option is to trust yourself and give your best judgment. If that isn’t possible or you’re too afraid of the risks, then ask your veterinarian for expert advice.
What Should I Do In Case of a Watermelon Emergency?
There isn’t a lot of risks involved with watermelons, but just in case it does happen, it is still best to bring them to the clinic for proper assessment and diagnosis.
On the other hand, here are some situations and remedies you can do yourself.
If your dog does develop gastrointestinal distress from eating too much watermelon, give them plenty of water to reduce the risk of dehydration.
Further, purchase a seedless variety if possible to avoid blockages. But in case this happens, do one of the following:
- If standing, put your arms around its belly, make a fist with one hand and with your other hand on top push firmly up and forward, just behind the rib cage.
- If lying down, place one hand on the back for support and use the other hand to squeeze the abdomen upwards and forwards.
For other emergencies, call the veterinarian really quick!
History of Watermelons
Watermelon is said to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.
Watermelons then spread throughout countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchant ships. It was in the 10th century that watermelon found its way to China. Today, that country is now the world’s number one producer of watermelons.
The 13th century found watermelon spread through the rest of Europe via the Moors.
Southern food historian, John Egerton, believes watermelon made its way to the United States with African slaves as he states in his book, “Southern Food.”
Here’s the scientific classification of the watermelon:
|Watermelon cross section|
(Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai
Here are some fun facts from the NWPB:
- An average 15-to 20-pound watermelon will yield 90 six-ounce wedges and 11 cups of cubes.
- Ever notice that some watermelons have internal cracks in the flesh? It’s a condition known as Hollow Heart and is caused by fluctuations in temperature during the growing season. Hollow Heart melons are safe to eat, and they are actually sweeter in spots, because sugars tend to concentrate along the cracks.
- From planting to harvest, it takes a watermelon three months to grow.
- Seedless melons were developed 50 years ago. They contain no black, mature seeds. But you may see white seed coats, where the seed did no mature.
- Citrullus Lanatus is the scientific name for watermelon.
- It comes from the botanical family Cucurbitaceae and is related to cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash.
- You can carve watermelon rinds in the same manner as pumpkins. There are many patterns, from dinosaurs and sharks to Spiderman, and designs are limited only by your imagination.
Watermelon Nutritional Information
Watermelon has been known to be a good source of vitamin C. It has also a great source of other vitamins and minerals, including the following:
- Vitamin C: Vital for skin health and immune functions
- Potassium: Important for blood pressure control and heart health
- Copper: Most abundant in plant foods, but often lacking in the Western diet
- Vitamin B5: Found in almost all foods to some extent. Also known as pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A: Has beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body
- Vitamin B6: Converts food into energy, assists in the growth of neurotransmitters in the brain; helps the body produce serotonin.
- Lycopene: Cancer-preventing antioxidant; prevents heart disease.
Aside from the vitamins and minerals of watermelons, it also has great health benefits, and the following are some of them:
- Lower Blood Pressure – Watermelon is a good source of citrulline. This component is converted into arginine in the body. Both of these amino acids help in the production of nitric oxide, which in return is a gas molecule that causes the tiny muscles around the blood vessels to relax and dilate. Thus, the result is the reduction in blood pressure.
- Reduced Insulin Resistance – If you are suffering from insulin resistance, then eating watermelons can be good for you as along with some arginine intake.
- Reduced Muscle Soreness After Exercise – A study showed that watermelon juice was effective in decreasing muscle soreness following exercise.
Studies can support these health benefits.
For instance, one study by PubMed states that “Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is rich in l-citrulline, an l-arginine precursor that may reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of watermelon powder and l-arginine on lipid profiles, antioxidant capacity, and inflammation in rats fed an atherogenic diet.”
Another study states that “Diets high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent colorectal cancer (CRC). Watermelon consumption may reduce CRC risk due to its concentration of l-citrulline and its role in endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production. ”
Even though watermelon is well tolerated by most people, there are still those who experience negative effects with too much consumption. It may cause allergic reaction or digestive problems.
For one, too much watermelon eating can have oral allergic syndrome. While it might be rare, it may cause individuals who are sensitive to pollen. Symptoms of this reaction include itchy mouth and throat, swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and sometimes ears.
Another known effect is called FODMAP indigestion. This fruit contains a short-chain carbohydrate called FODMAP that cannot be digested by some people. As a result, it may cause unpleasant digestive symptoms, such as bloating, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea or constipation. If you already have irritable bowel syndrome, then you should avoid watermelons altogether.
The table below contains information on all the main nutrients in watermelon.
Hong, Mee Young, et al. “Watermelon and l-Arginine Consumption Improve Serum Lipid Profile and Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress by Altering Gene Expression in Rats Fed an Atherogenic Diet.” Nutrition Research, vol. 58, 2018, pp. 46–54., doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2018.06.008.
Glenn, Keith, et al. “Effects of Watermelon Powder and l-Arginine Supplementation on Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats.” Nutrition and Cancer, Dec. 2018, pp. 1–8., doi:10.1080/01635581.2018.1490782.
Pagano, John O. A. Healing Psoriasis: the Natural Alternative. Wiley, 2009.