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Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Updated: Mar 29

can dogs eat watermelon

Can dogs eat Watermelon?

Sharing food with our furry family is one of life's simple pleasures. There's something incredibly heartwarming about seeing your pet's wagging tail and eager eyes as they anticipate a tasty treat. 

It is our responsibility as fellow animal lovers to make sure our furry friends are well-cared for and that the food we provide them is secure and wholesome. 

This blog post will deeply dive into a popular summer fruit - the Watermelon.

We'll explore its various aspects, from the juicy red flesh to the green rind, and discuss how it relates to our furry family. So, sit back, grab a slice of Watermelon, and join us on this fascinating journey. 

The Watermelon Basics

Watermelon, a quintessential summer fruit, is adored by many across the globe, including in the UK. This juicy and refreshing fruit is delicious and packed with health benefits.

The Watermelon, or Citrullus lanatus, is a flowering plant that originated in West Africa. It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, encompassing cucumbers as well as squash.

The fruit itself is a special kind of berry with a hard rind - the 'green part' - and a fleshy centre - the 'yellow bit' or, more commonly, the red or pink part.

Watermelons are incredibly hydrating, with water making up about 92% of the fruit.

But it's not just water; these fruits are also a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants, including lycopene.

The 'green part' or the rind, although less commonly consumed, is also edible and contains its own nutrients, including vitamin C and fibre.

In the UK, watermelons are popular for summer picnics and barbecues thanks to their refreshing taste and hydrating properties.

The 'yellow bit', or the inner flesh, is usually sweet and juicy, making it a favourite among children and adults.

So, the next time you're enjoying a slice of Watermelon, remember that you're not just indulging in a tasty fruit but also a powerhouse of nutrients.

And while the 'green part' might not be the star of the show, it plays a crucial role in protecting those valuable nutrients until you're ready to dive in.

Enjoying Watermelon is truly a holistic experience, from the 'green part' to the 'yellow bit'.

Watermelon and Dogs: A Closer Look

When we think of Watermelon, we often picture the juicy, sweet, red flesh that's loved by many.

But a watermelon is more than just its inner flesh. It's a complex fruit composed of several parts, each with its own characteristics.

Let's take a closer look at these parts and their relevance to our furry family.

The outermost layer of the Watermelon is the skin. It's a smooth, hard surface that's usually striped green.

While humans do not typically eat it, some animals can consume it without any issues. Sometimes, the outer layer of some foods can be difficult for our pets to eat and digest properly.

Beneath the skin is the rind, the whiteish part of the Watermelon.

The rind is firmer than the inner flesh but softer than the skin. It's less sweet and has a more vegetable-like taste. The rind is often discarded, but it's actually edible and packed with nutrients.

The peel is a term that can refer to both the skin and the rind. In the context of a watermelon, the peel would include the green skin and the white rind.

While the peel is not the tastiest part of the Watermelon, it contains a good amount of fibre and vitamins.

Inside the Watermelon, you'll find the seeds or pips. These are usually black, brown, or white and are found scattered throughout the red or yellow flesh.

You may roast the edible watermelon seeds to get a crispy snack. Before giving your pet family watermelon, it's essential to remove them as they might be a choking hazard for small breed dogs.

Finally, we have the star of the show, the inner flesh.

This is the part we usually think of when we talk about Watermelon. It's sweet, hydrating, and refreshing. The flesh can range in colour from deep red to pink or even yellow.

So, while Watermelon is a delicious and nutritious fruit, it's important to consider all its parts when thinking about sharing it with our furry family.

The skin and rind might be tough for them to chew and digest, and the seeds could pose a choking hazard.

As always, when introducing new foods to your furry family's diet, it's best to do so gradually and under the guidance of a vet.

Recall that even healthful meals have to be consumed in moderation. Happy sharing!

Case Study: Small Dog Breeds and Watermelon

Meet Bella, a charming Yorkshire Terrier from Brighton. Bella's owner, Sarah, is a nutritionist who believes in the benefits of a balanced diet for her furry family.

One summer day, Sarah decided to introduce Watermelon into Bella's diet.

Sarah knew the importance of serving Watermelon correctly to Bella.

She carefully removed the hard green skin and the white rind, knowing that these could be tough for Bella to chew and digest.

She also meticulously picked out the seeds and pips, aware of the potential choking hazard they could pose.

Bella was initially curious about this new food item. The bright red flesh of the Watermelon was unlike anything she had seen before.

Sarah offered a small piece to Bella, who sniffed it tentatively before taking a gentle bite. To Sarah's delight, Bella seemed to enjoy the sweet, juicy fruit.

Over the next few weeks, Bella would have a few pieces of Watermelon as a treat on hot afternoons.

Sarah noticed that Bella seemed more energetic and hydrated on the days she ate Watermelon.

However, she was careful to ensure that Watermelon only made up a small part of Bella's diet and that Bella's primary nutrition came from her regular dog food.

Remember, when it comes to our furry family, their health and safety are always a top priority.

The History of Watermelons

Watermelons, known scientifically as Citrullus lanatus, have a rich and fascinating history.

These fruits originated in West Africa and have travelled thousands of miles and centuries to become a popular summertime food around the globe, including the UK.

Origins and Early History 

Watermelons are believed to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, where wild varieties still grow today.

From there, they spread northwards along the Nile Valley. By the time of the Ancient Egyptians, watermelons were already being cultivated and even depicted in hieroglyphics.

Journey to the UK 

The Watermelon's journey to the UK is a testament to global trade and exploration.

It's believed that watermelons reached Europe through Moorish invaders in the 13th century and later the New World through European colonists and enslaved Africans.

Watermelons have grown in popularity in the UK over the years as greenhouse cultivation techniques improved.

Cultural Significance and Popularity in the UK 

Today, watermelons are a popular fruit in the UK, especially during the summer months.

They're a common sight at picnics and garden parties and are loved for their refreshing and hydrating properties.

In recent years, watermelons have also been celebrated in the UK for their health benefits, being low in calories and high in vitamins A and C.

The Science Behind Watermelon Nutrition

Watermelons are more than just a refreshing summer treat. They're a powerhouse of nutrition packed with vitamins and minerals that can benefit humans and our furry family members.

Nutritional Content of Watermelons

Watermelons are primarily composed of water, making them a hydrating snack. But beyond hydration, they offer a wealth of nutrients.

The red or yellow flesh is rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are essential for overall health. Watermelons also contain a good amount of potassium and magnesium, minerals that support various bodily functions.

While often discarded, the skinrind, and peel of the Watermelon contain their own set of nutrients. The rind, for instance, is a good source of fibre and vitamin C. However, these parts can be tough for small breed dogs to digest.

Seeds and pips are another aspect of watermelon nutrition.

They are edible and can be a source of protein and healthy fats. But they can present a choking threat to dogs of small breeds and are best removed before serving Watermelon to your furry family.

Benefits and Potential Risks for Small Breed Dogs

Although Watermelon is a nutritious treat for dogs, it's essential to serve it correctly.

The skinrind, and peel should be removed to prevent digestive issues, and the seeds or pips should be removed to avoid choking.

In moderation, Watermelon can be a beneficial addition to your dog's diet. It can provide hydration and essential nutrients, and most dogs enjoy its sweet taste.

However, like any treat, it should be given occasionally and not as a substitute for a well-balanced diet.

Watermelon Recipes for Your Furry Family

Including Watermelon in your furry family's diet can be a fun and refreshing way to provide them with additional hydration and nutrients. Here are some creative and safe ways to do so:

1. Watermelon Cubes

One of the simplest ways to serve Watermelon to your small breed dog is by cutting it into small, bite-sized cubes.

Remember to take off the seeds and rind before serving. These cubes can be given as a treat on a hot day.

2. Watermelon Popsicles

Make some watermelon popsicles for a refreshing treat on a hot day. Blend Watermelon (seeds and rind removed) into a puree, pour into an ice cube tray, and freeze.

These can be given to your furry family member to lick on a warm day. Monitor them while they enjoy this treat to ensure they don't swallow large pieces.

3. Watermelon and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Blend seedless Watermelon with a splash of coconut milk for a tasty and hydrating treat.

Serve in small quantities as a special treat. Coconut milk is safe for dogs in small amounts, but check with your vet if your dog has never had it before.

4. Watermelon "Jerky"

To produce watermelon "jerky," thin slices of Watermelon can be dried in a low-temperature oven or food dehydrator.

Your animal family will love this chewy treat as a unique way to serve Watermelon to them.

Recall that dogs may eat Watermelon, but only in moderation and as an addition to a well-balanced diet.

Always introduce new meals gradually, and watch for any behavioural or digestive changes in your furry family. Enjoy making your pet family some watermelon goodies!

Myths and Misconceptions About Dogs and Fruits

Regarding our furry family's diet, fruits like watermelons and strawberries are often discussed. However, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding dogs and fruits. Let's debunk some of these myths.

Myth 1: All Fruits Are Safe for Dogs

While many fruits, including watermelons and strawberries, can be a part of a dog's diet, not all fruits are safe for dogs.

For instance, grapes and raisins can be harmful to dogs. It's crucial to research and consult with a vet before introducing new fruits into your dog's diet.

Myth 2: Dogs Can't Digest Fruits

Contrary to this myth, dogs can digest fruits. Dogs are omnivores, and their diet can include fruits like watermelons and strawberries.

These fruits provide essential vitamins and fibre, but they ought to be included in a balanced diet and provided in moderation.

Myth 3: The Entire Fruit Is Safe for Dogs

While the flesh of fruits like watermelons and strawberries is generally safe for dogs, other parts of the fruit may not be.

For example, watermelon seeds or pips can pose a choking hazard, especially for small breeds. Similarly, the leaves of strawberries can be challenging for dogs to digest.

Myth 4: Fruits Are Just Treats

Fruits like watermelons and strawberries are more than treats for dogs. They are full of nutrients like vitamins A and C, fibre, and antioxidants. However, like all treats, they should be given in moderation.

Expert Opinions on Dogs and Watermelon

When it comes to the topic of dogs and Watermelon, opinions from veterinarians and pet nutrition experts can provide valuable insights. Here's what some of them have to say:

The Nutritional Value of Watermelon

Veterinarians often highlight the nutritional benefits of Watermelon for dogs. The fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C, essential for a dog's health.

However, experts caution that the Watermelon's skinrind, and peel can be challenging for dogs to digest, especially for small breeds.

The Issue with Seeds and Pips

One common point of discussion among experts is the potential hazard posed by watermelon seeds or pips.

While these are not toxic to dogs, they can pose a choking hazard, especially for small breeds. Therefore, experts recommend removing all seeds and pips before giving Watermelon to your dog.

Moderation is Key

Although Watermelon is a nutritious treat for dogs, experts stress the importance of moderation.

Watermelon should not replace a balanced diet but can be included as a small part of it. Ingesting too much

Watermelon might cause stomach problems due to its high water and sugar content.

Individual Differences

Finally, experts remind us that each dog is unique. What works for one dog might not work for another.

Therefore, it's always best to introduce new foods like Watermelon slowly and to monitor your dog for any changes in behaviour or digestion.

So, while Watermelon can be a healthy dog treat, it is crucial to serve it correctly and in moderation. 

Alternatives to Watermelon for Dogs

Dogs can like Watermelon as a pleasant treat, but it's not the only fruit our furry family might enjoy. Strawberries are among the other fruits that are healthy and safe for dogs.

Strawberries are a fantastic alternative to Watermelon.

They are abundant in vitamins, especially C, and also include an enzyme that might aid in tooth whitening for your dog.

Strawberries are also high in fibre, which can benefit a dog's digestion. However, due to their sugar content, they should be given in moderation.

Apples are another great choice.

They are a good source of vitamins A and C and fibre. However, the core and seeds should be removed since they may pose a risk of choking.

Also, there is a trace quantity of cyanide in the seeds.

Bananas can also be a hit with dogs. They're packed with potassium, vitamins, and biotin, which benefits a dog's skin and coat.

Like strawberries and apples, bananas should be given in moderation due to their sugar content.

Blueberries are a superfood that can be an excellent treat for dogs. They're packed with antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins.

faqs can dogs eat watermelon


Is Watermelon healthy for canines?

It's okay for your dog to eat Watermelon, and it may also be a tasty and hydrating treat.

That being said, Watermelon should only be fed to your dog in moderation and shouldn't replace a nutritious, well-balanced diet, just like many other fruits and vegetables. Among the many benefits of Watermelon are:

Hydration: Watermelon, which contains 90% water, benefits your dog's joints, body temperature control, and digestion.

Watermelon is a fantastic source of fibre, which helps dogs maintain regular and well-formed stools by fostering healthy gut flora!

Potassium: Your dog's heart, muscles, and neurological system are powered by this electrolyte, which also acts as a generator.

Vitamin C: An antioxidant, vitamin C may help prevent ageing and degenerative disorders in dogs.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps maintain strong bones, healthy skin, clear eyesight, and a robust immune system.

Can dogs safely consume Watermelon?

Dog owners frequently wonder if feeding their animals the rind or skin of Watermelon is acceptable.

The quick answer is that dogs may eat watermelon flesh without risk as long as the black seeds are removed because they could impede their digestive tract.

However, the rind and peel of Watermelon are too rough for dogs to ingest and might upset their stomach. 

Even though Watermelon is typically healthy for dogs to eat, you should still see your veterinarian since your dog could have dietary preferences or special requirements.

Watermelon is not recommended for dogs with diabetes because of its substantial sugar level and possible sensitivities.

It's a good idea to gradually introduce new foods to your dog so you can watch out for symptoms like upset stomach, itching, or wheezing that might indicate an allergy or intolerance.

Can dogs eat the peel or rind of Watermelon?

Dogs shouldn't eat the peel or rind of Watermelon. It will be quite difficult for your dog's digestive tract to break down the thick and tough rind and peel.

A gastrointestinal disturbance, characterised by bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort, is often the outcome. The rind and peel of Watermelon should be avoided at all costs!

Are watermelon seeds and pips edible to dogs?

Dogs cannot consume watermelon seeds or pip because of the vast amount of debris that might clog the intestines, preventing food or fluids from entering the large or small intestine. 

How much Watermelon is safe for my dog to eat?

A teacup full of Watermelon is the right amount to offer your dog if they are a medium or big breed, like a labrador, vizsla, or spaniel.

Smaller dogs, such as terriers or cavapoos, should consume only half of this quantity.

Like many other human foods like pineapple, cucumber, and peppers, Watermelon is best given to your dog as a treat or seldom snack. Watermelon overindulgence might result in diarrhoea.

Can dogs consume frozen Watermelon?

Dogs may indeed consume frozen watermelon pieces as a snack to help them stay cool during intense heat waves.

But resist the urge to freeze anything besides fresh Watermelon since prepared or canned types may have added sugar or dog-toxic chemicals and sweeteners.

How to give Watermelon to your dog

Before giving Watermelon to your dog, it should be seeded, the peel and skin removed, and the meat sliced into pieces.

This cool dog food, some of which are shown here, may be prepared creatively. It is especially perfect for a hot summer's day.

Cubes of frozen Watermelon

Pureeing deseeded pieces and then spooning the mixture onto an ice tray and freezing it to produce frozen watermelon cubes is a delightful method to serve frozen Watermelon to dogs.

Give your dog a few as a crisp, refreshing treat throughout the heat.

Ice cream made with Watermelon

Dogs can enjoy frozen Watermelon as ice cream, which is made by mixing organic Greek yoghurt with deseeded watermelon chunks (be sure to check the ingredients to make sure no artificial sweeteners, like dog-toxic Xylitol, are added), freezing and then serving a portion as a treat.

Can dogs eat Watermelon? 

Watermelon can be a refreshing treat for dogs, especially during hot weather. However, it should be served in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Can dogs eat watermelon skin? 

The skin of a watermelon is tough and can be tricky for dogs to chew and digest. It's best to remove the skin before giving Watermelon to your dog.

Can dogs eat Watermelon rind? 

Similar to the skin, the rind of a watermelon can be tough for dogs to digest. While it's not toxic, removing the rind before serving Watermelon to your dog is recommended.

Can dogs eat watermelon peel? 

The term "peel" can refer to both the skin and the rind of a watermelon. As mentioned, both can be tough for dogs to digest and should be removed before serving.

Can dogs eat watermelon seeds? 

Watermelon seeds can pose a choking risk, especially with small-breed dogs. It's best to remove all seeds before giving Watermelon to your dog.

Can dogs eat the green part of Watermelon? 

The green part of a watermelon refers to the skin, which, as mentioned, is tough and can be difficult for dogs to digest. It's best to remove this part before serving Watermelon to your dog.

Can dogs eat Watermelon in the UK? 

Yes, dogs in the UK can eat Watermelon, following the guidelines mentioned above. It's a refreshing treat that many dogs enjoy, especially during the warmer months.

Final Thoughts

Through this exploration, we've journeyed through the fascinating world of watermelons and their relationship with our furry family members.

We've delved into the different parts of a watermelon, from the skin and rind to the seeds and pips, and their implications for our pets.

We've debunked common myths about dogs and fruits and highlighted the importance of understanding what our pets can and cannot eat.

We've also explored alternatives to Watermelon, like strawberries, that can offer variety and additional health benefits to our furry family's diet.

As we've seen, feeding our pets is about providing sustenance and enhancing their health and well-being.

So, the next time you reach for a slice of Watermelon, remember the incredible journey you've taken to understand this fruit better for the sake of your furry family. 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

At Mary Puppins,  we prioritise your cherished pets' well-being, offering a haven of comfort and care during their stay.

Our commitment is to ensure your small breed dogs are treated like family, receiving top-notch attention and care.

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Mary Puppins can dogs eat watermelon

Mary Puppins can dogs eat watermelon

mary puppins can dogs eat watermelon

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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