Can I Give My Dog Watermelon?

Can I Give My Dog Watermelon?Watermelon is a healthy summertime fruit which seems like a great treat for dogs. It’s loaded with minerals, low on calories and is great for hydration. People enjoy watermelon, sometimes with a pet pooch, especially on hot days.

Feeding a bit of this fruit to your dog is fine but there are some considerations and helpful tips you should know. As refreshing as watermelon is, dogs usually won’t digest fruits as well as we do. This doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy it or benefit from its nutrients.

A slice of watermelon is a great way to cool down for your dog. Since your little guy is probably running around a lot, this could be a great thirst quencher. You should, however, practice moderation when feeding it.

Can I Give My Dog Watermelon? Answer: Yes, in moderation

Providing some can help your pet beat the heat but limit portions.

This amazing fruit contains beta-carotene, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium and especially vitamin C. All of these are great for dogs including for their immune system. Watermelon is a light treat due to it’s high water content. The health benefits combined with it’s taste and usefulness on hot days makes watermelon a wonderful gift from nature. A moderate amount of this melon won’t harm your dog. That said, it should be an occasional treat only.

Speaking of treats, there are actually watermelon-flavored dog treats which get great reviews.

Argument Against Watermelon

Some will argue that since watermelon is slightly diuretic that it isn’t really hydrating you or your dog. We disagree since it’s 91% water by weight. It’s likely that your dog will be better hydrated after consuming some watermelon.

A more valid reason why too much watermelon may not be entirely helpful is that your dog may experience a change in bowel movements after eating some slices. Diarrhea is not uncommon upon feeding canines moderate portions of watermelon. This doesn’t mean it is harmful, just that they may not be so well-suited for smoothly digesting such a melon.

Moderation is the Key

Consider limiting how much watermelon they eat, especially if you notice a change when they empty their bowels. Don’t be surprised if things get messy! This is why starting out by giving them 2 or 3 slices instead of a whole bunch is probably a good idea. Success here would be seeing your dog urinate more instead having irregular gastrointestinal symptoms.

If you think they lost a lot of fluids after a bout of diarrhea, perhaps you may need to replenish their water.

Seedless & No Rind

The best way to feed your dog refreshing watermelon, or cantaloupe, is to remove the seeds first. This way your best buddy is less likely to suffer from an upset stomach. While watermelon seeds probably don’t pose as much of a problem as other pits do, better to be safe than sorry. We like to simplify all the different variables that go into our dogs’ foods as much as possible.

While some cultures in Asia eat the rind part of watermelons, we don’t recommend giving it to your dog. They can be used to make homemade pickles since it’s surprisingly similar to cucumbers. In truth, the rind is not as nutritious as the juicy red center nor will it assist with hydration on a hot summer day.

Dog Digestion & Fruits

We are not against providing some fruits to pets. You must, however, understand that your dog will likely not digest most fruits as well as humans routinely do. Even people are known to experience a change in bowel movements as a result of too much fruit consumption. We’d like to remind you, there are some fruits which are seriously off limits to dogs such as grapes.

Conclusion on Watermelon

Yes, you can feed your dog some watermelon. Moderation is important if you aren’t against feeding certain human foods, including this one, to a four-legged friend. It’s best to start out with a small portion of seedless watermelon when first introducing it to your dog.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules September, 2015

My Labradoodle stole half a watermelon off the counter tonight and ate the whole thing. It is good to know that it isn’t toxic. I will watch her, of course, for reactions. Right now she just looks pleased with herself.


Vickie August, 2015

I just started giving my dogs watermelon and they love it which surprised me since they don’t care for some fruits. I give them a little less than cup, they’ve have had no bad reaction to it. I have cooked chicken and beef for them since they were pups, making sure to remove fat and bones. I give them about a half cup meat with holistic dog kibble and usually put in carrots and/or green beans with it. I was wondering if giving them watermelon, for more than two days in a row, was safe. I just know that it’s hot and they like it.


Joe Hall July, 2015

Our dog has serious allergies and can’t eat much of anything, particularly any type of protein. She eats a special prescription food and never gets any kind of treat. Maybe it’s silly but it makes me sad. I gave her a few pieces of plain lettuce once and she loved it. Now I’m wondering about small quantities of watermelon, since it’s almost entirely water. Any thoughts on this?


Rosi July, 2015

Hi Joe. One of my Shih Tzu has a sensitive tummy and always reacts negatively, usually softish stools, when she’s consumed something that her digestive system isn’t accustomed to. After we moved from England to Cyprus, where the weather is very hot, especially now, I have been giving her a lot of watermelon. She loves it and her tummy is better too.

If I were you, I would start with a small chunk and watch. I would, though, not give it to her 2 hours before or after her regular meal. You know how it’s bad for us to stuff everything in our stomach in one go; it’s the same for them. Just give watermelon as a snack. I wouldn’t even ask my vet because they don’t know everything. When it comes to prescribing meds they are good but as soon as you ask for other advice, they aren’t decisive. Good luck!


Shawn June, 2015

We give our dogs a lot of ‘people’ food, such as greens. My dogs love Bok Choy and they actually get mad if they don’t get some after their dinner. Watermelon would also be a great treat.


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