Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? What to Know About This Hydrating Summer Fruit


Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? What to Know About This Hydrating Summer Fruit

Wondering if your dog can eat watermelon? Both you and your dog can enjoy this non-toxic, good-for-you summer snack safely with these tips.
By Sarah Gerrity Medically Reviewed by Jenna Stregowski, RVT Updated March 09, 2023 Medically Reviewed by Jenna Stregowski, RVT Advertisement Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print jack russell terrier begging for watermelon
jack russell terrier begging for watermelon Credit: Getty

On This Page

  • Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
  • How Much Watermelon Can My Dog Eat?
  • What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon?
  • What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

Whether you're looking for a healthy treat to share with your four-legged friend on a hot summer day or you accidentally left a bowl of fresh watermelon within your dog's reach, you might be wondering if dogs can eat watermelon. The good news is there's not much to worry about when it comes to dogs eating this juicy fruit—watermelon is a safe treat for dogs. But keep in mind the veterinarian guidance below when it comes to watermelon and your pup's healthiest life.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

The answer is yes, dogs can eat watermelon—but with a few limits. "Watermelon is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, as long as the rind and seeds aren't eaten," says Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, and senior director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Watermelon rinds and seeds can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, upset stomach, or intestinal blockages—so remove them before sharing any watermelon with your dog.

How Much Watermelon Can My Dog Eat?

Moderation, as Wismer says, is key. Like many other fruits, too much watermelon can cause loose stool, so it's best to offer your pup a few small pieces of watermelon with the rind and seeds removed, and then keep an eye on them to ensure it agrees with their stomach. Treats (healthy ones included) should only account for 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

Feed watermelon to your dog in small chunks to avoid choking hazards, and keep those rinds and seeds out of reach.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon?

Watermelon is packed full of vitamins A, C, B6, and B1, as well as calcium and potassium, which is helpful for your pup's immune system. According to the USDA, watermelon clocks in at about 92-percent water, so having your dog snack on watermelon can help them stay hydrated on a hot day. But because of its high water content, Wismer advises that your dog might need to go out more often. Be sure you keep an eye on your pup if they don't have ready access to the outside.

Watermelon is also fairly high in sugar, so it's best to limit watermelon to a tasty, once-in-a-while treat. You can even freeze a few chunks (or make our watermelon mint popsicle recipe) and feed your dog a nice cool treat when it's extra warm out.

No matter the time of year, watermelon is a great treat to share with your dog, but like most fruits, less is more. Introduce watermelon to your pup in small amounts and infrequently. Your dog will love this refreshing, nutrition-packed snack.

What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

While watermelon is one of the best options for human foods to share with your dog, there are a variety of safe (and not-so-safe!) fruits for dogs. When feeding your dog any human food, only do so in moderation as most of their caloric intake should come from their balanced dog food.

Generally Safe Fruits for Dogs

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges (peeled, only in small amounts)
  • Tangerines (peeled, only in small amounts)
  • Mango (remove the pit and cut up into small pieces)
  • Cranberries
  • Bananas (remove the peel)
  • Pineapple (high in sugar, so small amounts)
  • Apples (remove the seeds and core)
  • Cucumber
  • Peaches (pit removed)
  • Raspberries

Fruits That Are Not Safe for Dogs

Never under any circumstances feed your dog grapes or raisins, as these are toxic for dogs and can even cause kidney failure. Other fruits that can cause health problems in large quantities include:

  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Green tomatoes
  • Fruit pits from cherries, peaches, plums, & nectarines, which contain cyanide
  • Any fruit covered or dipped in chocolate

RELATED: 10 Toxic Human Foods Dogs & Cats Should Never Eat

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