Summer’s here! Which means carts full of healthy and refreshing treats for you and your dog on those hot sunny days.
Some of your treats may even be the same … such as apples, berries or cantaloupe.
But what about watermelon? Can dogs eat watermelon?
The short answer is yes! But before you serve watermelon to your dog, there are some things you need to know. Otherwise your dog may find watermelon to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Before I get into that, let’s talk about why watermelon is a good choice for your dog.
The Health Benefits Of Watermelon
Watermelons are full of goodness …
- Vitamins like A, B6 and C
- 92% water
- High in fiber
- Low in Calories
- Low in sodium
- Fat free
- Cholesterol free
Which means they have many health benefits that make them the perfect addition to your dog’s dish.
But there’s one more major reason watermelon is so great for your dog … and that’s lycopene.
How Lycopene In Watermelon Helps Your Dog
Like quercetin, lycopene is a carotenoid … a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their color. It’s found in …
It’s what makes them red or pink.
It’s also a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. But there’s even more lycopene does to make watermelon good for dogs.
Protect Skin From Sunburns
Like you, your dog can get sunburnt. But it isn’t as easy to protect your dog from the sun’s harsh rays.
Sure … there’s dog-safe sunscreen. But even those aren’t all that safe.
Luckily there are ways to protect his skin naturally.
- Don’t shave your dog.
- Limit how long your dog’s in the sun.
- Stay inside when the sun’s the strongest (11 am to 4 pm).
You can also feed whole foods rich in lycopene for natural protection.
While these foods can’t replace sunscreen or smart sun practices, they can give your dog’s natural SPF a boost.
In one study researchers fed participants tomato products rich in lycopene. After 10-12 weeks they tested the participants’ skin and it was less sensitive to sunburn.
RELATED: 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Need Sunscreen …
Control Blood Pressure
There are two types of hypertension (or high blood pressure) …
Primary hypertension which has no clear cause and is rare in dogs.
And secondary hypertension, which is a result of a medical problem. This form of hypertension is more common in dogs and can be a side effect of …
- Cushing’s disease
- Endocrine disease
- Glomerular disease
…and many more.
If your dog has high blood pressure, diets rich in lycopene may help. This is because lycopene can have a positive effect on systolic blood pressure.
We mentioned earlier that watermelon is low in cholesterol. But this isn’t the only way watermelon helps manage cholesterol levels.
Lycopene also plays a role. It can decrease total serum cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
So, while dogs don’t often have high cholesterol, keep lycopene-rich foods in mind if your dog does suffer from it.
Like other carotenoids, lycopene has cancer preventive properties. And this is because it’s a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants stabilize free radicals. And this prevents cell damage that can lead to cancer.
Many studies show that lycopene may play a role in the prevention and treatment of cancers such as …
- Renal cell carcinoma
- Stomach cancer
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
Now that you know some of the many reasons why watermelon is good for your dog, let’s talk about how to safely feed it to him.
How To Feed Watermelon To Your Dog
While watermelon rinds and seeds aren’t toxic … they can cause gastrointestinal upset and even blockages.
A blockage happens when seeds or rind get stuck in the digestive tract. They can cause partial or complete blockages and stop fluids and solids that travel through.
In some cases, the object can perforate the digestive tract, which leads to even more problems.
If your dog eats watermelon rinds or seeds by accident, you will want to watch for signs of a blockage …
- Doesn’t want to eat
- Less responsive
- Tacky or sticky gums from dehydration
- Belly is sensitive to touch
If your dog shows any of these symptoms and they progressively worsen, reach out to your vet.
RELATED: When To Worry About Your Dog’s Bowel Obstruction …
Watermelon Should Be A Treat
Watermelon’s a healthy option for your dog but … he should only have small amounts.
Watermelon contains a lot of sugar. And too much sugar in your dogs diet can cause big problems for your dog:
Not to mention, sugar feeds bad bacteria, yeasts and parasites.
RELATED: How Hidden Sugars In Your Dog’s Food Are Making Him Sick
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Yes, your dog can eat watermelon. But don’t forget to remove the seeds and rind. And don’t share too much.
That way your dog can reap all the healthy rewards without the risk.