Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? The Juicy Answer Pet Owners Need 

can dogs eat watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit enjoyed by humans during the warm summer months. But can our canine companions also partake in this sweet treat? Like many human foods, watermelon may be safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

The purpose of this article is to provide dog owners with a comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of feeding watermelon to dogs.

We’ll discuss the nutritional value watermelon may offer dogs, potential benefits, and any risks to be aware of. You’ll also find tips for serving watermelon to dogs safely.

Watermelon is mostly made up of water and sugars, with small amounts of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B6.

It’s generally considered a healthy snack for humans thanks to its high water content. But is it equally healthy and safe for dogs? Let’s take a closer look at the effects of watermelon on canines.

Nutritional Value

Watermelon is low in calories but packed with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide substantial nutritional value. 

– Watermelon is over 90% water, making it very low in calories. Just one cup of watermelon contains only around 46 calories.

– It provides significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. One serving of watermelon has over 12% of your daily vitamin C needs, over 17% for vitamin A, and over 5% for potassium.

– Watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene, which gives watermelon its red color. Lycopene has been linked to heart health, cancer prevention, and skin protection from UV damage.  

– It also contains citrulline, an amino acid that may help reduce muscle soreness and improve blood flow. Watermelon rind specifically contains high levels of citrulline.

– Other nutrients found in watermelon include vitamin B6, vitamin B1, magnesium, and antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. 

– The seeds are also edible and nutrient-dense, providing protein, fat, fiber, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and more.

So while low in calories, watermelon provides plenty of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It packs a nutritious punch in every bite.


Watermelon is an exceptionally healthy fruit for dogs. It provides several important benefits:

1) Hydration – Watermelon is over 90% water, making it great for hydrating your dog on hot summer days.

The juicy flesh and liquid content will help keep your dog well-hydrated. This can help prevent overheating and urinary tract problems.

2) Nutrients – Watermelon contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. The vitamin A in watermelon keeps your dog’s immune system strong and maintains healthy vision.

Vitamin C supports immune function and helps absorb iron. Potassium helps regulate fluid balance.

3) Low Calorie – With only 30 calories per cup, watermelon is a nutritious, low-calorie snack or treat option for dogs.

The high water content means it has very little fat or sugar. This makes watermelon ideal for dogs on a diet or those prone to weight gain. A few bites of watermelon can satisfy your dog’s cravings without a lot of calories.


While watermelon can be a healthy snack for dogs, there are some risks to be aware of.

Choking Hazard

One of the biggest risks of giving watermelon to dogs is the choking hazard. Watermelon has a soft flesh but a fairly tough rind.

Make sure to remove all rind and seeds before feeding watermelon to your dog, as the hard pieces can become a choking risk. 

Cut any watermelon pieces into small, bite-sized chunks appropriate for your dog’s size. Don’t allow your dog to scarf down big chunks of watermelon quickly.

The flesh can also present a choking risk if it forms a large, cohesive mass. Always monitor your dog when giving watermelon as a treat.

Digestive Issues

Eating too much watermelon could lead to digestive upset in some dogs. Watermelon is very high in water content, which can cause loose stools if a dog eats too much in one sitting.

The natural sugars in watermelon could also cause diarrhea, especially in dogs not accustomed to digesting high-sugar foods. Limit watermelon to just a few small pieces at a time when first introducing it.

Additionally, the seeds of a watermelon can cause intestinal blockage if swallowed by a dog. Make sure all seeds are removed before feeding the watermelon.

If your dog experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of stomach distress after eating watermelon, withhold it for a few days then try reintroducing a small amount.

If symptoms recur, consult your veterinarian. Some dogs may have sensitivities to the sugars or digestive trouble with watermelon.

Serving Tips

When feeding watermelon to dogs, it’s important to remove the rind and seeds first, as they can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Cut the watermelon into small, bite-sized pieces to prevent choking. Watermelon should always be fed in moderation as too much can lead to diarrhea.

Some tips for serving watermelon to dogs:

– Remove rind – The thick, green rind is tough to chew and difficult to digest for dogs. Slice off all the rinds before feeding the watermelon.

– Remove seeds – Watermelon seeds could cause intestinal blockage or other issues if swallowed whole. Remove seeds from watermelon before giving it to dogs.

– Cut into small pieces – Cut the watermelon flesh into small, bite-sized cubes. Large chunks are a choking hazard for dogs. 

– Feed in moderation – Watermelon is safe for dogs but should be fed as an occasional treat. Too much can lead to diarrhea or upset stomach. Limit watermelon to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

– Supervise your dog – When first introducing watermelon, supervise your dog to make sure they are chewing properly. Don’t allow them to scarf it down too quickly.

– Use small amounts at first – Start with just a few small pieces to see how your dog tolerates it. Slowly increase the amount if no adverse effects.

– Avoid frozen watermelon – Feed watermelon at room temperature or slightly chilled, not frozen. Hard frozen pieces could damage teeth.

By removing the rind, and seeds, and cutting watermelon into manageable pieces, you can safely share this nutritious and hydrating treat with your dog! Just be sure to provide in moderation.

Alternatives to Watermelon

If you want to avoid giving your dog too much watermelon or are looking for other hydrating, low-calorie treats, consider these alternatives:

Other Fruits and Veggies

– Cucumber: Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content. The crunchy texture can help clean dogs’ teeth. Feed in moderation.

– Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries provide important antioxidants. They are lower in sugar than other fruits. Rinse thoroughly before serving.

– Melon: Cantaloupe, honeydew, and other melons are hydrating choices. Select fully ripe melons and remove the rind and seeds first.

– Apple: Apples offer fiber, vitamin C, and quercetin. Cut into slices and core before feeding to remove choking hazards.

– Carrots: Low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Offer baby carrots or slices of raw carrots. Avoid cooked carrots, which are higher in sugar.

Store-Bought Treats 

– Frozen fruit: Look for unsweetened varieties of frozen banana, mango, pineapple, or melon chunks. Defrost before serving.

– Dental chews: Select a brand made in the USA with recognizable ingredients. Look for limited fat and calories. Supervise your dog with any chew.

– Dehydrated sweet potato: Naturally dried sweet potato slices offer crunch and fiber. Check the ingredient list for added salt, sugar, oils, etc.

– Frozen yogurt: Pick a brand made especially for dogs with live cultures and no added sweeteners. Check calorie count.

No matter what treat you offer, monitor your dog for signs of an upset stomach or allergic reaction. Introduce new foods slowly and in moderation.

Signs of Trouble

While watermelon is generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation, there are some signs of trouble to look out for after feeding it to your dog. The most common side effects are:

– Vomiting: If your dog throws up after eating watermelon, it likely ate too much too quickly before properly chewing and digesting it. The high water content can cause an upset stomach when large amounts are consumed.

– Diarrhea: Similar to vomiting, diarrhea can occur if too much watermelon is eaten, causing loose stools and gastrointestinal upset. The seeds and rind contain digestive irritants that can also cause diarrhea in some dogs.

– Lethargy: Some dogs may experience low energy or fatigue after eating watermelon due to digestive issues. If the fruit ferments, it can also cause gas or bloating which makes your dog uncomfortable and lethargic.

Monitor your dog after introducing watermelon and look for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or behaving like it doesn’t feel well.

These are indicators you should feed watermelon in smaller portions next time or avoid it altogether if your dog seems sensitive.

Mild cases resolve on their own as the watermelon digests, but contact your vet if signs persist longer than 24 hours.

Slow introductions with small amounts are recommended when first giving watermelon to avoid adverse reactions.

When to Avoid Feeding Watermelon to Dogs

Watermelon is not recommended for all dogs. Here are some cases where you may want to avoid feeding watermelon to your dog:


Watermelon may cause loose stools or diarrhea in puppies under 12 weeks old. Puppies have sensitive digestive systems that are still developing.

Too much watermelon can upset their stomachs. It’s best to wait until your puppy is a little older before introducing watermelon as an occasional treat in small amounts.

Dental Issues

Dogs with dental issues like periodontal disease should avoid watermelon and other sticky or chewy foods.

The sugars and acids in the fruit can irritate inflamed gums and damage teeth. Stick to wet food or dental treats until your dog’s dental health improves.


If your dog has a history of food allergies or sensitivities, use caution with new foods like watermelon.

Allergic reactions may include itching, hives, swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog shows any concerning symptoms after eating watermelon, discontinue feeding and contact your vet. Some dogs may be specifically allergic to melons.


The natural sugars in watermelon can cause blood sugar spikes in diabetic dogs. It’s best to avoid watermelon entirely if your dog has diabetes.

Consult with your veterinarian about safer snack alternatives low in sugar. Controlling blood sugar levels is important for diabetic dogs’ health.

Other Health Issues

Check with your vet before feeding watermelon to dogs with kidney disease, bladder stones, incontinence, or other medical conditions.

The high water content could potentially worsen some conditions. Your vet can advise you based on your individual dog’s health status. When in doubt, avoid feeding watermelon.


Watermelon can make a tasty and refreshing treat for dogs and is easy to incorporate into homemade recipes. Here are some recipe ideas:

Frozen Watermelon Popsicles

– Blend watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor until smooth. 

– Pour into ice cube trays or popsicle molds.

– Freeze overnight.

– Pop out and serve to your dog for a cold summer treat!

Watermelon Dog Sorbet  

– Puree watermelon chunks in a blender.

– Add in a sprinkle of low-fat plain yogurt or coconut milk if desired. 

– Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.

– Serve as a refreshing frozen treat.

Watermelon Yogurt Bark

– Spread plain Greek yogurt on a baking sheet. 

– Arrange watermelon chunks on top.

– Freeze until solid, about 2-3 hours. 

– Break into pieces to serve.

Kibble Topper

– Dice watermelon into small pieces.

– Mix in with your dog’s regular kibble at mealtimes.

– Provides extra hydration and cools down their food on hot days.

Watermelon can make a nutritious and yummy addition to homemade dog treats and meals. Go light on any added sugars or dairy to prevent tummy upsets.


Watermelon can be a tasty and healthy snack for dogs when served in moderation. The water content helps keep dogs hydrated, while the nutrients like vitamins A and C provide antioxidant support.

Be cautious with the seeds and rind, as they can potentially cause intestinal blockage if swallowed.

Monitor your dog’s consumption and watch for any signs of gastrointestinal upset. As with any new food, introduce watermelon slowly and in small quantities at first. 

Watermelon works well as an occasional treat or mixer in a fruit salad for dogs. For regular feeding, use it sparingly and balance it with your dog’s main diet.

Avoid letting your dog eat watermelon close to mealtimes, as the water content can diminish their appetite.

Keep portions small, about 1-2 cubes for a large dog, and don’t allow them to eat the rind. Seeding the watermelon first is ideal. Lastly, always provide access to fresh drinking water when feeding watermelon or any treat.

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