Dog with watermelon in their mouth

Can dogs eat watermelon?

It’s good news for your canine pal, because watermelon is officially on the menu. With lots of health benefits for your dog, and only 46 calories per cupful, dogs can eat watermelon as a cool, refreshing treat. It’s the perfect snacking solution, especially in the summer when our dog friends are feeling the heat. We often wonder if we can share fruits and vegetables with our dog. While some can form part of your companion's diet or be used as occasional snacks, others can be toxic, so it’s important to be aware of the different rules for different varieties. Read to find out how this sweet, juicy and crunchy fruit gives your dog a nutrient boost while answering questions like can dogs eat watermelon seeds?

Is watermelon good for dogs?

Not only can your dog eat watermelon safely, but it can make a refreshing, hydrating treat for them. This said, like many other fruits and vegetables, watermelon should only be given to your dog in moderation and shouldn’t replace a healthy balanced diet. The goodness contained within watermelon includes:
  • Hydration - With 90% water content, watermelon can help aid your dog’s digestion, regulation of body temperature and joints.
  • Fibre - Watermelon is full of fibre, it can promote good gut bacteria in dogs and supports regular and fully-formed poops!
  • Potassium - Potassium is an electrolyte that creates a charge to power your dog’s heart, muscles and nervous system.
  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help counteract causes of degenerative diseases and ageing with dogs.
  • Vitamin A - Vitamin A can support skin health, good vision, bone growth and a healthy immune system.

  • Is watermelon safe for dogs?

    Some owners may wonder if watermelon is safe for dogs to eat and if they can feed their dog watermelon rind or skin. The answer is, as long as you remove the black seeds which can potentially cause an internal blockage, the flesh of a watermelon is safe for dogs to eat. Dogs should not eat the watermelon rind or skin though, as it’s too tough and may cause an upset tummy. Even if watermelon is generally safe for dogs, you should ask your vet whether your dog should eat it, as they may have specific needs or nutritional restrictions. Diabetic dogs should not eat watermelon due to its high sugar content and some dogs are allergic to it too. It’s also sensible to introduce new foods to your dog slowly, so you can keep a look out for signs of an intolerance or allergy, such as an upset stomach, itching or wheezing.

    Can dogs eat watermelon rind or skin?

    Watermelon rind or skin should not be eaten by dogs. The rind and skin is so thick and tough, your dog’s digestive system will find it incredibly difficult to break down. The result can often be a gastrointestinal upset, including bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Best to avoid watermelon rind and skin at all costs!

    Can dogs eat watermelon seeds or pips?

    No, dogs can’t eat watermelon seeds or pips as the sheer volume of them could cause an intestinal blockage that stops food or liquid from passing through to the small intestine or large intestine. One or two seeds swallowed accidentally won’t do too much harm though so don’t panic if you haven’t been able to remove every single seed.

    How much watermelon can I give my dog?

    A tea cup full of watermelon is approximately the correct amount to feed your dog if they are a medium or large breed such as a spaniel, labrador or a hunting hound such as a vizsla. Smaller dogs like terriers or cockapoos should only eat around half this amount. Watermelon, like a lot of other human foods such as pineapplecucumber and peppers should only be fed to your dog as a treat or occasional snack. Eating too much watermelon in one go can cause diarrhoea.

    Can dogs eat frozen watermelon?

    Yes, dogs can eat chunks of frozen watermelon and it’s a great snack for cooling them down in bothersome heat. Don’t be tempted, however, to freeze anything but fresh watermelon, as canned or pre-prepared varieties can contain added sugar, or even preservatives and sweeteners that are toxic for dogs.

    How to feed your dog watermelon

    Watermelon should be deseeded, the rind and skin removed and the flesh cut into chunks before it is fed to your dog. There are lots of fun ways to prepare this refreshing canine snack, particularly suited to a hot summer’s day, some ideas can be found below:

    Frozen watermelon cubes

    A fun way for dogs to eat frozen watermelon is to puree deseeded chunks before spooning the mixture into an ice tray, and freezing to create frozen watermelon cubes. Pop one or two out as a crunchy, cooling treat for your dog on a summer’s day.

    Watermelon ice cream

    Dogs can eat frozen watermelon as an ice cream made by blending deseeded chunks of watermelon with organic Greek yoghurt (check the ingredients to make sure nothing is added including artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol which is toxic for dogs) before freezing and then spooning out a portion as a treat. Now you know that your dog can eat watermelon, why not find out more about other healthy dog treats and more generally what you can and can’t feed your dog in our dedicated articles.

    We also have lots of useful information around other types of foods your dogs may or may not be able to eat: