Hot temperatures can cause much discomfort. To cool off, humans reach for ice cream or water.
Your dog, too, is affected adversely by hot weather. At such times, it’s important that you help it keep its body hydrated adequately.
In the world of fruits, one super fruit can help you do this – the watermelon! This fruit constitutes of up to 92% water. Thus, it is a powerful weapon against dehydration.
What is Watermelon?
The watermelon is fruit that has been around since the advent of agriculture and cultivation. Ancient records show that this fruit has been on our dinner tables from as far back as 3,000 years ago.
The earliest records put it in China and India. It traversed the vast Asia continent and had planted roots in Europe by the 15th century.
In American, the fruit came through the European colonialists and traders. As such, this fruit is no stranger to us.
But, is this fruit safe for your dog? Does it have any benefits? This is the crux of this article.
Is Watermelon Good for Your Dog?
Yes, watermelon is one of the most beneficial fruits for your canine companion. This fruit contains strong nutrients that are of immense benefit to your dog.
For example, it is rich in Vitamins C, B6, and A. It also has high levels of fiber, which is good for the digestive system. This fiber also helps mitigate the adverse effect of sugar present in the watermelon.
In addition, this fruit is low in sodium, calories, cholesterol, and fats. This means that it is a better choice than the nutrients you can get from your local pet store.
The lycopene present in this fruit helps your dog combat cancer, fatigue, and lethargy.
In a nutshell, watermelon is good for your dog because it provides them with many benefits:
- Vitamins A, C, and B6
Can your Dog Eat Watermelon Daily?
Watermelon cannot be used as a substitute for the main meal. Also, you should give it to your dog in moderation, just like with all other foods.
The best thing to do is to give watermelon as a treat or a snack. Even so, don’t feed it to your dog daily. In fact, your dog will appreciate it most when you give it occasionally on those hot summer days.
Otherwise, there’s nothing that compels you to feed your dog watermelon daily.
What Are the Health Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelon is safe for your dog when given in moderation. They are a healthy option to the many of the dog food nutrients you encounter in the market.
With the watermelon, you cannot go wrong. Here are some of the health benefits you should expect.
- Stronger Bones
Watermelon enhances the production of proteins. Also, it creates an environment conducive for the operations of the enzymes. All these work in tandem to fortify your dog’s bones.
- Powerful antioxidants
These antioxidants are important in neutralizing the effects of free radicals. This contributes to the overall performance of the dog’s immune system. Also, they neutralize the effect of diabetes, cancer, and disorders of the nerves.
- Helps with digestive issues
Watermelon is good in preventing constipation and other such related complications. It enhances the body’s metabolism, thereby helping your pet to keep its weight in check.
- Aids the circulatory system
Watermelon enhances the function of the red blood cells to carry oxygen around the dog’s system. It inhibits clotting, and its water adds to the blood plasma.
- Enhances the functions of hormones
The watermelon boosts that performance of the thyroid gland. As such, the thyroid gland is able to carry out its function of producing quality hormones.
- Replenishes lost water
Watermelon is up to 92% water. As such, it helps your dog to combat dehydration.
The Preparation of Watermelons
Dogs cannot eat watermelon as a whole fruit. The dog’s jaws are too small, and they are not adapted to this task.
This means that you have to prepare the watermelon in a way that the dogs won’t have issues chewing it. Here are the key tips of doing this:
- Cut the watermelon into 1-inch slices. Ensure that they are wedge-shaped.
- Remove the seeds and rind. These can cause digestive problems if the dog eats them. Also, the rinds don’t add any value to the dog’s nutritional requirements.
- Serve the watermelon as a snack or treat, preferably after meals.
Are Watermelons Good for Puppies?
It’s okay to give your puppy watermelons. Although the puppy may not like the taste initially, it will get used to it with enough exposure.
However, remember not to overdo it. Just like with adult dogs, puppies will suffer if you over-feed them watermelons. The only difference is that puppies will suffer more severely.
The reason for this is obvious – puppies have smaller stomachs. In addition, remember to cut the watermelon into small, manageable slices
The Impact of Giving Your Dog Too Much Watermelon
Too much of something is dangerous. This applies to your dog and watermelons as with anything else.
If your dog takes too much watermelon, it’s bound to suffer adverse effects. Remember, moderation is the key, regardless of what you are feeding your dog.
Over-feeding your dog watermelon messes up its system in a number of ways. Let’s have a look at the more serious ones.
As noted earlier, a watermelon comprises 92% water. As such, giving too much of this fruit to your dog is bound to make it suffer increased urination. This is bad news for the health of its bladder.
Dogs can’t digest fruits as easily as they can other fruits. This means that they can experience diarrhea even with modest servings. Imagine, then, how much more serious this problem could be with too much serving of watermelon!
Feeding your dogs too much watermelon will make its stomach expand. This is referred to as stomach bloat.
A dog suffering from this condition is likely to have multiple problems in its body. You see, the problem of dog bloat is not just confined to the stomach. It affects the other internal organs. Thus, your dog will suffer any/all of the following:
- Poor blood flow
- Tear on stomach walls
- Challenges in breathing
- Loose stool
- Pressure on the liver, lungs, and heart
- Poor performance
It’s always good to consult your vet before you introduce any human food to your pet. The same goes for watermelon. Your vet or nutritionist is best placed to give you good advice on how much your dog requires.
Also, not all dogs should take watermelons. Some pets have predisposing medical conditions that make watermelon as a snack, not such a great idea.