Summer Food Guide: Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

As pet parents, we’re always on the lookout for healthy, refreshing treats to delight our canine companions, especially during the warm summer months. One fruit that often piques our curiosity is watermelon – a juicy, sweet delight that humans adore. But is watermelon good for dogs and can they safely indulge in this summertime favorite? The answer is a resounding yes, with a few important caveats.

Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs?

The good news is that watermelon is generally considered a safe and healthy treat for most dogs, provided certain precautions are taken. This nutrient-dense fruit is low in calories, fat-free, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can provide a beneficial boost to your pup’s diet. From vitamins A, B6, and C to potassium, watermelon offers a treasure trove of nourishment.

Preparing Watermelon for Your Dog

To ensure your dog’s safe enjoyment of watermelon, it’s important to take the necessary precautions when preparing the fruit. Begin by thoroughly washing the watermelon to remove any surface contaminants. Next, carefully remove the tough green rind and black seeds, as these can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages if consumed.

Once the watermelon has been properly prepared, you can serve it to your dog in a variety of ways:

Watermelon Chunks

Slice the pink, fleshy part of the watermelon into bite-sized chunks, approximately 1 inch by 1 inch by 1/4 inch thick. These small pieces are perfect for small and large breeds alike, allowing your dog to safely enjoy the refreshing treat.

Frozen Watermelon Treats

For a cool and hydrating summertime snack, try freezing the watermelon chunks. This not only provides a refreshing texture but also helps to slow down the consumption, preventing your dog from gobbling it down too quickly.

dog licking a pupsicle that looks like watermelon

Watermelon Puree

Blend the watermelon flesh into a smooth puree, then freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray or silicone mold. These frozen “watermelon popsicles” make for a delightful and nutritious treat that can be added to your dog’s regular meal or served as a standalone snack.

Watermelon Ice Cream & Smoothies

Take the watermelon puree a step further by blending it with other dog-safe fruits, such as bananas or berries, and plain, unsweetened yogurt. This creates a creamy, nutrient-dense smoothie that can be a refreshing addition to your pup’s diet. Freeze it for a few hours or overnight and turn it into an ice cream treat for your dog.

Recommended Serving Sizes

When it comes to portion control, it’s important to remember that watermelon, like any treat, should only make up a small percentage of your dog’s overall diet. As a general guideline, PetMD recommends the following serving sizes based on your dog’s weight:

  • Extra-small dogs (2-20 lbs): 1-2 slices of watermelon
  • Small dogs (21-30 lbs): 2-3 slices of watermelon
  • Medium dogs (31-50 lbs): 5-6 slices of watermelon
  • Large dogs (51-90 lbs): a handful of watermelon slices
  • Extra-large dogs (91+ lbs): a large handful of watermelon slices

It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size for your individual dog, taking into account factors such as age, health status, and dietary needs.

The Benefits of Watermelon for Dogs

Aside from being a delicious and refreshing treat, watermelon offers a wealth of nutritional benefits for our canine companions. This juicy fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B5, B6, and C, as well as important minerals like potassium and magnesium. Additionally, watermelon is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and lycopene, which can support overall health and well-being.

Perhaps one of the most notable advantages of watermelon is its high water content, which can help keep your dog hydrated, especially on hot summer days. While watermelon should not be considered a replacement for your dog’s regular water intake, it can be a tasty and supplementary way to boost their hydration levels.

Potential Risks and Precautions

It’s crucial to be mindful of a few potential risks associated with feeding watermelon to your canine companion. The seeds and rinds of the fruit can pose a serious threat, as they may cause intestinal blockages or digestive upset if consumed. It’s therefore essential to thoroughly remove all seeds and rinds before offering watermelon to your dog.

Additionally, while watermelon is generally low in calories, it does contain natural sugars. Owners of dogs with diabetes or weight issues should consult their veterinarian before incorporating watermelon into their pet’s diet, as the sugar content could potentially be problematic.

If your dog does happen to consume an excessive amount of watermelon, be on the lookout for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as decreased appetite, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea. Should you observe any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance and proper treatment.

two small dogs enjoying watermelon slices

Frequently Asked Questions

To address some of the most common searches regarding watermelon and dogs, here are a few frequently asked questions:

Can dogs eat watermelon rind?

No, dogs should never consume watermelon rind. The tough, fibrous texture of the rind can cause digestive issues and pose a severe risk of intestinal blockage or choking.

Can dogs eat watermelon seeds?

While watermelon seeds are not toxic to dogs, they can present a choking hazard and potentially cause intestinal blockages if ingested. It’s best to remove all seeds before offering watermelon to your pup. Even seedless watermelons contain white seeds which don’t present as much of a choking hazard but still should be avoided since they can potentially cause stomach upset.

Why do dogs like watermelon?

Dogs are drawn to the sweet, juicy flavor of watermelon, much like their human counterparts. Additionally, the high water content and refreshing nature of watermelon make it an appealing treat, especially during hot weather.

How much watermelon can a dog eat?

The appropriate portion size of watermelon for your dog will depend on their size, age, and overall health. As a general guideline, watermelon should account for no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake, with the remaining 90% coming from a balanced, nutritious diet.


In conclusion, watermelon can be a safe and healthy treat for dogs when served in moderation and with proper preparation. By removing the seeds and rinds, and offering watermelon in appropriate portion sizes, pet parents can provide their canine companions with a refreshing and nutritious summertime delight. As with any new food, it’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian before introducing watermelon to your dog’s diet, ensuring their optimal health and well-being.