Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Julia Henriques
can dogs eat watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious, healthy, and refreshing summer treat. So it’s only natural to wonder whether your furry friend can also partake in this tasty fruit…

So can dogs eat watermelon? 

The answer is yes, dogs can eat watermelon, but with some precautions. Read on to explore everything you need to know about the safety of watermelon for dogs … including how much they can eat, and the potential risks and benefits of this fruit for your canine companion.

Is Watermelon Safe For Dogs?

Watermelon is generally considered safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. However, there are two important things you’ll want to keep in mind before feeding watermelon to your dog.

First, dogs should only eat the flesh of the watermelon. This means the seeds and rinds of watermelon should be removed before giving it to your dog. Watermelon seeds can be a choking hazard, and the rinds are difficult for dogs to digest. Watermelon rinds also contain a compound called cucurbitacin, which can cause stomach upset in dogs.

Second, watermelon is high in sugar, which can be a problem for dogs with diabetes. If your dog has diabetes, it’s best to ask your veterinarian before giving him watermelon or other fruits. 

How Much Watermelon Can Dogs Eat?

When introducing watermelon to your dog's diet, it’s best to start with small amounts and see how he reacts. A small chunk or two of watermelon a day is a good starting point. As with any new food, it’s important to monitor your dog for any adverse reactions like diarrhea or vomiting.

Also, keep in mind that even for non-diabetic dogs, watermelon and other fruits are still best fed as an occasional treat, rather than a daily staple, because of the high sugar content. 

Watermelon For Dogs | Risks Of Overfeeding

While watermelon is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, overfeeding it can lead to several risks. Here are a few potential risks to keep in mind when feeding watermelon to your dog:

Weight Gain
Watermelon is low in calories but high in sugar, so overfeeding it to your dog can still contribute to weight gain. This is more of a risk factor if your dog is already overweight or obese, as obesity carries its own risk of related health problems (diabetes, joint problems, heart disease, etc). While feeding a bit of watermelon every once in a while isn’t going to make your dog’s weight “blow up” overnight, it's still important to keep an eye on your dog's weight and adjust his diet accordingly.

The high water content in watermelon can be a blessing (as we’ll see later) or a curse. Too much watermelon can cause diarrhea in dogs and create imbalance in the digestive system. To be on the safe side, monitor your dog's stools after introducing watermelon to his diet and adjust the amount you’re feeding accordingly.

Stomach Upset
As mentioned earlier, the rinds of watermelon contain a compound called cucurbitacin, which can cause stomach upset in dogs. This is why it’s crucial to only feed the fleshy fruit of the watermelon - not the rinds. You’ll know if your dog has an upset stomach because it will typically come with other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. 

5 Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Dogs

While there are risks to keep in mind when feeding watermelon to dogs, there are also several benefits. Here are five potential health benefits of watermelon for dogs:

1. Hydration And Water Content

Watermelon is over 90% water, making it an excellent source of hydration for dogs. This can be particularly beneficial during the hot summer months or for dogs that are prone to dehydration. The high water content in watermelon can also help keep your dog's skin and coat healthy, as well as promote healthy urine production and prevent urinary tract infections.

2. Vitamin C

Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, which means it can support your dog's immune system in protecting him from infection and disease.  

3. Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision and skin health in dogs. Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A that may keep your dog's eyes healthy, and promote healthy skin and coat. Vitamin A is also important for your dog's reproductive and urinary systems.

4. Anti-inflammatory

Watermelon contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation in dogs. Since inflammation is a root cause of so many health problems, anti-inflammatory compounds may help reduce the risk of many illnesses in your dog. 

RELATED: Anti-inflammatory foods for dogs

5. Low in Calories

Finally, watermelon is low in calories, making it a good option if you’re trying to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. If your dog is overweight or obese and you’re trying to help him lose weight, it can sometimes be tricky to get him all the nutrients he needs while in a calorie restricted diet. Since watermelon is both nutrient-dense and low in calories, it can be a great option to keep your dog healthy and well-nourished during the weight loss process (but keep in mind the high sugar content we mentioned earlier, and don’t overdo it).


We’ve gotten a few other questions from pet owners over the years when it comes to feeding dogs watermelon. Here are some of the most common:

Can Diabetic Dogs Eat Watermelon?Watermelon is high in sugar, which means it’s generally not a great choice for dogs with diabetes. If your dog has diabetes, it is best to ask your veterinarian before feeding watermelon.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
No, dogs should not eat watermelon seeds. They can be a choking hazard and can also cause stomach upset. Make sure to remove all seeds from the watermelon before giving it to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?
No, dogs should not eat watermelon rinds. The rinds are difficult for dogs to digest and can also contain a compound called cucurbitacin, which can cause stomach upset. It is best to remove the rinds before giving watermelon to your dog.

Can Puppies Eat Watermelon?
Puppies can eat watermelon, but it is best to introduce it to their diet slowly and in small amounts. As with any new food, monitor your puppy for any adverse reactions. And again, make sure to remove the seeds and rinds before giving them watermelon.

Bottom Line | Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon can be a safe and healthy treat for dogs in small amounts. However, it's important to remove the seeds and rinds, and to monitor your dog for adverse reactions. If your dog has diabetes, it’s best not to feed them watermelon or to at least consult with your vet first. All in all, watermelon can provide many benefits such as hydration, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory compounds for your dog.

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