Many of us try to sneak more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets because we know how healthy they are, and our parents have told us to eat them from a young age. It is no surprise then that pet parents are more interested in adding nutritious plant foods into our pets’ diets. However, this doesn’t come without risks, as some fruits, such as grapes, which are super healthy for humans, are toxic to dogs.
For this reason, pet parents need to do their research before feeding their dogs human food.
But, can dogs eat cantaloupe? Cantaloupe is one of the most consumed fruits in the United States and is a juicy summer treat. But, is it safe for dogs? This article will give you the ins and outs of feeding cantaloupe to dogs, any risks associated with this fruit, and how to prepare cantaloupe for your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is a safe food for dogs and can be enjoyed as a tasty treat. There are no known toxins within any portion of the cantaloupe fruit, and the vitamins and minerals in this fruit may be nutritious for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Rind?
It is not recommended to feed your dog cantaloupe rind. The rind is tough and difficult to digest. For this reason, feeding the rind to dogs may cause an upset stomach. If your dog ingests large chunks of cantaloupe rind, it could even cause an intestinal blockage, a life-threatening condition that could require emergency surgery. Cantaloupe rinds can also pose a choking hazard to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Seeds?
As previously stated, no part of the cantaloupe is known to be toxic to dogs. You can give a few cantaloupe seeds to your dog here and there. However, the seeds do contain high amounts of fat. For this reason, you should not feed large quantities of cantaloupe seeds to your dog as it may lead to weight gain, an upset stomach, and may unbalance their diet.
Benefits of Cantaloupe for Dogs
As is the case with most fruits and vegetables, cantaloupe is chock full of nutritious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may benefit your dog’s health. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, potassium and magnesium .
Vitamins A and C are both antioxidants that improve cellular health and play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin A is also crucial for vision. Potassium is an electrolyte and is necessary for muscle contractions and normal kidney, heart and nerve function. Magnesium is important for numerous cellular functions throughout the body.
While the benefits of eating cantaloupe have not been explicitly studied in dogs, in humans, cantaloupe is known to have a wide range of health-promoting properties. These include anti-cancer, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, liver-protecting and stomach protecting properties .
Cantaloupe is also a low-calorie food, containing only 54 calories per cup, and can be helpful as a part of a weight-loss program if you substitute your regular dog treats with this fruit .
Potential Dangers of Cantaloupe for Dogs
There aren’t many dangers or risks associated with feeding dogs cantaloupe. However, it is always best to talk to your veterinarian before feeding any new foods to your dog. If your dog has a chronic condition, such as diabetes, your veterinarian may recommend against feeding cantaloupe due to its relatively high sugar content.
As previously mentioned, cantaloupe rinds can pose a choking and intestinal obstruction risk for your dog, so rinds should never be fed to them.
When feeding your dog cantaloupe, moderation is key. Most veterinary nutritionists agree that any foods added to your dog’s regular diet should not make up more than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake. The good news is that cantaloupe is low in calories, so you would need to feed a large amount of cantaloupe to most dogs to lead to an unbalanced diet.
As with any new food, start by feeding your dog a minimal amount of cantaloupe and wait a day or two to ensure that this fruit doesn’t upset their stomach.
How to Prepare Cantaloupe for Dogs
When preparing cantaloupe for your dog, thoroughly wash the rind before slicing the fruit, as there have been previous outbreaks of food poisoning associated with dirty cantaloupe rinds . Once the rind is washed, slice the cantaloupe, scoop out the seeds (a few left behind won’t hurt), and cut off and discard the rind. Then you can cut the fruit flesh into bite-sized cubes.
You can serve cantaloupe by itself as a tasty treat or put it on top of your dog’s regular food to make it more exciting for her. When it’s hot outside, try offering frozen cubes or balls of cantaloupe flesh to your pup to cool her off!