We all love to treat our dogs to the occasional titbit and there are lots of human foods that dogs can safely enjoy in moderation. But some foods can be extremely toxic to dogs, even in very small amounts. So, you should always check whether or not a food is poisonous to dogs before feeding it. But what about watermelon? Is it safe to feed your German Shepherd? Read on to find out more about this juicy summer fruit.
Watermelon is an edible fruit that is actually a very large berry. The outer hard rind is green and the juicy flesh is dark red to pink in color. They usually contain lots of small black seeds although there are also seedless varieties.
Watermelon is packed full of nutrients and vitamins that are known to provide a number of health benefits to people. When fed in moderation, watermelon can provide these same nutrients to dogs. So, what exactly is in watermelon that makes it a good choice of treat for your GSD?
Watermelon is rich in potassium which is an essential mineral within the body. It plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis which allows the entire body to function. It is also essential for nerve and muscle function. This makes it ideal for feeding as a treat after exercise.
This vitamin helps to maintain healthy skin and a glossy coat. It also plays a role in muscle and nerve function and supports healthy vision.
This helps to keep the central nervous system functioning and is good for brain health. It also helps to boost the immune system.
Vitamin C is essential for good heart health, as well as boosting immunity and helping to maintain healthy skin and blood vessels. It also plays an important role in wound healing.
Lycopene is what gives the flesh of watermelon its red color. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body’s cells from damage. It is thought to play a role in reducing the likelihood of dogs developing cancer.
Watermelon contains essential amino acids such as L-citrulline. Amino acids are needed for proteins to form in the body and are therefore essential for the overall health of the body.
Watermelon is 92% water which makes it an ideal snack for your GSD on a hot summer’s day. It can help to maintain hydration, as well as be a refreshing treat that you can both share!
Watermelon is also low in calories which makes it a great treat choice for dogs that need to lose weight, or it can help to maintain a healthy weight.
Whilst watermelon is not toxic for German Shepherds, there are certain things you need to know before you offer it up as a snack. As with any treat, moderation is key, and too much watermelon could result in an upset tummy. The high water content means that too much watermelon is likely to give your GSD soft stools or even diarrhea.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that no more than 10% of your dog’s diet should be treats. Even so, this would amount to too much watermelon for your GSD, particularly as it is so rich in vitamins. Bear in mind also that some dogs might be more sensitive to the effects of watermelon than others so always start off by feeding a very small amount of watermelon the first time you give it, just to check that there are no unwanted side effects!
Watermelon rind is hard and can have sharp edges once cut so only ever feed your GSD watermelon flesh. If your GSD wolfs down the rind, he could risk damaging his intestines and he could even get a gastrointestinal blockage.
It’s also sensible to remove the seeds from watermelon flesh before feeding it to your dog as these aren’t digestible and large amounts could cause an intestinal blockage. A few seeds probably won’t do too much harm but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
On the whole, the answer is yes, watermelon is a safe and healthy treat for your GSD. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals along with a lot of water which is good for hydration. In addition to this, it’s low in calories which means it’s good for those dogs that are watching their waistline!
Bear in mind that just like people, all dogs are different, and whilst some dogs might go crazy for a piece of watermelon, others might turn their nose up at the offering! If your GSD is partial to watermelon, remember to only ever feed a small amount to prevent an upset stomach. If your German Shepherd does show any unwanted side effects then do not feed him any more watermelon in the future.
This really depends on the size of the dog. A German Shepherd should have no more than half a cup of watermelon in one sitting and it shouldn’t be fed every day. A smaller dog should have much less than this and some dogs shouldn’t have watermelon at all if it causes any unwanted side effects.
Yes, dogs can digest the flesh of watermelon but they cannot digest the rind or the seeds.