Mix breed dog looking at watermelon.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Fact Checked By Our Vet

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 9th January 2024

A summer staple, juicy watermelon is a favourite in many homes. But should your dog share a bite? Before giving them a piece, read what our experts have to.

Can dogs eat watermelon? Should you add it to their diet? Here’s what we know:

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Some human foods are highly toxic to dogs (like chocolate), so it’s normal to wonder if watermelon is safe for dogs.

Related: What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

According to the latest research, watermelon does not have compounds considered toxic for dogs. This means that your dog will generally be allowed to eat watermelon. However, keep an eye on the possible risks.

Dangers of Eating Watermelon For Dogs

  • Keep rinds and seeds away: The biggest risk when feeding watermelon to dogs is them eating the rinds and/or seeds. Although non-toxic, these parts are too tough to digest. If accidentally eaten, they might cause intestinal blockage and be a serious health risk.
  • Diarrhoea: This might happen if your dog eats too much watermelon. Because this fruit is high in fibre and water, it might cause intestinal upset if eaten in large quantities. If your dog is healthy, just keep them from eating more watermelon and the diarrhoea should stop.
  • Colitis: Although rare, some dogs have a very sensitive colon. Certain compounds in watermelon rind and the white flesh by it can cause bloating and abdominal discomfort in humans and dogs. If your pup is sensitive or has a history of colitis, make sure to only give them the red parts of watermelon.

Possible Benefits of Watermelon For Dogs

The risk of dogs eating watermelon is minimal, and in fact, this fruit could have some interesting benefits. Keep in mind most studies of watermelon consumption have happened in either humans or rats, but it’s likely the benefits are somewhat similar.

  • Helps with hydration: Water should be the main hydration source for your dog. However, it doesn’t hurt to sneak some extra H2O with their treats. Watermelon has more than 90% water, so it’s a good option when the heat strikes.
  • Full of lycopene: Lycopene is an antioxidant present in brightly coloured foods (like carrots). According to research, an increased lycopene intake might help ward off some types of cancer [1].
  • Contributes to healthy eyes: Macular degeneration is a common problem that can lead to blindness if left untreated. While your veterinarian should be your first source of information, the antioxidant compounds in watermelon and other fruits have been shown to help treat inflammation in eye cells [4]. As such, watermelon might help keep your dog’s eyes healthier as they age.

How Often Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

This fruit should be considered a treat, so once to twice a week is ideal.

Watermelon can be part of your dog’s regimen, but only if the rest of the time they have access to a balanced diet with enough fats and proteins.

How To Give Watermelon To Dogs

Step 1. Peel and seed

The tough rind and seeds of watermelon can cause intestinal blockage, so it’s important to properly peel watermelon before giving it to dogs.

You can choose seedless watermelon to make your job easier. It has the same benefits as the old-school watermelon without the need to take the seeds out.

PRO TIP: Watermelon peels and seeds aren’t the only causes of intestinal blockage in dogs, so it’s important to recognise the early signs of this condition. If your pup shows vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or whining [3], get them to the vet ASAP.

PRO TIP: Aloe vera, glycerin, honey, jojoba oil and oatmeal are natural ingredients that are very gentle and soothing, making them suitable even for very sensitive puppies.

Step 2. Cut it up

Even though watermelon is relatively soft, it is still important to give bite-sized chunks to your dog. After you’ve peeled and seeded the fruit, cut it up into smaller cubes.

Be careful and cut up the white parts of the rind that might be present. The goal would be to only give the red fleshy parts of the fruit to your dog.

Step 3. Give them a small piece

Once you have your small watermelon pieces, give your dog a little taste. Even if they like it, it’s important to start small.

After you’ve given your dog one or two pieces, call it a day and keep an eye on them. You need to look out for any signs of digestive distress in the next 24 hours. If your dog stays normal and doesn’t have indigestion, you can assume they tolerate watermelon.

PRO TIP: New foods should always be started in small quantities. Dogs have very delicate digestive systems and any sudden change can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and general discomfort.

Step 4. Twice a week at most

Even if it is a fruit, watermelon should still be considered a treat. According to veterinarians, treats should only represent around 10% of a dog’s diet. Generally, this means giving treats up to 3 times a week at most.

Watermelon Pupsicles Recipe

If your dog loves watermelon, this is a great recipe to fight off the heat. Although our team loves to cook, complicated DIY dog treats are a bit much. We loved this easy, 3-ingredient dog treat recipe published by Bellyfull [2], so we wanted to share! Here’s the rundown.


  • Watermelon
  • 1 cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey (optional, if your dog doesn’t like plain yogurt)


This really couldn’t be easier. Just put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Then, pour the mix into an ice-cube tray (plastic or silicone) and put it in the fridge. Once the cubes are solid, you can give one or two frozen treats to your dog.

In our experience, these freeze great and will keep up to a month in the freezer.

Are you wondering if your dog can eat other common foods? Check out our full list below:


Are watermelon seeds dangerous for dogs?

Watermelon seeds don’t have specific compounds that are toxic to dogs. So, if your dog swallows a single seed it might pass through without issue.

However, watermelon seeds can cause intestinal blockage. This is a life-threatening condition that needs to be treated by a veterinary as soon as possible. To avoid issues, seed watermelon before giving it to your pup.

Can dogs eat watermelon rind?

The rind in watermelon can also cause intestinal blockage, so never give it to your dog! The white part inside the rind should also be cut off before giving watermelon to dogs. Although it isn’t toxic, this section can be irritating and make your pup vomit.


  1. Farinetti et al. Mediterranean diet and colorectal cancer: A systematic review. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28935150/
  2. Bellyfull. Watermelon pupsicles. https://bellyfull.net/watermelon-pupsicles-frozen-dog-treats/
  3. AKC. Bowel obstruction in dogs. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/bowel-obstruction-in-dogs/
  4. Yang et al. Lycopene inhibits ICAM-1 expression and NF-κB activation. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27155396/

Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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