What’s better than eating refreshing sweet cantaloupe on a hot summer day? Probably eating cantaloupe with your canine friend. But before you start chopping up that fruit, it’s always a good idea to ask: Can dogs eat cantaloupes?
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cantaloupes
The good news is that dogs can safely eat cantaloupes, but only in moderation. Although it is true that there are many health benefits to feeding your dog cantaloupes, there are also many things to consider before doing so. Without moderation, side effects like diarrhea, constipation, stomach pains or even canine dental problems may occurs.
Veterinarians have approved cantaloupes as generally a safe fruit for dogs to consume, but there can always be exceptions. If you’re experiencing odd symptoms and any of the cantaloupe side effects listed below, consult with your veterinarian.
Health Benefits: Dogs Eating Cantaloupes
Cantaloupes are one of the world’s healthiest fruits, as they are packed with loads of vitamins and minerals both you and your dog can enjoy. Here’s the breakdown of a cup (160 grams) of Cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe Nutrients based on human Daily Value (DV):
- Vitamin C – 78% DV
- Vitamin A – 30% DV
- Potassium – 12% DV
- B6 Vitamin – 7% DV
- B3 Vitamin – 7% DV
- B1 Vitamin – 6% DV
- Magnesium – 5% DV
- Fiber – 5% DV
- Vitamin K – 4% DV
Antioxidants in Cantaloupes
The abundance of antioxidants contained in cantaloupes makes this fruit truly the perfect healthy snack for older dogs that need a little help combating potential diseases and cancer. Although it’s true that dogs are able to naturally produce Vitamin C (unlike humans), as they age it may be harder from them to consistently produce enough. But don’t think of this as a supplement food that old dogs absolutely need.
Even though old dogs may benefit more from the vitamins and minerals, owners should still treat cantaloupes as a treat. Too much Vitamin C in a dog’s system will neither hurt or help them, instead they will just urinate out the excess vitamin.
Other fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of the Vitamin C antioxidants include: oranges, broccoli, strawberries, pineapples and kiwi. Make sure to learn about all the other nutrients these foods can provide your dog with.
Cantaloupe Enhances a Dog’s Vision
Cantaloupes also contain Beta-Carotene, which is also found in carrots and helps with sharpening a dog’s eye vision. This is also another huge plus for elder dogs that have lost a bit of their vision sharpness they were accustomed to as a younger dog. However, younger dogs and puppies can still benefit from Beta-Carotene as well. Chop up some cantaloupe slices and ensure your dog’s vision stays sharp.
Looking for other ways to enhance your dog’s vision? If your dog doesn’t fancy the taste of cantaloupes, you can try cherries, carrots and mangoes. All of which, are perfectly safe for your dogs to consume.
Anti-inflammatory Properties in Cantaloupes
Cantaloupes, like pineapples and blueberries, contain an anti-inflammatory agent that may help with active dogs that enjoy running, jumping and other activities. This refreshing melon is perfect for dogs that may experience slight swelling due to over-working muscles and/or joints in their daily activities. Certain dog breeds that are working or herding dogs, (such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds or Pembroke Welsh Corgis) may experience slight swelling as they age. For those breeds, cantaloupe slices every now and then might not be a bad idea.
Cantaloupe For a Healthy Dog Heart
From the nutritional chart, we can see that cantaloupes contain a sizable amount of Potassium. In fact, a cup of cantaloupe gives us about 12% of our recommended daily value. But how can Potassium benefit your dog?
It’s been known that Potassium is a factor in promoting good heart health. This electrolyte mineral helps with heart function in your dog. The condition where a dog has irregular heart beats, called Arrhythmia, can happen when the dog has too low levels of Potassium in their system.
Side Effects: Cantaloupes and Dogs
Now that we’ve examined all the wonderful health benefits of feeding cantaloupe to your dog, there are some side effects that owners should be aware of.
Dogs aren’t usually allergic to cantaloupes, but there can always be exceptions. These side effects aren’t usually serious or potentially fatal but should be carefully looked out for by dog owners.
Canine Stomach Pains
Cantaloupes don’t sit well with every dog’s stomach. In fact, it can cause some stomach pains for some dogs. If you have a dog that has a very sensitive stomach and often has digestive problems such as diarrhea, it may not be the best idea to feed them cantaloupe.
The Sugar in Cantaloupes
Like with bananas and grapes, the sugar concentration in cantaloupes is relatively high compared to other fruits. It’s why this delicious orange melon is so sweet. If your dog is diabetic, it is probably not a good idea to feed them cantaloupe as they may not be able to handle the sugar content. And if you insist on doing so, I would highly recommend consulting with your vet.
A common problem among fruits that contain a lot of sugar is that they can speed up the decay of your canine’s pair of whites. It’s recommended that we brush our dog’s teeth every day, but the majority of dog owners don’t. But that’s okay. As long as you don’t include cantaloupes as part of their daily diet, the sugar on teeth won’t be too bad. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to brush your dog’s teeth though.
On a side note, if you want a fruit that helps with a canine’s dental hygiene, look into feeding you dog apples. Cucumbers and celery have also been known to help your dog’s oral health. However, don’t expect them to completely cancel out the sugar in fruits.
Diarrhea & Constipation in Dogs
For certain dogs and humans, it’s been known that too much fruit and fiber can certainly result in diarrhea or loose stool. But it sounds a bit counter-productive saying that too much fiber can result in constipation. Despite popular belief, the latter statement is also true and possible for both human and dog. If too much fiber is digested without adequate water, it could potentially cause constipation. Fiber soaks up water and if there is no water to absorb, then the stool could harden.
It’s also important to chop up the melon into small pieces when feeding this fruit to your dog. The last thing you want is for your dog to swallow a large piece that could possibly block the passageway of their intestines, thus causing constipation.
How Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupes?
After going through the benefits and potential side effects from eating cantaloupes, it’s time to finally give your canine a little treat. But wait, not so fast. There are a few recommendations on how the cantaloupe should be served.
Cantaloupe Preparation For Dogs
Never feed the cantaloupe’s outer shell to your dog. Even if you plan to wash the cantaloupe before cutting it up and serving it, there could still be dangerous pesticide and bacteria on the outside. If you haven’t realized, it’s actually quite tough to completely wash all the pesticide. Plus, the pesticide can easily get on your hand, so wash those too.
Always dispose of the cantaloupe seeds before feeding them to your dog. Like with apples, cantaloupe seeds contain cyanide. And although a little cyanide won’t likely do much to your dog, if you consistently feed them seeds, the cyanide build-up in their bodies could lead to more serious health problems.
Make sure to cut the cantaloupe into much smaller pieces to allow for easier digestion. If your dog is anything like mine, then chewing is not all that common. This simple prep work will drastically decrease the chances of large pieces clogging up their intestine and causing constipation or other digestion problems.
Always start off with one or two pieces of cantaloupe and observe to see if your dog receives any adverse effects, such as an allergic reaction, diarrhea and/or constipation. If everything is good, you can scale up their serving size over time.
Q/A: Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Skin?
Dogs should not eat the peel or skin of a cantaloupe. The exterior of the cantaloupe is filled with all kinds of bacteria and pesticide that can be harmful to your dog. Although a dog’s stomach can deal well with bacteria, the pesticide can be extremely harmful to them.
In addition, the melon’s skin is simply too hard for dogs to digest. Whenever your dog is eating something hard, there is a risk for blockage. This means that the hard peel might get stuck in your dog’s intestinal tract. Such a thing could lead to constipation or other more serious health problems in your dog.
Remember that only the flesh should be fed to your dog and nothing else. Some owners have fed their dogs the cantaloupe’s peel without any negative effects. However, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
Q/A: Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Seeds?
Dogs should never eat the seeds of cantaloupes because they are known to have a high concentration of the toxin cyanide. Always remove the seeds before feeding them to your dog. However, if your dog accidentally eats a few seeds, it may not affect them. When dogs consume cyanide over the long term, they may start to experience serious illnesses.
Most fruits with seeds will have cyanide in them. For example, the seeds of apples, cherries and peaches all have cyanide. When it comes to fruit, it’s always better to remove the seeds when you’re in doubt.
Cantaloupe Dog Treat Recipe
Looking for another way to get your dog to enjoy eating cantaloupes? Try this recipe for a Liver Cantaloupe Dog Treat. It may seem odd to have a dog treat made from cantaloupe and beef liver, but your dog will love this!
This cantaloupe dog treat is something that will take you less than an hour to whip out and your canine pal will love you for it. This dog treat recipe is courtesy of the Doggy Dessert Chef.
- ½ pound of beef liver (cooked and chopped)
- 1 cup of pureed cantaloupe
- 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese
- ½ cup of water
- 1 cup of spent grain flour
- Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Line the baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- Mix the beef liver, cantaloupe, parmesan cheese and water thoroughly until you get a puree.
- Now, mix the spent grain flour in a large bowl with the wet puree you just made. Mix thoroughly.
- Pat the dough onto the baking mat until you get a flat ½ inch thick paste.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to make grids.
- Place on the baking sheet and put into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Break into pieces and let the treats cool in the fridge.
- Treat your dog! Enjoy.
The Smart Canine has thoroughly researched on cantaloupe consumption by dogs, treat this as an informational guide and not professional advice. Always consult with a veterinarian about any issues and concerns you have. We cannot guarantee that your dog will receive a certain health benefit or side effect by eating cantaloupes. This is because every dog is unique in how they will react to cantaloupes. It is impossible to determine for sure how your dog will respond to eating cantaloupes.