A sweet, juicy slice of cantaloupe is refreshing on a hot summer day, or any time of year. Like other melons, cantaloupe has a high-water content and is bursting with nutrients for humans, but are these safe for your dog to enjoy with you? You may think that melon is totally fine to serve to your dog, and while in many cases that can be true, it all depends on the type of fruit and, most importantly, the amount of fruit, you offer your dog. Dogs' stomachs can only handle certain things in moderation, and such is the case with cantaloupe. Learn all about how you can feed it to your dog without making them sick, what the proper amounts to give are, and what to do if your dog is having a reaction.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Cantaloupe?
While it may seem like a straightforward answer as to whether your dog can enjoy cantaloupe with you, it can get a little tricky. So, the short answer is yes. Cantaloupe is a relatively safe fruit for dogs to consume. As with any new food, it is always wise to introduce it to your dog slowly, so you can easily determine if your dog has an allergy or any trouble digesting them.
Although there are many benefits to eating cantaloupe for humans, the benefits that may be touted elsewhere are not really fully understood, and feeding it to your dog does not come without some level of care and discretion.
As with everything, moderation is key. A few pieces of cantaloupe are safe for dogs to eat. Cantaloupe is packed with nutrients, low in calories, and a great source of water and fiber. Too many treats, on top of a healthy diet, can lead to canine obesity, which can wreak havoc on your dog's body, especially if your dog is prone to joint issues like hip dysplasia. This fruit is also high in sugar and may not be a good choice for diabetic dogs. If you have questions or concerns about feeding your dog cantaloupe, consult a veterinarian.
If you are feeding your dog cantaloupe, it is best to give them pieces without the rind. Rinds are tough, hard to chew, and even harder to digest. They can be a choking hazard and cause irritation when swallowed. Avoid letting them lick the outside skin, because it may have harmful bacteria that could make your dog sick.
How Much Cantaloupe Is Too Much
A few bite-sized pieces here and there make for a healthy treat for your dogs. However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach or is diabetic, it is best to skip this snack. Too much cantaloupe can cause GI upset. If your dog experiences any of the following after eating a cantaloupe, consult with your veterinarian:
- Lack of appetite
- Painful or distended belly
How to Pick a Ripe Cantaloupe Every Time
Cantaloupes are available year-round, but this melon shines during the summer when it’s at its freshest and sweetest. Picking a good, ripe cantaloupe can also make the treat that much better for your dog. Keep in mind, however, that the riper the cantaloupe, the more sugar it contains. Just by tasting, you'll know if a cantaloupe is sweeter than you're used to, which means you should give your dog less.
A great way to pick a cantaloupe is by smell, the fruit should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. The stem should be no longer attached as a ripe melon will naturally detach from its stem and lastly, the cantaloupe should feel firm but not rock hard and should be free of bruising.
How to Serve Cantaloupe to Your Dog
As with all fruit, it is important to wash and scrub the outer surface thoroughly prior to preparation. Remove the rinds and the seeds, and slice the melon into small one to two-inch-thick bite sized wedges depending on the size of your dog. Feed cantaloupe to your dog as a special treat and not part of their regular diet. Put the treat in a Kong or another puzzle toy to provide mental exercise for your dog.
In summary, cantaloupe can be given to dogs as an occasional treat, provided that the rind and seeds are removed.