Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Is Cantaloupe Bad for a Dog
As a dog owner, it can be tough to keep track of all the things your dog can or cannot eat, especially human food that is healthy and beneficial for us. Fruits especially are a food that is very healthy for humans, but some fruits can be harmful or actually toxic for your beloved pet. Where does cantaloupe fall within this spectrum? Is it perfectly fine to feed to your dog?
Luckily, the answer is yes—and not only is it perfectly safe, but many dogs also love the taste of cantaloupe. The fruit can be a healthy alternative to traditional treats, and you shouldn’t feel bad sneaking your dog some of it every once in a while. As with all human food, however, make sure you feed cantaloupe to your dog in moderation and talk to your vet about your dog’s medical history to ensure what you’re feeding them is okay for your dog specifically.
Is Cantaloupe Good for Dogs?
As a fruit that is full of water—in fact, it’s 90 percent water—and that boasts many nutrients, cantaloupe is very good and very healthy for dogs. It’s low in calories and high in water content, which makes it perfect to give your dog as a tasty treat or a way to rehydrate, without worrying about it leading to further weight gain. Giving your pet a few slices of cantaloupe can be equivalent to giving them several ounces of water. The high water and fiber content in cantaloupe also promote healthy digestion, and can help prevent constipation and dehydration in your dog.
Cantaloupe is an excellent training tool, and a great snack. It also is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, niacin, folate, and vitamins A and C. Vitamins A and C provide many health benefits for dogs especially, most notably because they contain many antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in capturing free radicals in many animals, not just humans. They slow cell aging, promote healthy cell function, and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. Vitamin A especially is very beneficial to your dog; it helps improve eyesight, and can minimize the risk of developing macular degeneration among senior dogs.
The Dangers of Eating Cantaloupe for Dogs
As healthy as cantaloupe is and despite its many benefits, there are some risks associated with feeding it to dogs. The rinds of cantaloupe, much like watermelon rinds, can cause gastrointestinal upset, and can negatively impact your dog’s digestive tract. The tough, fibrous skins also present a choking hazard. If you feed your dog this fruit, you should always make sure all of the skin has been cut off, and that you feed them small cubes or really small amounts so they don’t choke.
Like any treat, cantaloupe should also be fed in moderation. Too many treats, even if they are as healthy as cantaloupe, can lead to canine obesity. You also want to make sure that your dog continues to enjoy treats or biscuits, things that are made specifically for dogs, just as much as they do human food. If you have any questions or concerns about feeding your dog this fruit, you should speak with your veterinarian.
Giving Cantaloupe to Overweight or Diabetic Dogs
While it’s true that cantaloupe is very healthy and provides benefits for dogs, you should be aware that if your dog is overweight or diabetic, cantaloupe is actually not a good thing to feed them. Like many fruits, cantaloupe is full of sugar. It’s important to know that the moderately high sugar content of cantaloupes can increase the risk for dogs who are already predisposed to the development of diabetes. If your dog already has diabetes, fruits that are high in sugar should be avoided. Check in with your veterinarian, and be aware of your dog’s current health and medical history.
If your dog is obese or you’re worried about their weight, this is another reason not to give them sugar-loaded fruit, as it will not help with their weight and can even cause them to gain more, if you feed them too much. Although cantaloupe is very safe for dogs, you should understand that dogs who are diabetic or obese, or who are even merely prone to these conditions, should not have cantaloupe.
Tips for Feeding Cantaloupe to Your Dog
It’s been observed that the surface of melons can contain Salmonella, which is a bacteria that is not friendly to the digestive tract; this is why your dog may develop diarrhea after eating some cantaloupe. To prevent this, it’s highly recommended that any cantaloupe you feed yourself, as well as your dog, should be thoroughly washed and scrubbed before you cut into it, to reduce the risk of contaminating the inner flesh of the fruit with Salmonella. It’s also recommended that any uneaten slice of cantaloupe that has been stored in the fridge should be consumed within three days, and if not, then thrown out. This helps lower, if not eliminate, the risk of pathogenic bacteria in the fruit.
Always wash the cantaloupe and your hands, and do not let your pet eat or even lick the exterior of the cantaloupe. The rind can be dangerous, and slice your fruit into smaller pieces so they’re easy to eat. Pets may choke, so take the action you can to prevent that as well.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Conclusion
Summer is an especially great time to enjoy cantaloupe, and as our dogs beg for a bite, we often wonder if it’s perfectly safe to give them the fruit, despite how healthy and great it is for us. It’s important to take caution, and luckily cantaloupe is not only perfectly fine to feed dogs, but it offers many health benefits as well. You are definitely welcome to give your dog cantaloupe as treats, but don’t incorporate it as a regular part of their diet, and take note that if your dog is obese or diabetic, the fruit is actually bad for them. Overall, however, cantaloupe is perfectly safe and healthy for your dog to consume.