Summer days are approaching, and with them the allure of sweet, ripe cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe is one of those fruits that requires preparation—it has to be sliced, scooped, or quartered before consumption, and as is usually the case with doting dog owners, this gives us time to wonder if our dogs can have some of it, too.
We know that some human foods, like chocolate and raisins, are toxic to dogs, while others, like strawberries and blueberries, are perfectly fine to feed in moderation as a healthy treat. But what about cantaloupe?
Is it safe for dogs to eat cantaloupe?
Luckily for your canine, cantaloupe is perfectly safe for dogs. According to Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, writing for VetStreet.com, cantaloupe is safe to feed dogs and cats in moderation and can even be a healthy alternative to traditional treats for pets that need to lose a little weight. Cantaloupe is non-toxic, and cantaloupe seeds are harmless for dogs—although try not to feed your dog cantaloupe seeds intentionally, as they can be a choking hazard.
Dangers of cantaloupe for dogs
There are some risks associated with feeding cantaloupe to dogs. While cantaloupe itself is not dangerous for dogs, cantaloupe rinds, like watermelons rinds, can cause gastrointestinal upset and become impacted in the dog's digestive tract. These tough, fibrous skins are also a choking hazard and are best served to your compost pile.
Like any treat, cantaloupe should be fed in moderation. Too many treats, on top of a healthy diet, can lead to canine obesity. A few bites now and then during a family picnic, however, won’t hurt your dog at all.
Please note that cantaloupe is high in sugar and may not be a good choice for diabetic or obese dogs.
Is cantaloupe healthy for dogs?
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. It is also low in calories and high in water content, making it a tasty way to rehydrate without packing on the pounds. Vitamins A and C provide lots of health benefits for dogs, most notably in their roles as antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in capturing free radicals, which slows cell aging, promotes healthy cell function, and may help reduce the risks of developing certain diseases. The high water and fiber content in cantaloupe also promotes healthy digestion, and prevents constipation and dehydration.
As far as human foods go, cantaloupe is safe for dogs and is a good choice if you want to give a healthy treat. Cantaloupe is packed with nutrients, low in calories, and a great source of water and fiber, so next time you slice up one of these melons, feel free to offer some of the fruit in moderation to your dog.