German Shepherds indeed love the sweet taste of watermelon in all seasons. It’s a refreshing and hydrating treat that can make your puppy energetic! While it is rich in nutrients like potassium, vitamin b6, is it really safe for your GSD?
Let’s walk through the benefits, the honest answer to the query- can your GSD eat watermelon, and the precautions you must follow!
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Can German Shepherds eat watermelon?
So, coming back to the real question, can your pooch eat watermelon? Absolutely yes! Why should one even question this as watermelon is a natural organic fruit with lots of health benefits? Because with great nutrients comes several possible side effects. And as every dog has different behavior toward foods, we cannot know your pet’s reaction to watermelon before he eats it. But with proper precautions, you won’t need to worry a bit. We have covered it all; keep reading to find out everything you must before feeding watermelon to your GSD.
Health benefits of eating watermelon for a German Shepherd Dog
Best for Hydration
Imagine it’s hot out there, and your German Shepherd is close to dehydration. Watermelon is a perfect meal to hydrate the body and energize your dog. As 92 percent of the fruit is made up of water, eating frozen or chilled watermelon can cool off your dog and avoid overheating.
High in Potassium
The most significant electrolyte for your dog is potassium. It maintains muscle function and regulates hydration. And luckily, watermelon is full of it. You get 172mg of potassium in one cup of melon, which sounds like a great deal for your dog!
High in Vitamins
Other necessary vitamins like B6, C, and A are also in rich quantity in watermelon. It helps boost the immune system of your GSD along with improving nerve function and eye health.
High in Lycopene
It’s an overlooked fact that lycopene is present in high amounts in fresh watermelon. This antioxidant promotes healthy aging and also prevents numerous serious illnesses.
It Helps Maintain Body Weight
German Shepherd are not prone to get fat quickly; however, you might notice it someday. This is where watermelon can save the day and help regain the original weight. The cal count in these fruits is minimum and thus can be used as a treat multiple times a day to help shed those extra pounds.
How to properly feed watermelon to your German Shepherd?
It’s essential to know the correct way of feeding watermelon to your German Shepherd. However, it’s not rocket science, it would help if you looked after the steps mentioned below before feeding the watermelon-
- Remove the seeds
Before eating watermelon, we always remove seeds as it’s hard to bite and difficult to digest. Make sure you follow the same practice before feeding watermelon to your GSD. In case you forget it, your dog might end up having severe stomach pain, bloating, or even blockages!
- Slice into smaller pieces
The best way to make sure you remove all the seats is to cut the watermelon into smaller pieces. It also makes it easy for your GSD to chew and digest watermelon.
- Control the portions
Your dog might crave watermelon more than his limit of eating healthy fruity sugar. An adult German shepherd can have ½ cup of watermelon cubes, whereas a puppy should be given a lesser quantity.
In which forms can you feed watermelon?
You can feed watermelon to your German Shepherd in moderation and in addition to their balanced diet, just like any other treat.
Here are the ways to feed watermelon-
Frozen chunks: you can freeze the watermelon in the freezer after you remove the seeds and rinds. It’s best to feed the fruit in this way, especially on a summer day when your dog needs to cool off.
Melon Ice cream: you can blend the frozen watermelon pieces with curd to make a puree. Plain, unsweetened yogurt would be the best choice for your dog unless he suffers from lactose intolerance. You can just serve it in the meal bowl of your dog on a hot summer day.
It’s much better digested than original ice cream, and the bacterial cultures present in curd improve intestinal health. However, along with no sugar, curd should also be free of any added flavors or artificial sweeteners. If you are purchasing it from a shop, read the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals like xylitol. Go for lactose-free yogurt made from plants if your dog cannot handle dairy products.
Puree: you can puree the fresh fruit after removing the rinds and seeds and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Feeding the melon in this form cannot harm your GSD for sure!
Precautions to take before feeding watermelon to your dog
Feeding watermelon to your German Shepherd is easy, but doing it in the wrong way can be deadly for your pet. Now that we know how to feed and in which forms to feed, let’s take a look at precautions we must follow.
The most significant risk of feeding watermelon the wrong way is choking, bad digestion, and falling sick.
Remove the Seeds: The essential part of feeding watermelon in any form is to first remove the seeds. Even if you missed out on few seeds, it should not make a huge difference, but in case there are too many of them, it can block the digestive tract. Furthermore, it can lead to complications, and you might need to take your puppy to the vet.
Remove the Rind: Another hazardous element in watermelon is the rind. It’s difficult to chew and thus can cause a choking incident if your dog eats many of them at once. It can also cause intestinal blockage, especially for a Shepherd puppy—other risks of overeating are constipation, vomiting, lethargy, or abdominal pains. If you see your dog suffer from any of these after eating watermelon, you are indeed missing out on many rinds.
Limit the Quantity: Another mistake is feeding too much watermelon. It is definitely a healthy fruit, but too much of it can make your pet sick. Sudden changes in diet or the addition of new food often make dogs sick. Therefore initially, you have to be careful with the quantity of watermelon you feed. You can start with a couple of pieces of fruit and check your dog’s reaction. If you see any signs of diarrhea, upset gastrointestinal tract, gas, or vomiting, maybe you should discontinue feeding.
Feed Small Pieces: Always make sure to cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces. Even after you remove the seeds and rinds, it is not easy to chew a large piece. This has just as much potential as a chunk of rinds to choke a dog. Please make sure your dog chews properly by watching him eat.
Check For Allergies: While feeding watermelon for the first time, make sure your dog does not give out any adverse reactions. It is possible some German Shepherd can possess an allergy to the fruit. That’s why it’s essential to observe your dog while eating. In case you see any symptoms take him to the vet immediately.
So, German Shepherds can eat watermelon as it’s packed with great nutrients and vitamins. You can keep feeding your pooch this nutrient-rich fruit as long as you follow the precautions. Remember feeding is essential but providing the right way is of utmost importance.