While preparing a fruit salad the other day, my dog was looking at me with those puppy dog eyes for a taste and I wondered what fruits are dog-friendly. I know banana is great as a treat but what about melons? Specifically, is cantaloupe bad for dogs? The answer is no but there are certain aspects where cantaloupe can be bad for dogs. Let's check out on NolongerWild.com
When Is Cantaloupe Bad For Dogs?
Before we focus on all the awesome benefits of cantaloupe in the US – spanspek in South Africa and muskmelon in India (from which the cantaloupe originally actually stems from) and Canada – and why it is my new personal favorite fruit let’s look at the downside.
High Sugar Content
Cantaloupes are high in sugar so you should not give this to your furry pal if they are either diabetic or obese. We will explain in the following section in the case of the latter how cantaloupe may promote weight loss. Furthermore, as we tell our children when eating excessive candy, too much sugar is bad for teeth!
The rinds of the cantaloupe are hard to chew which could cause your dog to choke and will be difficult to digest. In addition, the skin may contain bacteria like Salmonella or even pesticides even after being washed. Don’t even allow your dog to lick it and this may lead to unpleasant tummy upsets.
The seeds or pits of some fruits such as apples and pears contain cyanide but the cantaloupe is completely safe, non-toxic and non-allergenic. Contrary to popular belief they actually have many unrealized benefits and have been a popular snack in the Middle East for hundreds of years. Technically, no harm will come to your pet if he/she digests the seeds but its best to remove them because it is a choking hazard.
Is Cantaloupe Bad for Dog when Everything in Moderation? No
Once you read the next section about all the good things about cantaloupe you may be inclined to overdo it. The golden rule of everything in moderation is highly applicable here.
Remember that your dog should already be getting all his/her body needs through their daily meals. Cantaloupe should be saved as a treat not a substitute and is ideal for positive reinforcement training. Too much cantaloupe is bad for dogs and may cause their tummies to run.
Furthermore, even I need to remind myself that fruits are not completely calorie free and that I need to limit my intake despite it tasting so delicious. Although, truth be told I would rather be snacking without too much guilt on a low calorie juicy cantaloupe than a chocolate cake any day!
What About Cantaloupe is Good for Dogs?
The awesome news here is that many of the reasons why I love cantaloupe and why it is good for me applies to my best friend as well irrelevant of the fact that our bodies function so much differently. It is also part of the same plant family as the cucumber and pumpkin which are also both pet-friendly “human foods”.
Vitamins C and A
Cantaloupes, like kiwis, are full of essential vitamin C. It is definitely an option for older dogs that may not be producing this naturally anymore. Both vitamins boost the immune system.
Complex Vitamin B-6 is one of the most important as it helps with red blood cell production which aids the immune system as well. It promotes health of the brain and nervous system too. The complex includes Folic Acid (B-6), Pantothenic Acid (B-5), Niacin (B-3), Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) which all have awesome benefits to canines.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties and Anti-Oxidants
These are advantageous for joints and prevent premature aging. The anti-aging effect of the cantaloupe is one of the reasons why so many humans love this melon. Beta-Carotene Beta-carotene in cantaloupes is 30% higher than oranges but it is still nowhere close to carrots.
Although dogs’ digestive systems are faster than humans, the fiber in cantaloupe takes a little longer to work through. The result is a fuller feeling for longer, improved digestion and constipation prevention. If administered to your furry friend correctly they may exhibit fewer cravings. To be honest, this is one of the main explanations as to why cantaloupe is my preferred snack!
Blood pressure is affected by potassium intake. Cantaloupes endorse a healthy heart.
This thins the blood and helps to prevent blood clotting.
Magnesium helps bones grow good and strong.
The high water content hydrates from the inside out.
Introducing Cantaloupe to Your Dog’s Diet
Testing the Water
The first thing you need to do is feed your dog a very small amount of cantaloupe and monitor his/her reaction. A tiny slice or two will suffice. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs or could be allergic and cannot, plainly put, stomach it. Once you have determined that your dog is physically okay to eat cantaloupe, you can introduce it into his/her diet.
- For snacks, you can give your dog an inch or so of a wedge depending on his/her size. Two slices are considered acceptable.
- Freeze cubes during the summer for a delightfully refreshing and super yummy treat!
- Depending on what you are feeding your pooch, you may consider mashing it up into their food.
Now that you see that cantaloupe is definitely not bad for dogs and they actually like it you should really consider giving your pooch a taste of that fruit salad after all. Please feel free to share how your dog enjoys cantaloupe, how you serve it or even other fruits in the comment section below. Remember sharing is caring!