Can Dogs Have Cantaloupe?

cantaloupe treats for dogsMany dog owners are interested in finding alternative treats to give their canine companions. They seek healthy treats that you may not find at a conventional pet store. For example, fruit is something that people enjoy feeding to their dogs. However, not all human food is safe to give to your dogs. Therefore, it is vital that you understand the difference between what is safe and healthy, and which types of dog treats are considered a no-go. One treat that many question is cantaloupe. Can dogs have cantaloupe?

When you think of cantaloupe, you may associate it with its sweet, refreshing taste. It’s packed full of nutrients, making it a healthy option for anyone. Like most fruits that belong to the melon family, it has high water content. This makes it an optimal choice that anyone would welcome on a hot summer day. However, feeding it to your dog is something that you should be careful of. When it comes to canine diet, you need to be picky about the type of fruit that you feed your dog. Even more so, you really need to be careful about the amount of fruit that you feed him.

Answering the question “can dogs have cantaloupe” is not a simple yes. It is fine to feed your dog cantaloupe. However, like most treats, you need to feed your dog cantaloupe in moderation. A dog’s stomach can only handle so much. In this article, we discuss how to feed your dog this sweet melon without making them sick. We discuss portion control so you don’t go overboard. We also discuss what you should do if your dog has a negative reaction to it. Lastly, we share a few recipes that you might enjoy.

Can Dogs Have Cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe is one of those no-guilty pleasures that you can enjoy time and time again. Cantaloupe has a high nutritional value. It is a great source of fiber, B6, folate, and potassium. It also contains niacin and vitamins A and C. Since it has high water content and is a low-cal food, it is an excellent way to hydrate your body without packing on the pounds.

When it comes to canines, cantaloupe is also considered a healthy treat. Vitamin A and Vitamin C offer your pooch a lot of health benefits, especially since they are antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital as they help capture disease-causing free radicals, slow down cellular aging, decrease inflammation, and ensure healthy cells. As we all know, healthy cellular function is necessary to avoid diseases like cancer and more. Furthermore, since cantaloupe has high water content and lots of fiber, it prevents constipation, dehydration, and helps promote healthy digestion.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should feed a giant bowl to your pup. You should certainly start out slowly. This way, you can determine if your dog is allergic to it and/or if they have problems digesting it. Also, you don’t want to give it to your dog all of the time as this can lead to canine obesity, one of the biggest health issues in the modern canine world.

Canine obesity leads to hip dysplasia and other issues that would counteract the main reason you were feeding cantaloupe to your dog in the first place-to find a healthy treat alternative!

If your dog is diabetic, then cantaloupe is a no-go since it is high in sugar. It is always best to consult a veterinarian whenever you make dietary changes with your dog.

What Are The Nutrition Dangers Of Feeding Your Dog Cantaloupe?

When it comes to feeding your dog cantaloupe, it should always be done with a certain level of discretion and awareness. There are risks to feeding your dog cantaloupe. For example, the rinds of the cantaloupe should be cut off. If they eat the rinds, this can severely affect their digestive system. Rinds have a tendency to become impacted in a dog’s stomach. It upsets their GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Furthermore, the tough rinds are a choking hazard.

The outside of the melon can house harmful bacteria that can make your dog ill. Therefore, don’t let them lick it. As mentioned above, if your dog has diabetes, then cantaloupe is not an option for your pooch due to its high sugar content.

Basically, if your dog is a good candidate for the occasional cantaloupe treat, then feed in moderation. Start slow and only feed them a few chunks at a time. Otherwise, you will have a farting factory on your hands, and even worse, a dog with a case of the runs. Let’s be real here, the same would happen to you if you overate cantaloupe. You would have gas and diarrhea too. Your dog is no different.

How Much Cantaloupe Fruit Is Too Much For Your Dog?

As mentioned above, start out slow. Eventually, the most that you can give your dog is a few bite-sized pieces. However, diabetic dogs and dogs that have sensitive stomachs are not good candidates for this treat. If you feed your dog and you notice the following symptoms, then call your vet:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • Stomach pain or bloating

Veterinarians recommend that dog owners follow the 10% rule. This means that only 10% of a dog’s caloric intake should consist of treats, which includes fruits. Otherwise, any more than that can lead to canine obesity, among other doggie health issues.

Cantaloupe is made up of 8% sugar, based on weight. Furthermore, one cup of this melon has approximately 12 grams of sugar and is about 53 calories. Therefore, since it has such a high sugar content, it must be fed in moderation. Once again, skip it if your dog has a sensitive tummy or is diabetic.

Cantaloupe has a lot of fiber-1.5 grams per cup. Too much fiber can be rough on your dog’s digestive system. If you notice a change in your dog’s bowel movements, you should back off a bit as you may be giving them a portion that is too big for them to handle. Be mindful of your dog’s needs.

How To Choose A Cantaloupe For Your Dog

As you may know, cantaloupe is available in any season. However, this fruit really thrives in the summer when your available options are at their peak of being fresh and sweet. This is also a great time to choose the perfect cantaloupe for your dog, as choosing a ripe one will make the treat that much better. However, it is important to note that, like all fruits, as it ripens, its sugar content increases. Therefore, you should always taste the melon before feeding it to your dog. If it is exceptionally sweet, then feed him a smaller portion. You don’t want to give your dog too much sugar.

When you are at the store looking for the perfect cantaloupe, choose by using your sense of smell. It should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. The stem should no longer be attached. A stem that detaches easily is an indicator of its ripeness. Also, the melon should be firm but not as hard as a rock. Make sure it does not have any bruising or soft spots.

How to Serve Cantaloupe to Your Dog

As is necessary for all fruit, be sure to wash the outside of the melon before you prepare it. Remove the rind and all of the seeds. You can then slice it into one to two-inch pieces, depending on the size of your dog. You should only feed them cantaloupe as an occasional treat. It should not be part of their regular diet. When you do feed it to them, you can make an activity out of it by putting a piece of cantaloupe in a Kong toy or puzzle dog toy. This provides mental stimulation.

There are also other ways you can serve cantaloupe to your dog. You can freeze a few pieces as a summer treat for your pooch. This can also benefit teething puppies who have an insatiable desire to chew. Some dog owners shred the cantaloupe. They place some pieces in water in an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. This option works well as a summer treat and prevents overfeeding cantaloupe to your dog. You can dehydrate it as a sweet and healthy fruit chew as well.

Pawsitively Delicious Cantaloupe Recipes For Your Dog

cantaloupe ice cream for dogs
Photo by Kiki Kane

Below, we will share a few tasty cantaloupe recipes for your dog that you may even want to try!

Dog-Friendly Cantaloupe Ice Cream

Author: Kiki Kane
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 28 minutes
Yield: 2 cups 1x
Category: Summer Sweets

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300g) frozen ripe cantaloupe
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened yogurt

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Freezer

Instructions

  • Make sure you have space for your cantaloupe in the freezer.
  • Scrub the outside of the cantaloupe thoroughly.
  • Slice the melon in half and remove seeds.
  • Slice each half into quarters and remove skin, then dice the fruit into bite-sized chunks.
  • Place cut melon in the freezer. The more space around your melon chunks, the faster they will freeze, so if you’re in a rush, place pieces on a baking sheet to speed things up.
  • When completely frozen (2-4 hours or overnight), place about 2 cups (300g) of melon pieces into the food processor.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt.
  • Blend until combined, adding a little cool water if needed to blend to your preferred consistency.

Cantaloupe Serving Suggestions

Top your dog’s kibble with a few tablespoons, serve as part of dinner (replacing some of the usual food), or freeze into paw-shaped pops for the ultimate in a homemade frozen dog treat goodness. We love these super-affordable dog-safe silicone molds.

Notes

If your dog is lactose intolerant, you can skip the yogurt, though it does change the consistency. A little peanut butter can work instead.

Bacon Cantaloupe Dog Treat Recipe

bacon cantaloupe treat for dogs
Photo by Doggy Dessert Chef

Author: Doggy Dessert Chef

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bacon crisply cooked and crumbles
  • 1/2 Cantaloupe pureed (approximately a little over a cup of puree)
  • 3 Mint leaves chopped
  • 1 cup White Rice Flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Mix ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Spoon 1/2 teaspoon fulls of dough onto a prepared baking sheet
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen treats.

Triple-Layer Frozen Fruit Treats will Cool Your Dog Down

triple layer frozen dog treats
Photo by Kiki Kane

Author: Kiki Kane
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 24 mini treats 1x
Category: Summer Treats

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pureed cantaloupe
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or thawed)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Silicone mini muffin mold
  • Cookie sheet (to support mold when moving)

Instructions

  • Make sure you have enough clear flat space in the freezer for your molds to freeze level.
  • Scrub the melon before slicing.
  • Slice the melon in half and remove seeds.
  • Slice half a melon into quarters. Peel and dice.
  • Blitz cantaloupe in the blender until smooth.
  • Place the muffin mold on the cookie sheet.
  • Place two blueberries in each muffin cup, squishing lightly to release the juice.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of yogurt over the berries. You can mix some water into the yogurt for easier spooning if you like.
  • Top each mold with pureed cantaloupe, about two tablespoons in each mold.
  • Place in freezer until solid, 2 to 4 hours, or overnight.
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