Yes, dogs can eat cantaloupe as a low-calorie treat. As with other fruits, cantaloupe does contain natural sugars, so it must be fed with care.
Cantaloupe Has a Slew of Health Benefits
Cantaloupe is an excellent nutritional resource for dogs. Cantaloupes contain vitamins B6, A, and C, as well as dietary fiber, niacin, folate, and potassium.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C offer critical antioxidants to your dog to slow the effects of aging and reduce inflammation. Antioxidants are also crucial for healthy cell function and reduce the risk of conditions like cancer. They also play a role in digestion by preventing constipation and increasing water intake.
What to Avoid
Like watermelon, Cantaloupe has a rind that can pose a choking hazard to dogs if consumed. The tough rind could be lodged in your dog's throat or make its way down to the intestines and cause a blockage. Intestinal blockages can not only be uncomfortable for your dog, but they can be fatal in severe cases.
The seeds shouldn't be provided to your dog as these could cause an upset stomach. Even though the leaves and vines of the cantaloupe plant are harmless, they can also create obstructions or upset stomachs.
Similar to any treat, cantaloupe should be fed in moderation. Fruit is also high in sugar, which can be dangerous to dogs with cancer or diabetes. If you are unsure if your dog should have cantaloupe, contact your family or holistic veterinarian to determine if or how to best incorporate this snack into their diet.
How to Feed a Dog Cantaloupe
To maintain a well-balanced diet, treats should never exceed 10 percent of the overall caloric intake. Ways to feed your dog cantaloupe include:
- Bite-sized pieces: Cut the flesh of the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking.
- Puree: Puree the fruit in a blender and mix into your dog's food dish.
- Ice cubes: Puree and mix with water in an ice cube tray for a refreshing, crunchy snack.
How Much to Feed
As with all other foods, moderation is critical. Three or four bite-sized pieces is sufficient for it to remain a healthy addition to the diet. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or any underlying health issues, it's best to either skip this fruit or talk to a veterinarian. Watch for the following adverse reactions, not only with this particular food, but all foods:
- Lack of appetite
- Lethargic behavior
- Stomach upset
- Nausea or vomiting
Be Sure to Introduce New Food Slowly
Like any new food, it's important to introduce something new slowly. This way, you're able to tell if your dog experiences any adverse reactions to that particular food. If your dogs have any underlying health conditions, it's always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist. Although this fruit is generally safe, every dog is different and may react differently to various compounds.