Mmm cantaloupe, the sweet and juicy summer treat we all love.
Can dogs eat cantaloupe or is it just a treat for humans?
Can Dogs Have Cantaloupe?
Yes, dogs can eat cantaloupe but only in moderation as they cannot digest it as easily as humans. If dogs are fed cantaloupe it should only be used as a treat or an occasional supplement with their regular dog food.
Dogs are omnivores and get nutrition from a variety of sources. While they can benefit from the nutrients and enjoy the sweet taste of cantaloupe, they primarily need a protein based diet.
Is Cantaloupe Good For Dogs?
One of the greatest health benefits of cantaloupe is its nutritional diversity. It contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals and is a good source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins (B1, B3, B6, and folate)
- Vitamin K
- Antioxidant organic acids (ferulic and caffeic acid)
- Anti-inflammatory cucurbitacins (cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E)
- Carotenoids (beta-carotene and alpha-carotene)
- Beta-carotene is what gives cantaloupe and other fruits and vegetables their orange color. There are many health benefits including helping eyesight (which carrots happen to be well known for).
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Benefits
Cantaloupe contains phytonutrients which give it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Phytonutrients are chemicals that plants make to protect themselves. When consumed by animals or humans they have been shown to prevent disease.
Feeding small amounts of cantaloupe to your dog periodically may be beneficial in providing them with additional nutrients they may not get otherwise. The anti-inflammatory benefits may be particularly useful for older dogs that suffer from arthritis and stiff joints.
Dogs with Diabetes
Some animal research and studies have shown that consumption of phytonutrients in cantaloupe can help blood sugar and insulin metabolism in the body.
Also cantaloupe extracts have been shown to help the kidneys of animals with diabetes as well as improved insulin resistance in diabetic animals.
However, if your dog is diabetic we recommend either not feeding them cantaloupe or feeding them very small amounts infrequently. Despite some of the positive research, it’s better to take precaution as the high sugar content of cantaloupe has potential to be harmful to diabetic dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Rind?
No, dogs should not eat, chew, or lick cantaloupe rind. Cantaloupe rind is likely to be covered in pesticides and harmful bacteria. Because of this, care should be taken not to contaminate the flesh of the cantaloupe and other surfaces when preparing it.
Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe Seeds?
Yes, cantaloupe seeds are safe for both dogs and people to consume. Only let your dog eat the seeds in moderation as too many may cause intestinal blockages.
The seeds are actually a source of omega-3 fat that can be beneficial for your pup. Omega-3 fat has been displayed to help with arthritis, skin conditions, allergies, heart disease, kidney function, lymphoma, and cognitive function.
Can My Dog Have Cantaloupe?
Not all dogs are built the same, so you may be wondering, “can my dog eat cantaloupe?”
Cantaloupe may be suitable for some dogs more than others. For example, we do not recommend cantaloupe for dogs if they are overweight or diabetic. The high amounts of sugar may be harmful to their health and promote weight gain.
If your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities they may be able to eat cantaloupe but they should be given only small amounts and watched closely. If they have any negative reactions such as diarrhea, loose stool, or vomiting you should stop feeding it to them immediately.
Cantaloupe for dogs is okay for all ages as long as they don’t have any major health concerns. It’s also preferable that they get moderate to high amounts of exercise each day to burn off the additional carbohydrates and sugars from the cantaloupe.
Selecting, Storing, and Preparing Cantaloupe
Picking a Good One
So how to pick a ripe cantaloupe that’s juicy and full of flavor?
- Pick it up and feel its weight: If it feels full and heavy then that’s a good indication that it’s ripe.
- Tap on the cantaloupe: If it sounds deep and dull then it’s most likely ripe. If it sounds hollow then it is most likely not ready.
- Press on the stem end: If you press on the top of the cantaloupe that has a circle (where the stem was) and it’s slightly soft then that’s a good sign it’s ripe.
- Smell the bottom: If you smell the bottom (opposite the stem side) and it has a fruity cantaloupe smell then it’s most likely ripe.
Now that you’ve found the ripe cantaloupe of your dreams, how to store it?
A ripe cantaloupe should be stored in your refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. If it’s not ripe enough, it can be left out to ripen. Once a cantaloupe is cut open it must either be refrigerated or eaten.
For your dog, cantaloupe should be cut up into small chunks. It can also be blended or mashed and added to your dog’s food as a treat if you think your pup will enjoy that.
The cantaloupe seeds are also edible. Once the seeds are scraped out, they should be rinsed clean of any fibers.
Next, they can be dried and then roasted in the oven on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. These make a great snack and can be fed to your furry friend as a healthy treat that contains omega-3 fatty acid.
History of Cantaloupe
The origins of cantaloupe are somewhat of a mystery.
There are large numbers of melon relatives growing wild in Africa today and there is also evidence that people enjoyed cantaloupe in the Mediterranean and Middle East early in its history. They’re estimated to have originated somewhere in the area from Africa to India.
Today, China is by far the leading producer of melons (including cantaloupe). It produces half of the world’s melons at 25 billion pounds a year. In the U.S. California produces over half the cantaloupe.
Can Dogs Eat Honeydew?
Another common question is “can dogs eat honeydew?” and the answer is yes. Cantaloupe and honeydew are very similar, so many of the same things apply.
Just like cantaloupe, your dog should only be fed small amounts of honeydew occasionally as a treat or supplement.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe?
Not only can dogs eat cantaloupe, but it also happens to be a sweet and nutritious treat for them.
Don’t worry if they eat a few seeds, it’s perfectly fine, but definitely don’t let them eat, chew, or lick the rind. Also, it’s not advised to feed overweight or diabetic dogs cantaloupe as it contains high amounts of sugar.
So the next time you’re enjoying cantaloupe on a warm summer day feel free to toss your pup a couple chunks and you can both enjoy it together.