Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe?

Key takeaway

Cantaloupe is a sweet, juicy treat you can share with your dog because it’s non-toxic. However, you should always remove the rind and seeds, which aren’t easily digested and could be choking hazards. Moderation is vital when feeding dogs cantaloupe because they contain sugar, but their high water content can improve hydration.

Cantaloupe is a tasty, juicy snack you enjoy during the summer, but if you love sharing snacks with your dog, you might wonder, “Can dogs have cantaloupe?” Luckily, cantaloupe is a safe, non-toxic treat for dogs, but it should only be fed to them in moderation. Cantaloupe is packed with essential nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins B6, A, and C, and minerals such as niacin, folate, and potassium.1 It’s also relatively low in calories and high in water to give dogs a hydrating snack during the warmer months. 

Unfortunately, cantaloupe contains a lot of sugar, and too much of it can lead to weight gain, obesity, and associated illnesses like diabetes. Additionally, adding new food to your dog’s diet can increase their daily caloric intake, so it’s best not to feed them too much cantaloupe. 

Benefits Of Feeding Cantaloupe To Your Dog

Vitamins and minerals in cantaloupe beneficial to dogs

Cantaloupe is a fruit that can offer many potential health benefits to dogs, especially if they aren’t getting enough essential nutrients from their regular diet. Benefits of cantaloupe for dogs include: 

Vitamins and minerals

Cantaloupe is packed with tons of essential vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s health, including:

  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant, vitamin C protects dogs from free radical damage while reducing inflammation and cognitive aging.2 Vitamin C also supports the immune system. 
  • Vitamin A: A fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin A promotes healthy growth, development, and immune function while supporting eye health.2
  • Vitamin K: Another fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin K, is responsible for blood clotting.2
  • Potassium: Potassium is an essential mineral that supports the heart, muscles, and blood pressure.2 Low potassium in dogs can lead to a condition known as hypokalemia, which can compromise the normal functioning of the heart, nerves, and muscles.3
  • Niacin: Also known as Vitamin B3, niacin is essential for maintaining healthy skin and nerves while aiding in energy production. 
  • Choline: Choline supports brain development and heart and nervous system health.2
  • Magnesium: This mineral supports healthy muscle development and aids in hormone secretion while protecting the structure of the bones and teeth.4 
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorus helps metabolize energy and is responsible for maintaining and repairing tissues and producing DNA and RNA.4
  • Manganese: Manganese aids in bone development and neurological function.4
  • Selenium: Selenium supports immune response and protects the body from free radical damage.4 

Hydration

Cantaloupe is low in carbs and consists of 90% water, making it a great treat to prevent dehydration in dogs, especially on hot summer days. Cantaloupes also contain beneficial electrolytes that balance body fluids and can help your dog stay hydrated and energized throughout the day.1

These fruits are packed with sugar but low in carbs. While they have a relatively high glycemic index compared to some other fruits, the body digests it slowly due to the high water content, so it won’t cause blood sugar spikes in diabetic dogs.5

Risks Of Feeding Cantaloupe To Your Dog

The rind and seeds of cantaloupes are choking hazards for dogs 

Unfortunately, different foods carry different risks. For example, the raw diet for dogs carries the risk of salmonella poisoning, while feeding your dog non-toxic fruits like cantaloupes can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. There are risks any time you feed your dog something that isn’t part of their regular diet. Risks of feeding dogs cantaloupe include: 

  • Choking hazards: Cantaloupe seeds and rind can be a choking hazard.1 You should never let your dog consume any part of the cantaloupe that isn’t the flesh, so remove the rind and seeds when preparing cantaloupe for your dog.
  • GI Issues: Cantaloupe contains fiber, which can improve digestion in dogs. However, too much fiber can cause GI issues like gas, diarrhea, and constipation. The rind, in particular, has too much fiber for dogs and is not easily digested.1 
  • Sugar: Cantaloupe contains sugar, which is not ideal for diabetic dogs since it can cause blood sugar spikes. However, sugar isn’t recommended for any dog because it can lead to weight gain and diabetes. 
  • Additional Calories: Cantaloupe is relatively low in calories, with one cup containing roughly 144 calories.5 However, while 144 calories may seem like nothing to you, it’s a lot for your dog. The smaller your dog, the fewer calories they need. For example, a 20-pound dog only needs 325 to 400 calories daily,6 so feeding them cantaloupe regularly means potentially overfeeding them. While overfeeding your dog every now and then is unlikely to cause weight gain, it’s always best to feed your dog cantaloupe in moderation since dogs can gain weight easily. 

Overfeeding your dog regularly can lead to obesity, increasing the chances of other health conditions such as hip dysplasia, joint pain, and diabetes. Dogs with healthy weights generally live longer than overweight dogs,7 so you should monitor their calorie intake regularly to ensure they’re not overeating. 

How Much Cantaloupe Can I Give My Dog?

How much cantaloupe you feed your dog depends on several factors, including their health, weight, and size. For example, overweight dogs on restricted diets shouldn’t eat cantaloupe because it can lead to weight gain. Meanwhile, dogs that are healthy weights can be fed a few bite-sized pieces in moderation. Cantaloupe is not an ideal treat for every day, but if you’re cutting some up for yourself, there’s nothing wrong with sharing small pieces with your dog. 

When sharing cantaloupe with your dog, consider their size, and cut the pieces small enough that they won’t be difficult to chew. Since dogs have a bad habit of swallowing some foods whole, it’s best to cut the pieces as small as possible to prevent choking. In addition, always follow the 10% rule when feeding your dog treats of any kind. According to this rule, your dog’s diet should consist of at least 90% regular dog food and 10% treats, including human foods like cantaloupe. 

Treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake

If this is your dog’s first time eating cantaloupe, start small; feed them a small piece and monitor your dog for signs of a reaction. Symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drinking less water
  • Stretching more often
  • Gulping
  • Licking their lips
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea8

Talk to your vet if you’re unsure how much to feed your dog or believe your dog needs medical attention after consuming cantaloupe. 

Can Dogs Eat Other Types Of Melons?

Since cantaloupe is considered relatively safe for dogs, you might wonder, “Can dogs eat melons?” Melons of all kinds are non-toxic to dogs. Some types of melons you can share with your dog include:

  • Watermelon: Watermelon has high water content but still contains lots of sugar and fiber, which can cause GI issues in some dogs. However, it also has many benefits. Watermelon is high in lycopene, which may reduce the possibility of cancer,9 and contains beta-cryptoxanthin, which protects the joints.10 It’s also low calorie and low carb, and since it’s made of 90% water, it can improve hydration in dogs. Always remove the seeds and rind from the watermelon before feeding it to your dog. 
  • Honeydew: Honeydew is similar to cantaloupe and contains many beneficial vitamins for dogs, including vitamins C and B6 and the mineral potassium. However, similar to cantaloupe, honeydew should be fed in moderation because it contains sugar, lots of fiber, and additional calories. 

Remember, while melons are non-toxic to dogs, they’re not necessarily beneficial for them. Your dog already eats the nutrients they need through their regular diet. As long as you’re feeding your dog the right food in the right quantities, they should already have all the nutrients they need to support their overall health. Talk to your vet if you’re ever in doubt about what to feed your dog; some types of dog food are higher quality than others, and a vet can help you ensure your dog is getting the vitamins and minerals they need. 

Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe?: FAQs

Do dogs like cantaloupe?

Many dogs like cantaloupe, and it’s a reasonably healthy summer treat. Cantaloupe has a high water content to prevent dehydration in dogs who love spending time outside in the sun and is packed with nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy. Additionally, since dogs like sweet foods, they’ll get to enjoy the same snack as you this summer, whether you’re lounging by the pool or playing fetch outside. 

Can dogs eat cantaloupe rind?

No, dogs should never eat cantaloupe rind. The rind is a choking hazard because it’s difficult to chew. Additionally, it can cause blockages in the intestinal tract because it’s not easily digested. If your dog eats a small part of the rind, they’re likely not in serious danger, depending on their size. However, since small dogs are at a higher risk of intestinal blockages, you should never take the chance. 

If your dog eats the rind, monitor them for the next few days for any signs of illness, including vomiting or loose stool. If those symptoms do not subside after a day, contact your vet for instructions. They may want to evaluate your dog for signs of a blockage. 

Can dogs eat cantaloupe seeds?

Unlike the seeds from other fruits, cantaloupe seeds do not contain any harmful compounds like cyanide. Still, your dog shouldn’t eat the seeds because they’re a choking hazard. If your dog swallows a seed or two, they’re likely not in serious danger. However, you should still monitor them for signs of illness. In most cases, your dog will pass the seeds easily in their stool. 

Dog carrying a basket of fruit in their mouth

Final Notes

You can feed dogs cantaloupe in moderation. However, it should not be a regular treat. Instead, consider only feeding your dog cantaloupe when you’re cutting some up for yourself, and only give them a few pieces at a time. In addition, you should cut your dog’s pieces smaller than you’d cut your own to prevent a choking hazard since dogs may get excited about eating food and swallow it without chewing it enough first. And remember, you remove the rind and seeds for yourself, so you should do the same for your dog to prevent potential GI issues, choking, and blockages. 

While cantaloupe is a safe snack for dogs, some dogs shouldn’t eat it, including those with diabetes or other health concerns. Finding the right food for your dog based on their health and size is crucial to their health. Sign up for our online vet care services to discuss your dog’s nutrition with a licensed vet today. 

References

  1. Burke, Anna. “Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Is Cantaloupe Good for Dogs?” American Kennel Club, 19 Aug. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-cantaloupe/.

  2. Burke, Anna. “7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life.” American Kennel Club, 28 July 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/vitamins-dogs-need-healthy-lifestyle/.

  3. “Low Blood Potassium in Dogs.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/endocrine/c_dg_low_potassium.

  4. Your Dog's Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide For Pet Owners. https://nap.nationalacademies.org/resource/10668/dog_nutrition_final_fix.pdf.

  5. Martins, Kris. “What Cantaloupes Can Do for Your Health.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/cantaloupe-health-benefits.

  6. “Pet Caloric Needs.” Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, https://petobesityprevention.org/pet-caloric-needs.

  7. “Obesity in Dogs: A Major Health Threat Hiding in Plain Sight.” American Kennel Club, 24 Feb. 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/obesity-in-dogs-a-major-health-threat-hiding-in-plain-sight/.

  8. “3 Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_remedies-for-upset-stomach-in-dogs.

  9. CE;, Wakshlag JJ;Balkman. “Effects of Lycopene on Proliferation and Death of Canine Osteosarcoma Cells.” American Journal of Veterinary Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21034328/.

  10. “The Health Benefits of Watermelon.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-of-watermelon.