Updated - Jun 7th, 2021
Just as our tables are brimming with luscious fresh fruits, you may wonder if cantaloupe falls into the melon superfood category with watermelons and honeydews. The answer is yes! Filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the cantaloupe is definitely a superfood your dog will not only enjoy but gain some pretty terrific health benefits from, too!
Let’s dive into the wonders of the cantaloupe.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe:
Besides being really tasty, cantaloupe offers many health benefits. Other names for it include musk melon or rock melon. They’re in the same family as the watermelon, honeydew melons, and cucumbers.
Containing 90% water, a cantaloupe makes a hydrating snack for both you and your pup on a hot summer day. But there are other benefits from the vitamins and minerals you should know about.
Antioxidants: Vitamins A and Vitamin C, along with selenium, beta carotene, lutein, choline, and zeaxanthin, make up the host of antioxidants in cantaloupe. These powerful soldiers fight free radicals that come from environmental stress that damages or causes the oxidation of normal cells.
Antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, fighting some kinds of cancer, supporting brain health and the immune system, as well as preventing heart disease and premature aging in your dog.
Potassium: Supports healthy kidney and heart function, maintains healthy bone density, regulates fluid levels, and helps in muscle development.
Niacin: Helps to break down sugars and fats into energy.
Magnesium: This micro-mineral supports the metabolizing of proteins and fatty acids. It also supports energy production and the role of ligament and bone maintenance.
Vitamin K: An essential vitamin that aids in blood clotting and coagulation.
Folate: Also called folic acid. It’s an essential mineral supporting normal metabolic functions such as DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.
Manganese: This micro-mineral produces energy, metabolizes proteins and carbohydrates, and makes fatty acids. It’s an important part of many enzymes and supports the health and maintenance of bone and cartilage in the joints.
Dietary Fiber: The fibrous meat in cantaloupe provides a generous source of dietary fiber necessary for healthy digestion. Fiber keeps things moving and protects against constipation.
High Water Content: Promotes healthy digestion and protects against dehydration.
Low in calories: This tasty sweet fruit is low in calories, so it’s a great snack on a hot summer day, or any day your dog needs extra hydration or a healthy motivation alternative.
But, as with any fruit, they contain a high sugar content compared to other foods. Diabetic dogs and overweight dogs should only be offered cantaloupe occasionally. You should also check with your vet before offering it.
In fact, along with all these benefits, there are risks too. Not too many, but worthy of a mention.
Risks of Feeding Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe Rinds: Just like with watermelon and other melons, the rinds can cause upsets in your dog’s digestive system or a tummy ache. You can avoid that by removing them and serving the fruit in bite-sized pieces.
Choking hazard: Any food can become a choking hazard or blockage in your dog’s digestive system if it’s not prepared correctly. Small dogs face the greatest risk from choking, but large dogs who gulp their food run the same amount of risk. Always cut the fruit and veggies into bite-sized, or small pieces to avoid this hazard.
Meant for moderation: You wouldn’t want to feed your dog cantaloupe daily. It’s fine for a quick hydrating snack, but too much too often raises the risk of diabetes and obesity. Always check with the vet when introducing a new food. They can recommend the appropriate amount for your dog.
All snacks, when offered in addition to your dog’s normal dog food, need to be portioned out appropriately. The rule of thumb is a dog’s food should make up 90% of their daily caloric intake, and snacks or treats should only comprise 10% of your dog’s diet. If you keep to that ratio, you can avoid diabetes and obesity.
Here are some tasty treat ideas that include cantaloupe you can safely feed to your dog:
You can always offer it fresh, cut up into small cubes. Or try mixing the fruit in with other fruits like strawberries, mango, or apricots, and plain Greek yogurt for a refreshing puppy smoothie.
Frozen pureed cantaloupe makes a great pup sorbet too! Add a few blueberries and cranberries, and you have a pup-worthy snack loaded with healthy antioxidants.
So, to answer the question: Can My Dog Eat Cantaloupe? The short answer is yes, your dog can enjoy a cantaloupe snack. This superfood packs a powerful punch of health benefits for your dog if fed in moderation and with proper preparation!