Dogs are some of the best pets any owner can have. They are loyal, loving, and a great help in relieving your stress after a long day at work. Since we are the apple of their eyes and treated like we are the best person in the world, we also have to treat them equally. We should shoulder their basic needs as they are reliant on us when it comes to their shelter, grooming, and food!
One way to take care of them is by providing proper and nutritious food. Of course, we need to be mindful of what they eat as some food is poisonous to them. While we are aware that grapes and any products derived from them are toxic to our beloved dogs, we wonder what other fruits or vegetables can threaten their health?
There have been several questions about what dogs can and can not eat circulating on the internet. One of these questions asks if dogs can eat cantaloupe. To not waste your time, the answer is yes. They can eat cantaloupes!
Additionally, there are also several benefits that they give to your dog. In this article, I will list down four benefits of cantaloupes to your dog and an overview of the fruit!
Cantaloupes have many names like rock melon (New Zealand), spanspek (South Africa), and sweet melon. This melon is one of the muskmelon species from the Cucurbitaceae family and is closely related to the famous watermelon. The plants of this family grow in tropics and temperate areas.
The cantaloupe has two variants which are the European and North American Cantaloupes. The European variant, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis, has a gray-green color, is slightly ribbed, and has a flavorful and sweet flesh. Dubbed as the “true cantaloupe”, these melons are smooth textured with no web-like crisscross patterns.
The North American variant, Cucumis Melo Reticulatus, is believed to be not truly a cantaloupe but a member of the muskmelon species. Whether it is true or not, this melon is classified as a cantaloupe. It has rough, reticulated skin on a pale yellow shell.
Though it may look different from the European variant, its odor and flavor are similar. Once the melon ripens, the netting becomes more pronounced, and the rind becomes tan. The flesh remains juicy and fragrant!
Nutrition Dogs Get From Cantaloupes
Raw cantaloupe is 90% water, 0.8 protein, 0.2 fat, and 8% carbohydrates. Fresh cantaloupes are fibrous and rich in vitamin C of 44% daily value (DV) and vitamin A of 21% DV. Other nutrients are negligible, with less than 10% DV.
Feed Them In Moderation
As mentioned above, dogs can indeed eat cantaloupes. A follow-up question would be how much can dogs eat cantaloupe? – feeding them is fine as long as it falls under their daily dietary needs. Their food intake should be balanced.
There are some problems associated with the sweet melon. Eating more than the recommended intake may upset your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, and their stool becomes impacted, resulting in constipation, or worse, a surgical procedure. Other gastrointestinal problems include vomiting and a painfully distended stomach. The tough fibrous skin is also a choking hazard, so be careful not to feed it!
Other than gastrointestinal problems, your dog can become obese when they eat excessive amounts of cantaloupe or any food at all. Obesity can lead to several diseases like heart and joint problems. The fruit is not best for diabetic dogs as it has high sugar content.
Benefits Your Dog Can Get From The Sweet Melon
1. A Healthier Gastrointestinal Tract
When dogs eat cantaloupes in moderation, they will have a healthier stomach, large intestines, and small intestines. Why? Well, these sweet melons are fibrous and assist in forming the stool of your dog. It softens it and increases the weight and size, making it easier for them to get it out of their system.
It also decreases the risk of your dog getting diverticulitis. In diverticulitis, a small pouch or hernial protrusion of the membrane in the rectum appears. These pouches become inflamed, and complications may arise if not treated immediately.
High fiber can also slow down the absorption of sugar from the intestines. Because of it, your dog may still feel like they are satiated and refuse to eat for long hours. It also controls blood sugar levels that way.
2. Lowers Their Cholesterol Levels
The soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the bad cholesterol in our bodies. High levels of LDL result in cholesterol buildup in the arteries. It would become atherosclerosis, formation of plaques, and block their circulatory system.
The High-density lipoprotein (HDL) counterpart is good cholesterol. Not only does it lower down the LDL levels, but it also helps reduce the risk of heart problems. It also lowers down the inflammation.
3. A Stronger Immune System And Antioxidant
Because of the high contents of vitamin C in cantaloupes, it protects their immune system from deficiencies. Because of this benefit, you can protect your dog from many infections. But that is not all vitamin C can do because they are also an antioxidant!
Oxidation is a chemical reaction when oxygen combines with a substance. It is a natural process to which it keeps the body running. However, few or too many amounts of oxygen in the body create toxic byproducts we call free radicals. These free radicals are dangerous to their bodies if not eliminated. It can lead to chronic diseases like cancer.
4. Prevents Dehydration By Rehydration
Cantaloupes are composed of mostly water, much like their cousin, watermelon. The sweet melon can help your dog rehydrate and would be a good source of water when needed. Be sure to bring some sweet melon when going to picnics with your dog under the summer heat. The best part of eating cantaloupe is that it doubles as food and drinks!