One of the world’s favorite melons, many of us love to bring cantaloupes home from the market. You may have wondered whether dogs can have cantaloupe, too. Does your dog look at you longingly when you are eating some of your melon? Then there’s good news! Yes, you can share your cantaloupe with your dog, in moderation, of course.
Cantaloupes probably originated in South Asia or Africa. Other melons were popular in Europe but the cantaloupe isn’t mentioned in English until 1739. Other names for the cantaloupe include the rockmelon amd the sweet melon. It is a variety of the musk melon species.
Nutritionally, a serving size of one cup of cantaloupe balls (177 grams) contains 87 percent carbohydrates, 5 percent fats, and 8 percent protein.
Cantaloupe is a very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. And, it’s low in saturated fat and sodium.
One serving of cantaloupe contains 60.2 calories, 15.2 grams of carbohydrates, 1.6 grams of dietary fiber, 0.1 grams of starch, and 13.9 grams of sugars. It has 0.3 grams of total fats, 0.1 grams of saturated fats and 0.1 grams of polyunsaturated fats. And, it has 1.5 grams of protein.
Cantaloupe is also rare among vegetables and fruits for containing more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids. It has 81.4 mg of omega-3 fatty acids compared to 62 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
Cantaloupe is also loaded with beta-carotene. In fact, it has more beta-carotene than apricots, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, tangerines, nectarines, and mangoes. According to one study, cantaloupe has as much beta-carotene as carrots.
Beta-carotene is a kind of carotenoid, the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. When you eat foods with beta-carotene, it is either converted into vitamin A or it becomes a powerful antioxidant able to fight the free radicals that attack cells in your body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health, healthy red blood cells, and a strong immune system.
One serving of cantaloupe can provide you with all of the vitamin C you need in a day. You need vitamin C to produce blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and the collagen in bones. It may also help against diseases such as asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Some research also suggests that vitamin C can reduce how long a common cold lasts in your system.
The folate in cantaloupe may also help prevent some birth defects. It’s also being studied for its effects on some cancers and memory loss due to aging.
With its high water content, eating cantaloupe is also a good way to stay hydrated. Staying well-hydrated is good for your digestion, kidneys, and for blood pressure.
Cantaloupe also provides dietary fiber which is important for digestion. Eating plenty of fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also help with weight loss by helping you feel full.
Cantaloupe is also a good source of potassium. One serving provides 4 percent of your daily requirements. Potassium is important for the proper electrolyte balance. It’s good for nerve health and good muscle contraction.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||141 kJ (34 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.9 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||2%
Can You Give Your Dog Cantaloupe Eat?
Yes, cantaloupe is perfectly safe to give to your dog, in moderation. You do need to cut it into small, bite-size pieces for your dog so he won’t choke on it.
You should not give your dog the outer rind of the cantaloupe. It’s tough and fibrous. Not only could it be a choking hazard but it could form an obstruction in your dog’s gut. The outer surface of a cantaloupe can also contain harmful bacteria, especially Salmonella. For this reason it’s always a good idea to wash and scrub the cantaloupe before cutting it.
Some sources state that the cantaloupe seeds can be a choking hazard but they are very small. Many people like to roast them and eat them as snacks, as you do with pumpkin seeds. It’s unlikely that your dog will choke on them if you leave them in the cantaloupe.
If your dog is diabetic, you will probably need to avoid cantaloupe and choose a different treat. Cantaloupe is rather high in sugar content, even among fruits. That one-cup serving contains 13.9 grams of sugar.
Dogs that are obese or trying to lose weight should also look to a different healthy snack. Again, the calories for cantaloupe are low but the sugar content is relatively high.
How Much Cantaloupe Can You Give Your Dog?
The general rule for treats and snacks is that you can give your dog goodies that make up about 10 percent of his daily calories (more or less). That one-cup serving contains about 60 calories so that would be plenty for dogs that eat 600 calories per day. In fact, that would be enough cantaloupe for most medium-large dogs. More than that and you could risk a stomach ache or diarrhea. Smaller dogs should have much less.
Because cantaloupe is high in sugar and dietary fiber, if your dog eats a lot of it, it could bring on digestive upset. Only let your dog have some of this delicious melon in small amounts, especially when you first let him try some. Most dogs need to get used to a new food at first. You can watch to see if your dog has any tummy problems after eating some.
There are some good ways to give your dog cantaloupe. Many dogs enjoy it cut up right out of the melon. You can also blend it into a smoothie made with yogurt. Or, freeze pieces of cantaloupe in the summer for a cool snack when it’s hot outside (this can get messy).
How Often Can You Give Your Dog Cantaloupe?
When you first give your dog some cantaloupe, wait a couple of days to make sure your dog doesn’t have any digestive ill effects (i.e., tummy troubles) from eating it. Space out your servings for the first couple of weeks. If your dog seems to do well eating the cantaloupe, you can give him small amounts 3-4 times per week.
Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as potassium. In many ways it’s a very healthy melon. However, it is higher in sugar than some fruits so if your dog is diabetic or obese, you probably need to look at other healthy treats. Otherwise, cantaloupe is a good treat for most dogs. Give it to your dog in moderation. Most dogs really love cantaloupe.