Can Shih Tzus Eat Watermelon?

slices of watermelon
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There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day. It’s normal when you’re enjoying a piece you’d like to share one with your Shih Tuz, but is that a good idea? Can Shih Tzus eat watermelon or will it harm them? 

Can Shih Tzus Eat Watermelon?

Some parts of watermelon are fine to feed your Shih Tzu, but others can harm them. Know the difference before you give your little loved one a piece of watermelon.

Watermelon Seeds

The watermelon plant produces fruit filled with tiny roundish seeds.

The seeds can be a choking hazard for a small dog and they are also difficult for a Shih Tzu to digest.

They can actually cause an intestinal obstruction.

When the seeds get lodged in the intestines, bacteria are given an opportunity to set up camp.

These little pests add toxins to the system which can affect the liver and kidneys.

Symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain. 

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The seeds can even puncture holes in your Shih Tzu’s intestines which will cause blood poisoning and death within hours if left untreated.

These seeds are not something you should serve to your Shih Tzu as a snack.

If you plan on feeding your Shih Tzu watermelon be sure it is seedless or you will need to remove any seeds before you give it to them.

slices of watermelon
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The Rind

The rind of a watermelon should also not be fed to your Shih Tzu.

It is too tough for a Shih Tzus’ small teeth.

This makes the rind a choking hazard as well. 

And it too can cause an intestinal obstruction.

Many people choose to give their Shih Tzu a few pieces of the outer green rind because they say it’s a natural source of calcium.

While it is true that dogs do need additional calcium in their diet, so many other things contain it and are safer for your pup.

Dogs can’t digest cellulose, which is what most of this thick skin is made up of.

The Red Part of the Fruit

It is fine to feed your Shih Tzu the red part of the watermelon.

Just be sure it is seed-free.

Watermelon is a good, low-calorie treat that is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.

It will also provide your dog with Vitamin A which is good for bone growth and their vision.

Just remember, a little watermelon goes a long way. Too much and your Shih Tzu will have stomach upset.

closeup of a slice of watermelon
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Is Watermelon Harmful to Shih Tzus?

Because of their short digestive tract and little body size, Shih Tzus are very sensitive to things like seeds or even pieces of watermelon.

While a person might be able to eat a small piece or two without any ill effects, a small dog could spend days suffering in agony.

Too much watermelon can also lead to an upset stomach, intestinal issues as well as diarrhea.

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The Nutritional Value of Watermelon

While watermelon is mostly water and actually up to 92 percent water, there are some health benefits in a seedless watermelon.

These include:

  • Vitamine C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6

It is always a good idea to limit the human foods you give your Shih Tzu.

While watermelon is a great treat for dogs, it should be an occasional treat and not something you give your dog on a regular basis. That way you can avoid a tummy ache or any serious health issues for your Shih Tzu.

To Sum it Up:

Watermelon is a nice once-in-awhile treat for your Shih Tzu, but don’t overdo it or your little pup will end up with an upset stomach. Just stay clear of the seeds and the rind and they can enjoy a small piece on a hot summer’s day along with the rest of the family.


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzus diet. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

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