Boxers can eat watermelon safely, and most love it.
When feeding watermelon to your Boxer, avoid the tough rind, and opt for a seedless variety.
Watermelon won’t provide many calories, but it does offer plenty of health benefits for dogs including hydration, weight loss and urinary health.
It’s best to feed watermelon on its own because of how fast it moves through the digestive tract compared to meat.
Benefits Of Watermelon For Boxers
Watermelon is a healthy fruit for Boxer dogs to eat.
It is a whole food source of a variety of vitamins and minerals including:
- vitamin C (antioxidant that supports overall health and can help combat diseases affecting collagen like degenerative joint disease)
- potassium (regulates blood pressure and promotes heart health)
- copper (good for bones, connective tissue, collagen, nerve sheaths and helps the body absorb iron for red blood cell function)
- vitamin B5 (known as the anti-stress vitamin, it enhances stamina and intestinal health)
- vitality-enhancing plant compounds including bioflavonoids like beta-carotene
In 2018 a Japanese study linked watermelon consumption in dogs to:
- weight loss
- improved urinary health with fewer urinary crystals
Watermelon For Weight Loss In Boxer Dogs
The researchers gave a watermelon-based drink to 12 dogs over a three-month period.
They found the watermelon significantly lowered blood levels of a hormone called leptin.
Leptin is made by fat cells and thought to play a role in regulating weight.
High leptin levels are associated with obesity, which affects half of all pet dogs in the US.
Watermelon For Urinary Tract Health In Boxer Dogs
The researchers also found fewer crystals in the dogs’ urine.
This makes sense, just on the basis of watermelon’s hydrating effect.
Water intake dilutes urine and is recommended as a way to reduce bladder stones.
Watermelon contains a whopping 91 per cent water.
Aren’t Dogs Carnivores? Why Should A Boxer Eat Fruit?
Dogs are “facultative” carnivores.
This means that meat is their preferred food source, but they can maintain themselves on a secondary food when prey is scarce.
In the wild, this secondary food is fruit.
Dogs are evolutionarily adapted to periods of fruit eating in between making kills and gorging themselves on meat.
Feeding fruit to your Boxer emulates a natural canine diet and serves several purposes:
- Incorporating fruit-only meals lowers the overall fat content of a primarily meat diet
- Fruit meals give the kidneys a break from incessantly processing protein (in his book Give Your Dog a Bone, Dr Ian Billinghurst attributes lengthened lifespans and better health to this lightening of the load on the kidneys)
- Fruit is extremely hydrating, and helps to flush a dog’s lymphatics, promoting detoxification and removal of metabolic wastes
- Fruit provides different vitamins and minerals to meat
- Fruit is so easily digested it provides the body with digestive rest, providing an alternative for owners uncomfortable with fasting (which is a natural part of the wild canine lifestyle and has been shown to improve health, reduce degenerative disease and extend the lifespan in dogs)
Isn’t Sugar Bad For Dogs?
Many owners are under the impression that fruit is somehow bad for dogs because it contains sugar and sugar feeds yeast.
They think fruit will exacerbate yeasty ears, paws and skin.
Whoever came up with this theory forgot to tell the wolves of northeastern Minnesota, that live on as much as 83 per cent berries for an entire month at the height of summer.
The adults not only consume the berries themselves, but regurgitate them for their pups.
You will find fruit in no way promotes yeast overgrowth on your Boxer’s body.
In fact, feeding fruit helps clear these problems.
Fruit consumption lowers fat consumption and flushes the lymphatic vessels, which are like the body’s sewer system for removing toxins and acidic metabolic waste from the cells.
It’s when these toxins and wastes accumulate in bodily tissues that you begin to see skin, paw and ear symptoms.
As the build-up of toxicity exceeds the ability of the primary eliminative organs (kidneys and gut) to excrete these wastes (in pee and poop), the body recruits the skin to help with the task.
The skin serves as a kind of emergency-release valve, pushing wastes out through the pores and hair follicles.
This waste often produces irritation of the skin.
It also supplies an overabundance of food for the yeast and bacteria that normally inhabit the skin.
This excess metabolic waste and toxicity is what allows yeast overgrowth.
Lowering meat and fat consumption, and feeding fruit helps clear the backlog of waste.
There may be a temporary uptick in symptoms as this happens.
But then, the “yeasty” symptoms resolve as the skin stops excreting excess waste, depriving the microbes of the food that caused their population to explode.
Now, the yeast and bacteria naturally fall back to normal levels.
In other words, excess fat in the diet is the cause of yeast problems, not sugar from eating fruit.
How To Feed Watermelon To Your Boxer
It’s hard to go wrong with watermelon if you follow a few simple principles:
- Choose a seedless variety (The black seeds will likely pass through undigested without causing an issue, but the white ones are even safer)
- Feed only the red flesh (Supervise and take away the rind which may not digest well and could potentially cause obstructions)
- Feed watermelon separately to meat and before rather than close on the heels of a meat meal (because it digests much faster)
- Feed watermelon early in the day to spare yourself an interrupted night from all the peeing
How Much Watermelon Can A Boxer Dog Safely Eat?
Quite a lot!
Watermelon contains only 30 calories per 100g, compared to 165 calories in the same weight of raw chicken breast.
An adult Boxer can happily consume a quarter of a watermelon in one sitting.
As with all things, moderation is the way to go.
Always introduce a new food with just a little on the first occasion and build up to more.
How Often Can A Boxer Dog Eat Watermelon?
The limitation on how often your Boxer eats watermelon will not be because a dog can really have too much.
You’ll be constrained more by the need to feed it separately to meat and ideally, apart from even other fruits.
Once or twice a week when it’s in season is fine.
There are a heap of reasons to include watermelon in your Boxer’s diet.
Just be sure to feed it separately to meat to avoid digestive conflict.
And don’t let your dog wolf down the hard, green rind while you’re not looking.
Other fruits suitable for Boxers include:
Benefits of Vitamin C to Your Dog, Bob Griswold and Nancy Kerns, Whole Dog Journal, June 20, 2019
Effects of a Watermelon Extract Beverage on Canine Lipid Metabolism and Urine Crystals, Sayaka Miyai et al, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2018
Give Your Dog A Bone, Dr Ian Billinghurst, 1993
The Health Benefits of Therapeutic Fasting, Nancy Scanlan, DVM, Veterinary Practice News, July 11, 2011
Weekly Summer Diet of Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) in Northeastern Minnesota, Thomas D Gable et al, The American Midland Naturalist, 2018