You come into the kitchen and your dog is biting into a bitter melon that he stole from your grocery bag. Do you panic? – Can dogs eat bitter melon at all? Don’t panic, because yes, they can. Bitter melons are edible for dogs. But for regular feeding, they must be prepared in a certain way.
Whether you’re trying to find out if dogs can eat bitter gourd or bitter melon, the answer is the same. Both names refer to a tropical vine mainly grown in Asia and Africa. The vegetable is very bitter in taste which varies as it ripens, and it must be cooked in ways that minimize its bitterness, even for humans.
Why Should Dogs Eat Bitter Melon at All?
Bitter melon has many benefits such as lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, being rich in vitamins C and A, and high in magnesium. It also lowers blood sugar levels. That, with its high fiber content, makes it a great veggie addition to home cooked dog meals.
So, is bitter melon good for dogs? Yes, when given infrequently. The taste does not appeal to dogs as it is raw, and it’s unlikely that your dog will have a particular craving for bitter melon unless it has been mixed well into his food.
However, you must keep in mind the type of melon you’re feeding your dog, since not all are safe for them to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Melons, Generally Speaking?
Yes, most melons are safe for dogs to eat. Cantaloupes and muskmelons, for example, are a great sweet treat when the hot summer season comes by. You can give your dog a slice fairly frequently, too. Don’t be surprised if he expects a serving every time you have one!
Sweet melons are great sources of Vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids, and microminerals like zinc, potassium, and manganese. Their sugar content is also high. Watermelons and Honeydew melons are also great for dogs for the same reason.
So, are melons okay for dogs? Totally! They Are an excellent way to add some variety to your dog’s diet, and make sure he eats all natural, healthy and light treats, instead of eating processed treats with synthetic flavouring.
With both, however, you have to be careful not to give your dogs any seeds with the melons. Melon seeds cause digestive obstruction in dogs, and also severe stomach aches, as they cannot be digested.
How Can I Safely Feed Bitter Gourd to Dogs?
Bitter gourd is a great low-fat, high fiber, and high-water content vegetable, for humans and for dogs. However, while feeding it to dogs, it’s best to make sure that there is no rind or seeds in their portions.
While the flesh of the bitter gourd is edible for dogs both raw and cooked, the seeds can cause stomach aches as dogs can’t digest them. Your dog can end up having serious abdominal discomfort. This also applies to related foods, like zucchini and cucumber.
The rind is also sometimes too hard or too bitter, which makes the food unpalatable for your precious pooch.
How Much Gourd Can Dogs Eat?
A moderate serving of gourd is the best for dogs, 2-3 times a week. This in turn depends on the size of your dog. Larger dogs can eat more gourd safely, when compared to small dogs.
One thing to watch out for is that your dog receives all other nutrients in a balanced manner, instead of only gourd-heavy meals. Bitter gourd has a low sugar content, and this can lead to hypoglycemia, if your dog is not receiving enough carbohydrates and sugars in his food.
Hypoglycemia can have severe to life-threatening consequences, such as fainting, dizziness, especially for smaller and older dogs.
Some members of the gourd family indeed are bad for dogs, such as apple gourd and gooseneck gourd. Apple gourds or Tinda, also called Indian Baby Pumpkin, are a common vegetable in South Asia. Gooseneck gourds are used for decorative purposes as they are not edible, but often left out where dogs can get at them. Both these can cause serious toxicity in dogs, if ingested in large quantities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can dogs taste bitter?
Dogs have the same four tastes as humans i.e., sweet, salty, sour and bitter. They have an extra set of taste specially for water that humans don’t have. Their response to these tastes might be different.
Is bitter melon poisonous?
While the flesh and skin of bitter melon are edible, the seeds can be poisonous and the juice can also be toxic. Some people can have a reaction to bitter melon, and children and pregnant women should avoid eating bitter melon for example.
Which fruits are bad for dogs?
Owners should always be careful of what they feed their dogs. Some fruits like grapes, raisins, currants, apple seeds, cherry pits and citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, etc.) are dangerous for dogs and must be avoided.
What makes bitter melon bitter?
Bitter melons contain an alkaloid called momordicine which is responsible for the bitter flavor of the vegetable. It is popular in the culinary world because of its bitter taste, which adds variety and depth to dishes.
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