No, dogs should not eat watermelon rinds.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that contains large amounts of lycopene. It is a powerful antioxidant with multiple health benefits. It can protect a person from the sun, improve his heart health, and even lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Though the fruit itself is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, the rinds are a totally different matter.
Because it is made of a hard outer layer, the watermelon rind is difficult for dogs to chew, swallow, and digest. Eating it can cause mouth or throat injury, or worse, lead to intestinal blockage. (This is also the case with watermelon seeds.) As such, it is not recommended for your dog to eat the fruit while it is attached to the rind.
What to do if your dog accidentally eats watermelon rind: Observe your dog for any changes. Watch for symptoms such as vomiting, dehydration, sluggishness, weight loss, anorexia, weakness, and diarrhea. Get in touch with your vet if he manifests any of these signs.
In summary: Consisting of 92% water, watermelon can be safely eaten by your canine pet as long as its seeds and rinds are removed. Always remove the juicy flesh from the rind before giving it to your pet, and discard the rinds properly to prevent accidents. Also, limit your fruit servings because too much of it may cause diarrhea.
Check out our “can dogs eat” category to read up on more human food your pooch can safely eat.