Skip to Content

Can Donkeys Eat Watermelon?

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

When it’s watermelon season, you can get great deals on watermelons. Their lower price per pound would make them an excellent choice for a regular donkey treat.

So can donkeys eat watermelon?

Donkeys love watermelons. As long as they’re not rotten, they can eat the entire thing, rind and all.

Watermelons are an excellent fruit for donkeys because they’re full of water, and cold watermelons will help them cool off, especially during the warm summer months.


You can slice watermelons and feed them with the rinds to the donkeys or cut them up into chunks and serve them in bowls. It’s a nice way to get up close with your animals and reward them for good behavior.

Many people figure it’s OK to feed donkeys watermelon flesh, but the rinds are a terrific snack for them as well. It gives them something crunchy and juicy to chew on with their teeth. Donkeys love snapping through fresh watermelon rinds, and the fiber is great for their diets.

Here’s some helpful information on feeding donkeys watermelons and things you should know to avoid any problems feeding them this juicy treat.

Donkeys Love Every Part of the Watermelon

Donkeys will prefer to eat the flesh of the watermelon, which is the sweetest.

But they’re not picky eaters. Watermelon is a big treat for them. They don’t get to eat sweets that often, so they’ll take down everything they can when you offer them a beautiful red watermelon.

Once they’ve gotten through the red part, they’ll work their way into the white and green of the rind. Donkeys have powerful teeth and jaws, so breaking through rinds and chewing them is an easy task.

Ripe slices of watermelon fruit on wooden plate

The rind still has a lot of water and a decent amount of sugar for a donkey. So, they’ll happily keep munching on the rind until everything is gone.

Donkeys can also eat watermelon plants and vines. This is good to know if you’re trying to clear out your garden, but it’s also a warning that your watermelon plants may not be safe with donkeys walking around.

Your donkeys may venture into your watermelon patch for a snack. However, you shouldn’t be worried about feeding them a chunk of watermelon with the rind and a bit of vine.

The Benefits of Donkeys Eating Watermelons

We know donkeys love eating watermelons, but are they healthy?

Watermelons are some of the most nutritious fruits for people and animals. They’re relatively low calorie and low sugar, especially compared to many smaller fruits.

Here are some of the main benefits of donkeys eating watermelons:

Lower Sugar

Instead of feeding donkeys things like sugar cubes, you can feed them larger watermelons without worrying about spiking their blood sugar.

Watermelons last a lot longer but have the same amount of sugar and calories as many smaller snacks that donkeys love to eat.


Sliced, juicy watermelon overhead view on a plate on white background

Another significant benefit of eating watermelons is that they’re packed with water! Donkeys need a lot of water to stay cool and hydrated in the heat.

In addition, the water in watermelons keeps donkeys energized and moving around. It’s good for them because they’ll have the energy to exercise rather than hide in the shade all day, which can lead to health problems down the road.

If you have a donkey who doesn’t love to drink water, try feeding them watermelons.

While it shouldn’t be their primary source of hydration, watermelon is a great tool for helping sick or older donkeys get more water in their systems.


Watermelons are one of the cheaper fruits you’ll find at markets. Watermelons sell for great prices in supermarkets, farmer’s markets, or even roadside fruit stands when they are in season.

With just a few dollars, you can buy a giant watermelon that goes a long way for you and your donkeys.

Easy to Feed

Ripe Sliced watermelon on wooden plate

People love feeding donkeys watermelons because you can slice them into bigger pieces that are easier to feed to the animals.

But, sometimes, new people and kids get nervous feeding donkeys because they’re worried about getting bitten. So, they drop the fruit on the ground, and sometimes donkeys don’t want to eat fruit with dirt on it.

But big watermelon slices are easy to feed donkeys. You can hold one end of the rind and let the donkey work through the fruit before they latch on to the other end of the rind.

Feed Donkeys Fresh Watermelon

Donkeys shouldn’t eat watermelons with mold or rotten parts. So, you should never give bad watermelon to donkeys.

It’s easy to think that donkeys can handle anything you throw at them because they are big and strong animals. However, rotten watermelons or any other spoiled food can make them sick or even kill them.

Feeding them leftover watermelon after a cookout is fine, but you should avoid feeding your donkeys any watermelon you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating.

If the watermelon is slimy, has bugs, or is rotten, toss it in the compost heap instead.

Cute donkeys at the cattle farm

Feeding Donkeys Harder Watermelon Rinds

Most donkeys will take down watermelon rinds with no issue. However, some watermelons have incredibly thick rinds that can be hard for some animals to bite through.

They’ll struggle to break the rind in their mouth and may try to swallow large pieces that they shouldn’t. This, of course, is a choking hazard for donkeys, which is something you want to avoid.

Instead, chop the rinds into smaller pieces, making them easier to chew. As a result, your donkeys can eat the skin happily and get the water and fiber they need for healthy digestion.

If the rind pieces are too small for handfeeding, you can put them all in a bowl to hold while your donkey has their snack.

Final Thoughts

Overall, watermelons are some of the best fruits you can give donkeys.

Watermelons aren’t overly sweet, and you can usually buy them at a great price, which means you can feed them to your donkeys as much as you want. Use them as an easy way to introduce new friends to your donkeys or as a way to beat the heat when it’s hot outside.