Lemons are highly beneficial for us humans. Whenever we do not feel well or come down with the flu, we drink lemonade or tea with lemon juice. It really helps, doesn’t it?
Yes, it does. It’s all thanks to the super-high content of vitamin C that boosts our immunity and gives us energy. Lemons are rich in antioxidants and potassium too. As a bonus, they are low in calories and contain dietary fiber so they can help us lose the extra pounds or maintain a healthy weight.
What about our pets? Can dogs eat lemons? What about lemon juice? Is it safe for our four-legged friends?
Find out all the answers! Let’s see how lemon affects our canine companions!
Are Lemons Ok For Dogs Or Not?
Your dog can eat a small amount of lemon, but we doubt he or she will do it! Just check out the hilarious youtube videos to see how dogs react to the super-sour lemon fruit! You will not only have a good laugh but also learn that canines are not lemon fans by any means.
So even if your dog loves you so much to eat anything from your hands, it is highly unlikely that he or she will devour a bunch of lemons, and that is a good thing. Why? Even small amounts of lemon can cause gastrointestinal distress, while large amounts can make your beloved pet seriously ill.
The main culprit for such a reaction is a substance called psoralens. All citrus fruits contain this substance and are therefore not good for your dog. The whole lemon is more or less infused with psoralens, but the pith, skin, and seeds contain the highest levels of this substance. If ingested, they can cause all sorts of problems for your dog.
Moreover, both lemon and lime trees produce linalool and limonene – two substances that are safe for us humans but toxic to our canine friends.
How Many Lemons Would A Dog Need To Ingest To Have A Serious Problem?
We cannot give you a precise answer to this question as it largely depends on the size of your dog and how sensitive it is to the substances mentioned above. So, better be safe than sorry and do not experiment by giving lemons to your dog friend. This citrus fruit can cause serious problems or be dangerously toxic for canine pets.
Due to the combination of harmful substances, large quantities of lemons can cause:
- Upset stomach
Depending on the size of your dog and its sensibility to the acid nature of citrus fruit, even as little as one slice of lemon can cause all the above-mentioned symptoms. If your dog swallows a large piece of lemon peel, he or she can suffer from an obstruction in his or her digestion system. In this case, you need to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible!
Some serious symptoms will warn you that your dog is in danger and needs emergency medical care, such as:
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of coordination
- Inability to walk or stand
- Excessive drooling
- Rashes around the groin area
- Cold limbs
- Low blood pressure
If you notice any of these symptoms, do not try to treat your dog on your own. If left unattended, or treated inadequately, your furry companion can have serious complications such as liver failure or even sudden death. Do not wait, if the symptoms progress beyond an upset stomach
take your pet to the vet immediately.
What If Your Dog Eats Too Many Lemons?
If you saw your dog had too much lemon or you suspect it, you need to monitor your pet and pay attention to all the symptoms we have warned you about. A dog that suffers from nausea will lick his or her lips more often than usual and exhibit exaggerated swallowing motions. Your pet is likely going to vomit or have diarrhea too. It may act out of the ordinary or show discomfort.
We would advise you to take your dog to the vet for further observation whenever you notice strange behavior, even more so when you are aware that he or she has ingested something potentially toxic. The vet will check your dog and recommend adequate treatment promptly. Why would you wait for your dog to get worse if you can help him right away?
How Much Fruit Can Dogs Eat In General?
Dogs of different breeds or sizes have different nutritional needs too. So the answer to the question of how much fruit your dog should consume is not straightforward.
There is a widely-accepted rule that can help – the so-called “10 percent treat rule.” This rule can be applied to almost any treat, whether it is a fruit or something else. It is simple to remember and apply too – treats should make up only up to 10% of total calories a day while the rest of the calories should come from your dog’s regular food.
Can Dogs Have Lemon Juice?
Even though lemon juice is less dangerous than some other parts of lemon, it can still cause the same problems. Therefore just like the flesh and whole fruit, large quantities of lemon juice can cause:
- Upset stomach
Besides, being highly acidic, lemon juice can obstruct your pet’s natural acid-base balance too.
What About Lemonade?
Even if you make an extra-light lemonade with a very small amount of lemon juice, it is still not a good idea to let your dog drink it, at least not too often.
The other thing you should consider is the amount of sugar in lemonade. Store-bought lemonade or the one you drink in cafes, restaurants, and fast-foods is often packed with sugar.
High quantities of sugar can be harmful to your dog as much as the lemon juice itself. It can lead not only to weight gain but to other health issues as well. So, if you decide to give your dog some lemonade, at least make sure it is sugar-free.
What About Lemon Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated and, as such, a big NO-NO for your dog! If your dog accidentally ingests some citrus essential oil, he or she will develop some of the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling/salivation
- Pawing at mouth or face
- Muscle tremors
- Difficulty walking
- Low body temperature
There are some claims on the internet that lemon essential oils can be good to apply externally if your dog has problems with parasites or other skin conditions. While citrus essential oil can be helpful in such situations to some extent, the risk is too great, and you should best find an alternative solution.
Are All Citrus Fruits Dangerous For Your Dog?
Not all, but many citrus fruits can harm your dog, especially if not given in moderation. So, what other citrus fruits can be bad for your pet?
They both have too high of a concentration of citric acid, just like lemons. Therefore, these fruits can upset your pet’s digestive system, as well. Luckily, they are quite sour and will not be tempting for your dog.
Can Lemons Be Beneficial For Dogs?
Unfortunately, lemons are not beneficial for our canine friends. It might be surprising to you considering all the good nutrients found in lemon, but that is the fact. If dogs could eat a large number of lemons without getting sick, this fruit would be beneficial for them, but, as you could see, that would be quite dangerous.
Other fruits have similar nutrient content and are safe for your dog to enjoy and benefit from. For example, your furry friend can eat blueberries, blackberries, apples, and mango. Why not try those? After all, fruit can enrich your dog’s diet and provide him or her with nutrients rarely found in animal-derived food. The fruit is often low in calories, too, so it can help your pet keep its weight in check.
Lemons are not all that bad for our canine friends as long as they do not eat them. They can help them get rid of the blood-sucking fleas and thicks. Namely, this citrus fruit is often found on the ingredient list of many natural flea & tick repellants.
You can even try to make an all-natural homemade pest repellent for your dog or cat. It will help keep bugs away without the use of toxic chemicals. Do mind that the lemon spray will not kill the bugs; it will only disguise the natural dog’s smell that attracts the insects in the first place.
A little bit of lemon should not harm your beloved pet, but he or she will definitely not enjoy the sour taste of this citrus fruit. You should thus best not feed lemons to your dog at all. If you overdo it, lemons can be highly toxic to your pet and cause many problems or even death.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested too many lemons, lemon juice, or citrus essential oil, take him or her to the vet ASAP!
Giving your dog a lick or two of lemon juice is perfectly safe and can be funny as hell – just make sure you have your camera ready, you’ll want to remember that face!