We all know that panic-worthy moment when you spot a kid from your family innocently feeding your dog whatever’s in their hand. In the case that the food is a zesty lemon, you’ll need to read this article. We’ll give you a detailed answer to the question, “can dogs eat lemons?”
To sum it up, you shouldn’t feed your dog any lemons. If they eat a small amount of the flesh, no harm, but try to prevent it next time. Now, let’s jump into more detail!
Are Lemons Any Good for Dogs?
No, lemons aren’t any good for dogs. Their nutrients don’t add any value to your dog’s health. Quite the opposite, actually, their acidic nature may cause health problems for the poor animal. However, the real culprits here are psoralens.
Psoralens are a group of compounds that are commonly found in citrus fruits and generously in lemons. The bad news here is that they’re toxic for dogs if eaten in large quantities. Not to mention, lemons already have a high content of sugar. Therefore, lemons can cause obesity for animals.
However, if any unfortunate luck leads you to feed your dog lemons, don’t let them near the peel. And since lemons are a must in every household, make sure to keep them out of your dogs reach. Dogs often mistake them for tennis balls and grab them for playing. As a result, you should train your pet well to leave something when you say so.
In addition, you don’t want to let your dog near any lemon-scented products in your house or lemon essential oils. They can make your pet sick if consumed, especially considering the fact that essential oils are concentrated. Accordingly, they can sicken your pet more than lemon fruits.
What Will Happen if Dogs Eat Lemons?
Due to the full content of citric acid in lemons, they can inflame your dog’s stomach. As a result, dogs may suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Moreover, if your dog ate a large number of lemons, you may notice that they’re extra sensitive to light.
The most important thing you need to look out for is whether your dog is choking or not. If they swallow some of the peel or lemon seeds while eating, they may experience intestinal blockage, which eventually leads to clogging.
On another note, unfortunately, some people spray lemon juice over their personal belongings to prevent their dogs from chewing on them. However, this isn’t exactly ideal for your pet’s health.
Why? Simply because it might make your dog seriously ill because of the citric acid they’ll be consuming. As an alternative solution, you can give them a chew toy to distract them or store your personal belongings like shoes and handbags somewhere they can’t reach.
If you’re too late and your dog has already consumed lemons in large quantities, you should immediately wash their mouth with water and get medical attention. Your vet will tell you the steps you need to do to keep your dog healthy and safe. They may instruct you to induce vomiting in order to avoid bad outcomes, for instance.
Yet, on the bright side, mostly, dogs that have eaten a small number of lemons won’t experience anything further than a funny face as a reaction to the zingy taste.
How Do Dogs React to Lemons’ Taste?
Dogs have taste buds just as humans do, which means they can differentiate between sour and bitter flavors. However, they prefer sour flavors over bitter ones. That’s why most people spray vinegar on their belongings to stop their pets from chewing.
To summarize, most dogs will react to lemons just as we do. They won’t be ecstatic with the zestiness and the acidness that lemons generously contain. However, some may like its sugary taste, which still isn’t good because sugar packs your dog with empty calories.
Does This Go for All Citrus Fruits?
Since citric acid is found in all citrus fruits, they’re all equally harmful to dogs. As a result, you shouldn’t feed them grapefruits or limes. This most probably won’t be an issue because dogs naturally dislike their bitter taste, so you don’t have to worry about your pet accidentally gobbling up some grapefruits.
Nevertheless, dogs like to munch on some citrus fruits like tangerines, clementines, and oranges. Although much safer than lemons because they don’t contain toxic compounds, you still shouldn’t feed them to your dogs in large quantities. In addition, you shouldn’t give them the peel because they won’t be able to digest it.
Another vital notice you should take is never letting your dogs drink orange juice or lemonade. They’re high in both citric acid and sugar, and dogs don’t tolerate high sugar levels as well as we do.
Lastly, please don’t fall in the trap of letting them drink sugar-free drinks. Those have sugar alternatives and artificial sweeteners, which are fatally toxic for your pet. If you want to give your dog a cold and healthy drink to keep them refreshed, look no further than water.
How to Train Your Dog to Stay Away From Citrus Fruits
Like most animals, dogs are pretty curious. They tend to smell and lick anything that seems foreign to them until they ensure it’s safe. And while that can be beneficial in some situations, it won’t be if the foreign object is a round, citrusy lemon. That’s why you need to train your dog well.
To do so, you should ensure that your pet understands basic commands like ‘stay’ or ‘no’. This will help in case you spot your dog happily munching on a toxic fruit. Moreover, don’t provoke your pet, and keep citrus fruits exposed in bowls. For the sake of their health, you should keep them somewhere unreachable.
Unfortunately, dogs don’t only hang around inside. They may take an innocent stroll outside that leads them to yours or the neighbor’s lemon tree. As a result, you shouldn’t allow your pet outside without your supervision. It’d also help if you set up a safety perimeter around any lemon trees standing around.
We certainly don’t advise training your dog with an electric collar because it may cause them psychological issues and sudden phobias.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Add Lemons to My Dog’s Water?
Although it’s refreshing and may give your dog an energetic boost, it’d be best if you stayed away from lemons altogether. You don’t want to affect your dog’s stomach in any way and have an unnecessary visit to the vet. Moreover, if you aren’t paying enough attention and your dog decides to eat the lemon slices after drinking, they may choke.
Why Do Dogs Act Odd Around Lemons?
Dogs have superb nose abilities. They’re able to identify whether the food is edible or dangerous by just smelling it. This remarkable trait gives dogs the sense to reject some foods due to knowing they’re unhealthy for them. Since lemons fall in that category, dogs may get repulsed and act crazy around them.
Can I Spray Lemon Juice on My Lawn to Keep Dogs Away?
Although it’ll successfully deter dogs away from your property, lemon juice might harm them unintentionally if they lick any surface. That’s why you should look for a safe alternative like lavender oil and vinegar. They won’t harm the dogs in your neighborhood, but they’ll definitely stay away.
Does Lemon Juice Stop Dogs From Peeing on the Carpet?
Since dogs dislike citric acid’s smell, they’ll try to stay away from it even when it comes to peeing. As a result, if you want to keep your carpet clean, it won’t harm to spray some lemon juice over it. However, if your dog tends to lick the carpet or eat off of it, avoid lemon juice.
What Are the Symptoms of Lemon Poisoning for Dogs?
Lemon poisoning occurs as a result of ingesting toxic psoralens, linalool, and limonene. The symptoms you should look out for are depression, sudden collapsing, drooling, diarrhea, overall exhaustion, cold limbs, coordination loss, and low blood pressure. If your dog shows any of the previous symptoms, you need to rush to the vet.
To Wrap Up
Dogs aren’t usually picky about their diet. They’ll munch on anything edible around them if they like it. However, you should keep your dog away from eating lemons. They’re high in citric acid and sugars, which may upset your dog’s stomach.
Moreover, they contain toxic compounds that cause health issues to your pet if they eat large quantities. Finally, under no circumstances should you let your dog eat a lemon peel or seeds. They won’t be able to digest it, and they may suffer from blockages.
Now that you know enough about the topic, you can prepare healthier snacks for your dog than lemons!