A zingy slice of lemon makes a refreshing addition to a cool drink on a hot summer’s day! It can seem tempting to feed fruits such as lemons to your dog, but is this a good idea? Can dogs eat lemons, or can they make your dog sick?
Can dogs eat lemons?
No, it is not a good idea to feed lemons to your dog.
Firstly, your dog is highly unlikely to enjoy the sour, bitter flavor of lemons. He may react very badly to the taste, plus lemons also contain some compounds that are toxic to dogs.
The fleshy part is highly acidic due to the citric acid content. This can cause some unpleasant and painful digestive problems in dogs.
Apart from the flesh, all other parts of lemon fruits contain essential oils, which are known to be toxic to dogs. This includes the peel, white pith, and the leaves of the lemon tree.
Lemons also contain a compound called psoralen, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs.
Although lemons are not hugely poisonous to dogs, they have no nutritional benefits either! So while you might get away with feeding some peeled lemon slices to your dog, there is no benefit in doing so.
What are the signs of toxicity?
Not all dogs will exhibit symptoms of lemon toxicity, and some will consume a slice or two of lemon without any problems. However, in many cases, the dog will develop symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, due to the high levels of citric acid and psoralen.
Essential oils in lemon skin and pith will cause your dog to start drooling profusely, and in some cases, the dog will develop skin irritation and other symptoms of an allergic response.
If a dog consumes a large amount of lemon peel, it can cause constipation and reduced fecal output.
What to do if my dog ate lemons?
If your dog ate a small amount of lemon, monitor them closely for any signs that they need medical help. If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the symptoms of lemon toxicity, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive drooling, contact your veterinary clinic immediately.
Luckily, most dogs will not be tempted to eat lemons, as the aroma and flavor are very unpalatable to them! However, we all know one of those dogs that will eat anything, so it is always a good idea to keep lemons well out of the reach of dogs.
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