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Lemons belong to the citrus family, a variety of fruit encompassing many species. If your dog won’t stop giving you puppy eyes, it’s hard to resist handing them a piece of what you’re eating. But don’t give them an entire lemon.
Can dogs eat lemons? The simple answer is that it depends. While a small lick won’t hurt them, a whole lemon isn’t a good idea. Eating one whole could upset your dog’s stomach.
Can I Share a Lemon With My Dog?
Even if you wanted to give your dog a lemon, they might not eat one. That’s because lemons have a strong bitter taste, mainly the rinds. Dogs have a stronger reaction to bitter tastes than humans. So, it might seem like they’re wincing if you let them take a sniff of lemon.
On the other hand, some dogs enjoy sour tastes. If you cut a lemon open, they might be willing to lick it out of your hand. Don’t give them an entire piece of it, though. Otherwise, they may end up swallowing the rinds.
Anytime your dog swallows lemon rind, they’re likely to get sick. Dogs don’t have the right stomach enzymes to digest them completely. As a result, undigested bits tend to upset their tummies.
Is Citric Acid Safe for Dogs?
Yes, citric acid is safe for your dog. That’s just another name for vitamin C, actually. Letting your dog lick up some lemon juice could give them a little vitamin C, too.
Typically, they won’t drink a whole bowl of lemon juice since it’s pretty bitter. But, they might lap up a few drops if you squeeze a few in their dish.
Certain dogs have sensitive digestive systems, so acids should be avoided. Citric acid can be irritating to any dog if consumed in large enough quantities, too. That’s why you shouldn’t give them a ton of it, no matter how much they beg.
What Citrus Can I Give to My Dog?
Lemons aren’t the only citrus fruit out there. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for some bananas. Never give a whole citrus fruit to your dog, though.
Grapefruit, oranges, and limes are also best kept away from the dog. They all have high levels of ascorbic acid, aka vitamin C.
If your dog eats any of them, they’ll likely suffer from a lot of stomach pain.
Highly concentrated acids can really hurt the inside of a dog’s stomach. That’s why it’s so important to keep them away from any citrus in the pantry.
What Happens if My Dog Eats a Lemon?
More than likely, the family dog will never eat a lemon on its own. If they do, you’ll probably notice a few signs.
Dogs typically feel nauseous after eating something disruptive. So, vomiting is a common symptom after they’ve eaten a lemon.
Try taking them for a walk and letting them use the bathroom. If they eat a lemon, they usually have some diarrhea, too.
When dogs don’t feel well, they often respond differently to light. Typically, they tend to try and avoid lights, especially bright ones. If your dog shows signs of light sensitivity, it may have eaten some lemon.
What to Do If My Dog Eats Lemon?
Even if they’ve eaten large quantities, they’re unlikely to experience significant complications. In other words, they’ll be fine after processing everything. They may be a little sick for a day or two. But, after that, they’ll be back to normal.
If they are showing particularly severe symptoms, take them to the vet. The vet should always be who you rely on for medical advice regarding your pets.