Many four-legged friends are crazy about the sour, yellow fruits (see video below) and other dogs can be chased really far away with the citrus fruits. But how does it look? Are lemons as healthy for the dog as for us? We will now get to the bottom of this issue.
Are dogs allowed to eat lemons?
Yes, in general dogs are allowed to eat the pulp of lemons in very small quantities, as long as they like these fruits. However, lemons are naturally very acidic and toxic in large quantities due to the lemon peel. Therefore, it is not healthy for the dog to eat several lemons at once. However, small quantities do not yet require a visit to the vet. Also, the seeds are not so healthy. It doesn’t matter if the four-legged friend swallows a citrus seed now and then, but in larger quantities, the seeds can be poisonous because they contain prussic acid, or rather amygdalin, a precursor of prussic acid.
Ingredients of lemons that are good for the dog
Besides the well-known vitamin C, lemons also provide vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and magnesium. These are also very valuable for humans and animals. The lemon is a fruit that contains little sugar and is therefore also very healthy. In the peel of the citrus fruit are valuable essential oils for humans, but which can be toxic for the dog.
Possible allergies that the dog may have to lemons
Usually, dogs are not allergic to lemons. However, it can happen individually from dog to dog that intolerance can also be noticed to lemons. You will notice this if your dog gets a stomach ache or diarrhea after eating lemons, and he feels uncomfortable or vomits. It is more likely that the lemon peel can cause an allergy. Here it can even happen that the airways swell. Mostly, however, not only the lemon peel itself is to blame, but the toxins and pesticides with which the citrus fruits were treated.
Therefore, you must always pay attention to good organic quality, you wash the lemons well before use and free the lemon from the peel.
Advantages of lemons for the dog
In general, lemon, including the peel, should not be used as food for dogs. The benefits are therefore mainly limited to external use or small feeding from the pulp of the lemon. However, lemons can also be used externally on quadrupeds. A lemon is cut into slices, heated in coconut oil to 60° Celsius, and cooled again. Afterwards the mixture must pull for some days in the dark, and already you have a natural and allegedly effective means against fleas, ticks and Co.
The oil-lemon mixture is applied generously to the coat several times a week. This tick protection has the advantage that it does not require chemicals and the dog may lick it without hesitation.
Disadvantages of lemons for the dog
If the dog eats too many lemons, it can cause stomach problems due to the high acid content. Also the peel of treated and not washed lemons can be bad for the quadruped. In larger quantities, poisoning symptoms can also occur, which we describe in detail below. Therefore, the feeding of lemon should be kept to a minimum.
Many dogs, however, abhor the sour taste anyway and often take already at the smell of lemons Reißaus.
Are lemons toxic to the dog?
No, lemons (i.e. the pulp) are not toxic to the dog in very small quantities. However, in large quantities, they can cause stomach upset and, in the worst case, poisoning symptoms. However, there is little danger of a four-legged friend eating too large a quantity of lemons on its own. The lemon contains the essential oils limonene and linalool, as well as the phototoxic substance psoralen.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(ASPCA), the danger of the lemon comes mainly from the peel and other plant material. Therefore, this should be avoided completely. The lemon fruit itself does not form a hazard. Since lemons are so not popular with many quadrupeds, these fruits are also included in so-called lead-removal sprays or educational sprays. These lemon-based sprays are of course not harmful to the dog. Psoralen has been used in cancer therapies for dogs for quite some time (more information here). The ingredients can therefore also have positive effects in certain therapies, and are currently being investigated in various studies.
Lemons versus dogs
Here is a funny video with dogs tasting lemons. Quite funny is how your dog reacts to the lemon and plays with it. The video above shows the funniest video clips of how dogs can react to lemons and play with it.
What other foods are similar to lemons?
All citrus fruits, whether oranges, grapefruits or limes, but also tangerines and clementines may be eaten by dogs in small quantities. However, be careful with all fruits that the dog does not necessarily eat the seeds.
Are lemons in dog food?
Generally, lemons are not included in dog food. However, many manufacturers now use lemon juice to preserve wet food. Citric acid is a natural way to preserve food.