Many dog parents love to treat their pets with human foods and snacks. But, in some cases, the foods we can eat and love can be unsafe and even dangerous for dogs.
Videos of dogs tasting lime or lemon for the first time have become viral in recent years. But this is not a good idea. In fact, the RSPCA issued an official warning against feeding any citrus fruits to pups.
Citrus foods and their citric acid can be highly toxic for canines and felines. Even a few pieces of lemon or orange can lead to stomach upsets. In large quantities or in small-sized dogs, citric acid can cause central nervous depression. This is a condition that requires emergency veterinary care.
So, if you enjoy making your own lemonade or citrus juices at home, keep the fruits and the drinks out of reach from your beloved furbabies.
Why Is Citric Acid Bad For Dogs?
While you may enjoy the tangy or tart taste of citrus fruits, dogs are not likely to be tempted by it. In fact, according to some experts, many foods that are toxic to dogs taste repellent to them, which is an instinctive survival mechanism.
But, just in case, keep any foods and beverages containing citruses and citric acid away from your furbaby.
The reason is that citrus fruits contain citric acid in different amounts. Lemons and limes, for example, have a high citric acid content and contain essential oils and psoralen components. The seeds, rinds, stems, and even the leaves of these fruits contain compounds that can be poisonous to canines. As such, the ASPCA has deemed them toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
Some adverse effects of eating lemons or limes in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, and sensitivity to light.
Oranges can be more enjoyable to pups, but they can also be dangerous. The entire orange tree, with the leaves, stems, peels, seeds, and fruit, can cause toxicity in some canines, especially when consumed in large amounts.
Ingesting a lot can lead to more severe side effects, including central nervous system problems in dogs.
Not to mention that a whole uncut and unpeeled citrus fruit, along with the rind and seeds, can be a choking hazard or cause an obstruction, especially in smaller pups.
But, if your four-legged companion has gotten hold of a single slice of orange or another citrus fruit, then don’t panic. Chances are that it may not display any adverse effects, or if there are some, they will most likely be a belly ache or diarrhea.
Are There Citruses Which Are Safe For Dogs?
As a whole, it is advisable to keep all kinds of citrus fruits away from your furbaby.
You may be tempted to add some lemon juice to your dog’s food as a source of vitamin C. But while lemons and limes are excellent natural sources of this vitamin for us, they can do more harm than benefit canines.
The safer citruses include mandarins, tangerines, and clementines. But just in tiny amounts, and only the fleshy part without the seeds or peels. Keep in mind that while they have less citric acid, they contain a lot of sugar, which is also harmful to dogs.
If you are determined to add a little fruit to your pet’s dietary regimen, then you can choose some of the other less acidic fruits. Pick some that are safe for dogs, such as apples, bananas, cranberries, watermelon, or strawberries.
But feed them to your furbaby in minimal amounts as treats rather than as part of its primary balanced diet.