Citrus fruits and dogs sound like two things that don’t mesh. Yet, we know that dogs can eat oranges. So, can dogs have lemon water or is this a bad idea? How about lemonade or actual lemons. And, if yes, what would you even give a dog lemon water for?
Below, we’ll go over all the risks, benefits, and additional notes relating to lemon water and dogs.
Can Dogs Have Lemon Water?
They can, technically, but only in really small quantities. While lemon juice, like oranges, isn’t strictly toxic to dogs, it is a bit too acidic for their digestive system. This means that giving your dog a bit too much lemon juice in its water can lead to some gastrointestinal issues as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
However, if we are talking only about a few drops in a standard large canine water bowl, those shouldn’t present any issues at all. Naturally, here we’re talking about pure lemon water – adding sugar with it is a big No-No as dogs can be very susceptible to sugar in their diets.
Is Lemon Water Good For Dogs and Why Would You Even Think Of Giving It To A Dog?
Assuming that you don’t overdose your dog with too much of this highly acidic fruit, lemon juice for dogs can have the same benefits it has for humans:
- Lots of Vitamin C
- Great immune system booster
- Helps blood sugar
- Promotes weight loss
- Aids with digestion
- Prevents kidney stones
- And more
All those health benefits we use lemon juice for apply for dogs too. Of course, it’s not a panacea but if your dog is lacking in one of these areas, a few drops of lemon juice in its water aren’t going to hurt.
Additionally, there is one other surprising benefit to lemon juice for dogs most people don’t think of – it deals with bad breath. This is rarely important for people as we can fix that easily in other ways. However, dogs have bad breath almost constantly and this can alleviate the problem to a significant extend.
What Are The Problems With Giving Your Dog Lemon Water?
The high acidity of lemon juice is really the only significant problem you’ll have to consider. Then again, if you add too much lemon juice in your dog’s water for it to be harmful, your dog will likely refuse to drink it anyway. We are yet to see a dog that actively loves lemon water. Usually, the struggle is to trick your dog to ignore the two or three of drops in its water not to stop it from drinking too much.
How Much Lemon Juice Is Acceptable To Add To Your Dog’s Water?
This will depend on the size of your dog and the size of its bowl. Even the lemons themselves matter as some are sourer than others. As a rule of thumb, we’d advise no more than two or three drops per 100 ml of water.
If you’re uncertain, it’s better to put less rather than more. Remember, the lemon juice isn’t there to “make” your dog healthy, at best it’s just a bit of Vitamin C and a breath freshener. Also, we obviously recommend contacting your vet before you do this.
How To Give Your Dog Lemon Water?
With most dogs, there is an almost full guarantee that they won’t like the sour taste of lemons. If that’s the case with your pooch too but you want to give it a bit of lemon juice, here’s what you’d need to do. First, add just one drop of lemon juice in a large bowl of water.
Such a small quantity should be hard to sense and recognize even for a dog. If your dog senses it nevertheless and refuses to drink the water, try to get a bigger water bowl and try again later.
Read more about: Can Dogs Drink Gatorade For Dehydration?
Alternatively, dilute the single lemon juice droplet in a larger water container and then pour that water into the dog’s water bowl. Once the dog feels comfortable with the new water, keep maintaining that quantity of lemon juice for a couple of days. After that – add another drop. After a few more days when the dog has learned to ignore the lemony taste – add another drop if the water bowl is big enough and the lemon juice is going to be properly diluted.
Other Potential Applications Of Lemon Water With Dogs
Unsurprisingly, lemon juice can be used for a lot of things. When it comes to dogs, there are a few ideas people seem to ask about:
Can Dogs Have Lemon Water Used On Their Coats?
Spraying lemon juice water on your dog’s coat can be an effective coat cleanser. Lemon juice is also a natural flea repellent so that’s also a workable idea.
Can Dogs Have Lemon Water Around Their Eyes and Ears?
Lemon juice can be an effective tear stain remover but it’s strongly ill-advised to use lemon juice close to your dog’s eyes and ears.
Can Dogs Have Lemon Water Used As A Repellent Against Them?
Lemon water in a spray bottle can be used as a mild negative reinforcement tool in training. Sprayed on furniture it can also dissuade the dog from scratching.
Can Dogs Drink Lemonade?
Lemon water for dogs is one thing but lemonade contains a lot of sugar and other additives as well as more lemon juice. As such, it’s definitely not recommended for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Lemons?
Again, that’s really not a good idea. A single bite out of a lemon will get way too much lemon juice and flesh into your dog’s system. At that point, the high acidity of this fruit will be a problem. Additionally, lemon peels and seeds are full of essential oils that are quite unhealthy to dogs.
So, especially if your dog develops a taste for citrus fruits and lemon, you should make sure to keep all lemons out of reach.
So, Can Dogs Have Lemon Water, and Should They?
They can and there are even reasons why they should. However, you should exercise a very serious conservatism when adding lemon juice to your dog’s water. A few drops really are all you need.