There are very few things that can quench your thirst like lemonade, especially on a hot summer’s day. It offers one of the most perfect balances in the world — part sweet, part sour, and 100% refreshing. But is it safe for dogs?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Even the most naturally made lemonade contains elements that are unsafe for your dog to consume. So, what is it that makes lemonade an unhealthy choice for dogs? And what should your pooch be drinking instead?
Can Dogs Eat Lemons?
Although some dogs will eat just about anything, that doesn’t mean they should — especially acidic foods. Your pup’s diet should be an alkaline-based plan or one with a neutral pH. To help achieve this, dog food manufacturers often add foods to promote an alkaline diet such as alfalfa, apples, celery, beans, bananas, potatoes, and even broccoli.
But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? After all, lemons are the primary ingredient in a freshly squeezed glass. However, they’re also the number one reason why your dogs should avoid lemonade. Lemons contain citric acid which is a primary offender to your dog’s digestive tract.
Like humans, dogs experience acid reflux. Acid reflux is a medical condition in which gastric acid is regurgitated upwards into their esophagus creating heartburn like experience. And as any sufferer of acid reflux knows, this condition is painful and uncomfortable.
And it’s also worse for dogs.
Dogs and Acidic Foods
Dogs’ GI tracts are particularly sensitive when it comes to acidic foods. Dogs will naturally avoid these foods on their own. However, some dogs will ultimately disregard their instincts if fed acidic foods by their master in the hopes of appeasing them. And you’ll begin to notice the effects almost immediately.
Your dog will most likely display a negative initial reaction based on the tartness of the food. You’ll see them curl up their lips and often start licking uncontrollably. While this may look funny, we can assure you it’s not. Your dog knows something is wrong.
And although this is a short-term side effect, it can have lasting repercussions. Some dogs will develop food aversions and even begin to distrust the food you are feeding them. But aside from that, they may experience other symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and general discomfort from acid reflux.
If fed an acidic diet over longer periods, your dog may experience much more serious conditions like increased cellular degeneration and minimizing the effectiveness in their red blood cells and the delivery of oxygen throughout their bodies.
Added Sugar and Lemonade
It’s not just the acid in the lemonade you need to be careful of — it’s the sugar as well.
To overcome the acidity of the lemons, there’s normally a ton of sugar inside of a good lemonade.
A dog’s blood sugar level is much more volatile to control than that of a person’s, making them extremely susceptible to diabetes and other sugar-related issues.
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What Should I Do If My Dog Drinks Lemonade?
While we don’t recommend directly giving lemonade to your dog, that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way to drink yours. For some dogs, all you need to do is turn your back for one second and whatever is yours quickly becomes theirs.
But there’s no need to immediately worry. A small amount of lemonade isn’t going to have long-term detrimental effects. However, depending on the amount consumed, your pup will probably feel some acid reflux effects afterward.
The best thing to do in this situation is simply to offer them some clean, fresh water. They’ll probably become very thirsty after drinking your lemonade due to the sugar and to combat the acidity.
Dogs and Lemonade
So, while lemonade may seem like an ideal treat for us, it can be a big risk for your pup. Both the acidity and sugar levels of lemonade can cause immediate and long-term effects on your dog’s health.
The best way to quench your dog’s thirst is simply water or a few ice cubes on a hot day. If you are looking to give your pup a liquid treat, check out LIQ Liquid Treats for Dogs. They’re made with ingredients that are dog friendly and they’re sure to love the unique rollerball delivery design.
Featured Image Credit: JillWellington, Pixabay