You have seen pictures and videos online depicting dogs being fed with fruits like oranges, lime, lemon, and grapefruit. The question is posed: is it the correct thing to do? The truth is that human beings process foods and particularly citrus fruits differently from dogs. To answer this question, you will have to understand all the possible effects of citric acid in dogs.
Drawbacks of citrus fruits in dogs
Citric acid will impact dogs differently ranging from mildly to adversely depending on the quantity of citrus fruit ingested. High amounts of citric acid have been proven to cause your dog to throw up and even diarrhea. Diarrhea and vomiting will lead to loss of body fluids and severe dehydration and this can be fatal to the health of your dog. The problem is that citrus fruits contain the citric acid not only in the juice but also in the peelings and leaves and even the bark!
Citric acid from the fruits is harmful to your dog’s teeth because it contains high levels of toxic psoralen. The dog’s canines apart from being hypersensitive stand a risk of developing complications with continued consumption of citric acid. On top of this, your dog will be stressed and will appear weak and also develop a feeling of apathy and inactivity.
Highlights of ingesting citrus fruits
Oranges in small amounts are considered healthy for your dog whether it’s small or big. Lime and lemon, however, in small bits, are recommended only for the large dog breeds. Citric acid will not have very serious effects on the big dogs since they have more lime tolerance as compared to their small counterparts. You will need to understand that you are the one that needs fruits in large amounts for your health, but not your dog!
Dogs can also consume citrus fruits in minimal amounts in combination with dog food for a myriad of advantages, including but not limited to: boosting your dog’s brain health and development, prevention of arthritis, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, and reduction of allergies in your dog. Please note this should be done in combination with dog food or any other edible substances and fluids like milk or water.
Sometimes you may not feed your dog directly with citrus fruit. But as you know, they are very playful and active and may pluck one or two from the shrubs around the house. As such, they may eat up a whole fruit without your knowledge. They could also feed on the leaves and peeling of citrus lying around in the compound.
In a nutshell, yes, dogs can eat citrus fruits. Whether you feed them or they playfully plucked one around the house, citric acid in dogs is tolerable in very minimal amounts. Closely monitor your dog for any changes in behavior and strive to keep your dog away from citrus fruit shrubs. Also look out for signs of citrus poisoning that include: throwing up, diarrhea, stress, and tiredness. However, in cases of excessive ingestion, call your vet immediately and he will check your dog to avert any serious effects.