Lemonade can be an ideal drink on a hot day to quench your thirst. It offers the perfect balance in taste; it is partly sour, sweet, and thoroughly refreshing. While you may want to share the drink with your furry friend after a walk on a hot day, is it safe for them?
Unfortunately, lemonade is not safe for dogs as it contains unsafe elements. Lemons and sugar are the primary ingredients used in making the drink. Individually, they are not dog-friendly as they can cause various health issues. Their effect on your dog’s health is doubled when combined.
Why Is Lemonade Not Dog-Safe?
There are various health concerns with giving lemonade to your furry friend. These stem from the main ingredients used to make the drink. They include:
A dog’s gastrointestinal tract cannot synthesize lemons and all citric fruits. Besides, dogs are sensitive to such fruits and will naturally avoid them on their own. While most dogs will shy away from freshly squeezed citrus fruits, some are curious as their feline counterparts. Their disregard for their instincts will find them having the drink, and the effects can be almost immediate.
Your dog’s reaction will stem from the tanginess of the citrus drink. Their lips will curl up, and they will start to lick themselves uncontrollably. Though the licking may only last for a while, the repercussions can be long-lasting.
If you were the one who offered the drink, your pooch will develop trust issues and develop food aversions. Your dog can also experience symptoms such as acid reflux and vomiting. And if the citrus drink is consumed regularly, they can develop severe conditions such as cellular degeneration.
Dogs should not have sugar in their diets. Though it is safe for them to have naturally occurring sugars like fruit, processed sugar can impact their health negatively. Processed sugars can cause the following health risks:
- Stomach upsets – Excessive amounts of sugar can be hard on your pooch’s digestive system. It may cause bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Tooth Decay- Like in humans, sugar has adverse effects on your dog’s teeth and gums. Their mouth bacteria thrives more in sugar, releasing acids that erode teeth enamels. They can also lead to inflamed gums.
- Metabolic issues – Dogs can get long-term health issues when they consume sugar regularly. Pancreatitis, heart diseases, and diabetes are common sugar-related conditions that dogs can develop. They can also suffer weight management issues degrading their general quality of life.
What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Lemonade?
Sometimes your dog can still drink lemonade despite all your precautions. So, what should you do if they manage to get a taste of your lemonade?
You don’t need to worry if this happens; drinking a small amount of your lemonade will not have catastrophic results. Your dog might experience some negative effects, but they will not last long.
However, too much lemonade can cause them to have acid reflux. If this happens, offer them some water.
Lemonade can make them thirsty because of its sugar content and their bodies trying to fight the acidity. The water will help control this aftereffect and prevent dehydration.
If the water does not help, you must contact your veterinarian. They can find better ways to deal with the high acidity and ensure your furry friend recovers quickly.
If you are looking for ways to help your pup cool down during summer without suffering the effects of lemonade, you can give them:
Nothing beats a fresh, cool bowl of water on a hot day. It can help your pup cool down and also ensure they stay hydrated. It is also safe as it doesn’t have additives or preservatives.
Your canine friend might not be interested in drinking bland water. You can add a flavor enhancer such as chicken broth. Ensure you only give them chicken broth that is low in sodium to prevent sodium poisoning. It should also not contain any seasonings or spices.
Make your dog a smoothie using dog-friendly ingredients to increase their liquid intake.
Some of the safe fruits to make a smoothie with include:
You can also add some plain or unsweetened yogurt to boost the flavor. Put the smoothie in ice cubes to provide them with sweet and cooling treats whenever they get thirsty.
Be careful not to include any seeds or the rinds of most fruits, as these could be a choking hazard. You should also ensure your dog is not allergic to the fruits used before serving them.
Now you know that dogs should not drink lemonade. The drink has many dangerous aspects, and it is better for your canine friend if they don’t drink it. The good thing is, that there are plenty of other healthier alternatives for them to enjoy.