Can my dog eat… lemons?

Lemons are such a special fruit! They are wonderfully fragrant, tactile and full of vitamins. They add a special touch to any home decor and can even reveal a few secrets about your personality. Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh and Braque painted them, and fashion designers from Stella McCartney to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana turned the fabulous citrus into one of the hottest trends.

But the question is…

CAN A DOG EAT LEMONS?

The answer is No.

A bit surprising, isn’t it? Lemons do seem so innocent, after all. Yet the sunny fruit bears a dark secret unknown to many.

Lemons, just like all citrus fruit, contains psoralens, a group of compounds (phellopterin,   5- and 8-geranoxypsoralen) that belong to a chemical family of furocoumarins. The plants use these chemicals as a natural protection against pests and disease, as well as a survival mechanism that helps them adapt to the environment.

Even though lemons only contain small to moderate quantities of psoralen (the highest amount is found in the rind, pulp, seeds and any other part of the plant, the juice and flesh are less toxic), they can cause a reaction in dogs if eaten or applied on their skin.

The symptoms include digestive discomfort, vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten any part of the lemon, you need to contact the vet.

Psoralens are also used in medications to treat psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo and a rare type of cancer called cutaneous t-cell lymphoma, so it is important to keep the drugs away from your dog and prevent the dog from licking the skin after an application of any topical creams.

 

Photo credit: Pexels from Pixabay

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