Have you ever tried giving lemon juice to your dog? If you have, you’ll know that most dogs dislike the taste. Such is their aversion to the citrus stuff that lemon juice is actually used for training dogs, especially for excessive barking.
It’s the classic “association” trick that dog owners use to their benefit, by spraying lemon juice in their dogs’ mouth while giving a command the dog is supposed to follow. In time the animal relates that command to the distasteful juice and learns to obey the owner.
If dogs liked lemon juice, this would actually turn into the opposite, that is, a reward game. When training your dog, though, you must be careful not to accidentally put some in the dog’s eyes, because that is going to sting and you’ll have a very unhappy dog on your hands, not to mention a possible visit to the vet.
Can I Give My Dog Lemon Juice? Answer: Yes, In Small Amounts
However, there are some people who put lemon juice in their dog’s water, as this is believed to cure bad breath, or, what’s known as canine halitosis. Many dog owners use this home remedy, in addition to vet suggested ones like cleansing biscuits and brushing, to get rid of the foul smell that dogs have, some more than others.
Curing Bad Breath
What you need to be careful of, though, is not to put too much, or your dog will not drink the water, and that’s not the outcome you want. Water, for dogs, is essential, and the lack of a daily dose can lead to illnesses. That apart, some vets warn against this saying that it’s too acidic for their stomachs and dogs were never meant to eat lemons, since they didn’t do this in the wild. In short, it’s not their natural choice. As for water, check with your vet about how much water your dogs must drink daily, as this varies according to age, breed, and weight.
On The Rocks
Another favorite thing that dogs owners like to do is to put ice in their dog’s water, and this is something canines actually love and will probably drink a lot more water. However, if it’s a hot day and your dog either drinks a lot of chilled water quickly, which they tend to do, or eats the ice cubes, as they absolutely love to do, they could develop bloat, a life threatening gastric condition in which the stomach gets overfilled with gas and can actually prove fatal in time if left undetected.
Lord of the Fleas
Apart from social issues like bad breath, lemon juice is also considered quite useful for repelling fleas in dogs. It’s one of the best natural products to use, apart from vinegar. Squeeze a lemon, mix it with water and spray it, if possible, onto your dog. This is a particularly good practice in the springtime, which is when fleas abound and you dog comes home itching. As an alternative to lemon juice, you could also try lemon oil. On top of this, if you want to be even more careful, feed your dog garlic, as this is also said to be an effective way of keeping those wretched fleas at bay.
These natural ways are actually better than harmful de-wormers, or flea-collars, some of which actually instruct you to wash your hands after touching and which, if used over long period of time, could cause serious illnesses in your best friend. Ask your vet about the potential risks of chemical flea repellents.
A Tear Stain Solution?
There is also a lot of talk about lemon juice being great for removing, or treating tear stains in dogs. There are two sides to this story as well. Many vets will not validate this theory, for reasons mentioned above – lemon juice is too acidic and the like. But then there are people who’ve added a bit of it to the water and claim to have corrected the tear stains problem. But this is something you need to talk to your vet about, since it’s not really that simple to cure. Also, do not even think about applying lemon juice near the eyes. It’s terrible for them.
Looking after a dog is not easy, so before you try anything on your canine friend, ask an expert.