Can Dogs Drink Lemonade? [Fizz or Foe]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Picture this: a sun-drenched afternoon, laughter floating in the air, and the tinkling sound of ice cubes swirling in a glass of refreshing lemonade. 

But wait, what’s that? A furry, four-legged companion sitting beside you, gazing up with hopeful eyes, tail wagging as if to say, “Hey, I want in on this summer paradise too!”

As the mercury rises, it’s only natural to want to share life’s simple pleasures with our loyal canine pals.

Yet, in the midst of our own gustatory delight, a prickly query arises: Can dogs drink lemonade or are we inadvertently stirring up a sour cocktail of health troubles for them?

The answer might not be as clear-cut as a lemon slice, so let’s find out more in the rest of this post.

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Is Lemonade Safe for Dogs?

Is Lemonade Safe for Dogs

No, it is not advisable to give your dog lemonade. 

Many store-bought lemonades contain ingredients that can be harmful to your furry pals.

These ingredients make the drink taste great but are, unfortunately, not pet-friendly. 

Even homemade lemonade can pose risks. The citrus content might not agree with your pet’s tummy and leave them with a stomachache.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Will a small amount of onion hurt my dog?

Is There Nutritional Value for Your Dog in Lemonade?

A cup of lemonade can provide about 70 to 99 calories and that’s just a fraction of what your pet needs in a day. 

It also has about 26 grams of carbs and anywhere between 25 to 40 grams of sugar. Those are going to give your pet a quick energy boost. 

Your furry pal may also get a small amount of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, from every cup of lemonade they consume.

But what they can really get a lot of from this beverage is vitamin C. The amount of this vitamin your pet can get from this beverage would depend on how much lemon juice you use for your mix. 

To give you an idea, one lemon contains about 30 milligrams of vitamin C! 

What Harmful Ingredients for Dogs Are in Lemonade?

What Harmful Ingredients for Dogs Are in Lemonade

First, there’s sugar. Many store-bought lemonades load up on this sweetener to make it taste delicious. We know that sugar is bad for us humans. They’re also a big no-no for our pets.

Next up is xylitol. This is an artificial sweetener that is used in some brands of lemonade. It’s another must-avoid. This ingredient is really bad for your pet!

Lastly, it might be surprising, but there’s citrus itself. The acidity present in lemons and lemonade can potentially cause problems for your pet. 

What Can Happen if Your Dog Drinks Lemonade?

Let’s say you weren’t able to resist and gave your pet a sip of your cold lemonade. Now, you might be worrying about what this can do to your furry pal.

A small sip shouldn’t cause you to worry.

But if you regularly let your pet drink lemonade, then that’s a different story. The main problem your dog is going to deal with is sugar.

As mentioned before, most store-bought lemonades are sugar bombs. 

Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain and dental problems. 

Those extra pounds can result in joint problems and more serious health concerns like obesity or diabetes.

Then there’s xylitol. If your lemonade of choice contains this sweetener and your pet manages to take a sip, then it can trigger an insulin release. 

Is that bad? It is. This condition can lead to seizures and liver issues.   

Even with just homemade lemonade without any artificial sweetener, the drink can still give your pet a problem. It lies in the lemon itself. 

The acidity can cause your pet to suffer from throwing up or pooping uncontrollably. The citric acid can irritate your pet’s tummy and leave them in discomfort.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Drinks Lemonade?

Unless you suddenly discover that the lemonade you’ve been giving your pet has xylitol and you’ve only been giving them small sips, there’s not a lot you’d need to do.

  • Observe your dog for signs of discomfort like arching or pacing.
  • If your pet is experiencing some side effects, then consider giving the vet a call. If the vomiting is not that severe, your pet’s vet may just ask you to keep your furry pal hydrated at home.
  • Keep their water bowl full so they can drink whenever they need to. 
  • For more severe reactions, you may have to consider bringing your pet to the animal clinic.
  • However, if your pet has been drinking xylitol-laden beverages, it is best to visit the vet so they can run tests to see if it has affected your pup’s liver. 

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Better Alternatives to Lemonade for Your Dog

If your pet insists on drinking something, hide the lemonade bottle and bring out water instead.

Nothing can beat water in quenching your fur pal’s thirst because it is safe and cheap.

You can even freeze the water and give it to your pet as a refreshing popsicle. You can make this a bit fancier with small bits of doggy-friendly fruits like blueberries or watermelon.

If you’re feeling extra generous, you can offer your pet coconut water as a treat.  You can also give them diluted fruit juices. make sure to stick with safe options like cranberry, apple, or blueberry juice.

You can also buy commercial doggy drinks which should be readily available at your local pet store. 

What Else Can Dogs Drink Besides Water?

Is your pet tired of drinking plain ol’ water? Try giving them dog-friendly chicken or beef broth. 

These flavorful liquids are a great way to keep your pet draining their water bowl. Make sure to keep the sodium content low.

Your pet might also enjoy a bowl of good bone broth. Not only will they satisfy their thirst, but they can also get a lot of nutrition from it. 

What Should Dogs Not Drink?

Now, that we’ve covered drinks that are safe for your pet, we should also talk about the drinks that your pet should stay away from.

One that you should absolutely keep in a safe container away from your pet is alcoholic beverages. Your pet can suffer from alcohol poisoning after ingesting just a tiny amount.

Caffeinated drinks are also bad for your pet. They may cause restlessness and other heart issues. So, make sure that your pet doesn’t get a chance to steal a sip of your coffee, tea, or energy drink.

Most dogs are lactose intolerant so keep your milk cartons out of paw’s reach. Cow’s milk can leave your pet in so much discomfort. 

Anything sugary should also be placed on the do-not-drink list. This means you shouldn’t share your soda, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks with your pet. This is especially true for beverages that are artificially sweetened. 

Can Dogs Eat Lemons? Are Lemons Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already talked about how the acidity of lemon can cause digestive issues for your pet. So, it’s best to keep this fruit away from your pet. The same is true for other citrus fruits.

While a small accidental nibble might not lead to a major emergency, it’s best to keep lemons out of your dog’s reach. They don’t need vitamin C anyway since our pets’ bodies produce their own.

Even more dangerous to dogs are the rinds. If your pet managed to accidentally chow down on that, contact the vet ASAP.

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Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: does wet dog food cause diarrhea?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs have lemon juice?

Lemon juice is not good for dogs. The high acidity and essential oils in lemon juice can cause digestive problems and upset your pet’s stomach. It’s best to avoid giving your furry friend any amount of lemon juice to prevent potential discomfort.

Can dogs drink soda?

No, dogs should not drink soda. Soda is loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and other additives that are not suitable for dogs. These ingredients can lead to obesity, dental issues, and even caffeine toxicity. Stick to dog-friendly beverages and plain water for your pup.

Are citrus fruits bad for dogs?

While small amounts of some citrus fruits might not be harmful, it’s generally recommended to avoid feeding dogs lemons, oranges, or grapefruits. The high acidity can upset your pet’s stomach and leave them in discomfort.

Why do dogs have a strong reaction to lemons?

Dogs often have a strong reaction to lemons due to their sensitive taste buds and keen sense of smell. The tangy scent of lemons can be overpowering to dogs. Plus, they have a natural instinct to avoid foods that have a strong, unfamiliar smell.

Why is citric acid in lemons bad for dogs?

Citric acid, commonly found in citrus fruits like lemons, can be problematic for dogs. The high levels of citric acid in lemons can lead to upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. Additionally, some dogs may be more sensitive to citric acid, which can exacerbate their digestive discomfort.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Drink Lemonade?

As we bid adieu to this citrus-splashed journey, it’s evident that while a sip of lemonade might seem harmless, our canine companions deserve more than an afterthought. 

Balancing their health and happiness requires a dogged dedication to understanding their unique needs. 

So, when life hands you lemons, remember to consider your furry friend’s slice of the equation.

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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