Can My Dog Eat Lemon?


Lemon is an essential citrus fruit for humans. You, like most humans, start your day drinking lemon water on an empty stomach. People who like to maintain a healthy lifestyle always turn to lemon for its extremely high Vitamin C content and fiber.

Lemons can also be used in cooking and baking, cleaning, and even disinfecting homes. For sure, lemons are a human must-have but is it the same case for dogs? Can my dog eat lemon, and can a lemon hurt a dog?

dog eating lemon

Is Lemon Safe For My Dog?

Yes, but only in moderation. Can a dog lick a lemon? Sure, they can. One lick should not cause any adverse effect to them. But if you are letting them lick a lemon for your amusement, then better stop the nonsense.

Unfortunately, you can’t share lemons with your dogs. Dogs don’t like the citrus taste of lemons, so even if you offer it to them, the chances are that they’ll stay away from it because they know that it is something that they will not enjoy.

Lemons, like most citrus fruits, have essential oils called d-limonene and linalool.  These oils have insecticidal properties, and when your canine ingests them, they can break down in your dog’s liver and cause poisoning, toxicity, and liver damage.  Depending on the amount of lemon that your dog feasted on, it can even lead to liver failure.

Aside from these two essential oils, lemons also have psoralens, a compound that’s also dangerous to your dog. This is often used as a treatment for specific skin problems, but it can encourage phototoxicity for dogs.

Also Read: Can My Dog Eat Oranges?

Owner feeding the dog

Symptoms To Watch Out For

As a responsible canine caregiver, you need to expand your knowledge not only on the foods that are safe and unsafe for your dogs. You should also know what symptoms to expect if my dog ate a lemon.

The gravity of the symptoms depends on the amount of lemon that your dog gets its paws on and ingest. A small amount of lemon isn’t likely to cause a severe medical emergency.

There are no specific symptoms for lemon poisoning because it shares the same symptoms of an upset stomach. If you miss several lemons, watch out for vomiting, diarrhea, and unusual light sensitivity. There’s also a possibility of excessive drooling, rashes, and tremors.

Your dog might also be downright uncomfortable and unable to settle in, gets dizzy and showing incontinence episodes and your dog even collapsing.

lemon on dogs head

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Lemon?

The first thing you need to do when you realize that your dog surprisingly devoured lemons is to keep your cool. You need to call either your veterinarian or your local animal poison control center, and they will recommend if your canine bud needs to be seen or not.

Usually, if your dog ingested only a small amount of this citrus fruit, there’ll be no need to go to the vet, but you would mostly be advised to monitor your dog’s condition closely. If the symptoms persist, and for your peace of mind, a visit to the vet is the most brilliant move.

So how much lemon is toxic to dogs? It depends on your dog’s size and weight. A medium-sized lemon eaten whole by a Doberman would most likely have no effect, but if the same lemon is consumed by a teacup Chihuahua then you have a sour problem.

Also Read: Can My Dog Eat Watermelon?

bowl of lemon juice

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Lemon Juice Bad For Dogs?

Lemon juice and lemonade are nasty for your dog. Lemon juice shares the same acidity as lemons, and lemonade technically is the same with sugar on it. Your dog doesn’t need either of these liquids in its systems.

The unwanted citric acid and sugar that these two beverages can lead to more serious health concerns for your dog like vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s best to skip it altogether. Water is the only form of liquid you need to keep your dog hydrated.

But if you want, you can use lemon juice for an entirely different purpose, and that is to keep your dog’s coat clean. So, is lemon juice safe for dog’s skin? It is so long as you mix equal parts of baking soda and use it to clean the fur of your dog.

Can Dogs Have Lemon Water?

Sure, you can give your dog some lemon water, and if it is given appropriately and carefully, your dog can enjoy the many health benefits of lemon. The challenge here is your dog drinking the lemon water because they dislike the taste and smell of lemons. You have to ensure that you don’t incorporate plenty of lemons because there’s always the risk of acidity to their tummies.

It is best to add a few drops of lemon to your dog’s water bowl and slowly increase the dosage. The goal here is for your dog not to notice that you are putting in lemon. Else, your dog will stop drinking the lemon water.

an image of a lemon cake

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Cake?

The answer to can my dog eat lemon cake is Yes. Your dog can undoubtedly have a bite or two of lemon cake. You don’t have to fret about the citric acid of lemons because the lemon zest is already mellowed down with the other ingredients of the cake, like milk and butter. The citrus threat is reduced significantly, so you can go ahead and give your dog some cake treat.

Can Dogs Have Citrus Fruits?

Your dog is not a fan of citrus fruits primarily because of their strong smell and tart taste. And there are plenty of citrus fruits that are also harmful to your pet.

Aside from lemons, can dogs have limes?

Limes and grapefruits are also not a good idea to give to your dog and are off-limits. Both are high in citric acid and cause gastrointestinal issues for your dog. If you want to provide a citrus fruit to your dog, opt for oranges.

dog sitting in a beautiful park

Now that you know the answer to can my dog eat lemon, it is best to trust your dog’s nose and keep it away from lemon since they won’t proactively eat this fruit. Your dog depends on you ultimately, so make sure that you don’t have lemons lying around your house. If you have a lemon tree at home, make sure that you secure the area, and your dogs won’t have access to it.

Can lemons kill dogs? Yes, it can, especially if your dog ingested large amounts of this fruit, so save yourself the trouble and store your lemons properly.

Paul Andrewshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/
A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show quality dogs to help guide first time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.


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