Can Dogs Eat Lemons? Everything You Need to Know

No, dogs cannot eat lemons and limes because acidic citrus fruits are unpleasant to dogs. On the other hand, lemons contain psoralen chemicals and aromatic oils poisonous to dogs and can induce gastrointestinal distress. 

What is Lemon? 

Lemon is a species of the Rutaceae family. It is yellow and is native to China, Myanmar, Northeast India (Assam). It is a citrus and juicy fruit.  

It is used for both culinary and non-culinary purposes. It was first grown in Assam, Northern Burma, and China. It is filled with Vitamin C and phytonutrients, which makes it healthy for humans.  

Is Lemon Safe for Dogs? 

No, lemons are not safe for dogs to eat. They are toxic due to the presence of essential oils and chemical psoralen. In addition, the seeds, pith, and rind of lemon are also harmful to dogs. Not only can these cause indigestion, choking hazards, and intestinal blockage, but they can also trigger other health conditions due to psoralen toxicity.  

Why is Lemon Bad for Dogs? 

As already said, lemons are toxic due to the presence of psoralen. Lemons also do not offer any nutritional benefit to your dog.  

Even the presence of Vitamin C and pectin doesn’t make lemon dog-friendly. Your dog can make Vitamin C of his own. However, if there is any need for vitamin C externally, there are other food options. Dogs can also depend on apples for pectin.  

Citric acid: Consuming lemons can also lead to toxicity in dogs due to the citric acid. The consequences of consuming citric acid are: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Gastrointestinal issue 
  • Abdominal pain 

Psoralen: The ingestion of psoralen can be harmful to dogs. The seeds, pith, and skin are most densely concentrated with psoralen. Even the flesh of the lemon has psoralen. The ingestion of psoralen can lead to: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Scabs 
  • Sunburn 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Weakness 
  • Collapse 
  • Obstruction in Gastrointestinal Tract 
  • Choking 

Essential Oils: Because essential oils such as limonene are concentrated mainly in lemons, even licking them a bit may cause health issues in dogs. The most common symptoms are: 

  • Skin irritation 
  • Nausea 
  • Tremor 

Swallowing Entire Lemon: You are not supposed to give your dog an entire lemon. He can eat it and then face severe issues. The consequences of consuming a whole lemon can cause: 

  • Throat pain 
  • Abdomen pain 
  • Choking 
  • Death 

How Much Lemon to Feed Your Dog? 

As already said, lemon is not suitable for dogs. Therefore, you must not give lemons  to them at any cost. Furthermore, feeding your dog with lemon can be dangerous as it only has adverse effects.  

What If My Dog Ate Lemons? 

If your dog ate lemons accidentally, do not panic. Just check whether your dog has swallowed an entire lemon. If yes, immediately run to the veterinarian. If not, then wait for the symptoms to surface. The symptoms which your dog would show are: 

  • Nausea 
  • Drooling 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Incontinence
  • Skin issues such as irritation, rashes, and dermatitis
  • Unusual light sensitivity
  • Dilated pupils
  • Panting
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to walk

Visit the veterinarian to rule out the issues at the root. Then, follow the diet as prescribed by the vet. Preferably he would suggest a bland diet for your dog.  

Offer your dog enough water to make him feel comfortable. In addition, suppose you grow lemon trees in your yard. In that case, we suggest you fence the area surrounding the tree for your dog’s safety purposes.

Note: Avoid using lemon-flavored household cleansing products. This is because the fragrance might tempt your dog to try the fruit and cause trouble to him.

Alternatives To Lemon 

There are healthy alternatives to lemon which you should offer your dog as a treat, which includes: 

  • Kiwi 
  • Raspberries 
  • Figs 
  • Apples (without seeds)
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas 
  • Sweet potato 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can dogs eat lemon cake? 

Lemon cake has lemon, which is harmful to dogs. Also, it has tons of sugar, which can cause obesity, heart issues, diabetes, weight gain, hyperactivity, and hypertension. Hence, dogs cannot eat lemon cake.  

Can dogs eat lemon pepper? 

No, dogs cannot eat lemon pepper as even a tiny amount can be hazardous for dogs. In addition, feeding your dog with lemon pepper can give him GI issues.  

Can dogs eat lemon cookies? 

No, dogs cannot eat lemon cookies as it has double the amount of lemon and sugar. Both the elements are highly problematic for dogs to consume. Furthermore, these elements have drastic consequences like diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal issues, obesity, diabetes, drooling, hypertension, hyperactivity, and tremors.  

Can dogs eat lemon yogurt? 

No, dogs cannot eat lemon yogurt. Plain and unsweetened yogurt is only safe for dogs. In addition, lemon yogurt is toxic due to the presence of lemon and sugar.  

Can dogs eat lemon meringue pie? 

No, dogs cannot eat lemon and its products. There is an excessive amount of sugar present in lemon meringue pie.  

Can dogs drink lemon water? 

No, dogs cannot drink lemon water. This is because it has no health benefits for dogs. Instead, consuming lemon water can be highly dangerous to dogs.  

Can dogs drink lemonade? 

No, dogs cannot drink lemonade due to the presence of lemon and sugar. Both the elements are toxic for dogs. 

Can Dogs Lick Lemons?

No, dogs should not lick lemons as it worsens your dog’s interest in foods owing to its acidic and bitter taste. It’s best to keep lemons and limes away from your pet.


We conclude that consuming lemon and lemon products is not safe for dogs at the end of the article. Instead, it is toxic. It is better to choose healthy alternatives that benefit your dogs with packed nutrition and won’t harm them. As a responsible pet parent, you must opt for a healthy lifestyle for your dog.  

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