Is Lemon Bad For Dogs?

Have your dog accidentally eaten a lemon, and you want to know whether it is good or bad for your pup? Or you want to check your dog's response to tasting lemons? Whatever the case, the lemon is terrible for your puppy. 

Feeding lemons to dogs and recording their crazy response were trending on YouTube back in 2013 or 2014. It was funny, but later on, veterinarians issued warnings about the potential danger of lemon on your dogs and restricted these activities.

Lemon juice has a considerable quantity of citric acid and has a very low pH of 2.25. Therefore, it is incredibly harmful to your dog and can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested in small amounts. In comparison, if your dog ingests a considerable quantity of lemon, it may result in nausea, vomiting, swallowing motions, diarrhea, strange behavior, and much more.

Let's go straight to the topic!

Is Lemon Bad For Dogs?

Why is Lemon Harmful for Dogs?

Lemon is a citrus fruit that means that it has a high concentration of citric acid. It is significantly helpful for humans, but toxic for dogs as it can irritate their digestive system. Furthermore, it can upset their stomach, and cause instant vomiting, diarrhea, and many other diseases in your dog due to lemon.

Therefore, you should keep dogs away from lemon and other citrus fruits. That is not all. Even the stems, leaves, rinds, and seeds of citrus fruits can be toxic for your dogs. Make sure that your puppy keeps away from lime trees if you have any in your backyard.

Some people also use lemons to provide vitamin C to their pets. No doubt, it is rich in vitamin C, but you can utilize alternate fruits like mandarin and oranges for this purpose that have a relatively low concentration of citric acids. These alternate fruits are safe for your pet as long as he/she doesn't overeat the fruits.

Are lemons Safe for your dog?

Ingesting too much lemon can be bad for your pup. However, if you feed lemon to dogs in a controlled small amount, it is safe. It can benefit your pooch in multiple ways, such as fulfilling the vitamin C deficiency, preventing chewing, and making him behave better and look cleaner.

According to the research conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota's University, lemons aren't quite dangerous for your dogs if you utilize them efficiently in a minimal amount. 

You should mix lemon juice with fresh water and give it to your pet for the best results. This method wouldn't pose any health risk to your pup. Keep in mind that if you mix too much lemon to water, it will be harmful to your dog due to too much acidity. Besides, your dog wouldn't drink it due to its sour taste. 

We know that you must be thinking about the right amount of lemon to add to water for your dog. Don't you? It solely depends on your dog breed, weight, and age. Therefore, we recommend visiting your vet to know the exact quantity of lemon water to give to your dog.

Symptoms of Lemon Ingestion in Dogs?

Symptoms of Lemon Ingestion in Dogs?

Are you worried that your dog has ingested lemon or any other citrus fruit and want to know the symptoms to diagnose? If yes, then you should read this section thoroughly. Here, we will tell you a few symptoms of citric acid ingestion in dogs that might be helpful to you for diagnosis and allow you to take the necessary steps to stop it.

The signs of lemon ingestion are following!

  • Diarrhea
  • Cold limbs
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Collapse
  • Depression
  • Drool
  • Tremble excessively
  • ataxia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness

If you see any of the above signs in your puppy, you should immediately take precautionary measures given below to reduce the danger. However, if the situation is critical, you should visit your vet and provide proper medication to your dog to overcome the citric acid effect as soon as possible.

Risks of Lemon in Dogs Health

As we have already discussed, lemon contains a high amount of citric acid with pH 2.25, making it highly harmful for dogs. It irritates the stomach and GL tract of dogs. That is not all. Many other chemicals in citrus fruits like psoralen, limonene, etc., can also affect your pet's health badly.

Let's analyze a few health risks of lemon juice for your dog!

  • Too much acidity in lemon can irritate your puppy's stomach. You will observe a change in the eating habit of your dog. Further, there will also be slight nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in the first 24 hours that will prevail slowly with time. In addition, your pet will also show sluggishness due to a disordered stomach and weakness.
  • If your dog has eaten lemon in a substantial amount, then the situation will be quite different from typical cases. It will cause a sudden obstruction in the pet's digestive system, and there will be vomiting and diarrhea at an extreme level. If the same is the situation with your puppy, you should immediately contact your vet and ask him/her to see your dog as soon as possible.
  • Ingesting lemon juice doesn't only cause vomiting and diarrhea. Instead, it can produce severe effects like inability to walk, muscle tremors, and drooling. In short, stomach disorder causes so much weakness to make your dog unable to walk or stand on its own.
  • If your puppy overeats lemon or its seeds from your backyard, you will observe unusual light sensitivity in your dog. It can also cause rashes in the groin area. Besides, if your dog ingests lemon regularly, it can also cause liver failure, which is a significant cause of death in dogs if left untreated.
  • The seeds, skin, and leaves of lemon and other citrus fruits contain a considerable amount of psoralen and essential oils. These natural compounds can cause depression, falling, trembling, hypothermia, low blood pressure, weakness, trembling, and drooling in your pet.
  • Lemon seeds are choking hazards and cause intestinal blockage in the puppies if they swallow too much off the peel.
  • Most of the citrus fruits contain limonene, which is the main component of aroma. Did you know it's a horrible effect on your dog's health? If not, let us tell you. It is the most common cause of tremors in dogs. The bad news is that it can be fatal for your pets. The reason is that metabolizing limonene is troublesome for dogs, and causes adverse reactions. 
  • You will observe considerable changes in the pet's behavior that are not supportive of their healthy growth. You know that a hungry dog attacks the food when being fed. However, your dog wouldn't show the same appetite and hunger in lemon poisoning as compared to normal conditions.
Lemon Poisoning Treatment in Dogs

Lemon Poisoning Treatment in Dogs

If you have seen your dog eating lemons or noticing the above symptoms of lemon poisoning in your pet, it is time to treat your dog. The best practice is to take your puppy to the vet. However, we will show you several treatments to reduce the effects of lemon as much as possible. Let's see these treatment methods now!

● Method 1

The best method is to remove the toxins and hazardous material from your puppy's stomach as soon as possible. You can do this by gastric lavage or stomach pumping out. First of all, you should do gastric irrigation to remove the toxin from the stomach. 

After that, you should feed activated charcoal to your pet to prevent the absorption of citric acid and other toxic chemicals later on in their bloodstream.

After this treatment, your dog will require much time to heal. Besides, you should follow some precautionary measures given below to improve the healing process. First, you shouldn't feed the dog normally in this scenario. 

Instead, you should give white rice or other precautionary food to your pet for a few days. It will help your dog to heal the GL tract quickly. You should also try to keep him quiet as much as possible as it significantly assists in healing purposes.

● Method 2

You can also treat your dog by withholding food for 24 hours and allow him to drink water only. It will help your dog to flush out lemons and other fruits in the stomach. After this, you should observe the dog's health. 

If it's getting good, then it is ok. However, if it is getting worse over time, you should consult your vet immediately.

Keep in mind that this method is suitable if your puppy has mild lemon poisoning symptoms. Otherwise, you should follow the procedure given in the above paragraph or contact your vet.

By following the above treatments, your dog will show a significant improvement and return to the routine in a few days. His activeness will let you know that he is healthy and happy.


Lemons are very bad for a dog's health if ingested in a large amount. You can go above and check the causes, symptoms, and harmful effects of lemon on your dog's health. Besides, you can also check the treatment methods to protect your pup from lemon poisoning above! 


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