Can Dogs Eat Lemon Juice?

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Getting a dog is exciting, but it surely comes with a few challenges. Knowing what to feed your dog and what not to do is the biggest challenge. And, if you go by a dog’s nature, they are naturally scrap eaters most of the time.

So, what happens when you drop a slice of lemon, and your dog gobbles it right up? Is it safe for them? Do you need to consult a vet about it?

We will answer more about this question and your other queries regarding dogs and lemon juice.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

Can Dogs Eat Lemons

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Most kinds of fruits and vegetables are safe for your dogs. Take berries, for example. They are packed with antioxidants and have a natural sweetness to them, which is a great treat for your puppy.

But, at the same time, there are certain restrictions to what your dog eats. In most cases, fruits like grapes and vegetables like onion and garlic aren’t good for your dog’s health.

So, what about lemons?

Technically, eating lemons in moderation is safe for your dog. It will not cause them any health-related complications or put their lives in danger.

However, lemons have a mildly bitter taste, which isn’t a flavor profile that dogs enjoy. Dogs associate bitterness with stale and rancid food. So, chances are that if your dog accidentally does end up eating a lemon, it will most likely spit it out.

But, if by any chance your dog likes a slice of lemon, there’s nothing wrong with offering them a slice or not now and then. However, moderation is key in this case. You don’t want to overdo it by any chance.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons Juicy for Health Benefits?

Unlike humans, who can benefit a lot from the nutritional properties of lemons, dogs can’t. Most phytonutrients or plant-based compounds in lemons aren’t good for your dog, especially when they are eaten in large quantities.

Some of the compounds like Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, fiber, etc., which are present in lemon, can benefit your dog’s overall health.

But, the negative impacts often outweigh the benefits when it comes to lemons. What we recommend you do is provide them with a balanced diet with all these above nutrients available in abundance in the lemons.

Besides lemons, you can also try fruits like blueberries and apples to nurture your dog’s health with all the same nutrients.

If you are looking for a citrus fruit to offer your dog, we’d recommend something more subtle and sweeter – like an orange. They have a higher natural sugar and citric acid level, which your dog might like. However, since they are still on the tart side, your dog might not enjoy oranges either.

Also, whenever you are feeding lemons or any kinds of citrus fruit like oranges, sweet lime, etc., ensure to avoid feeding the peels to your dog. The peels have a high concentration of essential oils, which isn’t safe for your dogs and can lead to digestive complications.

Should You Worry About Your Dog Eating Lemon Juice?

Technically, eating a slice or two of lemon once in a blue moon isn’t harmful to your dog. But you also need to understand that lemons don’t offer any health benefits for your dog.

You might not have to worry about your dog eating lemon or licking up some lemon juice until you notice the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Drooling
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Rashes
  • Muscle tremors

If you notice your dog being out of its element, you must take things a little more seriously. Symptoms like muscle tremors or convulsions can be fatal for your dog, so we’d recommend you rush them to your nearest vet for further evaluation.

Besides these, excess consumption of lemons can weaken your dog’s digestive system. It can also erode their teeth’ enamel. If you want a more technical understanding, lemon and lemon plants contain a chemical called psoralen, which impacts the gastrointestinal functions of your dog.

So, if your dog has eaten a slice or two of lemon and you notice them vomiting or having symptoms of diarrhea, you know the reason why.

The only good thing out of the situation is that dogs generally don’t find lemon appealing. So, chances are that even if they come across one, they will most likely decline to eat it.

Note: If your dog’s condition worsens after consuming lemon or lemon juice, it could also be a sign of an allergic reaction. Such situations require an immediate doctor’s intervention. So, consult a vet immediately in that case.

Also Read – Lemon Cucumber Water Detox Recipe

Why is Citric Acid in Lemons Bad for Dogs?

One of the most common reasons dogs have a bad reaction to lemons is the citric acid in the fruit.

Lemons have a high citric acid, which can worsen your dog’s digestive functions. In most cases, the degree of damage will depend on how sensitive your dog’s stomach is to citric acid.

Some dogs react poorly to citric acid and experience severe symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. But some dogs don’t.

The reaction or impact of the citric acid in the lemons also depends on how much lemon juice your dog has eaten. If it is a lot, chances are that it might lead to a barrage of symptoms in them.

Side note: If you are thinking about giving lemonade to your dog, we’d recommend that you avoid that as well. Not only is the lemon bad for them, but the added sugar isn’t favorable for your dog.

If you are preparing a list of citrus fruits to keep out of your dog’s reach, we recommend including lemons, limes, and grapefruit. All of these have a high citric acid level, which isn’t something your dog’s digestive system will appreciate.


Dogs can more or less eat everything; no wonder they are sometimes known as vacuums. But, when it comes to lemons, we’d suggest you keep them out of their reach. Although not fatal, lemons aren’t the healthiest food option for your dog, especially because it contains a high level of citric acid, which isn’t great for your dog’s oral and digestive health.

Related – Cucumber Lemon Ginger Detox Water Recipe

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