Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

I, as a person who loves lemons, can eat a lot of them just plain or with a bit of sugar. But mostly I love to put them in my tea. Hot tea with lemon in cold winters – it’s just the best.

Oh, almost forgot but who doesn’t like cold lemonade in summer? Such a refreshing drink.

Now that I already can share with you the knowledge I have about dogs and what they can eat or can’t, it’s time to see if can dogs eat lemons.

Once, I found my dog trying to lick a slice of lemon and then the dog parent in me wanted to understand immediately if lemons are safe for my doggo or not. The faces that were made were cute and funny but I wanted to know if this citrus fruit is safe for my dog.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

Dogs shouldn’t eat lemons.


Lemons, limes, grapefruits, and all other citrus fruits aren’t good for dogs as they contain citric acid. That’s the reason why these fruits aren’t safe for dogs and even they are usually classified as toxic.

Another reason is that lemons can’t give any benefits to dogs. Lemons are very nutritional but unfortunately only for us, humans. Dogs’ digestive systems can’t process the citric acid and that’s why this fruit is not enough nutritious for dogs.

The fleshy part of the lemon isn’t toxic to dogs but this still doesn’t make the lemon a safe fruit for our favorite four-legged friends.

Can Dogs Drink Lemon Juice?

Dogs should avoid drinking lemon juice as it is very concentrated in citric acid which for sure can cause digestive problems as we know that the stomachs of dogs are more sensitive than humans.

Why Dogs Reaction to Lemons Is So Strong?

Dogs can taste bitter, sour, and all the other tastes as humans. Dogs don’t enjoy the sour taste but they can eat food or fruit that is sour but they always connect bitter taste with negative. That’s because they have a feeling that bitter food is poisonous – the instinct of surviving.

Dogs have very sensitive noses and that’s why dogs in most cases won’t even try to lick the lemon. But if you are lucky enough like me, your dog can be interested in licking it, then you can be sure 99% that your dog won’t eat it. As the bitter taste means danger for dogs.

Lemon Decoration

You are probably like what is lemon decoration? Let me remind you with a picture:

The dried combination of lemons and oranges that got so popular in the last few years. Dried oranges and lemons, by the way, can be used for packing your Christmas gifts.

But they should stay away from dogs.

Symptoms to Check For If Your Dog Ate Lemons

I want to share with you these symptoms so you know what to look for if you find your dog having lemon in its mouth. As already I have said it’s almost impossible for your dog to eat a piece of lemon and here I will give a list of symptoms that can happen if a dog eats a bit more than one piece of lemon. That means they are very very rare.

Actually, the first symptom can happen even with a very little amount of consumed lemon:

  • Excessive drooling

Excessive drooling happens when a very little amount of lemon is consumed and if your dog consumes essential oil in enough amounts.

  • Digestive problems

An upset stomach or some gastrointestinal issues can occur if your dog eats lemons but that are very light symptoms that can happen. Although if your dog experiences severe vomiting or diarrhea then it’s time for fast action – grab your doggo and go fast to the nearest vet clinic.

  • Constipation

Another digestive problem but this one is more often than the others. Constipation in dogs happens when they eat a new food or they don’t drink enough water but it’s also a side effect of eating lemon and more especially seeds and rind. It should pass in the next few days but if it doesn’t you should contact your vet and see what treatment your dog may need.

  • Allergy reaction

Like every other human and dog food, lemons can cause an allergic reaction. Very often it’s presented by a rash or itchy and sensitive skin.

Lemon Oils

I don’t know about you but I love the smell of lemon. That’s why I use lemon rinds in some sweet baked goods and almost all smells of candles I like are of lemon. The essential oils are also a thing I like. Oh, let’s not forget how good smells the whole house after it is cleaned with lemon-scented cleanser.

Lemons are containing these essential oils. They can be found only in the rind, not in the fruit. But the rind also contains psoralens – a group of compounds that belong to a chemical family. These chemicals are used by the plant for protection from diseases and pests. Psoralens are in small amounts in lemons but they are still toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Safe Fruits For Dogs

Your dog can eat other fruits and even your dog can eat oranges although they still contain citric acid, they contain sugar too that’s why they are way more safe.

Here is a list of safe fruits that should be consumed only in moderation:

5 Juicy Facts About Lemons

  1. Lemons are a hybrid between sour oranges and citrons.
  2. Lemons, as papaya, are classified as berries.
  3. Today, the British Navy requires all ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have an ounce of juice a day.
  4. During the Renaissance, ladies used the juice of a lemon to redden their lips.
  5. During the California Gold Rush in 1849, miners were willing to pay huge amounts of money for a single lemon.


Lemons aren’t the fruits that should be given to dogs. Although dogs won’t eat lemons alone because of the smell and bitter taste there are of course exceptions. That’s why if your dog eats lemon and especially lemon rind make sure to contact your vet.

Let us know about which fruit or veggie you want to know more and we will write about it in the next articles.

Video Answer


Can dogs drink lemon juice or lemonade?

No, dogs shouldn’t drink any of these beverages. Lemon juice is concentrated in citric acid and lemonade too but with added sugar. This doesn’t add any beneficial nutrition but can harm the dog’s digestive system and sugar isn’t good for dogs with diabetes or for dogs that easily gain weight.

Can dogs eat limes?

Limes, just like lemons, contain citric acid which isn’t good for dogs’ health.

Can dogs eat lemon rinds?

Lemon rinds contain a toxin called psoralen which is very toxic to dogs. Lemon rind can cause gastric obstruction. If your dog eats the rind of lemon call your vet immediately.

Can dogs eat lemon tarts?

Dogs shouldn’t eat or drink products containing lemon and in addition, sugar is not good for dogs’ health and should be avoided. The sugar dogs are getting by their food and some fruity treats is more than enough as too much sugar can lead to obesity.

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Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

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