Can Lemons Hurt Dogs ? Welcome To Tartville

The benefits of lemon water have been touted for ages. From giving you a glowing radiant skin to helping you shed some extra weight, lemon water has long been exalted as being essential to good health. It would therefore come as no surprise for pet parents to wonder whether this elixir holds the same benefits for their beloved pets. After all, it is your duty to do the best for your pet, right?

Unfortunately however, lemon water, or even lemons themselves, are more likely to cause your dog more harm than good. They belong to the citrus family, and these fruits are known to cause problems for dogs. Read on to find out what you should do in case your dog ingests lemon water or lemons, and other benefits that the water may hold for your canine friend.

can lemons hurt dogs

can lemons hurt dogs

Can Lemons Hurt Dogs : Why are Lemons Harmful to Dogs?

Lemons are harmful to dogs owing to the presence of psoralens as well as two kinds of essential oils, limonene and linalool. Psoralens are phototoxic compounds that are found in high concentration in lemons. Usually, the compounds are used to treat numerous skin conditions. To your dog however, they will cause plenty of harm especially if consumed in large quantities.

As much as humans love lemons and lemonade we need to be mindful of what is present in lemons. The digestive system for dog owners are different than their beloved dogs. Lemon juice to your dog is bad for dogs and this dog drink should not be consumed by your dog. The nutrional benefits is not the same for dogs as it is for humans and could mess with their gi tract. When dogs eat lemons even in small amounts can induce vomiting. The lemon tree that produce these beautiful citrus fruit is very toxic for dogs and a very bad idea. The amount of lemons a dog ate can be overwhelming for your pet. Dogs drink lemon should not happen however it could make for a good flea repellent rather than drinking lemon or if dogs eat a lemon. In either case don’t do it.

Limonene is a fragrant essential oil that is found in countless cosmetic and cleaning products. It can even be found in small quantities in a good number of dog shampoos. However, when highly concentrated such as in the fruit itself, the essential oil can cause your dog untold pain and discomfort. Linalool, like limonene, is a sweet- smelling oil that is also used in soaps and lotions to make them fragrant. It is also often used in insecticides owing to its strong floral scent. However, the oil can be too harsh for your dog’s skin and can have nasty consequences when ingested.

What are the Symptoms of Lemon Ingestion?

Unless you willingly give your canine friend the lemons to eat, most times you may not even be aware that they ate lemons. With time however, tell-tale signs of the ingestion start to show. One of the most common symptoms of lemon ingestion by dogs is extreme stomach discomfort accompanied by diarrhea. This often occurs if the dog ate just a little lemon. There are however other more severe signs besides gastro-intestinal discomfort that can arise from lemon consumption.

Your dog may start experiencing tremors and cold limbs. He may also be lethargic and depressed. He may also start vomiting in addition to the bowel incontinence. Sometimes, eating a lemon can be so dangerous as to cause liver failure. The dog may also experience photo-sensitivity, whereby they will behave unusually when exposed to light. In the worst case scenario, excessive consumption of lemons can even cause sudden death.

What are the Symptoms of Lemon Ingestion

What should you do if your Dog eats a Lemon?

It is imperative that you inform your veterinarian about your dog’s condition as soon as you notice the symptoms of lemon ingestion. Usually, the vet will ask a number of questions to enable them to diagnose just how much the dog has been affected by the lemon. You may be asked what part of the lemon the dog ate, how much of it was eaten and how long ago the consumption took place.

If the symptoms are not too severe, there are a few things you can do to offer your dog relief at home. You can also try some of these tips to ease your pup’s pain before you take him to the vet’s. If the dog touched the lemon with his paws, you should wash the affected area with water and some mild soap. Keep in mind that linalool and limonene are used in a number of dog shampoos, so you may want to avoid these to prevent further irritation. You can also induce vomiting, but only with express permission from the vet. The danger of inducing vomit without the green-light is that the dog may inhale some poisonous oil into its lungs, thus making an already terrible situation much worse.

 What should you do if your Dog eats a Lemon

At the vet’s, several tests will be carried out in order to determine the exact extent of damage caused by the lemon ingestion. Some of these include a urinalysis, a test of the stool or vomit if any and even neurological testing. The neurological testing is carried out to see if the lemon caused any significant harm to the dog’s ability to carry out neurological functions. Treatment can be in the form of gastric irrigation as well as other procedures aimed at restoring your dog’s neurological ability. The conditions usually clear in a matter of a few days. If the dog suffered photo-toxicity, it is imperative that you shelter him from direct sunlight for a few days in order to let him recover fully.

can lemons hurt dogs

Can Dogs Drink Lemon Water ?

Since you now know that eating lemons is extremely harmful for your dog, you may be wondering; can dogs drink lemon water? Perhaps because of its dilute nature, you may be tempted to think that the water will be an improvement on the fruit itself. While this is true, lemon water also has very little if any benefits for the well- being of your dog. In fact, the cons far outweigh any benefits that may come from giving your dog lemon water.

Like the fruit, lemon water contains a healthy dose of psoralens. Like with the fruits, these compounds will cause your dog untold discomfort. In particular, they are likely to upset the gastro- intestinal system thus resulting in diarrhea and vomiting.

In any case, the water is too sour for any dog’s liking. With the exception of a few, most dogs will turn away from lemon water for this reason. This may tempt you to add some sugar to the water to make it more palatable to the dog. While this will most likely work just fine, you must ask yourself exactly why you need your dog to drink lemon water. Adding sugar makes the water sweet, like lemonade, but sugar is generally bad for the dog’s well-being. Given that the benefits of lemon water to dogs are almost non-existent, why would you go ahead and harm your pet’s health in the process?

If you must give the dog lemon water, then make sure that the water is dilute in every sense of the word. One cannot overemphasize just how terrible the effects of excess acid can be to your pup. Additionally, avoid contact with the dog’s eyes as the lemon water can cause them immense damage.

What should you do if your Dog eats a Lemon

What will happen if your Dog licks a Lemon?

Like eating a lemon or drinking concentrated lemon water, licking a lemon will cause nasty effects on your dog. If the dog has licked some lemon, his body language will tell you all about it. Some of the most evident signs of licking or even eating a lemon include the following:

Dropping ears

Back hair on edge


Dilated pupils


The effects of licking a lemon include rashes in the groin area, muscle tremors, nausea, which is characterized by drooling, and vomiting. It is important to note that psoralens are most highly concentrated in seeds, the skin and pith, all of which the dog can easily lick. Licking once or twice will not cause your dog too much harm, but excessive licking can prove to be nightmarish. If you suspect that your dog has licked lemons in excess, contact your vet promptly and take the dog for treatment at the earliest opportunity.

 What will happen if your Dog licks a Lemon

Lemon Juice for Bad Breath; Does it Help?

Bad breath for dogs can be somewhat disconcerting. It often points to a much more serious health condition, such as gastro-intestinal problems or diabetes. Sometimes however, it might simply be caused by an accumulation of food particles between the dog’s teeth or even plaque. When faced with this problem, you have a number of ways through which you can clean your dog’s teeth.

First, you can make a habit of brushing the teeth once a day every day to see whether there will be any improvement with the halitosis, or bad breath. If this fails, you might also try giving your dog chew toys to get rid of food stuck in between teeth. You can even try giving them carrots, which are also rather refreshing. But can you successfully use lemon water in order to curb bad breath for your dog?

It is actually possible to use lemon water in an effort to eliminate your pet’s bad breath. Of course the lemon juice added to the water must be very little, or else the water will be too acidic for your pet. A few drops of the juice will suffice. Lemon water helps to battle bad breath by killing any bacteria found in the mouth as well as to freshen breath. You can also give your dog some peppermint or parsley leaves to chew to kill the odor. If the bad breath persists, then it is now time to see a vet. They will help determine whether or not there is a deeper underlying health problem and treat it.

Lemon Juice Dog Training: What it is and Why it is Important

Lemon juice in naturally tart and dogs simply don’t like the taste. While this is often construed as a bad thing, and rightly so, it might have a hidden benefit as well. Since dogs don’t like the sour taste of lemon, applying some of the juice on surfaces you don’t want the dog to chew on can help keep your canine off those areas. This is particularly important if you have a teething dog. The young pups are often extremely excited and willing to chew on just about anything, which can turn out to be rather expensive for you. This is where lemon juice dog training comes in handy.

Of course there are dogs that won’t be deterred by the taste of lemon. Some may even learn to like the sour taste. In case this happens to be your dog, then you should try mixing the lemon juice with another sour- tasting ingredient, such as apple-cider vinegar or even pepper. Chances are pretty low that your dog won’t stop chewing on your favorite furniture when you use this mixture.

Lemon Juice for Dog Fleas? Does it Help or Hurt the Dog?

Fleas are a menace to any dog owner. Usually, your canine friend will collect them from outside, say from a neighbor’s infested pet dog or even the squirrels and raccoons of the wild. Fleas can cause your dog immense misery. There are a number of ways you can get rid of them but none is quite as effective as using lemon juice. Here is how to go about it.

First, you will need to boil some water, and add to it slices of lemons with the rinds on. You should also add some rosemary leaves and let the mixture boil for about five minutes. You should then let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, drain the mixture, put it in a spray bottle and use it to spray the affected area. You can also add a very small amount to the inside of the dog’s collar to help keep the fleas at bay. Adding some of the mixture to your dog’s shampoo also leaves your clean pup refreshed.

One of the reasons why lemon juice is preferable to other flea-killing alternatives is because in addition to getting rid of the fleas on your dog’s body, it also acts as a repellant to the fleas. This will protect your pup from future flea attacks.

But is lemon juice harmful when used to kill fleas? It all depends on the concentration of the juice you use. You would be well advised to seek your vet’s advice on just how concentrated your mixture should be before you use it on your pet. A mixture that is too highly concentrated can cause indescribable skin irritation whose effects cannot be overstated. Moreover, it is exceedingly important that you avoid using the juice on the eyes or surrounding areas. The damage the water can cause may prove to be profound.


On the whole, lemon ingestion is rather harmful for dogs. By all means never feed the fruit to your dog as it can have terrible repercussions. Lemon juice can however be used to successfully treat bad breath, kill fleas and train your dog. Follow the tips above on how to use lemons on your dogs and you will certainly not go wrong.