| DogNeedsBest is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may receive a commision.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons? Read before you feed!

There are a lot of citrus fruits, and among them Lemons are popular because of how refreshing they taste and how healthy they are!

They can help you to strengthen your immune system and digestion because they are high in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. But, what about your furry friend?

Can dogs eat lemons?

Can dogs eat lemons ? Or they are harmful to them? In this article, we will answer these questions for you.

Are Lemons Toxic to Dogs?

The short answer is “NO”, Lemons are not poisonous to dogs but, they are also not healthy for them. Although the lemon’s pulp is not deadly, and it is extremely sour and acidic, which can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea, and oral irritation in these pooches.

The peel, seeds, and stem of the lemon contain psoralen, a chemical. It is toxic to canines and can cause photosensitivity, skin inflammation, liver damage, and central nervous system depression.[1]

Psoralen and other chemicals that might be hazardous to dogs if consumed or applied topically can also be found in lemon essential oil.

Are lemons toxic to dogs?

Why Do Dogs Dislike Lemons?

We humans love refreshing lemon juice, have you ever given your dogs lemon juice? But, they seem to hate it because of their overpowering aroma and flavor, lemons and other citrus fruits are generally repulsive to dogs. The bitterness and acidity of lemons are easier to perceive by dogs, since they have a far more acute sense of smell and taste than humans.

When they smell or taste a lemon, some dogs may even snort or cough. This is advantageous since it keeps them from consuming foods that can make them ill or worse.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats a Lemon?

If your dog unintentionally ate or licked a small amount of lemon, then it is unlikely that your dog would suffer from any serious injuries.

Also, you should continue to keep an eye on your dog for any indications of discomfort or distress, such as drooling, mouth-pawing, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, or difficulty walking. You should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog swallows a substantial amount of lemon or any of the peel, seeds, stem or oil, or if you see any of these symptoms.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats a Lemon?

Your veterinarian may induce vomiting, administer fluids, or medications in order to treat the symptoms and prevent complications.

What Fruits Can Dogs Eat Instead of Lemons?

While lemons are not a good choice for dogs, there are many other fruits that are safe and healthy for them to enjoy in moderation. Some examples are:

Apples: For dogs, apples are a fantastic source of fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They can aid in dental cleaning and breath freshening. But, be sure to take out the seeds and core before feeding them to your dog because they could be poison or choking hazards.

Bananas: Rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and fibre, bananas are a pleasant treat for dogs. They can assist in controlling their digestion and blood pressure. They should only be consumed in moderation or as a special treat, since they are also high in calories and sugar.

Blueberries: Due to their low calorie content and strong antioxidant, vitamin C, fibre, and phytochemical content, blueberries are one of the best fruits for dogs. These can aid in defending your dog against cancer, inflammation, and oxidative stress. As a snack or addition to their meal, you can give them blueberries that are fresh, frozen, or both.

which fruits can dog eat?

Strawberries: Another berry that dogs can eat is strawberries. They are abundant in manganese, folic acid, fibre, and vitamin C. These could aid in enhancing the metabolism and immune system of your dog. They also include an enzyme that can aid in tooth whitening for your dog. But, due to their similar high sugar and calorie content to bananas, limit your intake or save them as a treat very occasionally.[2]


What are the toxic components of lemons for dogs? 

Lemons include citric acid, limonene, linalool, and psoralen, which are harmful to your dogs when ingested. These drugs cause symptoms like nausea, depression of the central nervous system, liver failure, and liver damage.

Why do dogs have a strong reaction to lemons?

Dogs generally do not like the taste of bitter things and will react negatively. Although it’s not necessarily bad, a sour taste can also be recognised. Due to the link between bitter tastes and deadly meals, dogs have learned to avoid them, improving their survival rates.

What should I do if my dog eats a lemon?

There is a chance that your dog could become ill or experience diarrhoea if they ingest a tiny quantity of lemon. They should receive clean water and close supervision from you. If your dog consumes a lot of lemons or exhibits poisoning signs including vomiting, drooling, weakness, or seizures, you should contact your veterinarian immediately in case of an emergency.

What fruits can dogs eat instead of lemons?

Your dog can consume vitamins-rich fruits that are suitable for dogs in small amounts instead of lemons. Before giving your dog, apple pieces (a wonderful source of vitamins C and A) remove the seeds and core. Cut-up strawberries or blueberries, both of which are high in fiber and antioxidants, are further options. Don’t give your dog canned fruit, which could contain sweet liquids or syrups, or dried fruit, which is heavy in carbohydrates and may have sugar added to it.


Lemons are not dangerous to dogs, but they are also not healthy for them. These fruits can cause stomach upset, and it may result in vomiting, diarrhea, and irritation in the mouth.

Psoralen is a harmful compound present in the lemon’s peel, seeds, stem, and oil, and it can lead to photosensitivity, skin inflammation, liver damage, and central nervous system depression in dogs.

Because of their strong flavour and aroma, lemons and other citrus fruits are generally disliked by dogs, preventing them from eating potentially harmful substances.

It is better to keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or suffering. If your dog eats a lemon or any of its pieces, and you should call your veterinarian if required. Apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and other nutritious fruits are safe and healthful for dogs to consume in moderation.

They can offer your dog fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and other advantages. To avoid giving your dog too much sugar or calories, you must be sure to remove any seeds or cores before feeding them to your dog.


  1. Wu, S., Han, J., Feskanich, D., Cho, E., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., & Qureshi, A. A. (2015). Citrus Consumption and Risk of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 33(23), 2500–2508.
  2. Sissons, B. (2019, February 15). Which people foods are safe for dogs?