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Can Dogs Eat Lemons? | Are Lemons Bad for Dogs?

are lemons bad for dogs

We give our dogs plenty of fresh fruits that are safe for them to consume.  While we typically don’t eat lemons plain, would our pups enjoy them?  There are videos circling around the internet that show humans giving your dog lemons and seeing their reaction.  Is this just in good fun or can it be harmful to these dogs?  Let’s get to the bottom of it—can dogs eat lemons?

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Can Dogs Eat Lemons? (The Short Answer)

No, dogs should never be given lemons to eat.  While they might not be toxic in the conventional way, lemons have lots of citric acid which can very easily upset a dog’s stomach.  Large amounts can be dangerous and will involve a call or visit to your veterinarian.  Even small amounts, while likely not dangerous, will cause your dog discomfort and is not advised.

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Are Lemons Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat lemons?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Are lemons good for dogs?

While there may be some vitamins and phytonutrients present in lemons that could potentially benefit your dog, there is no practical way to deliver them without exposing your dog to the harmful citric acid.  For that reason, you’re much better off feeding your dog any one of the many dog-friendly fruits.  See the section below on lemon alternatives for some ideas!

Are Lemons Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat lemons?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Are lemons bad for dogs?

Yes, lemons are bad for dogs.  While they are not toxic in the traditional sense, lemons contain high amounts of citric acid which will almost certainly cause your dog to experience gastrointestinal issues.  This could present itself as stomach aches, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

While lemons only typically become dangerous in larger quantities, even small quantities are likely to cause your pet unwanted discomfort and pain.  This is why it is not worth even giving them a taste of lemon, regardless of the comical reactions it can produce.  Please don’t break your dog’s trust for a gimmicky stunt.

How much lemon your dog can handle depends on their weight as well as their digestive sensitivity.  Overall, it’s not worth it to feed them even a little.  Luckily, dogs tend not to enjoy the taste of lemons so it’s unlikely if they sneak a little taste they’ll continue to eat a lot of them.  However, it’s always best to stay on the safe side and keep lemons out of the reach of your dog.

If your dog has consumed a significant amount of lemons, even as little as more than a bite or two, it’s best to get in touch with your local veterinarian for their recommendations on how to proceed.

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Alternative Options

As a safer alternative to lemons, try feeding your dog any of these tasty fruits instead:

Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Cake?

No, lemon cake contains lemon which can be harmful to dogs even in small quantities.  Just as importantly, it contains tons of sugar which is unhealthy for dogs and can cause an upset stomach by itself.

Is Lemon Pepper Bad for Dogs?

No, dogs should not eat lemon pepper as you shouldn’t be feeding them products that contain even small amounts of lemon.  They likely won’t enjoy it and it could easily give them gastrointestinal distress.

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Cookies?

Definitely not!  Lemon cookies have a double-whammy of lemon and sugar.  As we discussed in this article, lemons have too much citric acid to be safe for dogs and high quantities of sugar present in cookies will likely only make the situation worse.

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Yogurt?

No.  Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a good choice for dogs, however not if it is lemon-flavored.

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Meringue Pie?

No!  Dogs should not be given lemons or lemon products to eat.  The excessive amount of sugar contained in lemon meringue pie makes this food a double-no!

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Curd?

No, you should avoid giving any part of lemons to your dog including lemon curd.

Can Dogs Drink Lemon Water?

No!  Dogs should not drink lemon water.  This doesn’t give any benefit to your dog, likely makes it taste worse for them, and most importantly will cause them to have an upset stomach as well as possible diarrhea and vomiting.

Can Dogs Drink Lemonade?

Just like lemon water, lemonade should not be given to your dog.  Not only is the lemon bad, but lemonade just adds massive amounts of sugar on top of that which will cause additional issues for your dog.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

Absolutely not.  Do not feed your dog lemons in any quantity.  If they accidentally get ahold of a lemon for a bite or two it likely won’t seriously hurt them, but it won’t be comfortable for them either and could result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.  If your dog eats a significant amount of lemon, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.