Essential oils are more and more common in many households. We’re always on the hunt for natural, safer, and chemical-free alternatives in our homes. However, as a pet parent, you might be concerned with whether essential oils are as good for your pup as they are for you. If you’re looking for an answer to the question is lemon essential oil safe for dogs, you’ve come to the right place.  Here we’ll take a look at the potential benefits and risks of this popular aromatherapy tool and a few others alongside it. 

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Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe For Dogs?

Lemon essential oil is touted as being extremely beneficial for humans in a variety of ways. Whether applied topically to the skin or diffused in the home, people swear by its ability to clear skin, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, fight against harmful viruses and bacteria, combat exhaustion, and even help with depression. If it can do all that for dogs, too, more’s the better, right? Well, when it comes to using essential oil around your Dood, there’s reason for caution…

If you’re familiar with essential oils of any variety, you’ll know that even a few drops can pack a serious punch. This is because, in their original form, essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause harm if not handled correctly. Needless to say, this obviously means that lemon essential oil is not safe for dogs to actually consume in any quantity. If they do, they could experience vomiting and even liver problems. For this reason, you should be careful never to leave bottles lying around the house and be sure also to wash your hands thoroughly after handling essential oils.  

So feeding your pet lemon essential oil is definitely out, but what about using a lemon essential oil topically or via a diffuser? Could this have any benefits for your pup? 

While some owners might use lemon essential oil topically to enhance the appearance of their pet’s coat or up the effectiveness of homemade flea or tick treatments, vets caution against this. Even in a highly diluted form, lemon essential oil could have toxic effects on dogs that will likely eagerly lick it off their paws or any other parts of them they can reach. 

With regards to using it in a diffuser, it can maybe be done, but again, vets would not recommend it. When heavily diluted and not used too long or too frequently (remember that our pet’s sense of smell is a hundred times better than ours – at least!), it could potentially be okay. But keep in mind that the diffuser spreads the oil particles through the air, where they can be inhaled or licked up from furniture or the floor. Over time this could add up to serious bad news for your dog. 

are essential oils safe for dogs
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Which Other Essential Oils Are Toxic to Dogs?

Let’s have a look at some of the other essential oils that are not safe for dogs: 

  • Tea tree oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine oils
  • Ylang ylang
  • Eucalyptus
  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Garlic
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow
  • Spruce
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit

As you can see, there are many other essential oils that are not safe for dogs. So before exposing your pet to any new smells, do plenty of research and perhaps even contact your vet.

Keep in mind the symptoms of toxicity, which include weakness, depression, vomiting, excessive drooling, diarrhea, difficulty walking, and low body temperature or even paralysis in severe cases.

If you notice any unusual signs in your dog’s behavior, go to the vet immediately!

What Oils Should You NOT Diffuse Around Dogs?

Are other essential oils safe for dogs if you add them to your diffuser? As we briefly mentioned above, even when your Doodle inhales essential oils from the air, the droplets will still enter his bloodstream. So you don’t want to be using anything that could be toxic when ingested. 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid diffusing any essential oils that have a cooling or heating effect. You should not diffuse these oils around your dog:

  • Cinnamon
  • Tea tree oil
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Ylang ylang
  • Wintergrass

Which Essential Oils are Safe for Dogs?

It is only natural that you’d be looking for natural alternatives to enhance your pup’s wellbeing. But as we know, even natural things can be poisonous. So, are there any essential oils that are safe for dogs?

The safest way to use essential oils is by diffusing them. It is best not to use them topically or let your Doodle ingest them. If you are using an essential oil topically (only if your vet allows it!), always use a safe carrier oil to dilute the essential oil to a minimum.

What Essential Oils are Safe to Diffuse Around Pets?

Here are essential oils safe for dogs:

  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Cardamom
  • Clary sage

For your Doodle’s health, the general recommendation is that you only let the air diffuser run for about 10 minutes and use an extremely small amount of the essential oil. As we already mentioned, essential oils are very potent; even a few drops is more than enough. 

are essential oils safe for dogs
Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

Furthermore, only diffuse essential oils in a well-ventilated area. You should also leave the door open, so your Doodle can leave the room any time they want. 

If you’re using essential oils in an air diffuser for your own benefit, keep the diffuser in another room where your pet can’t reach it.

Moreover, do not use any essential oils in a diffuser before you’ve discussed this with your vet. If you have a puppy or an elderly dog, your Doodle is pregnant or nursing, or if they have any respiratory health issues or kidney or liver problems, it is likely that you should avoid all essential oils in your home.

Of course, there are more essential oils safe for dogs. Nevertheless, do your research and discuss them with your vet. Veterinary professionals have seen it all and probably have heard and witnessed how dogs react to different essential oils.

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs?

You should not use eucalyptus essential oil around or on your Doodle. While some dogs may not have any problems when inhaling a small amount of eucalyptus oil, others may show signs like pacing, wrinkled nose, and tail tucking. Symptoms of toxicity include excess drooling, weakness, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. All of these symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte loss.

Symptoms of toxicity include excess drooling, weakness, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. All of these symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte loss.

Additionally, eucalyptus essential oil is toxic to cats.

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?

Some essential oil enthusiasts claim that peppermint can be beneficial for skin itchiness, allergies and for overall respiratory health benefits. In contrast, the American Kennel Club advises against it. (Source)

For skin issues and allergies, some pet owners use peppermint oil topically. Unfortunately, this can cause adverse side effects like more itchiness. And if a Doodle gets itchy, they scratch, and if the skin breaks, it can cause more harm, like infections, and possibly a bigger risk of toxicity.

If, for some reason, you do use peppermint oil in your home, it should be used in very small amounts and only in a diffuser. Even so, it’s a good idea to discuss diffusing peppermint oil with your veterinarian first. 

Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

In very small dosages, diffusing lavender essential oil can have a calming effect on dogs. Some pet owners advise placing a few drops on your dog’s bedding. However, we rather recommend that you diffuse it in a well-ventilated area in small amounts. 

Is Orange Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

Similarly, because orange is a part of the citrus family, we do not recommend exposing your Doodle to orange essential oil. 

Essential Oils for Dog Anxiety

Lavender, chamomile, and peppermint oils can have a calming, anti-anxiety effect on your dog. However, we recommend you stick with lavender and chamomile, as these are the safest options. 

Essential Oils for Dog Fleas

The most common essential oils for dog fleas are usually tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil. Nevertheless, these are also some of the most toxic essential oils for dogs. Above all, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support the claims that these essential oils help fight fleas. Instead, opt for your vet-approved flea control medications.

Essential Oils for Dog Allergies (Skin)

For dog allergies, lavender, myrrh, chamomile, and peppermint may be helpful. But again, when applying essential oils topically, it can cause skin irritation. 

It is wise to discuss your Doodle’s skin issues and allergies with a veterinarian. Above all, you should want to get to the root of the issue – not just relieve the symptoms.

Essential Oils for Dog Odor

If you browse around the internet, you may find many different spray recipes to deal with doggy odor. But if you look closely, many of those include oils like clove, oregano, thyme, or citrus, which you should avoid. Instead, ensure good hygiene and wash your Doodle regularly. 

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In summary, most of us enjoy the refreshing or calming aroma of essential oils. There are essential oils safe for dogs. However, it’s important that you keep in mind that some essential oils can be extremely toxic for your furry little friend.

Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe For Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

Is lemon essential oil safe to diffuse around dogs?

While there is no concrete evidence on whether or not diluted lemon essential oils are safe to use around dogs, vets generally don’t recommend it. In its concentrated form, lemon essential oil is extremely toxic to dogs, and there’s no clear indication that them inhaling it or licking it from furniture, even in moderation, doesn’t also cause problems.

What effect does lemon oil have on dogs?

Lemon essential oil contains citronellal, geraniol, and limonene, which are all known to cause liver damage, gastrointestinal irritation, and even central nervous system depression in dogs. This is more likely to be the case if your pup consumes the oil directly, but even inhaling it could potentially have some nasty side effects.

Is lemon safe for dogs to smell?

Even in their original form, lemons could still pose a risk to dogs, especially lemon juice. As a more concentrated version of regular old juice from lemons, lemon juice contains high amounts of citric acid, which is also toxic to dogs. Happily, unlike us, canines don’t typically find the scent of lemons so appealing, and this serves a good safety purpose!

Final Thoughts

In summary, most of us enjoy the refreshing or calming aroma of essential oils, but you need to be cautious about which ones you use around your pet. There are some essential oils that are safe for dogs when used in a diffuser, but lemon essential oil is sadly not one of them. In fact, it could even prove to be extremely toxic for your furry little friend.

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The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.

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3 thoughts on “Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe For Dogs?

Linda Noland Reply

On dogs you should not be using oils where they can lick them off. Also when diffusing remember dogs have a very strong sense of smell and too strong sense of smell and too strong will definitely bother them.

July 20, 2022 at 12:08 am
Elizabeth Peek Reply

Most essential oils are safe for dogs. The biggest thing to remember is to give dogs a way out. Diffuse essential oils rather than applying directly and always allow the dog to leave the room. Here is the best resources on using essential oils for dogs:

July 23, 2022 at 3:04 am

Well-structured and informative, this article offers a holistic view of essential oil safety, demonstrating the author’s commitment to pet care.

August 15, 2023 at 2:42 am