| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

Why Is My Dog Eating Lemongrass?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

Many dog owners wonder why their furry friends have a penchant for eating lemongrass and if it is safe for them to do so.

Dogs are often attracted to the citrus-like scent of lemongrass, but it is important to note that consuming this tropical plant can be dangerous for them.

While small quantities of lemongrass are generally safe, excessive consumption can lead to stomach upsets and potential intestinal blockage.

It is essential for dog owners to understand the potential benefits and risks of dogs consuming lemongrass and take necessary precautions to ensure their pet’s safety.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lemongrass can be dangerous for dogs to consume, causing stomach upsets and potential intestinal blockage.
  • Symptoms of lemongrass poisoning in dogs include abdominal pain, swollen belly, fever, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
  • Dogs with liver disease should avoid lemongrass as it is difficult for them to digest.
  • Lemongrass essential oil is safe for dogs but should be diluted and used with caution to avoid skin irritations.
  • Lemongrass is commonly used in pet products for its bug-repellent properties, such as sprays and shampoos.

Why Is My Dog Eating Lemongrass?

Why Is My Dog Eating Lemongrass

Your dog may be eating lemongrass due to its appealing taste and smell, or as a way to induce vomiting if they’re feeling unwell, but it can potentially cause digestive problems if consumed in large amounts.

Attraction to Taste and Smell

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and may be attracted to the unique aroma of lemongrass. They might also enjoy the taste of this plant. However, while dogs may find lemongrass appealing, it’s not necessarily beneficial or safe for them to consume in large quantities.

Induce Vomiting

Some dogs eat grass when they’re feeling unwell to induce vomiting. If your dog is eating lemongrass excessively, it could be a sign that they’re trying to soothe an upset stomach or get rid of something they’ve eaten that’s causing them discomfort.

Potential Digestive Problems

While small amounts of lemongrass are unlikely to harm your dog, larger quantities can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues. Lemongrass can also cause severe intestinal blockage. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and prevent them from eating large amounts of lemongrass.

Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs?

Lemongrass is generally safe for dogs in small amounts, but it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.

While lemongrass plants are safe to have in gardens where dogs have access, it’s important to note that dogs should not consume lemongrass.

Although the plant itself is not inherently dangerous, if a dog eats large amounts of lemongrass, it can lead to toxicity. The essential oils and cyanogenic glycosides found in lemongrass can cause stomach upset in dogs, cats, and horses.

Though lemongrass oil can act as a pet-safe insect repellent when diffused outdoors, caution should be taken when using it around dogs.

It should be used in a well-ventilated area and in a diluted form, as it can be overwhelming for your pet and potentially toxic in concentrated amounts.

Signs Of Lemongrass Poisoning In Dogs

Signs of lemongrass poisoning in dogs can range from gastrointestinal upset to more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, weakness, and even liver damage if consumed in large amounts.

Gastrointestinal Upset

A common sign of lemongrass poisoning is gastrointestinal distress. This can present as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, or an enlarged abdomen. If a dog has ingested a significant amount of lemongrass, they may also struggle or strain to defecate.

Respiratory and Physical Distress

In more severe cases, lemongrass poisoning can cause difficulty in breathing and overall weakness in dogs. These symptoms might indicate a higher level of toxicity and should be addressed by a veterinarian immediately.

Systemic Symptoms

Additional systemic symptoms of lemongrass poisoning can include fever, fatigue, drowsiness, and a slow heart rate. These signs may not appear immediately after consumption but could develop over time.

Severe Health Complications

Ingesting large amounts of lemongrass or its essential oils can potentially lead to serious health complications. These can include liver damage, inability to urinate or defecate, loss of appetite, and in rare cases, death.

Is It OK For Dogs To Smell Lemongrass?

Dogs smelling lemongrass is generally safe, but it’s important to monitor their reaction as some dogs might have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to the plant’s oils.

While the scent of lemongrass itself is typically not harmful to dogs, it’s the ingestion of the plant or its essential oils that can potentially cause issues.

Dogs have a much more sensitive sense of smell than humans, so the strong aroma of lemongrass might be overwhelming for some dogs and could cause them to sneeze or show signs of discomfort.

Additionally, the concentrated oils in lemongrass can be irritating if they come into direct contact with a dog’s skin or eyes.

Therefore, it’s best to keep lemongrass plants or essential oils out of reach from dogs, especially if they’re prone to chewing on plants.

Other Herbs That Can Be Dangerous for Dogs

While lemongrass may pose some risks to dogs, it’s not the only herb that pet owners should be cautious about. Garliconions, and chives can be toxic to dogs, particularly in large amounts. Additionally, certain essential oils and plants like chamomile and tomato plants can also be harmful to our furry friends.

It’s essential to keep these dangerous herbs and plants out of your dog’s reach and be mindful of the ingredients in any pet products you use. If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular herb or plant for your dog, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

Dangerous Herbs for DogsSymptoms
Garliconions, and chivesAnemia, gastrointestinal issues
ChamomileVomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions
Tomato plantsAbdominal pain, drooling, weakness

In conclusion, while lemongrass can be safe for dogs in small quantities, it’s important to monitor their intake and prevent excessive consumption.

If you suspect your dog has consumed a large amount of lemongrass or any other harmful herb, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care. Your furry friend’s well-being should always be the top priority.

What Are The Benefits of Lemongrass in Dogs?

Lemongrass offers several potential benefits for dogs, such as promoting digestive health, relieving skin issues, acting as an insect repellent, and having anti-inflammatory properties.

Promotes Digestive Health

Lemongrass is known to promote digestive health in dogs. It can help relieve stomach pains and protect against stomach lesions, contributing to overall gastrointestinal well-being.

Relieves Skin Issues

The natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of lemongrass make it beneficial for dogs with skin issues. Particularly, it can be helpful for dogs with oilier skin, assisting in maintaining a healthy skin balance.

Acts as an insect-repellent

Lemongrass, especially in its essential oil form, can act as an effective insect repellent. When diffused outdoors, it may help keep away mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, providing a safe environment for your pet.

Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial for dogs suffering from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. These qualities could potentially aid in reducing inflammation and associated discomfort.

Potential Risks of Dogs Eating Lemongrass

The potential risks of dogs eating lemongrass include gastrointestinal distress, toxicity from essential oils and cyanogenic glycosides in the plant, and possible intestinal blockage if consumed in large amounts.

Risk of Gastrointestinal Distress

One of the primary risks associated with dogs consuming lemongrass is gastrointestinal upset. Ingestion of lemongrass can lead to symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and hypersalivation.

Even though these symptoms might be temporary, they can cause significant discomfort for your pet and potentially lead to dehydration if not properly managed.

Toxicity from Essential Oils and Cyanogenic Glycosides

Lemongrass contains essential oils and cyanogenic glycosides, both of which can be toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities.

The essential oils can cause a range of adverse reactions, including skin irritation, while cyanogenic glycosides can interfere with a dog’s ability to absorb oxygen, leading to serious health complications.

Potential for Intestinal Blockage

If a dog consumes excessive amounts of lemongrass, there’s a risk of intestinal blockage.

This can be a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. It’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and prevent them from eating large amounts of lemongrass to avoid this risk.

Lemongrass Essential Oil For Dogs

Lemongrass essential oil can be used for dogs as a natural insect repellent and for its soothing properties, but it should always be used in a diluted form and with caution.

Natural Insect Repellent

Lemongrass essential oil is known for its natural insect repelling properties. When diluted appropriately and used in moderation, it can help keep fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes away from your dog.

However, it’s important to ensure the oil is properly diluted and not applied too frequently as it can irritate your dog’s skin or cause other adverse reactions.

Soothing Properties

Lemongrass essential oil has soothing properties that can be beneficial for dogs with certain skin conditions.

It can help alleviate itchiness and irritation when applied topically in a diluted form. Always remember to conduct a patch test on a small area of your dog’s skin to ensure they don’t have an adverse reaction before applying it more widely.

Use with Caution

While lemongrass essential oil can be beneficial, it’s important to use it with caution. Exposure to concentrated lemongrass oil can lead to adverse effects such as skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even toxicity in dogs.

Always dilute the oil properly and avoid using it around your dog’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

Table: Safe Dilution Ratios for Lemongrass Essential Oil

Desired DilutionAmount of Carrier OilLemongrass Essential Oil
Mild Dilution1 tablespoon1-2 drops
Moderate Dilution1 tablespoon3-4 drops
Strong Dilution1 tablespoon5-6 drops

Remember, always dilute lemongrass essential oil before using it on your dog. It is better to start with a milder dilution and gradually increase if needed.

In addition to lemongrass essential oil, there are other natural remedies and techniques that can be beneficial for dogs.

Lemongrass in Dog Products

Lemongrass is a common ingredient in many dog products, providing a natural alternative to repel bugs and keep our furry friends protected.

Its citrus-like scent is highly effective in keeping insects such as fleas and ticks at bay, making it a popular choice among pet owners.

Whether it’s in the form of sprays, shampoos, or even collar attachments, lemongrass-based products offer a safe and environmentally friendly solution for keeping pests away from our dogs.

But how does lemongrass work as a bug repellent? The answer lies in its natural properties. Lemongrass contains citronella, a natural oil that is well-known for its insect-repelling qualities.

Citronella works by masking the scent of our dogs, making it more difficult for bugs to detect them. This helps to reduce the chances of flea and tick infestations, which can cause discomfort and potentially transmit diseases to our beloved pets.

When using dog products containing lemongrass, it is important to follow the recommended usage instructions. Although lemongrass is generally safe for dogs, applying it excessively or allowing dogs to ingest large amounts can lead to stomach upsets.

It is crucial to use lemongrass-based products in moderation and only as directed by the manufacturer. As with any new product, it is also recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of your dog’s skin before applying extensively, to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

Lemongrass in Dog ProductsBenefitsUsage Tips
Lemongrass SpraysRepels fleas and ticks through its natural scentApply sparingly, avoiding contact with eyes and mouth
Lemongrass ShampoosCleanses and protects against bugsUse according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer
Lemongrass Collar AttachmentsProvides long-lasting protectionEnsure proper fit and replace as recommended

Other Herbs Dangerous for Dogs

While lemongrass may be a concern, it’s important to be aware of other herbs and ingredients that can pose a danger to our canine companions.

Dogs are known to have heightened sensitivity to certain substances, and ingesting these herbs can lead to serious health issues. Here are some other herbs that can be harmful to dogs:

  • Garlic and Onions: These common ingredients can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. It’s important to avoid feeding dogs any foods that contain garlic or onions, including seasonings and sauces.
  • Chives: Similar to garlic and onions, chives belong to the Allium family and can cause anemia in dogs. Even small amounts can be toxic, so it’s best to keep chives away from your canine companions.
  • Essential Oils: While essential oils can have therapeutic benefits for humans, some oils can be toxic to dogs. Oils derived from tea tree, peppermint, citrus, and eucalyptus are particularly dangerous and can cause adverse reactions when ingested or applied directly to a dog’s skin.

It’s important to note that these herbs should be avoided in any form, including as ingredients in homemade dog treats or seasonings. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep these herbs out of reach of curious dogs to prevent accidental ingestion.

Treating Lemongrass Poisoning In Dogs

Treating lemongrass poisoning in dogs primarily involves supportive treatments, monitoring, and potentially detoxification depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Supportive Treatments

Supportive treatments play a crucial role in managing lemongrass poisoning in dogs. This can include administering intravenous fluids to maintain hydration and electrolyte balance, especially if the dog has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

Monitoring and Observation

Close monitoring of the dog’s condition is essential following lemongrass ingestion. Vets will typically watch for signs of distress or worsening symptoms.

Regular check-ups can help ensure any changes in the dog’s health are promptly addressed.


In severe cases of lemongrass poisoning, detoxification may be necessary. This could involve inducing vomiting or using activated charcoal to bind the toxins in the stomach and prevent further absorption into the body.

Prevention and Education

Prevention is always better than cure. Educating pet owners about the potential risks associated with lemongrass and other potentially toxic plants can help prevent future incidents.

Owners should also be advised to contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center immediately if they suspect their dog has ingested lemongrass.

Lemongrass and Dogs with Liver Disease

Dogs with liver disease have specific dietary considerations, and lemongrass is one plant that should be kept away from their diet.

The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body and metabolizing nutrients, and dogs with liver disease often struggle with processing certain substances. Lemongrass contains compounds that can potentially put additional strain on an already compromised liver.

When a dog has liver disease, their liver is unable to function optimally, which can result in various health issues. Lemongrass can be difficult for dogs with liver disease to digest, potentially worsening their condition.

In addition to avoiding lemongrass, it is important to be cautious with other herbs and plants that may pose a risk to dogs with liver disease. Garlic, onions, chives, and certain essential oils are among the substances that should be avoided, as they can further compromise liver function.

“Dogs with liver disease have specific dietary considerations, and lemongrass is one plant that should be kept away from their diet.”

Safe Uses of Lemongrass for Dogs

While lemongrass ingestion should be avoided, there are still safe ways to incorporate lemongrass into your dog’s life. Lemongrass has natural antifungal properties and a pleasant citrus-like scent, making it a popular ingredient in pet products such as sprays and shampoos.

If you want to introduce lemongrass to your dog, the best way to use it is by opting for lemongrass-based products specifically designed for pets. These products are formulated with safe concentrations of lemongrass and are designed to be used on dogs, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions.

If you prefer to use lemongrass from your garden, it is essential to take certain precautions. First, ensure that the lemongrass plants are free of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Harvest the stalks and chop them finely, then dilute them in water to create a natural lemongrass spray.

This homemade spray can be used as a bug repellent by applying it to your dog’s coat. Remember to test a small area of your dog’s skin before applying the spray more extensively to ensure they don’t have any allergies or sensitivities.

Safe Uses of Lemongrass for Dogs:
Choose lemongrass-based pet products
Ensure lemongrass plants are pesticide-free
Create a natural lemongrass spray
Test for allergies or sensitivities before using extensively


Q: Can dogs ingest lemongrass essential oil?

A: No, dogs should not ingest lemongrass essential oil. Ingesting large quantities of lemongrass essential oil can be toxic to dogs and may cause symptoms of lemongrass poisoning.

Q: My dog ate lemongrass, should I be concerned?

A: If your dog has only eaten a small amount of lemongrass, there is likely no cause for concern. However, if your dog has ingested a large amount of lemongrass or is showing symptoms of lemongrass poisoning, you should contact your veterinarian for further guidance.

Q: Is lemongrass oil safe for dogs?

A: No, lemongrass oil is not safe for dogs, especially when ingested. It is important to keep lemongrass oil and other essential oils out of reach of your furry friend to prevent any potential toxicity.

Q: How is lemongrass poisoning in dogs diagnosed?

A: Diagnosis of lemongrass poisoning in dogs is usually based on the dog’s clinical symptoms, history of lemongrass ingestion, and sometimes through laboratory tests. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the best course of action for your dog.

Q: Is lemongrass bad for dogs?

A: In general, lemongrass is considered safe for dogs when consumed in small amounts. However, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that lemongrass is safe for your specific dog says Wag Walking.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Understanding the risks and benefits of lemongrass for dogs is crucial in ensuring the well-being of our furry companions.

Dogs may be attracted to the citrus-like scent of lemongrass. However, please note that this tropical plant can be dangerous for them to consume.

Small quantities of lemongrass are generally safe for dogs. However, excessive consumption can lead to stomach upsets and potentially cause blockages in their intestines.

Lemongrass poisoning in dogs can cause a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, a swollen belly, fever, loss of appetite, and vomiting.

It is important to monitor our dogs closely and seek veterinary care if any signs of lemongrass poisoning are observed.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

3 responses to “Why Is My Dog Eating Lemongrass?”

  1. Bob avatar

    Thank you so much for this article. My dog ate a bit lemongrass but now everything is alright.

  2. Tatjana avatar

    I must say, it was incredibly helpful. Before reading it, I was quite confused and worried about my dog’s unusual behavior. The article, written by Dr. Steph Richardson (DVM), made it clear that this could be a sign of digestive upset in dogs, which put my mind at ease.

  3. Stephan avatar

    My dog does this all the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

DMCA.com Protection Status