Can Dogs Eat Lemon Pepper?

Dogs are curious creatures.

You have probably noticed Fido sniffing around the plate after adding lemon pepper to your food.

Despite the appeal of lemon pepper, there are spices you shouldn’t let your dog consume.

So, can dogs eat lemon pepper?

Yes, but it’s not recommended.

Lemon pepper enhances your dog’s immune system due to its antioxidant properties when consumed in moderation.

However, it’s primarily made with black pepper and garlic powder ingredients, which can upset your dog’s stomach if consumed in large quantities. 

This article provides information about the contents of lemon pepper and why it can be dangerous to dogs.

Additionally, it discusses how dogs react to lemon pepper and what you ought to do afterward.

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Pepper

Is Lemon Pepper Toxic To Dogs?

Yes, lemon pepper is toxic to dogs in large amounts.

It’s safe for you to consume in moderate quantities, but it contains substances that could be toxic for your dog.

These components could cause gastrointestinal upset and even death if ingested in large amounts.

Ingredients that Make Lemon Pepper Toxic to Dogs

Although the lemon pepper ingredients aren’t harmful to you, they pose a significant risk to your dog.

The ingredients in lemon pepper that make it toxic to dogs include:

Black Pepper

Lemon pepper is highly spicy.

The combination of lemon and black pepper alone packs quite a punch.

So, imagine how much more dangerous it would be if you added other ingredients to the mix.

The high levels of acidity in lemon pepper can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, so even small amounts can lead to serious health issues for your pup.

Dogs cannot metabolize piperine found in black pepper well.

As a result, it can be toxic to them.

Moreover, it can cause anemia and renal failure.

If dogs eat black pepper, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.

Modified Corn Starch

Modified corn starch is another ingredient that could be harmful to your dog.

Ammonia gas is used to treat chemically processed cornstarch.

Some foods that contain harmful ingredients for dogs, like garlic or onion, use this ingredient for thickening and binders.

This cornstarch helps ingredients stick together, so they don’t separate when heated or refrigerated.

However, it can cause stomach upset or even an allergic reaction if ingested by dogs.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is typically used as a preservative in foods like lemon pepper seasoning.

However, it’s not harmful to people but can cause gastrointestinal irritation or even an allergic reaction if ingested by dogs.

It has even been linked to death in dogs.

Citric acid is also used as an artificial sweetener, which is known to cause allergic reactions in some dogs.

Garlic Powder

Lemon pepper also contains garlic powder.

Garlic has natural anti-bacterial properties that help prevent infection from cuts or wounds on the skin of people and animals alike.

However, it may cause anemia in dogs if ingested in large amounts.

As a result of its high sulfur content, it causes hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) by oxidizing oxygen molecules at the cellular level.

This can lead to anemia symptoms such as weakness/fatigue.


Too much salt can cause dehydration in dogs and other serious health problems.

Dogs with heart conditions are especially vulnerable to its dangers.

Dogs also tend to crave salty foods more than humans do.

So, be careful with how much salt you give them daily.

Lemon Peel

Lemon peel contains limonene, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea when ingested by dogs.

It is also highly acidic and can irritate their stomachs if eaten regularly over time.

The peel contains a toxic chemical called psoralen that can damage red blood cells and even kill your dog if he eats enough of it.


Too much sugar can cause diabetes in your dog and make him overweight or obese.

As a result, it puts him at risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Also, it makes it harder for your dog to regulate its blood sugar levels and metabolize food properly.

Sugar can cause hyperactivity, lethargy, and seizures when ingested by dogs in large amounts.

Ensure you don’t give your dog anything with sugar in it.


Onions contain thiosulphate, which is toxic to dogs in high doses.

Dogs that ingest onions may experience gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea.

What Will Happen if My Dog Consumes Lemon Pepper?

Your dog’s reaction to eating lemon pepper will depend on his size, weight, and overall health condition.

Although symptoms of lemon pepper poisoning are generally mild, they can be severe in large enough doses or if your dog has an underlying health condition.

If your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to certain ingredients in the spice, overeating lemon pepper could cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reaction
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Redness around the eyes and ears
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Collapse from low blood pressure due to shock
  • Coma or death from respiratory failure

If your dog has a history of allergies or sensitivities, do not give them lemon pepper.

Consult with your veterinarian first about whether they will become sensitive to it again in the future or not.

Moreover, if your dog ingested lemon pepper, contact your veterinarian immediately.

They will likely recommend administering activated charcoal via an oral syringe or enema.

Activated charcoal absorbs any toxins from the gastrointestinal tract.

If large amounts of activated charcoal need to be administered, intravenous fluids may also be required.

Is Lemon Pepper Seasoning OK for Dogs?

Dogs can safely eat lemon pepper seasoning sparingly.

Lemon pepper seasoning is a mixture of lemon juice and black pepper.

It is an alternative to salt and other herbs like oregano and aromatic spices used for flavoring food.

However, the ingredients in this spice could cause health problems for your dog.

For instance, too much salt may cause kidney problems for your dog.

So, avoid overdoing it with the salt and ensure that your dog does not consume too much of it either.

What to Do if My Dog Eats Lemon Pepper?

If your dog eats lemon pepper, it can cause life-threatening side effects like seizures and liver failure, especially in sensitive dogs.

In case your dog eats lemon pepper, this is what you should do to help him feel better:

Give him a bland diet until his symptoms improve.

Avoid giving him any of your foods or treats that might contain things like garlic or onion powder.

These spices can cause similar symptoms to eating lemon pepper.

Try to get the lemon pepper out of his stomach.

Administer hydrogen peroxide to get him to throw up.

If he’s showing signs of abdominal discomfort or vomiting, keep him quiet and resting until you
reach the vet’s office.

It may help avoid further complications from his condition.

Call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

You’ll need to tell them what kind of spices you Fido and what he feeds on other times.

They may also want to take a blood sample or perform other tests on your dog’s body.


Lemon pepper can be detrimental to your dog.

A large amount of lemon pepper can be toxic to dogs when consumed due to its ingredients.

Ingredients like citric acid, onion, and garlic can cause side effects like vomiting, tremors, and seizures.

Therefore, monitor its salt intake, and avoid using harmful seasonings that contain garlic and onion.

Instead, always have a can of dog food within reach for your dog’s health.

Take the time to familiarize yourself and your pets with the risks of any new food or substance they encounter. 

Megan Turner

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