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Can Dogs Eat Lemon Pepper?

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Pepper?

You might have some leftover lemon pepper tuna or lemon pepper chicken and you’re wondering if it’s okay to share it with your dog.

The answer is no, it’s not really a good idea to. Though your dog might enjoy a tasty chicken snack, it is the seasoning that is a bit of a problem.

Read more to find out why you shouldn’t give your dog lemon pepper seasoning.


What Are Lemon Pepper Ingredients?

The main three ingredients of lemon pepper are salt, crushed black pepper, and zest made from lemon peels.

In store-bought lemon pepper seasoning, there are more ingredients such as citric acid, sugar, or artificial sweeteners as well as dehydrated onion and garlic.


Ingredients That May Make Lemon Pepper Toxic to Dogs

Although lemon pepper is not overly toxic to dogs in very small amounts, it should still be avoided if possible.

Black pepper

Black pepper seasoning on its own is enough to cause stomach upset if too much is consumed.

There is generally quite a lot of black pepper found in lemon pepper seasoning which could also burn your dog’s mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract.

Dogs don’t naturally eat pepper which means you should avoid giving your pup a taste of your peppercorn-crusted steak as well.

Lemon peels & citric acid

Lemon peel, lemon juice, and lemon fruit in general will give a dog an upset stomach if too much is consumed due to its high natural source of citric acid.

The acidity in citric acid is what will ultimately cause the most stomach problems. The high acidity will likely irritate your dog’s tummy and cause them to throw up.


Although a small amount of salt is fine for dogs, too much can cause dehydration.

Garlic & onion

Many store-bought lemon pepper seasonings have garlic powder and onion powder in them to add flavor.

These two ingredients are highly toxic to dogs, especially if they’re eaten in a concentrated form. Onion and garlic can cause many problems besides gastrointestinal tract upset.

Garlic can cause anemia in dogs. Anemia is a disorder to do with the health of red blood cells, and if it gets to an extreme point it can cause a breakdown in a dog’s immune system.

Wondering about other food types that include onion and garlic? Check out our article on whether dogs can eat gyro meat.

Sugar & artificial sweeteners

Dog owners should avoid giving their dogs sugar. It is okay occasionally in a small amount but if you make it a habit of allowing your pup to eat sugar in large quantities. It puts them at risk of developing health problems such as obesity and diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners on the other hand are highly toxic to dogs and can make them very sick. Even if they consume a little bit, it is best to contact a veterinarian immediately.


What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Lemon Pepper?

If your dog consumes a little bit of lemon pepper seasoning, the effects should be generally mild. Give them lots of fresh water as their mouths and throats will likely be burning from the black pepper.

If your dog has eaten too much lemon pepper then they will likely have gastrointestinal upset.

They might start throwing up from the excessive citric acid and/or they might have diarrhea from the bowel irritation caused by the pepper.

If your dog continues vomiting for hours after consuming lemon pepper, then you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

The same should be done if your dog continues to have diarrhea for quite a while after it ate the seasoning.

Although some advice sites say that dogs can eat lemon pepper, there is also the chance that your pup could have a food allergy to the lemon pepper. At, we recommend you give the zesty pepper a skip.


What Other Spices Can Dogs Eat If They Can’t Eat Lemon Pepper?

Each dog is different but there are some mild herbs and spices you can add when feeding your dog. These include:

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

However, each of these spices should be used in healthy moderation and not in large amounts. Always keep an eye out for allergic reactions.


Will My Dog Even Like Lemon Pepper?

In addition to asking “can dogs eat lemon pepper?”, another question to ask is if they would even like to eat it.

Just like humans, dogs are sensitive to strong sour, and bitter-tasting foods meaning that they’re unlikely that they would eat lemon of their own will.

So in the end, they might not want to eat lemon pepper chicken or lemon pepper tuna even if you gave it to them.



Can I season my dog’s food?

If you’re feeding your furry friends fresh home-cooked dog food, it is best that you keep seasoning to an absolute minimum. To add flavor, you can add a little bit of low-sodium or sodium-free chicken/beef stock to their meals.

Can dogs eat whole lemon fruit?

It may be tempting to give your dog a piece of lemon or some other kind of citrus, but it’s not 100% safe for them. Additionally, there is virtually no nutritional value in lemons, so there is no reason to give them any.

Can bigger dogs eat lemon pepper?

Although it may affect smaller breed dogs more than bigger ones due to their size, no dog should be eating lemon pepper.