Lemongrass May Be Great for Your Garden, but Not for Your Dog — Here's Why

Lemongrass is a fun essential oil for humans, but a toxic disaster for dogs. Keep your pup away from this plant or they might risk poisoning.

Kori Williams - Author

Feb. 21 2024, Published 11:16 a.m. ET

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eating from bowls.
Source: iStock

Growing plants can be a cathartic experience for so many reasons. Having a garden is a great option for your mental health while allowing you to live a more sustainable lifestyle. But if you're also a pup parent, you might have some concerns. Dogs don't mix well with all plants and some dogs like to eat things they shouldn't.

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Although lemongrass can be a popular option for any garden because of its smell and taste, that doesn't mean it's safe for dogs. Whether you simply grow it, use it in your food, or transform it into an essential oil, your pup may get a little too curious and try it. Is lemongrass safe for dogs to eat or even be around? Here's what you should know.

Stlaks of lemongrass at a farmer's market.
Source: iStock
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Is lemongrass safe for dogs?

Generally, growing lemongrass in your garden or home while being a dog parent is safe. AZ Animals says it won't be dangerous for your pet to be around or smell the plant. However, if your dog ingests lemongrass, it could make them very ill.

A white and brown dog eating out of a bowl.
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Can dogs eat lemongrass?

According to the ASPCA, dogs should not eat lemongrass. If you suspect they have, you should get your pet to the vet or call the Animal Poison Control Center as soon as possible.

AZ Animals points out that plant is toxic to pets because of its oils and cyanogenic glycosides. Cyanogenic glycosides are produced by plants to deter herbivores from eating them by releasing hydrogen cyanide, per Science Direct, and is toxic to many animals.

Even if your beloved furry friend has only eaten a little bit of lemongrass, it's best to get them immediately checked out by a trained veterinary professional.

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According to Wag!, these are some of the symptoms to look out for if you suspect your pup has eaten lemongrass:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tummy pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Not only can lemongrass be poisonous to dogs, but it can also cause internal blockages. This may cause their bellies to look distended or be sensitive when being touched.

Lemongrass growing in a garden.
Source: iStock
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Is lemongrass oil safe for dogs?

Health Extention dog food says that lemongrass oil can actually be good for dogs. You can try mixing it with water to spray on their coats to create a natural flea and tick repellent.

However, before you experiment, try this mixture on a small patch of your dog's coat first before you cover them with it. This way, you can judge how your pup's skin reacts and act accordingly.

As a first step, you may want to talk to your vet before you spray anything onto your dog's coat. Getting a pro's opinion at first is a great option. They can guide you through the process, and if anything goes wrong, your veterinarian can expect you and ensure your pup gets seen as soon as possible.

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