Lemongrass has a sweet, citrus scent that could attract your dog. Besides, lemongrass repels fleas and ticks. So, you’ll find lemongrass in sprays, shampoos, and oil for dogs.
But can your dog eat lemongrass and not suffer any harm? Read on to find out.
- Lemongrass is a tropical, aromatic plant with 50 species. The appearance resembles a green onion, with a white bottom and long leafy top.
- Humans use lemongrass to add flavor to different American meals. Lemongrass is safe for humans, but excessive consumption is harmful to dogs.
- The herb goes by different names, e.g., Malabar grass, oil grass, fever grass, silky heads, and Citronella.
Also, check: Why Is My Lemongrass Turning Red? [How to Save]
- Tummy upset and underlying gastrointestinal problems cause dogs to eat grass. Also, dogs, especially puppies, use their mouths to eat stuff and explore the world.
- Further, lemongrass has a lemony flavor and vibrant scent that dogs find attractive. Yet, another typical reason is nutritional deficiencies.
Check out: Is Lemongrass a Perennial?
- Your dog’s digestive system can’t digest herbs. So, medium to large quantities of lemongrass is toxic. On the other hand, a small amount is safe unless your dog expresses signs of poisoning.
- The form of lemongrass your dog consumes is an essential consideration. Raw lemongrass isn’t very toxic. But, other products could be dangerous based on the variety of lemongrass.
- Essential oils have high lemongrass concentration; hence a small amount causes toxic effects.
- Lemongrass poisoning occurs if your dog consumes a lot of lemongrass at once. In other cases, poisoning happens when your dog intakes oils with a high lemongrass concentration.
- Lemongrass is fibrous and hence challenging to chew and digest. Besides, lemongrass poisoning causes your dog to get a blockage in the digestive tract.
Lemongrass poisoning causes your dog to develop noticeable symptoms within 24 hours. Watch out for the below signs if you suspect your dog may have lemongrass poisoning.
- Constipation from the mass in the digestive tract
- Vomiting that results from the hard, fibrous part or other irritants
- Abdominal discomfort from the inability to digest lemongrass
- Enlarged abdomen that stems from the obstruction that lemongrass could cause in your dog’s abdomen
- Diarrhea from stomach upset
A gastrointestinal blockage is the main issue with lemongrass poisoning. The improper digestion of plant matter causes a mass in your digestive tract.
The other symptoms often stem from the blockage or pesticides on the lemongrass.
- Lemongrass rarely causes outright death, but excessive consumption has severe side effects.
- If you don’t get immediate medical attention, lemongrass poisoning can have detrimental effects. Death only occurs in extreme cases.
Your veterinary doctor does an examination and blood tests. The results of the tests determine the ideal treatment plan. Typical plans are as follows:
- Surgery to remove a severe blockage
- Activated charcoal to bind and remove poisonous products
- Induced vomiting if the tests detect another toxin in your dog’s system
- Therapy to flush out the mass if your dog’s intestines have a blockage
- Intravenous fluids (IV) to flush out the mass or if your dog is in distress
Check: Why Is My Lemongrass Plant Dying? [11 Reasons & How to Prevent]
Small and controlled amounts of lemongrass have health benefits for your dogs. Lemongrass serves the below vital benefits to your canine friend.
Lemongrass enhances food breakdown to prevent constipation. Yet, digestion as a whole happens due to lemongrass’ ability to do the following:
- Prevent stomach lesions
- Relaxes your dog’s abdomen
- Protects against intestinal parasites
- Cuts down acid reflux
- Lemongrass has antioxidants that detoxify your dog’s liver. The toxins that the herb relieves are mostly from digestive and cardiovascular illnesses.
- Uric acid, bad cholesterol, and impurities that lemongrass eliminates cleanse your dog’s body. Finally, detoxification improves the heart and gut functions.
- Lemongrass is antifungal and antibacterial; hence keeps your dog’s skin safe. Besides, you can use the herb to relax your dog’s paws and as an antiseptic to kill germs.
- Lemongrass cleanses the hair follicles if your dog is prone to hair loss. Finally, lemongrass is ideal for dogs with dermatitis, hotspots, and skin infection.
Lemongrass calms your dog’s nerves, reduces stress, and eases anxiety. The herb is also a solution to memory loss and insomnia when inhaled at a safe distance and with caution.
Lemongrass relieves pain, inflammation, and body aches. Typical pains for which lemongrass works include toothaches, headaches, stomachaches, and joint pain.
Since you may want to benefit from the good side of lemongrass, caution comes in handy. First, you must involve your vet to determine if lemongrass is a good solution for your dog.
Then, keep the below factors in mind:
- Don’t use lemongrass on pregnant dogs lest you cause a miscarriage
- Don’t use the herb on dogs with underlying medical conditions like liver problems and diabetes
- Use lemongrass essential oil alongside a humidifier to ensure work happens at a cellular level
If your dog cuts grass a lot, cut or transfer any lemongrass. But, if your dog rarely cuts herbs, you are safe with lemongrass accessible to dogs.
Since lemongrass attracts dogs, you may opt for herbs that dogs don’t like. Alternative herbs to plants are rosemary, parsley, basil, and aloe vera.
- Lemongrass oil has a high cyanogenic concentration, making it unsafe for dogs to consume.
- Exposure to cyanogenic glycosides intoxicates your dog. In the case of diabetes, your dog’s blood sugar could decrease to dangerous levels.
- Cyanide interacts with iron to prevent oxygen release from hemoglobin. Less oxygen causes your dog to become hypoxic. As a result, your dog may convulse and, in extreme cases, die.
- Lemongrass oil also contains a high citral content which could burn your dog’s skin. The most vulnerable dogs are pregnant and nursing dogs, puppies, and those with health issues.
- Inhalation of lemongrass essential oil irritates your dog’s airways. Your dog’s mucous membranes absorb the oil even through passive diffusion.
- You may notice symptoms like coughs, sneezes, and vomiting after your dog smells or inhales the oil.
- Lemongrass oil has a pleasant citrus scent ideal for aromatic diffusers. Nonetheless, exposure to large amounts of the oil endangers your dog.
- The lemongrass oil disperses from the diffuser and might become more diluted. Still, the dispersion makes your dog’s body absorb the molecules in the oil faster.
- Another common mistake happens when you leave your diffuser unattended. Dogs are playful and would play with the diffuser and ingest the oil.
Lemongrass is usually in dog shampoos and sprays.
- Dog shampoo incorporates lemongrass to provide natural flea control. You should be safe if you use dog shampoo, as long as you follow instructions.
- Poisoning mainly occurs when you don’t read and follow package instructions. Besides, any dog-specific product gets tested before use.
- You can use citronella oil sprays to make your dogs smell good. But don’t let your dog ingest the spray.
- Some manufacturers include specific instructions to keep your pet safe if you use particular products. For instance, you may have to dilute lemongrass oil in a carrier oil.
Take the steps below to prevent further harm if your dog is a victim of lemongrass poisoning.
- Don’t induce vomiting or feed your dog with activated charcoal
- If you have used lemongrass products on your dog, wash the dog’s fur
- Call your veterinarian, explain the symptoms in detail, and answer all questions accurately
- Call an emergency vet if the symptoms are severe, or your dog is in extreme pain. Alternatively, visit a clinic for immediate treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which nutrients does lemongrass have?
You find nutrients and minerals to maintain your dog’s health. Such nutrients include vitamin C, zinc, calcium, sodium, and foliate.
Lemongrass in powder form has saponins, tannins, and alkaloids. Therefore, your dogs sometimes look for lemongrass in cases of deficiency.
Which other herbs are dangerous for dogs?
Your garden or backyard could be fun for your dogs but still, have toxic effects. Yet, you can avoid uncalled-for trips to the vets if you avoid the below herbs.
Chamomile consumption at excessive levels causes diarrhea, dermatitis, and allergic reactions.
Garlic causes throat irritation, weakness, pale gums, and lethargy
Buttercups result in oral blisters, seizures, and paralysis
Castors beans make your dog strain, develop weakness, tremble, and in extreme cases, die.
What are other safe herbs for my dog?
Your dogs can still enjoy different plants the few necessary times that call for a munch. Safe herbs include:
1. Different varieties of basil found all over the United States for vitamin A, calcium, and iron
2. Dandelion is a source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and zinc
3. Sage for vitamin A, E, K, and other minerals
4. Turmeric protects the liver and stomach and increases bile production
5. Oregano, a spice common in North America since the 20th century, provides iron, fatty acids, calcium, and fiber
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Now you understand the relationship between lemongrass and your dog’s safety. Yet, you should always remember that dogs react differently to any substance.
Two sides of a coin are available for using lemongrass and the associated products. So, you can use lemongrass oil safely under your veterinarian’s instructions.
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