Can Dogs Eat Lemon Chicken? – Why It’s Not Safe

The lemon chicken recipe may vary among countries, but the basics are the same – crispy chicken mixed with sour lemon sauce – tasty, right? But what about dogs? Is this Italian delicacy dish safe for dogs? 

Can dogs eat lemon chicken? No, dogs cannot eat lemon chicken. The meat is dried and too fattening, the lemon sauce is too strong, and the added spices are either irritating or even toxic. Therefore, it is safe to say that lemon chicken is not a dog-friendly dish. 

In this article, we will talk about dogs and lemon chicken. We will go through the different ingredients and explain the science behind the potentially harmful and toxic ingredients. Finally, we will cover the possible consequences in case of accidental ingestions.  

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Chicken

Can Dogs Eat Lemon Chicken?

No, the simple answer is that dogs cannot eat lemon chicken. While plain boiled chicken is a health-boosting food for dogs, the lemon chicken recipe is way too processed and enriched with harmful and potentially toxic ingredients. The cooking method (frying) is unhealthy too. 

Can dogs eat lemon meat?

No, dogs cannot eat lemon meat. The only meat dogs are allowed to eat is boiled and plain meat – no frying, no added spices, and no lemon juice. Lemons are not suitable for dogs as they are acidic and too irritating on the stomach. 

Can dogs eat lemon chicken bones?

No, dogs must never be fed chicken bones. Chicken bones are brittle, and dogs are not very keen chewers. As a result, the risk of chicken bone splinters damaging the digestive tract is high. Chicken bones also pose a choking hazard. 

Can dogs eat lemon chicken skin?

No, dogs must not be offered lemon chicken skin. In fact, chicken skin is not even healthy for humans. The skin is loaded with fats and heavily seasoned and spiced. Therefore, chicken skin poses a danger for dogs on several levels.  

Why Is Lemon Chicken Bad for Dogs?

We have already established that lemon chicken is bad for dogs. Now to help you understand why the dish is harmful to dogs, we need to review the troublesome ingredients. 

Ingredient number 1: Butter, oil, and fats  

It is no secret that lemon chicken is rich in fats – it is sautéed in butter. Some lemon chicken recipes include baking and others frying. In both cases, the result is a fat overload. Overeating on a fatty food can trigger a pancreatitis episode. In the long run, too much fat causes obesity. 

Ingredient number 2: Salt  

You cannot make lemon chicken without adding salt. To make things worse (in terms of salt content), many restaurant-bought lemon chicken versions are enriched with soy sauce. Soy sauce is particularly rich in salt, and even one teaspoon is enough to cause salt poisoning in smaller dogs. 

Ingredient number 3: Sugar 

This is unexpected – the lemon sauce is made with sugar. The dog’s stomach is not designed for processing sugars. Too much sugar can wreak havoc on the digestive system and make dogs act hyper. The long-term consequences include obesity and diabetes. 

Ingredient number 4: Black Pepper 

One of the main spices used in lemon chicken recipes is black pepper. While a tiny amount of pepper is not harmful, heavy spicing will upset the dog’s stomach and intestines. In more severe cases, irritating spices such as black pepper have been associated with gastrointestinal ulcers. 

Ingredient number 5: Garlic and onion

Other must-have spices in the lemon chicken are garlic and onion. They both contain compounds that damage the dog’s red blood cells. Once damaged, the red blood cells cannot perform their function and are removed from circulation resulting in life-threatening anemia. 

Ingredient number 6: White wine 

Most lemon chicken recipes include a small amount of wine. However, wine is toxic to dogs. The ingestion of wine results in alcohol poisoning – a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. A dog with alcohol poisoning behaves similarly to a drunken person. 

Ingredient number 7: Lemon juice 

Lemon juice is not a dog-friendly ingredient. Lemon juice will irritate the dog’s stomach causing vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, excessive drooling. Plus, lemon juice is highly acidic, meaning it can disrupt the acid-base balance. Dogs are not supposed to eat lemons at all. 

What Happens if A Dog Eats Lemon Chicken?

Let’s suppose your dog jumper on the table and stole some lemon chicken right out of the pan. As any responsible pet owner, it is only logical to wonder what happens now. 

Well, what happens after a dog eats lemon chicken depends on various factors. Here are the most important ones:

  • The lemon chicken ingredients (some traditionally used ingredients are toxic to dogs while others are irritating on the digestive system). 
  • The amount of lemon chicken consumed (obviously, the more lemon chicken the dog eats, the more severe the outcome). 
  • The dog’s size (small dogs will suffer the consequences even if they consume tiny amounts while large dogs require more lemon chicken to develop issues). 
  • The dog’s overall health (healthy dogs are more resistant while dogs with co-existing conditions are likely to develop severe complications).

Bottom line, the consequences of a lemon chicken ingestion incident can vary from mild and self-limiting stomach upset to severe and life-threatening intoxication. If an accident occurs, it is highly advisable to talk to your vet immediately and do what the veterinarian instructs. 

Summing Up: Can Dogs Lemon Chicken? 

No, dogs cannot eat lemon chicken. While widely popular in many countries, this dish is not safe for dogs. Even if prepared without the risky ingredients, the recipe is still not suited for dogs as it is loaded with fats. 

Therefore, you must never purposely feed your dog lemon chicken, no matter how much the dog begs. Call your veterinarian immediately in case of accidental ingestion (dog stealing food or raiding the trash can). 

If you want to treat your canine friend with some chicken, stick to the dog-friendly version – plain and boiled white chicken meat. You can also add cooked ricebroccoli, and carrots to enrich the meal. 


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

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