Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs and Cats?

Being a pet owner means constantly keeping your pets safe and secure. Read on to find out if is lemongrass safe for dogs and cats.

Lemongrass is known as a tropical plant that is native to Southeast Asia. It is also found in different parts of the world, including Australia, Africa, and North and South America. 

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Not only is lemongrass a common ingredient used in Thai cuisine, but it is often used as a remedy for high blood pressure, fever, pain, digestive issues, and neurological problems as it has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

The anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass are because of the presence of citral, which is a natural compound of the plant.

Other than that, lemongrass extract is also utilized to provide a fresh scent in candles, soaps, disinfectants, and insect repellents. People enjoy sipping on lemongrass tea, too.

However, many pet owners wonder if lemongrass is safe for their dogs and cat or not.

Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs?

Lemongrass is considered to be toxic to dogs due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides and oils that are present in the plant.

However, lemongrass poisoning is not that common as canines do not generally ingest massive quantities of it that could trigger severe symptoms. 

Essential oils may be more dangerous, though, as they contain high concentrations of lemongrass, which can irritate your dog’s skin and can be toxic (if ingested).

If the dog devours only a small quantity of lemongrass, then it may suffer from minor symptoms like an upset stomach.

This can also be caused by the pesticides on the plant rather than the lemongrass itself.  

Symptoms of Lemongrass Poisoning In Dogs

If your dog suffers from a severe case of lemongrass poisoning, the cyanogenic glycosides found in lemongrass can create a disruption in the flow of oxygen. 

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If your dog has eaten a lot of lemon grasses, make sure to observe the dog for the symptoms provided below.  

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    Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs

    1. Fever

    Within 24 hours of the ingestion of a massive quantity of lemongrass, your dog may suffer from a fever. You can monitor your pet’s temperature to make sure that the fever drops.

    2. Develop Gastrointestinal Issues

    Gastrointestinal issues are a prominent symptom of lemongrass poisoning. Dogs are unable to digest a massive amount of vegetation. 

    Some common symptoms of gastrointestinal issues include diarrhea, a distended abdomen, loss of appetite, and vomiting. 

    In case of a severe blockage, then your dog can even be sensitive to touch.

    3. Result In Respiratory Complications

    If a dog has a severe case of lemongrass poisoning, then he can develop cerebral hypoxia.

    After lemongrass is ingested, cyanogenic glycosides take the form of cyanide which initiates disruption in the cellular respiration of dogs. 

    Common signs of this include vomiting, drooling, and muscle spasms. 

    How to Treat Lemongrass Poisoning in Dogs

    The first thing that you can do is contact a vet so that they can come up with the best treatment plan for your dog.

    However, if your dog has consumed small quantities of lemongrass and is showing only mild symptoms, then you can do the following:

    1. Give Some Water To The Dog

    Fluid therapy is commonly done to treat minor and even severe lemongrass poisoning in dogs.

    If you give water to your dog, it will help flush out the intestinal blockage that has occurred due to lemongrass. So, give your dog water plenty of water to combat lemongrass poisoning.

    2. Closely Monitor The Dog

    • Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior for at least 24 hours.
    • You can see if they are suffering from a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, or an increased rate of respiration. 
    • These factors can help you determine if your dog requires medical attention or not. 

    3. Go To The Vet

    If you notice that your dog’s symptoms are getting worse, you should contact the local vet and get them checked. 

    If your dog has suffered from a severe case of lemongrass poisoning, then he may require an intravenous or even surgical procedure to clear out the blockages in his intestines. 

    Is Lemongrass Safe For Cats? 

    Yes, lemongrass is generally safe for cats, however, it must not be taken in excess amounts. If cats consume too much lemongrass, this can lead to gastrointestinal problems. 

    However, you should note that cats do not usually consume such a drastic amount of lemongrass that can end up making them seriously ill. 

    Is Lemongrass Safe For Cats

    Are Cats Attracted To Lemongrass?

    Yes, most cats tend to be attracted to lemongrass and enjoy nibbling on it. As per experts, lemongrass has kind of the same effect on cats as catnip does. 

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    However, due to the low level of cyanogenic glycosides and essential oils, your cat’s nibbling of lemongrass is not a huge cause of concern. 

    If you see your cat ingesting lemongrass excessively, then you should investigate the reasons. There may be some underlying reasons beneath it, like pica, anemia, and hypothyroidism. 

    How Do I Keep My Cat Off Lemongrass?

    • Instead of lemongrass, you can grow cat-friendly grass and plants. You can let your cat chew on those plants rather than being worried about their lemongrass nibbling.
    • If you notice that your cat is aiming for lemongrass, you can give her something else to chew on and then neutrally move her somewhere else. 
    • If you see your cat having a newfound desire for lemongrass, you can take her to the vet to check out any underlying causes. 

    What Happens If A Cat Ingests Lemongrass Essential Oils?

    Many people use different essential oils for aromatherapy or medicinal purpose. 

    Some people also believe that you can apply essential oils to cats and it will work as a repellent for ticks and fleas.

    However, cats do not like the scent of lemongrass essential oils. Neither is it safe for them to ingest it nor should the oil be applied to their skin.

    • Lemongrass essential oil is considered toxic for cats. Hence, you should ensure that you are keeping it in a secure place. 
    • While natural lemongrass does not pose much of a risk for cats, lemongrass essential oil does. 
    • If a cat ingests lemongrass essential oil in its concentrated state, it can be fatal for them or make them severely sick. Make sure to keep them away from your cat.  
    • Cats do not have the enzyme that is needed to break down the essential oil, and hence, lemongrass essential oil consumption can lead to liver disease and other health issues. 

    Hence, keeping cats away from lemongrass essential oil is a good idea. 

    Can You Use Lemongrass Essential Oils Around Your Cat?

    You can use lemongrass essential oils around your cat only if you follow some specific guidelines that are listed below.

    1. Do not let the cat ingest lemongrass essential oil and do not apply it over them. Essential oils do have insect-repellent properties but they can pose a serious threat to your cat. 
    • If your cat already has some problems like allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, you should completely refrain from using essential oils. 
    • Older cats, kittens, and cats with respiratory or liver issues should be taken out of the room when there is a high concentration of essential oil diffuser in a room.
    • Make sure that you do not spill any lemongrass oil as your cat can lick it – and as we know, it is toxic for them. 
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    Symptoms of Lemongrass Poisoning in Cats

    Here are some symptoms of lemongrass poisoning in cats. 

    • Pain in the abdomen
    • Swollen abdomen
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Appetite loss
    • Fever
    • Shock
    • Vomiting
    • Straining during defecation

    If the cat has ingested large amounts of lemongrass, it can result in the following symptoms:

    • Weakness of the hind leg
    • Chronic Cystitis
    • Inability to defecate
    • Leakage of the urine

    Treatment of Lemongrass Poisoning in Cats

    Taking your cat to a vet is a good option for this. The most commonly used treatments for lemongrass poisoning are anti-nausea medicine, anti-acids, and IV fluid drip. 

    If your cat has a blockage in her intestines due to the consumption of lemongrass essential oils, the vet will have to remove it through surgery.

    Tests will be done to assess the functioning of the cat’s liver. Also, the vet will make your cat vomit, wash out her stomach and use activated charcoal to get rid of any remaining toxins in her body. 

    Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs and Cats (FAQs)

    Q: Is Lemongrass Oil Safe For Cats?

    Yes, lemongrass essential oils are safe for cats, but the oil should be used in low concentrations.

    Make sure that your cat does not consume it.  

    Q: Which Essential Oils Are Toxic To Dogs?

    The essential oils toxic to dogs are citrus, cinnamon, pennyroyal, pine, peppermint, sweet birch, tea tree, ylang-ylang, and wintergreen.

    They should neither be ingested by dogs nor applied to their skin. 

    Q: Can I Grow Lemongrass In The Garden If I Have A Dog?

    Dogs are carnivores; hence, they probably would not ingest a large amount of lemongrass.

    Due to this, even if you are growing lemongrass in a backyard or garden, your dog will generally be safe.