Can Dogs Eat Lime? How Toxic Is Lime For Dogs?

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can dogs eat lime

The simple answer is no, do not feed lime to your dog as it can be toxic.

Some foods provide great nutritional value for humans but can be toxic for our four-legged friends. One such example is lime, which is high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

So can dogs eat lime? Limes contain toxic ingredients, mainly essentials oils and psoralens [1] which can hurt your pet.

Furthermore, lime has a bitter taste which dogs often find unpleasant.

As a matter of fact, even the mere scent of lime causes a crazy reaction in some dogs who are repulsed by the smell.

Why are limes bad for your dog?

Lime is bad for your dog because it contains high levels of citric acid and can which can upset your dog’s stomach.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says to refrain from feeding limes to your dog because it can result in adverse effects such as:

·  Vomiting,

·  Diarrhea

·  Depression

·  Potential dermatitis

If your dog comes in contact with lime it can also cause skin rashes and irritation.

The severity of these symptoms depends on the amount of lime that the dog consumes.

Your dog can get sick by consuming not only the lime but any part of the lime tree including its leaves and here’s why.

The lime tree contains essential oils such as limonene and linalool which are toxic to dogs.

Lime trees also have psoralen compounds which can prove dangerous if your four-legged friend comes in contact with them.

Can dogs eat lime Or Foods that contain lime?

The answer to this once again is, no! Keep your dog away from foods and other items that contain lime as they contain dangerous properties that can cause harm to your pet.

This also includes household products, sprays, cleaning products, etc.

Why is lime dangerous for dogs?

Lime contains a few dangerous ingredients that can harm your dog, which is why it’s best to keep them away from any traces of lime.

Lime contains limonene

Limonene has insecticidal properties that can cause poisoning, liver damage, or liver failure if ingested by your dog. It is found in lime trees as well as other citrus trees such as lemon.

Limonene is the substance responsible for the aroma emitted from lime [2] and other citrus products.

Limonene is usually used as an aromatic ingredient in a range of lime and lemon-scented cleaning and cosmetic product as well, which is why it’s important to keep your dog away from these items.

Limonene is also used as a flavoring in certain food items and they too should be kept out of your dog’s reach.

Lime contains Linalool

Another toxic ingredient found in lime is Linalool, which is also a type of terpene. This one is known for giving off a fruit aroma.

It is often used in certain soaps, lotions, and other cosmetic products as well as certain insecticides, all of which be kept far away from your dog. Linalool is also found in lavender, citrus fruits, and over 200 plants. [3]

Ingesting the leaf from a lime tree or even parts of the lime itself would subject your pet to high levels of linalool and result in severe symptoms especially in puppies and younger dogs.

Lime contains psoralen

Another dangerous ingredient found in lime is psoralen which is a plant substance found in some citrus trees including lime and lemon trees.

Psoralen is sensitive to light and is often used with UV lights to help with certain skin conditions such as vitiligo and psoriasis.

However, while psoralen can prove useful to humans it has the opposite effect if your dog comes in contact with this substance.

What to do if your dog eats lime

If your dog consumes lime, a small amount may not require a trip to the vet, but keep in mind that the size of your dog plays a role in how much is too much.

If your dog consumed a large quantity of lime or lime juice, it’s best to contact either animal poison control or your vet immediately and they will guide you on what to do next.

Make sure you take note of what was ingested so that you can provide the medical professionals with as much detail as possible.

If your dog ingested a product containing lime keep the label on hand as it will prove helpful in finding the best treatment for your dog.

If the poison is on your dog’s fur you should thoroughly wash the product out as quickly as possible.

Refrain from using at-home remedies or antidotes and do not try to induce vomiting unless your vet has given the go-ahead to do so.

Also, when you call the emergency hotline you will need to provide them with the following information about your dog [4]:

·  Sex

·  Age

·  Breed

·  Symptoms

·  Weight

·  Species

·  Amount of lime your dog has ingested or been exposed to

·  Time the exposure occurred

How long does lime poisoning last in dogs?

Keep in mind that the level of toxicity is dependent on how much of the substance your dog ingested. And that plays a role in the severity of the symptoms and how long they persist.

However, according to the ASPCA poison control[5], it is estimated that 25 percent of pets who have been poisoned will recover within two hours.

Most importantly, the sooner you get help for your pet the better their chances of recovery.

Can dogs die from eating lime?

Yes, if your dog ingests a large amount of lime or products containing lime, they can die. The toxic ingredient can lead to liver damage and if not treated urgently the result can be fatal.

Are all citrus fruits bad for dogs?

citrus fruits

Lime is not the only type of citrus that your dog should stay away from.

Similar fruits such as grapefruit and lemon must also be kept out of their reach as these fruits also contain citric acid—the toxic ingredient in lime.

Lemon and grapefruit also contain sugar, which can also lead to issues if consumed in large doses. 

As for oranges, dogs can actually eat this fruit but only in small doses and only if the seeds and peel are removed [6].

Oranges are good sources of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C but your dog might not eat want to eat it anyway since dogs are not fans of the citrusy scent.

What are the signs of toxicity in dogs?

There are several signs that can indicate if your dog has come in contact with lime. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the symptoms so that you can act quickly should an emergency occur.

Some of the common indicators that your dog ingested lime include:

·  Excessive drooling

·  Vomiting

·  Tremors

·  Rash

·  Liver failure

·  Weakness

·  Diarrhea

·  Weakness

·  Rash and/or skin irritation

·  Photosensitivity

·  Lack of coordination

·  Lethargy

Additionally, if your dog collapses, has tremors, seems depressed, or if their limbs feel cold after ingesting lime, these could all be signs of toxicity. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

The bottom line

While you and your human friends might enjoy a squeeze or two of lime juice in your food or drink, your dog does not.

The components in lime and other citrus fruits can prove toxic to the health of your dog especially when consumed in large doses. 

To be safe, keep your limes, lemons, and any products containing these substances out of your dog’s reach to prevent any fatalities.

Keep in mind that there are other great fruits that both you and your dog can enjoy together if given in small doses, such as bananas, raspberries, cucumbers or pineapples.

If you are unsure of which foods are healthy for your dog, consult your veterinarian just to be on the safe side.

Photo of author
Andrei Bratu
Andrei is the owner of Dog Food Camp and manages the team of expert writers on the site. He is passionate about helping dog lovers learn about canine nutrition.

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