Can Dogs Eat Limes? Is Citrus Toxic to Dogs?

Can dogs eat limes is a question I hear every time someone pops open a Corona. So I'm going to cut right to the chase...

No, do not feed your dogs limes! Limes and lemons contain the essential oils limonene and linalool, as well as a phototoxic compound known as psoralens.

While these substances are safe for human consumption, they are toxic to canines.

Can dogs eat limes

The limonene, linalool and psoralen compounds are found in the leaves of the citrus trees as well as the peel and the fruit.

Even though a small amount of exposure may not cause a serious threat, it will likely cause gastrointestinal upset for your fur baby.

While you are enjoying your margarita, vodka soda with a twist or perhaps a non-alcoholic cherry limeade, don’t be throwing your dog that fruit.

Even if you think it might be funny to watch her pucker up at the sour citrus and want to post a cute video on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, don’t do it.

It isn’t funny; it is actually really bad for your four-legged friend to eat a lime.

Don't give your dog margaritas either

Limes and lemons have the same psoralen compound in their peels, so no lemons, either.

But apparently, oranges are different and are totally okay in moderation.

The only caveat for the orange is to watch out for feeding your furry friend too much due to high sugar content.

Are limes and lemons okay for dogs to eat

What Happens If a Dog Eats a Lime?

It really depends on how much is eaten, but exposure to psoralen compound, limonene and linalool could cause diarrhea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and even depression.

This toxin will also affect your furry friend if his skin is exposed, so if you have lemon or lime trees in your yard be sure your dog doesn’t want to roll around in the leaves or rub against the trunk of the tree.

Otherwise, make sure you are supervising when your pup is playing outside.

What Should I Do If My Pup Eats a Lime or Lemon?

If you’re having a party you may have lots of limes on hand and if Sparky is a counter surfer who decides to run off with the limes you may be worried about what to do knowing that limes are not a dog’s best friend.

First, watch for the signs mentioned above. It’s likely that your dog hasn’t eaten much, but if she is a small breed, a little bit could have a big reaction.

If you think the exposure isn’t too much, your pup will likely be okay and the symptoms will likely be mild.

You may want to withhold food for 24 hours and only allow her to drink water.

If your pup consumed a large amount, call or see your vet right away.

Limes are toxic to dogs

What If Only Their Skin or Fur Was Exposed?

You will definitely need to treat your pup if there has been skin exposure to the toxins in limes or lemons.

The toxins can be absorbed through the skin as well as digestively and may cause skin rashes, so be sure to give him a bath with soap and water after exposure.

How Likely Is It for Dogs to Eat Citrus?

It’s a good thing to know that your dog will most likely not seek out these sour treats. It’s like they KNOW they aren’t good for them.

They probably won’t even seek out the sweet treat of the orange, either.

I’ve tried with my baby Reba, a lab mix who will eat almost anything, and she isn’t a fan of oranges.

She always tries to get in my face when I’m eating ANYTHING, so when I sat down with a delicious clementine, I first made sure it was okay for her to have, and then I offered it to her.

She sniffed and walked away. She didn’t even lick and she licks everything!

What About the Benefits of Vitamin C?

Yes, vitamin C is essential for your pup as it is essential for you, but your dog can’t just have any kind of vitamin C or he will end up developing diarrhea instead of getting the benefits of the mineral.

While it is true that dogs can produce their own vitamin c, sometimes it is necessary and beneficial to make sure they are getting enough.

Here's why...

  • Vitamin C is really good for curbing allergies in your pup as well as gives a boost to his immune system. Vitamin C helps fight toxins, bacteria and viruses.
  • Other benefits include providing a vital antioxidant for your dog that helps keep her coat shiny and lustrous. Vitamin C combined with Vitamin E maintains your dog’s youthful appearance.
  • List Lastly, vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, a vital tissue that helps in joint and bone health for dogs. In addition, enough collagen in the body prevents your dog from developing hip dysplasia, spinal issues or degenerative joint disease.

What Vitamin C Rich Foods ARE Ok for My Dog?

  • Acerola powder
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale (avoid feeding these foods to hypothyroid dogs)
  • Camu-camu powder
  • Green pepper
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Oranges (beware of amounts due to possible stomach upset)
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Pineapple (limit amounts due to possible stomach upset)
  • Red pepper
  • Sweet Potatoes

Wrapping It pUp...

You might see your friends or others posting videos of people feeding dogs this sour treat thinking they are being funny.

So speak up for your four-legged friend and tell these people it’s not funny!

Their “joke” will eventually cost them in vet bills.

Is citrus toxic to dogs

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