Is lime bad for dogs?

Can dogs have lime?

No, dogs can not have lime. As a responsible pet owner you will naturally want to find out which foods are safe for your dog and which foods are potentially dangerous. 

Dogs are instinctive scavengers and they can tolerate a wide variety of foods, including many of the things their owners like to eat. However, there are a few foods that are safe for humans but dangerous to dogs and limes are one of them. 

This may come as a surprise, most pet parents know that chocolate and raisins can be harmful to dogs, but do not realize that lime is also toxic to them. 

So if you’re wondering is lime bad for dogs? The answer is yes, limes are bad for dogs and are not generally considered safe at all for them to eat. 

But can dogs lick limes? Is lime juice bad for dogs? In this article we will take a closer look at limes and the risk they pose to dogs, so keep reading for the answers to all your questions.

Table of Contents

Can dogs eat limes?

No, limes are toxic to dogs and you should not let your dog eat them. Limes are citrus fruits and they contain a number of natural compounds that are safe for humans but harmful to dogs. 

The three most harmful compounds found in limes are linalool, limonene and psoralen.

Linalool is an essential oil found in the peel of limes. It gives the lime its citrus scent and is often used in toiletries and pharmaceuticals to make them smell fresh. Linalool is also used as an insecticide.

Limonene is also an essential oil found mainly in the peel of lime and other citrus fruits. It is used in many human products from desserts and candy to shampoo and laundry detergent as it gives a strong citrus flavor and scent.

Psoralen is a chemical compound that is found in the skin, seeds, and pith of limes. Psoralens are also found in other plants such as figs and parsley

Although psoralens are used to treat skin conditions in humans, they are toxic to dogs if ingested in large enough quantities. Psoralens have phototoxic effects in dogs, meaning they cause the skin to become extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light from the sun.

Can dogs lick limes?

No, dogs should not lick limes. Limes are very acidic and your dog probably won’t want to eat them, but even if your pooch is looking longingly at that slice of lime you just pulled from your soda, don’t let him have it as it could make him unwell. 

But what if your dog licks a lime? Well, one accidental lick is unlikely to be harmful to your dog but we wouldn’t recommend it. If your dog actually ingests limes in any quantity it would be a good idea to phone your vet for advice.

Is lime safe for dogs?

No, lime is not safe for dogs. Not only is it toxic when eaten, but contact with the peel of the lime fruit or the leaves of the lime tree can be harmful. Rolling in fallen lime leaves could bring your dog out in a nasty rash that will need veterinary treatment so be aware of this if you have lime trees growing in your yard.

The symptoms of lime poisoning in dogs

So, is lime toxic to dogs? By now you have probably worked out that yes, lime is toxic to dogs if eaten in sufficient quantity

For a small dog, this might only be a slice of lime. Large dogs may start to show symptoms after ingesting a whole lime. 

Sensitivity to limes will vary from dog to dog so call your vet for advice if your dog has eaten any amount of lime or shows any of the associated symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea and drooling
  • Rash or skin irritation due to photosensitivity
  • Loss of coordination
  • Trembling
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

Is lime good for dogs?

No, the risks of dogs eating limes outweigh any benefits significantly. Limes can certainly have health benefits for humans, but things are a little more complicated when it comes to dogs.

Limes are high in vitamin C, which is important for keeping the immune system healthy and reducing inflammation. However, dogs are capable of synthesizing their own vitamin C and do not need to obtain it from their diet (unlike humans). 

Because limes contain compounds that are toxic to dogs and offer very little in the way of health benefits, there is no good reason to feed your dog lime.

If your dog does require additional vitamin C on the advice of your vet, steer clear of citrus fruit and choose dog-safe fruit such as apples or carrots instead.

Can dogs have lime juice?

No, dogs can not have lime juice. Lime juice is very acidic and is likely to cause your dog to experience digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

It doesn’t taste very nice on its own and it is unlikely that your dog would want to have any more than a single lick. It is not a good idea to let your dog have lime juice.

My dog ate a slice of lime, should I worry?

Firstly don’t panic. The effect of eating a slice of lime will depend on the size and age of your dog and whether they are particularly sensitive to the chemical compounds found in it. 

Firstly, check whether your dog actually swallowed the lime. If he did, monitor him carefully and phone your vet for advice. Your vet will ask you how much lime your dog ingested and whether he is showing any concerning symptoms.

Suggested reading: How many treats should a dog have per day?

In conclusion

Is lime harmful to dogs? Yes, it can be. Lime may be tasty in a mojito or a cheesecake but this is not a fruit you should be sharing with your dog. 

A tiny taste may cause no ill effects, but it is important to know the risks. Limes contain natural compounds that can be harmful to dogs if swallowed or if the lime comes into contact with their skin. 

If you have lime fruit trees growing nearby it is important to be aware of the symptoms of lime poisoning in dogs and take action to prevent your dog from coming into contact with them as lime leaves can also be a hazard.

If your dog eats lime by accident, you should monitor them carefully and call your vet for advice.

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