Can Dogs Eat Limes? How Toxic are Limes For Dogs?

Most foods that offer great nutritional value to our bodies can be harmful to dogs. One good example is lime which contains antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Thus can dogs eat limes? ASPCA reports that limes are harmful to pets such as cats and dogs since they contain harmful ingredients like psoralens and essential oils.

Besides, lime has a bitter flavor that dogs find disgusting. Even a slight smell of lime causes a bizarre reaction in some pups who are disgusted by the fruit.

What Makes Limes Bad for Dogs?

In addition to psoralens and essential oils, lime has a high citric acid content, which will upset your pooch’s stomach. However, it does not mean your pup will die if it eats lime. Many dogs will be just fine when they take a small amount of lime.

The way your dog reacts to lime will depend on different factors like the dog’s size, the amount of lime he ate, and what part of lime the dog ate.

It’s important to note that your furry friend does not even have to eat the bitter fruit to get ill. The compounds in lime are harmful enough to your pooch that it can absorb them on contact with the skin.

Signs of Lime Poisoning

How can you tell that your pup has been poisoned by eating the bitter fruit? What signs should you pay attention to?

The sternness of your dog’s condition after eating lime will depend on the amount of lime it ate.

In most cases, the dog will experience an upset stomach. If it eats more than a taste, it may experience diarrhea, excessive drooling, or lethargy. Other serious symptoms include liver failure, tremors, loss of coordination, and vomiting.

Lime Poisoning via Contact

Because lime is extremely toxic to your furry friend, it will react whenever the dog comes into contact with the components in lime. This comprises touching the leaves of lime trees.

If you think your pup has been exposed to lime or its leaves, check out for red spots, rashes, or skin irritation. If you notice any of these, make sure you give your dog an instant bath after the exposure. With water and dog shampoo, wash their skin and coat thoroughly to eliminate any trace of chemical compounds.

What Makes Lime Dangerous for Dogs?

We have ruled out that lime is bad for your dog. Here is why!

Limes come with 3 main compounds that make them toxic for your pooch. They include:


It contains insecticidal properties that might cause liver damage, liver failure, or poisoning if eaten by your dog. It is found in lime trees and other citrus plants like lemon.

This component is responsible for the strong scent of lime and other citrus plants.

Typically, limonene is utilized as an aromatic ingredient in various lemon and lime-scented cosmetic and cleaning items. So, it is essential to keep your pup away from these products. The compound is also utilized to flavor some food items. So, these foods must be kept away from the pooch’s reach.


It is another harmful substance you will find in lime. It’s a type of terpene that is responsible for producing the scent.

Linalool is often utilized in some lotions, soaps and other cosmetic items, and insecticides. So, all these products should be kept away from your pup.

Eating a leaf of a lime tree or even parts of the lime fruit will expose your dog to a higher level of linalool. This will lead to severe symptoms, especially in younger pups.


Another harmful ingredient you’ll find in lime is psoralen, commonly found in lemon and lime trees. This substance is sensitive to light and is mostly utilized with UV light to solve some skin diseases like psoriasis and vitiligo.

Nevertheless, even though psoralen is a useful substance for humans, it will have severe side effects on your dog.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Lime?

If you think your dog ate a lime, don’t panic! A small quantity might not require a visit to the vet. If your pup ate a large amount of lime substance, it’s good to call animal poison control or a vet. The professional will advise you on what to do.

Ensure you note down what was eaten so that you can give the medical experts the needed details.

If the dog ate a product containing lime, get the label as it will be useful in determining the best cure method for your pet. Avoid using antidotes or at-home remedies, and don’t try to induce vomiting unless a medical professional has told you to do so.

If the poison is on the dog’s skin, you need to thoroughly wash out the product as fast as possible.

How Long Will Lime Poisoning Stay in Your Dog?

Bear in mind that the toxicity depends on the amount of substance your pooch ate. That plays a great role in the seriousness of the symptoms and how long they will last.

Nevertheless, ASPCA poison control says that 25% of pets who have been exposed to poison will get better within 2 hours. The faster you get professional help for your dog, the higher their chances of recovering faster. So, don’t wait!

Can a Dog Eat other Citrus Fruits?

Lime isn’t the only citrus fruit that you should avoid giving your dog. Lemons and grapefruits should also be kept away from the dog’s reach since they contain citric acid – the harmful substance in lime.  Furthermore, grapefruits and lemons contain sugar that can cause serious problems if ingested in large amounts.

Dogs can eat oranges in small quantities and only if the peel and seeds are removed. Note that dogs can’t eat orange peels as they contain toxic substances and are a choking hazard.

You can also feed your dog tangerines, mandarins, and clementines.

The edible citrus fruits are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. However, your pup may not like them since most dogs aren’t fans of a citrusy aroma.

Let’s Wrap it Up

While humans may enjoy squeezing some lime juice in their drinks or meals, your pup doesn’t! The substances in lime are harmful to the well-being and health of your pet, particularly when ingested in large amounts.

To ensure your dog is safe, keep lemons, limes, and other items containing these substances out of your pet’s reach.

There are so many other safe alternatives you can feed your dog. Other than the edible citrus fruits, you and your furry buddy can delight in some bananas, cucumbers, pineapples and raspberries.

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