Lime, like most citrus fruits, provides a multitude of benefits to us humans. It’s packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants… and it tastes great in a mojito! However, what’s good for us is often not great for our dogs… indeed some foods are dangerous to dogs. But… what about lime? Can dogs eat lime?
The simple answer to this is that lime juice in very small doses isn’t fatal for dogs, but in larger doses it can make dogs seriously unwell.
In this post I’m going to explain why you shouldn’t give your dogs lime and what the effects can be.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Lime?
- The Symptoms of Lime Poisoning
- What to Do If Your Dogs Eat Lime
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Lime?
As I mentioned in the introduction, dogs can eat lime juice in very small doses but they really shouldn’t be given a whole lime to eat.
A small amount of lime juice is unlikely to cause a severe problem, though it may well result in a stomach upset… nobody wants that. Lime juice is very acidic and it’s this acidity that can result in vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Obviously the larger the dose, the more potent the effects will be.
However, if a dog eats lime peel or leaves, this can cause very real medical problems.
The peel and leaves of limes contains substances that can be harmful to dogs such as:
Linalool and limonene both contribute to the citrus scent and both have a variety of commercial uses. Linalool is used in the production of soaps and lotions, and limonene in the creation of fragrances.
The limonene, linalool and psoralen found in the peel and leaf oils are toxic to dogs and if consumed in sufficient quantities can result in poisoning.
Aside from potential poisoning, the peel and seeds can be a potential choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage, both of which can be extremely dangerous.
Not only this, but psoralen can cause phytophotodermatitis (plant dermititis) if it gets onto your dog’s skin.
Psoralen is a substance that makes skin sensitive to sunlight… or to be more precise, the ultraviolet light within the sun’s rays. The result of this can be a painful rash requiring medical treatment.
The Symptoms of Lime Poisoning
Fortunately, most dogs don’t like the bitter / tart flavour of limes and so will not eat them. Additionally, should your dog lick a lime or eat a small amount of lime flesh it will likely be fine.
However, if your dog eats lime in a large enough quantity, it may show some of the following signs of lime poisoning:
- Liver failure
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of coordination
- Increased thirst
- Jaundiced gums and / or skin
What to Do if Your Dogs Eat Lime
If your dog eats lime and subsequently displays any symptoms of poisoning, the safest thing to do is take it to a veterinary professional…. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Your vet will examine your dog and may decide to induce vomiting or use activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. Alternatively your vet might opt to manage the symptoms of lime poisoning through intravenous fluids and overnight monitoring.
On a positive note, most dogs that suffer lime poisoning and have prompt medical treatment go on to make a full recovery.
Although dogs can eat lime in small amounts (a small amount of juice or flesh is unlikely to cause serious harm) it’s best not to allow your dog to eat lime.
The best thing to do is to keep lime out of reach of your dog and never feed it as a treat. At the very least, the last thing you want is for your dog to be sick everywhere!
As with anything, if you’re ever at all concerned about something your dog has eaten, see a vet as soon as possible.
Has you dog ever eaten lime or do you have any questions about this post? Please leave your comments / questions at the bottom of this page.
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