Limes are a wonderfully versatile fruit and us humans use just about all parts of them, from the flesh to even the zest. On top of this, limes contain lots of vitamin C, they are immune system boosters and can also help to increase absorption of iron and promote healthy skin.
With all these human benefits of limes in mind, you may have wondered ’can dogs eat limes?’ and ‘can they see any positive effects from eating them?’ Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
Can dogs eat limes?
It is best not to give your dog limes as the flesh is very acidic and can cause stomach upsets. In addition, the peel contains oils and other chemicals which can cause serious gut upsets. Aside from their toxicity, the seeds and peel can also pose a choking hazard to dogs and if swallowed, the peel can cause an intestinal obstruction. Most dogs dislike the taste of limes, so will tend to avoid eating them anyway.
Why are limes so bad for dogs?
Limes contain essential oils such as limonene and linalool, which are toxic to dogs, as well as phototoxic compounds called psoralens. Ingesting a small amount of lime is unlikely to cause serious harm aside from gastrointestinal upset, but large quantities of the fruit, especially the peel, could potentially be serious. Additionally, lime trees produce the phototoxic compounds, psoralens, as well as linalool and limonene too. So, if you have one growing in your garden you should ensure your dog doesn’t rub up against it or chomp on the leaves or bark.
Symptoms of lime poisoning
Dogs are highly unlikely to eat limes voluntarily as they tend to dislike the bitter and sharp flavour that comes from citrus fruits, but you should still take steps to keep limes out of reach of curious canines. If they manage to eat lime and show any of the following signs, take them to the vet as soon as possible:
- Sensitivity to light
- Poor appetite
- Low blood pressure (weakness, pale gums)
- Loss of coordination
- Increased thirst
- Jaundiced (yellow) gums or skin
If your dog has rubbed up against a lime tree or their skin has come into contact with lime oil, they may also show signs of skin irritation.