Can Dogs Eat Limes?

Published May 9, 2024
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In This Article

Is Lime Bad for Dogs?
NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one

We like to add limes to just about everything, from salad dressings to drinks to the famous key lime pie. With such a delicious source of vitamin C, why wouldn’t we want to share this bounty with our pups?

Not so fast. If you’ve ever wondered, “can dogs eat limes?” it’s important to do your research before tossing your pup a piece of this citrus fruit. Here’s what to know about limes for dogs.

Is Lime Bad for Dogs?

The flesh of a lime is considered nontoxic to dogs. However, the citric acid can be irritating to their intestinal tract, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. And in large amounts, the flesh can potentially result in neurologic symptoms including depression and loss of coordination.

If your dog eats any part of the lime’s rind, this can be even more hazardous. This part of the fruit contains essential oils that can be toxic to dogs. The rind can also potentially cause an intestinal obstruction.

Luckily, the sour taste of limes generally discourages most dogs from chowing down.

Can Dogs Eat Lime Juice?

No, dogs should not drink lime juice. Lime juice can easily result in gastrointestinal or neurologic symptoms from the high concentration of citric acid.

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Lime Rice?

It’s best if your pup avoids this side dish. Cilantro lime rice contains lime juice that can make your dog sick. And while cilantro is nontoxic for dogs, some recipes might contain other spices or ingredients that can be poisonous.

Can Dogs Eat Key Lime Pie?

No, do not feed your dog key lime pie. Along with high amounts of citric acid, this dessert also contains loads of sugar. This makes it tasty for humans, but not something suitable to share with your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

Lemons are a lot like limes—a tiny amount of the flesh isn’t likely to cause significant harm to your dog, but it’s not a good food to share. And if your dog eats a significant amount of lemon or any part of the rind, call your veterinarian.

My Dog Ate a Lime. What Do I Do?

If your dog snags a tiny piece of lime flesh, it’s likely safe to monitor for any symptoms at home. While this can cause an upset stomach, a small amount of lime flesh isn’t likely to do real damage.

However, if your dog shows any symptoms such as a poor appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea after eating any amount of lime, contact your veterinarian.

Likewise, if your dog has eaten a large amount of lime or ingested the rind, contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic right away, even if your dog is currently feeling OK. This can be dangerous, and you should seek advice on what to do from a professional.

What To Feed Your Dog Instead

Though limes are not one of the dog-safe fruits, there are many other options you can add to your pup’s food bowl. This includes:

Always talk to your veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog’s diet. When feeding your pup something new, do so in small portions first to monitor for any signs of GI distress or allergies. And remember: treats (including fruit) should only make up 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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