Are Citrus Fruits Bad For Dogs?

By Naomi Millburn

Though there are (unfortunately) lots of videos online of people feeding their dogs sour citrus fruits to humorous effect, this is actually a very bad idea. Just because your precious doggy shows an interest in the yummy citrus fruits you eat and use in cooking, don't immediately assume they're harmless to him. Assumptions are often a recipe for disaster. If your dog accidentally eats any type of citrus, it's smart to contact your vet. Read on to find out why.


Apart from the fact that your dog may reject the sour taste, it's very important to keep your pet away from lemons. The ASPCA notes that the fruit is indeed toxic to dogs, and also to horses and cats, for that matter. The poisonous components are the psoralen compounds and the aromatic oils. If your doggie gets his paws on a lemon, he may experience unpleasant side effects including diarrhea, throwing up and even unusual light sensitivity.


When it comes to dogs, the situation is very similar with limes. Just like the lemon, this sour green fruit is also toxic to canines. If you have a lime tree growing in your backyard, make sure your curious pooch stays away from it no matter what. Consumption of any part of a lime, especially in excessive amounts, may also lead to diarrhea, throwing up and sensitivity to light. Not a good time for you, and certainly not for your doggie, either.


Although a dog may certainly prefer the taste of a tart orange over a lemon or lime, it's still crucial for you to keep your pet away from any and all orange trees. As with lemons, limes and even grapefruit, the citric acid content of oranges may be risky to dogs. The acid is found all over the plant, from the actual fruit and the seeds to the peelings, leaves and stems. The little guys can't avoid the stuff. If your dog gets any of these things into his mouth and eats them, especially in big amounts, issues with the central nervous system may arise.
However, if your dog finds a piece of orange fruit somewhere in your home -- say through digging in the kitchen trash -- and swallows a small piece, he may be OK, apart from diarrhea and a slight bellyache. If you have any concerns regarding his reaction, notify the veterinarian immediately.

Other Dangerous Fruits

Citrus fruits aren't the only possible fruity hazard out there. Other types of fruits may also be dangerous to your pet, which is why it's very important never to allow him to eat a "human food" item if you're anything less than 100 percent sure of its safety. The Humane Society of the United States notes an array of fruits and parts of fruits that are toxic to your doggie, including grapes, cherry pits, apple seeds and peach pits. Make sure that all of these things are out of your doggie's reach.

By Naomi Millburn


About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.