Can cats and dogs eat citrus fruits?

Undoubtedly when feeding your pets, you should take some recommendations to ensure their safety and protect their health. In this article, we will tell you if dogs and cats can eat citrus fruits, and we review all the characteristics of this type of food and what it can mean for pets.

Dogs and cats and citrus foods

In dogs’ case, your pet may likely feel a particular attraction to citrus fruits and even consume them. That is why if your dog likes to eat an orange, you must be careful and limit its intake. Nothing will probably happen if your pet accidentally ingests a little orange, but it is not a food that experts recommend introducing into his diet in large quantities. Below we explain fruit by fruit how its consumption can affect dogs and cats.

The most normal thing is that your dog never eats a lemon because he will avoid it entirely when noticing its acidic taste. Still, if you have a pet that eats everything it can find (which happens very often, especially with puppy dogs ), you should be very careful with lemons because they can be toxic to cats and dogs. Lemon contains aromatic oils and psoralen that can be harmful to animals’ health and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sun exposure sensitivity.

On the other hand, limes it is similar. It is a green and acidic fruit that is toxic for dogs and especially for cats. If you have limes planted at home or in the fruit bowl, be very careful with dogs. Cats will probably not go near it, but if your pet consumes enough lime, this food can be toxic for her, and you will most likely have to go to the vet to treat the poisoning.

On the other hand, we find oranges. It should also be noted that some experts show that oranges consumed in moderation can be suitable for dogs. Especially if they are oranges of the best variety globally, such as those recommended by the experts at, who is clear that Navelina is the best alternative for human consumption since it can be consumed long after being collected from the tree. As it has less citric acid, it is much less dangerous for dogs.

These fruits are also not suitable for cats. In the case of dogs, nothing will happen due to their sporadic consumption, especially if it is hot. Still, it will be better to keep your pet away from the orange tree if you have one planted in the garden. Because the consumption of many limes, lemons, oranges, or grapefruits can be dangerous for your health since these foods incorporate a large amount of citric acid that can harm them. Also, you should not let them chew the seeds, leaves, or stems, and of course, you should not give them the shells to play with, since in the long run, this would negatively affect their nervous system.

If your dog eats a small orange piece by accident, nothing will probably happen to him, although if your cat does, you should take him quickly to the vet because it may cause diarrhea and stomach pain.

In the case of cats, it is best to keep them away from the shells and rinds of this fruit because they can be dangerous for their health. Anyway, you won’t have to worry about this because luckily nature is wise and most cats don’t like oranges or citrus fruits of any other kind.

Shells are especially dangerous for cats because they incorporate essential oils and, in most cases, require a specific liver enzyme (transferase) that people have and that allows better metabolism of these oils, but that does not exist in cats. Therefore it can cause many health problems.

It also includes menthol, a substance that cats cannot metabolize well, and of course psoralen, which in addition to indigestion, can even cause depression in cats.

In conclusion, if you want to give your pets oranges, you must be clear that Navelina will be the best alternative for dogs. Still, you should always consult with your veterinarian beforehand to ensure that its consumption will be safe for your pet, taking into account its size and its physical conditions and offering it only in small quantities. In cats, it will be better to avoid these foods directly to prevent other problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, photosensitivity, and other health problems that could seriously affect their central nervous system.

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