Why Should I Avoid Using Citrus on My Dog?

Having had a bulldog with terrible skin allergies, I became very aware of how important it was to read labels and understand ingredients.  This is also why at My Dog Foo you can pronounce everything on our labels.  We stick to all natural stuff.  But there are some natural ingredients that you might want to avoid. You might be wondering why citrus would be an ingredient that we avoid completely in our products.



So What's Wrong With Citrus?

Citrus can deliver amazing healing benefits to skin and the immune system. Okay, so if it can deliver great results, why not use it?  Simple. Citrus causes photosensitivity on the skin, meaning that skin becomes much more susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays, this includes human skin, too.

Reactions can include:

    • severe sunburn
    • blistering
    • changes in the color of your skin
    • edema (swelling)

Because we want to provide products that are meant to soothe and heal, we avoid citrus in our products.  If you have a dog who is hardly ever in the sun, then it wouldn’t much matter.  However, some medications along with some medical conditions can cause photosensitivity, and using citrus would compound the problem.  So we recommend avoiding these ingredients all together.

The following is a list of citrus known to cause phototoxicity (causing sun sensitivity) that you should avoid using on your dog’s skin:

    • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
    • Bitter Orange (Citrus x aurantium)
    • Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
    • Lemon, cold pressed (Citrus x aurantium)
    • Lime, cold pressed (Citrus x aurantifolia)
    • Opopanax (Commiphora guidotti)

Of course if a product is heavily diluted, the effects would be minimal.  But as products only contain ingredients and not amounts, it would be hard to tell how much of any one ingredient would be included in a product. When in doubt, just avoid it altogether.


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