Can Cats Have Lime? What You Need to Know!

Homeowners use lime fertilizer to keep their lawns in good shape. This mineral element serves to improve the pH of acidic soil, making it more grass-friendly and fostering a thick, healthy lawn.

While lime pellets are generally believed to be harmless, pet owners should exercise extreme caution when putting anything in reach of their furry companions.

Here are some pet owner safety precautions that will keep your dog safe and healthy while yet allowing you to enjoy a lush and green grass.

Lime, What Is It?

Can Cats Have Lime? What You Need to Know!

Ground limestone, a soft rock with a high calcium concentration, is used to make lime. Lime is a versatile material that may be utilized in a variety of applications, from metallurgy to construction. Lime, on the other hand, is mostly used as a fertilizer.

Lime is used to reduce the acidity of soil. Many plants, including grass, fruits, and vegetables, are unable to obtain the nutrients they require due to acidic soil.

Soil pH values vary across the country; 3.0 or less is considered very acidic, while 8.0 or more is considered basic.

The ideal pH range for soil is between 5.5 and 6.5, while some plants can flourish at higher pH levels. Before you get started, you’ll need to figure out what pH level is optimum for your ideal garden. If you want a lush green lawn with no bald areas, a pH of roughly 6.2 is ideal.

Before you apply lime blindly, you should have your soil analyzed. A soil testing kit may be found online or at home and garden stores, but it’s difficult to estimate how much lime you’ll need. Find and contact a Baker Lime dealer near you today!

Different Types of Lime

While the term “lime” refers to ground limestone in general, there are a variety of choices available, each suited for a specific purpose. We’ll go over the differences between fast lime and Ag lime, pelletized lime and loose powder, and which ones are appropriate for your needs.

Caustic Lime

Caustic lime, often known as rapid lime, is a type of limestone that works faster than ordinary limestone but can irritate the skin of both humans and pets. While quick lime can quickly convert acidic soil to alkaline soil, it may not be the greatest solution for pet owners.

Hydrated lime is a type of quick lime that has had water added to it. Chemical burns are more likely with hydrated lime, and it must be administered more frequently than powdered or pelletized limes. Both hydrated and fast limes are more irritants, as well as being messy and difficult to utilize.

Non-Caustic Lime

Depending on your location, this form of lime is made from dolomite or calcium. Our dolomitic limes are supplied from Central Pennsylvania at Baker Lime. In any case, powdered non-caustic limes are employed in commercial applications such as farming and lawn maintenance.

While non-caustic limes, sometimes known as “ag limes,” are generally regarded non-toxic to humans, pets, and passing wildlife, non-toxic does not imply that a chemical is completely safe. The term “non-toxic” refers to a substance that does not cause death or serious disease.

While lime is unlikely to make your dog sick, spreading pellets and then letting your dog run free is not a good idea.

Lime dust, in any form, can irritate the lungs, skin, and eyes, thus it should be properly absorbed into the soil before anyone uses the grass, human or animal.

The key advantage of employing lime powder over lime pellets is that nutrition delivery is considerably faster and more exact. The disadvantage is that handling huge amounts of cumbersome powder can wreak havoc on your yard, creating dust and residue in places your pet frequents.

Lime Pellets

Lime pellets are the simplest and safest way to keep your grass looking great while also ensuring your pet’s safety. Lime pellets are ideal for homeowners with small yards who want to spend as little time as possible concealing their tracks after application.

It’s more difficult to finely adjust the amount of product you’re putting to the area when it’s in pellet form, but most people find lime pellets to have more benefits than drawbacks.

Is Lime Harmful to Animals?

Can Cats Have Lime? What You Need to Know!

Safety is a subjective concept. Lime isn’t poisonous in and of itself. However, the answer to the question of whether lime is harmful to dogs is complex.

Lime pellets are about as safe for your pets as they are for you and the rest of your human family in the broad scheme of things. However, it’s crucial to remember that if your dog plays outside in places that have been treated with lime, they may come into touch with the material, which could create difficulties.

Lime gets absorbed into the earth over time. Dogs can run free without too many risks once it has been fully absorbed. However, dogs can be harmed if they play outside before the pellets or powder have been dissolved.

Lime is a very alkaline material because its main purpose is to raise the pH of acidic soil. Because of the alkalinity of lime, when pellets come into touch with human or animal skin, they can cause considerable irritation.

If at all possible, wait for a good rainstorm before allowing your pet to run about freely in the backyard. Excess pellets will be washed away by heavy rains, and the chemical will dissolve into the soil, but waiting for the weather to improve may not be the best option for everyone.

You’ll have to take matters into your own hands if you live in a dry climate or are applying lime during the summer.

It is critical to thoroughly water when the job is completed. Pets sniffing around the yard may be at risk from lime. Even if you use pellets, pulverized lime is dusty, so there will undoubtedly be some residue that can hurt dogs.

Although lime is generally thought to be non-toxic, inadvertently ingesting or inhaling it might create issues. Your pet is suffering from a calcium overload; it won’t be pleasant, but with careful care, your pet should be able to recover.

Watering helps to reduce the risk of inhalation or ingestion by flushing out anything you may have missed.

Does Lime Hurt Pets? What Are the Actual Hazards

As previously said, pets are mainly exposed to the same lime dangers as we are. Below, we’ll go over some of the most serious dangers that pets face when they come into touch with lime fertilizer, as well as what you can do to help your pets if they get themselves into something dangerous.

A Word About Hydrated Lime

Wet hydrated lime, which can induce chemical burns, can cause irreversible harm. If swallowed, it can cause burns to the lips, throat, stomach, and digestive tract. We highly advise against using hydrated lime at home because it’s difficult to avoid significant messes, and failure to clean up properly can result in serious harm to people and pets.

A chemical reaction occurs when dry hydrated lime comes into contact with moist portions of the body or with water, causing serious harm.

Caustic burns on pets’ skin and paws can be irreparable, resulting in third-degree burns in some situations. If you have pets or children who play in your yard, avoid using hydrated lime unless you’ve hired a professional who is capable of doing so.

How to Apply Lime Safely

Although we understand that you would prefer your pet, you don’t have to sacrifice the aesthetics of your yard in order to have your furry companions around for the long haul. However, you must exercise caution – not only for your own sake, but also for the sake of others. Here are some helpful hints for spreading lime safely:

Protect Your Skin

First and foremost, regardless of which type of lime you choose to apply to your grass, you’ll need to be properly attired.

Closed-toe shoes, such as comfortable hiking boots or leather work boots, are essential for optimal protection. Sneakers should be fine, but avoid models with ventilation or grommets on the sides, as these could allow lime to enter the skin.

You’ll want to cover the rest of your body as well. Lime application requires long pants and sleeves, as well as gloves, goggles, and masks that cover your nose and mouth.

While all of this preparation may appear to be a lot of steps for the average lawn owner, lime does have some side effects, including skin irritation and more.

If lime is consumed, inhaled, or splashed on your skin, it can harm your lungs, eyes, and skin, so cover up more than you think you need.

Use a Spreading Tool to Minimize Harm to Pets

Aside from covering your body, you’ll want to think about how you’ll apply the lime, balancing safety issues with convenience and comfort. Using a spreader to apply lime to all of the proper places can help keep things confined.

There are a few different methods for applying lime on your lawn now. Here’s a basic overview:

Spreader that rotates

A rotary spreader is one tool that can be used to apply lime. This method allows users to swiftly apply lime to huge areas of lawn. The rotating spreader covers more ground in less time by throwing the pelletized lime in a broad pattern. It gets the job done quickly, allowing you to spend more time with your beautiful pets after you’ve taken care of them.

Using a Drop Spreader, apply lime. The alternative option is to use a drop spreader, which works by dispersing pelleted lime as you push the instrument. Because the pellets are practically dropped directly below the aperture, this method may be better for folks with smaller lawns. You’ll want to go over the entire garden to make sure you’ve covered everything. Drop spreading appears to be more time consuming than rotary spreading, but it may enable a more exact application. While a drop spreader allows you to apply the proper amount of lime to the lawn, it also necessitates many more laps around the lawn.

Following the application of lime, thoroughly water the area. It’s more than a safety precaution to water your grass after liming. Water is an important component of the lime fertilizer equation because it ensures that the lime does its work. For lime to have an effect on the total pH level in the surrounding surroundings, it must be absorbed into the soil.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Lime Fertilizer?

Can Cats Have Lime? What You Need to Know!

Let’s face it, dogs will eat almost anything, for better or for worse. So, naturally, you’re aware that you need to be cautious about everything from the plants you choose for your garden to the fertilizers you use to help them thrive.

Although lime is significantly safer than other fertilizers, it should never be consumed. However, things do happen from time to time. There’s always a danger that a few pellets will fall through the cracks, no matter how careful you are. Or there’s a risk that some powdered lime didn’t get washed away properly.

If you suspect (or know) that your dog has consumed lime pellets or powder, take them to the vet right once.

While pets are likely to recover completely after ingesting lime, it’s important to take this issue seriously, as side effects might range from mild stomach discomfort to more serious issues.

Constipation, upset stomach, and other digestive issues may result from consuming lime. Lime is high in calcium oxide, and eating too much of it can cause hypercalcemia.

So, What Is Hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is defined as an excess of calcium in the blood, although it can be harmful to all body tissues, including the kidneys, cardiovascular, and neurological systems.

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and a decline in gastrointestinal function are some of the side effects. Additionally, your pet’s muscle function may deteriorate, resulting in spasms, seizures, melancholy, and general weakness. Hypercalcemia can result in hemorrhaging, internal bleeding, and a loss of appetite in severe cases.

Hypercalcemia may not be life-threatening right away, but it’s vital to inform your veterinarian about how much lime your pet has consumed and seek medical help as soon as possible. Before your pet can be treated, the doctor will need to make a definitive diagnosis.

There is no single treatment for this illness. Treatment is determined by the amount of lime taken by your pet and the severity of the symptoms. Fluid therapy, diuretics, and glucocorticoids are some treatment choices if your dogs ingest lime.

If your dog or cat has eaten lime, do not force them to vomit, since this may irritate their airways even more.

The goal is to get rid of the excess calcium as rapidly as possible.

Eye Irritation

The eyes of pets might be affected by lime dust. While people applying lime correctly should wear protective eyewear, we don’t always take the same measures with our pets.

It’s safe to assume that keeping pets away from the lime application procedure is the best thing for their eyes – don’t open bags near them, and keep them away from larger stacks of the product or freshly applied pellets.

If a small amount of hydrated lime gets into your pet’s eyes, it might cause redness, itching, and inflammation. Larger doses might cause serious complications, such as chemical burns or even blindness.

Lungs, Nose and Throat

Because lime is such an abrasive material, it goes without saying that pets exposed to huge volumes of lime dust could be in danger. Inhaling powdered lime can cause burning in the nose and throat, as well as more serious lung and esophageal damage.

Dogs have an extraordinary capacity to nose around in places they shouldn’t, and any additional lime in your yard is a potential hazard.

As soon as your pet has been exposed, make sure he or she is in an area with plenty of fresh air. Examine your pet’s behavior for signs of distress, such as labored breathing, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you’re unsure, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline.

Skin and Paw Pads

If non-caustic powdered lime comes into touch with the skin, it will most likely produce moderate irritation. Hydrated lime, on the other hand, can cause dermatitis in pets, which causes itching, redness, and dehydration.

Paw pads are also in danger. Despite the fact that paw pads are formed of a stronger skin that can endure more heat or abrasive materials, they were not designed to avoid lime burns. In general, chemical irritants can cause serious harm.

Chemical burns, particularly if left ignored, can cause cell death by eroding the skin and paws.

Although therapy depends on the severity of the burns, most pets have a fair prognosis. It’s simply a good idea to take them to the veterinarian.

A rapid examination is required to evaluate whether lime has been absorbed into the system and whether surgery or medicine is required to avoid infections and speed up the healing process for injured dogs.

How to Clean Lime off of Your Pet

If your pet gets into a mound of lime, attempt to clean them up as soon as possible. If lime is not handled properly, it can cause severe burns. Again, water can make lime more “active,” so ignore your instincts and don’t try to rinse your pet with water right away, especially if they’ve been exposed to hydrated lime.

Use a dry towel to wipe away the lime dust as much as possible. Check paw pads for signs of the material and clean in between each pad with a soft cloth.

Considering Applying Lime to Your Yard? Check out Baker Lime

While we appreciate the value of a well manicured lawn, we believe that taking care of your loved ones, both four-legged and two-legged, comes first.

In the case of lime, though, you may enjoy your lawn while also ensuring that it is safe.

While lime is generally regarded safe, it’s always a good idea to follow the appropriate safety precautions. In a lime-treated environment, pets, children, and adults can safely coexist; just remember not to handle any lime powder directly.

Baker Lime has been in the lime industry since 1889, so it’s safe to say we’ve accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge. We have everything you need to keep your lawn — or your farm — flourishing for the long haul, from Ag lime to pelletized dolomite lime.


If your cat has eaten lime, don’t make them puke because this will irritate their airways even more.

Leave a Comment