Bergamot orange, botanically known as Citrus bergamia belongs to the family Rutaceae and genus Citrus whose extracts has various applications including in flavoring smokeless tobacco.
The fruit’s juice tastes a little bitter than grapefruit but not as sour as that of lemons. To obtain bergamot essential oil used in the perfumery industry, as a flavoring, and in aromatherapy, the fruit’s rind is cold-pressed.
Some of the teas flavored by Citrus bergamia essential oil include the Lady Grey and Earl Grey tea.
Bergamot orange oil has 95% volatile fraction made up of “terpenes, esters, alcohols, and aldehydes, and for the non-volatile fraction, oxygenated heterocyclic, compounds as coumarins and furanocoumarins” notes Wikipedia. The remaining 5% is composed of a non-volatile fraction.
Sometimes this fruit is classified as Citrus aurantium subsp. Bergamia. Citrus aurantium is also referred as to bitter, Servile, marmalade, sour or bigarade orange.
Is bergamot orange safe for dogs and cats?
No. It is not safe for dogs or cats, i.e., according to ASPCA, bergamot orange and its essential oil are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses because they have essential oils as well as psoralens.
It joins others such as clove, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, wintergreen, lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil that are harmful to these pets. Ensure your pets do not ingest them.
If your canine or feline eats Citrus bergamia, common symptoms that will be noted include diarrhea, vomiting, dermatitis (photosensitivity) and depression. There may be other symptoms depending on the amount of ingested or toxicity level attained.
Note that the Monarda didyma also known as bergamot herb is safe for dogs and cats and it is a totally different plant that belongs to family Lamiaceae.
Avoid all citrus fruits
While Wag Walking notes that “all citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, limes, and lemons) are toxic to cats,” Purina warns that “all citrus fruits contain essential oils and a chemical compound that are toxic to dogs. These are found in the plants, tree parts, the skin, and the pithy white parts.”
This means that both your cats and dogs should not be given any citrus fruits. Besides, these pets will not like the bitter or sour taste they have. Most will only lick it and ignore it afterward.