Oranges are a healthy snack option for humans, but what about dogs? Is it safe to share this tasty citrus fruit with your dog.
Below we’ll answer the question, "Can dogs eat oranges?" and explore all the potential benefits and risks you need to know about.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges Safely?
Yes, dogs can safely eat oranges as long as you're careful with how much you give them. While the flesh of the orange fruit isn't toxic to dogs, too much of anything can still cause harm. So, it's best to occasionally give your dog small amounts of orange as a treat or snack.
Also, just a heads up: many dogs actually don’t like the taste of citrus fruits. So even though dogs can safely eat oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and other citrus fruits … they may not enjoy these foods. If you offer these to your dog and find he’s simply not interested, that’s perfectly normal.
What Kind Of Oranges Can Dogs Eat?
Wondering which types of oranges are best or safest for your dog?
Dogs can safely eat all oranges in moderation (as long as they’re not processed and don’t have added ingredients like sugar). This means dogs can eat fruits like tangerines, clementines and mandarins.
If safety is a concern, the safest option is to go for seedless navel oranges, which are also the most common type of oranges available. Navel oranges are packed with nutrients and because they’re seedless, any risk of choking is much lower.
5 Benefits Of Oranges For Dogs
Oranges are not only safe for dogs, but they also come with several health benefits. Here are five reasons to consider sharing an orange with your dog:
- Low in Calories - Trying to keep your furry friend's weight in check? Oranges can be a smart-yet-sweet snack. They’re low in calories, making them a great snack option for dogs on a diet or those who need to shed a few pounds.
- Hydration - We all know how juicy oranges are. Their high water content can help your dog stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. Oranges and other water-rich fruits and veggies can be a good occasional snack for dogs who don't drink enough water.
- Fiber - Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system, and oranges are an excellent source of it. Thanks to their fiber content, oranges can help your dog improve digestion and relieve constipation.
- Antioxidants - Oranges are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your dog's cells from damage and may reduce the risk of disease. Antioxidants have other unique benefits, too, like protecting your dog's skin and eyes from sun damage.
- Rich in Vitamin C - Oranges are bursting with vitamin C, which is supports the immune system and promotes healthy skin. It's an essential vitamin for the production of collagen, which helps keep your dog's skin and joints healthy.
Many people don’t know that dogs, unlike humans, produce their own vitamin C. So you don’t necessarily have to add a bunch of vitamin C to your dog’s diet. Still, vitamin C is a valuable antioxidant, and the vitamin C found in oranges can benefit your dog.
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Risks Of Overfeeding Oranges
As much as your dog may love oranges, overfeeding them can lead to some unpleasant symptoms.
Giving your furry friend too many oranges can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea due to their high acidity. Like lemons, the acid in oranges is potent, and can potentially wear down your dog's teeth, leading to dental problems down the line.
Admittedly, you’d probably have to be feeding your dog a lot of oranges for this to be a problem, but it’s why you should limit citrus fruits for dogs, and introduce them slowly.
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What About Orange Poisoning In Dogs?
The orange tree, including its blossoms and bark, contain compounds that can be toxic to dogs. So some dog owners choose not to feed their dogs oranges at all.
However, the flesh of the orange fruit is safe for dogs to consume in moderation, so the only risk of toxicity from dogs eating an orange fruit would come from the orange peel, which should always be removed.
To avoid orange poisoning in dogs, feed only the flesh of the orange fruit – with no peel and ideally no seeds.
If your dog has eaten orange peels, orange tree bark or foliage, and shows any of the following signs, you should check in with your vet immediately.
Signs of Orange Poisoning in Dogs:
- Trembling or tremors
How To Feed Your Dog Oranges Safely
All in all, oranges can be a delicious and nutritious treat for your four-legged friend as long as they’re fed properly.
Remove the orange peel and any seeds before sharing an orange with your dog.
Oranges should only be given to dogs in moderation, so the first time your dog has oranges, start slow and watch how he reacts. Feed him just a single piece.
If he reacts positively, it’s safe to share more with him. Just make sure it’s only on occasion, and limit it to a treat sized portion … a segment or two is plenty, even for a large dog.
Lastly, if your dog is diabetic, it’s best to consider a different treat, as the sugar content in oranges could increase his blood glucose.
Let’s wrap up with a few other common questions we get from dog owners about sharing oranges with their pups:
Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges?
Yes, dogs can eat mandarin oranges in moderation. They can also safely eat tangerines, clementines, navel oranges, and other citrus fruits in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Orange Peel?
Dogs should not eat orange peel. They are a potential choking hazard and may also contain compounds toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Clementines?
Yes, dogs can eat clementines in moderation. They can also safely eat tangerines, mandarin oranges, navel oranges, and other citrus fruits in moderation.