Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
You may have already noticed certain fruits listed as ingredients in your pooch’s favorite dog food and for a balanced diet, they can give your dog’s health and vitality a vitamin-packed boost. However, not all fruit are made equal when it comes to your dog and there are some – such as grapes – that can be harmful for your pet and should always be avoided.
So, where does this leave the sweet and tangy orange, and can you feed them to your dog? An excellent source of nutrients, potassium and fiber, oranges are actually one of the fruits that are safe to give to your dog. But before you toss your pup a segment from your juicy citrus snack, there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to feeding oranges to your dog.
Yes, they are healthy and are a sweet treat for your pup, but as with most things, when it comes to oranges, you can give him too much of a good thing. We give you the lowdown on the question – can dogs eat oranges safely?
Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
The short answer is yes, oranges and tangerines are safe to give to your dog and as an occasional treat, are a healthy snack. However, there are some things as a dog owner you need to be aware of.
Oranges are not toxic to your dog but due to their acidic content can be difficult for your dog’s digestive system to process if eaten in larger quantities. And, while oranges are full of vitamins that can benefit your pooch, they are also full of sugar and so should always be given to your pet in moderation. Also, unlike humans, dogs can actually make their own vitamin C and so don’t necessarily need the extra vitamin supplementation orange segments can offer.
Another interesting fact about your dog is that while they have a much more highly developed sense of smell than us, their ability to taste is actually a little more limited, with the average dog only having around a fifth of our taste buds. This means that their ability to savor and appreciate certain flavors is not as finely tuned and so you could well find your pup is not that impressed by a sweet treat such as an orange segment.
But if your canine friend is fit and healthy and has a taste for oranges, then a segment or two is not going to do them any harm.
Health Benefits of Oranges
While not essential to their diet, oranges do have some health benefits for your citrus-loving pooch, including:
Packed with vitamin C – while your hound can make its own vitamin C, there is no harm in giving him a little extra, especially if they are undertaking strenuous exercise or are anxious and under stress. Exercise and stress can put a strain on their body, affecting their liver’s ability to make vitamin C and so extra natural supplementation could help.
Supports a healthy immune system – vitamin C is also an antioxidant that is needed for a healthy immune system and can help keep bugs and canine sniffles at bay.
They are low in sodium – a diet that isn’t overloaded with salt is essential for your dog’s health, and they should be getting all the sodium they need from their main dog food meal. Low in sodium, oranges can be used as a treat for your dog, without adding to their daily salt allowance.
Can help flush out toxins – a dose of vitamin C can help your pooch’s body flush out toxins and nasties and can help clear their system if they have eaten something they shouldn’t.
Nutrient-rich – oranges are full of other nutrients that can be beneficial for your dog, including potassium, thiamine, folate and fiber.
So, if you are wondering can dogs eat oranges and tangerines, the answer is yes in most cases and they could benefit from it too.
Not all dogs are going to take to the citrus taste but for pooches that find a segment delicious, you need to be aware of a couple of potential issues before giving oranges to your pet:
- With their high sugar and acidic content, oranges are not going to be good for all dogs, especially pets with diabetes, gastric or weight issues.
- Can dogs eat orange peel? Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea. While the peel and pith found on oranges is not toxic for dogs, they can be problematic, so it is essential you remove both before giving a piece of orange or tangerine to your pet. The outer skin in particular has a higher concentration of vitamin C which can challenge a sensitive digestive system as well as upset the blood values in a dog with diabetes.
- Many oranges contain pips, which you will need to remove to avoid any stomach irritation or getting the pips lodged in a small dog or puppy’s throat.
- Oranges contain a high level of sugar, and that equals a higher number of calories. If your dog is overweight or is inactive, then too many orange segments is not really going to help. If your obese dog craves an occasional sweet treat, try them on a strawberry or two instead.
How Much Orange Can They Have?
Balancing the health benefits of oranges as well as the potential problems, it’s important not to give your dog too much orange, but rather see it as a treat. Veterinary professionals recommend no more than one or two orange or tangerine segments a day, carefully cleared of any pith or peel.
However, if you are introducing your dog to oranges as a new treat or you have a young pup, they should really have no more than one segment maximum a day to avoid upsetting their digestive system. You can always up the amount once you are sure it is not irritating their tums – you will soon know if it does! As they are sugar-rich, too much orange can also contribute to any obesity issues your pet may have.
As a general rule, treats for your dog should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie allowance so work within this and there is no reason why your healthy dog should not enjoy a piece of orange every now and again.
- Can Dogs Eat Oranges? – American Kennel Club