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Can Dogs Have Oranges?

Last Updated - June 5, 2022

Dogs tend to have a knack for finding and eating food that isn't part of their regular diet. Whether they gobbled down an orange peel that missed the trash can, swiped an orange slice from your plate, or just gave your particularly strong puppy dog eyes, it's not uncommon for dogs to eat oranges from time to time. And as dog parents, we need to know what fruits dogs can and can't eat. So the question is - can dogs have oranges? Are oranges good for dogs? Below we will share everything you need to know about feeding oranges to your dog and how to do so safely.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Yes, dogs can eat oranges! Just like with any human food, moderation is the key. While they are not toxic to dogs and have health benefits, there are some other concerns you might want to keep in mind.

While some dogs will eat anything you put in front of them, not all dogs will enjoy the tart taste of an orange.

Nutritional Benefits Of Oranges For Dogs

Oranges are a pretty nutritious food for both humans and dogs! While dogs are carnivores and have no need for any fruit in their diet, an occasional snack of citrus fruit will provide them more than just a sweet treat. They have a nutritional benefit as well.

Oranges are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, thiamine, and folate. They are rich in vitamin C and will significantly boost your dog's immune system, and act as a powerful antioxidant even though dogs can naturally produce it on their own.

If your furry friend is particularly energetic or frequently stressed, their liver might not be able to synthesize all the vitamin C. But because vitamin C is water-soluble, any excess that doesn't get absorbed by the body is easily excreted. Some experts have stated that vitamin C can also help clean out a dog's stomach if they've eaten toxic foods.

Possible Dangers Feeding Oranges To Dogs

There are four main concerns when dogs eat oranges. And if you are unsure how much orange or should feed your dog oranges, talk to your veterinarian.

Overweight Dogs + Diabetic Dogs

Dogs that are overweight or suffer from diabetes should not be fed oranges. Oranges have a moderate amount of sugar. While natural sugar in oranges isn't a bad type of sugar for healthy dogs, it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs. They can also easily lead to an overconsumption of calories for dogs with weight concerns.

Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs

The natural sugar in oranges with an acidic nature can cause stomach upset, so dogs with a sensitive gastrointestinal system shouldn't be fed oranges. And if your dog eats too many oranges, it can cause upset to your pet's stomach.

Allergies

It's unlikely that your dog is allergic to oranges, but it's a possibility. Your dog could potentially be allergic to citric acid.

If this is the first time your pet has had citrus fruits, keep an eye out for skin inflammation, itching, loss of fur, or ear infection. These are all signs of an allergic reaction. It's also possible for dogs to be allergic to limonene, a chemical found in orange peels. Once you know that your dog can safely eat oranges, you no longer need to watch for these symptoms.

Choking Hazard

Some dogs may find it difficult to swallow oranges if not prepared properly. You should never feel your dog a whole orange. To prevent any choking hazard, only give orange slices that don't have any peel or seeds on them.

FAQs

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Oranges?

It's unlikely that your dog is allergic to oranges, but it's a possibility. Your dog could potentially be allergic to citric acid. If this is the first time your pet has had citrus fruits, keep an eye out for skin inflammation, itching, loss of fur, or ear infection. These are all signs of an allergic reaction. It's also possible for dogs to be allergic to limonene, a chemical found in orange peels. Once you know that your dog can safely eat oranges, you no longer need to watch for these symptoms.

How Many Oranges Should My Dog Eat?

Much of this is determined by the breed and size of your dog. But in general, most dogs can eat a few slices a day. Keep in mind, however, that treats such as oranges shouldn't make up more than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake. For large breed dogs, it could take quite a few orange slices to reach that amount, but small dogs could get there in one or two. Oranges should be treated as a healthy snack, not a regular addition to your dog's diet.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peels And Seeds?

It's best to avoid orange peels and seeds for multiple reasons.

  • Both the peels and the seeds contain trace amounts of certain toxic compounds.
  • Orange seeds can be a choking hazard.
  • The peels are particularly difficult to digest. Not only can this lead to an upset stomach, but orange peels could create a dangerous intestinal blockage that will require emergency surgery.

On the other hand, Orange pith is full of dietary fiber and antioxidants, without the natural sugars and citric acid. The pith is possibly the most beneficial part of the fruit!

Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?

Some pet parents like to introduce oranges through orange juice to avoid a potential choking hazard. However, we don't advise this. Orange juice - even freshly squeezed rather than store-bought - is a concentrated source of acid and sugars.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerines, Mandarin Oranges, And Clementines?

These citrus fruits are safe for dogs and are a great healthy treat. However, tangerines, mandarin, and clementines are somewhat higher in sugar than oranges. You may need to monitor your pet's sugar intake. No more than half a clementine should be fed to a small dog in a given day or a whole clementine for a larger dog.

Can Puppies Eat Oranges?

Yes, puppies can eat oranges, but they are more prone to GI upset than adult dogs. The size and breed of your dog can affect how its body digests oranges. Therefore, if you give your puppy oranges, offer only a very small amount.

Ways To Serve Oranges To Your Dog

Most dogs will eat oranges readily, no matter how you present the fruit to them. However, variety is the spice of life. You can add pieces of a peeled slice to a mixed salad of various dog-friendly fruits and vegetables, such as pineapple, watermelon, carrots, and celery. During the heat of summer, pop some segments into the freezer. Feeding your dog with those frozen pieces will be a wonderful, cooling treat. Keep in mind the high sugar content of oranges, and adjust meal portions as needed.

lara grisko the pet staff

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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