Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Ellen Malmanger, DVM
Jun 30, 2020
   |   3 min read
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

If your dog has ingested an orange or tangerine or clementine, you may be wondering, “Can dogs eat oranges?” Here’s the good news: Yes, dogs can eat the fleshy part of oranges.

While some dogs may not enjoy the acidic taste of this citrus fruit, the fruit of oranges is safe and full of vitamin C, while also packing a punch of potassium and fiber.

Because commercial dog food diets are nutritionally balanced, your dog should not require supplementation of any of these nutrients, but if your furry friend begs for this sweet treat, it can be enjoyed in small quantities.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges Safely?

While dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes can safely eat oranges, they should be avoided in dogs with some health conditions.

For example, dogs that are overweight or suffer from diabetes should not be fed oranges. While the natural sugar in oranges is not inherently bad, it can impact the blood sugar levels of diabetic dogs and can lead to excess calories if fed in large amounts.

The sugar naturally found in oranges, as well as their acidic nature, can cause stomach upset in some dogs. You should only offer your dog a small piece of orange the first time to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Dogs that are known to have sensitive gastrointestinal (GI) systems should not be offered oranges at all.

All of the treats you give your dog (including any fruit such as orange), should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake, so make sure to adjust meal portions accordingly.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerines, Clementines, and Mandarins?

Dogs can eat tangerines and clementines. In fact, dogs can eat all kinds of oranges, including mandarins and Satsuma oranges.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peels?

The orange peel and seeds should always be removed before feeding your dog orange slices. The peel is difficult to digest and could lead to intestinal obstruction. The oils in the peel can also cause serious GI upset (upset stomach), leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly dehydration.

Can Dogs of All Sizes and Breeds Eat Oranges?

The size and breed of your dog may also affect how their body digests oranges. Large breed dogs can tolerate larger amounts more than small breed dogs can.

So while a Husky or German Shepherd might be able to have two or three segments of an orange with no problem, a smaller breed like a Yorkie or Pomeranian would probably have stomach upset if they ate that amount.

Also, the same amount of orange would make up a much higher proportion of a smaller dog’s daily calorie and sugar intake, compared to a larger dog.

Can Puppies Eat Oranges?

Yes, puppies can eat oranges, but they may be more prone to GI upset than adult dogs. Because of this, it is recommended that you only offer your puppy a very small amount of orange. As with adult dogs, the peel and seeds should be removed.

Can Dogs Have Orange Juice?

While orange juice is non-toxic to dogs, it is not recommended that you give it as a treat. It is high in sugar and very acidic.

Can Dogs Have Other Types of Citrus?

The fleshy part of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruits are edible for dogs. However, most dogs do not like them because they are so tart and acidic. The peels and seeds of all citrus fruits can also cause GI issues.

Featured Image: iStock.com/StefaNikolic

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