Does your Lab love fruit? Do you like sharing your snacks with him? In this article we take a look at whether it’s a good idea, and answer the question: can dogs eat oranges?
We all want to take good care of our dogs. After all, they are valued members of the family. We play catch, go on walks, take them to the vet, and so much more.
One of the most important things about caring for a dog? Making sure our pet gets adequate nutrition – including the tasty treats they love.
Because dogs are such adventurous eaters, owners often find themselves questioning whether their dog can have a taste of human food.
The answer to whether or not dogs can have oranges is, in general, yes. Small quantities of oranges, if they have the peel and seeds removed, should not cause any major problems for your dog.
However, there is little benefit to feeding your dog oranges, apart from some possible but unlikely benefits to liver health and overall nutrient absorption.
Let’s take a specific look at some different scenarios, and uncover whether there is a limit to how much or what type of orange product dogs can or can’t eat.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
A dog can eat a small amount of oranges with no lasting ill effects.
As long as your dog is healthy and without any dietary restrictions, it should be fine to give him or her a little taste of orange.
Overall, oranges for dogs are perfectly safe.
However, not all dogs react the same way to every food, so it is important to take your dog’s health and tolerance to new foods into consideration before you start give your dog oranges.
Oranges and Dogs
Oranges do not contain any particular harmful chemical or nutrient that could negatively affect dogs.
However, remember that any food can pose as a choking hazard for young dogs.
Also, in high quantities, there are some instances where oranges might not be the best choice of doggy snack.
When are Oranges Bad for Dogs?
Can dogs have oranges all the time? Oranges are fine for most dogs to eat, but they can be unhealthy in some circumstances.
While citrus fruits are low in sodium, they are high in natural sugars. Because of the sugars, oranges are not the best treat for overweight dogs.
Read on to find out how sugar can affect your dog’s health.
Are Oranges Poisonous to Dogs?
There is no toxic element to oranges. However, some of the symptoms associated with dogs consuming too much sugar can be dangerous.
In particular, belly bloat can have serious consequences for dogs.
This occurs when gas or food stretches a dog’s stomach. It can be painful and, unfortunately, fatal if not treated.
Also, if your dog is diabetic or has other conditions that are aggravated by sugar, it’s best to steer clear.
Are Oranges Toxic to Dogs?
Luckily, no. There are no toxic ingredients in oranges that negatively affect canine health.
If your dog has eaten a large quantity of oranges and you are noticing signs of discomfort or sickness, read our section below called What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Oranges?
Are Oranges Good for Dogs?
We know that oranges are safe for dogs, but are they good for dogs? In other words, is there any benefit to feeding oranges to our pets?
To answer this question, we should look at the main nutrient found in oranges: ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. This antioxidant helps heal wounds and protects the body from disease, making it an essential nutrient for humans.
But according to a 2008 study by the Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, dogs do not require additional food-sourced vitamin C.
That is, they don’t need vitamin C supplements to be healthy.
Healthy dogs who are fed a normal, balanced diet do just fine without any additional vitamin intake. If you use a good complete dog food, extra vitamins shouldn’t be necessary.
Health Benefits of Oranges for Dogs
So, we know that oranges are not necessarily dangerous for dogs, but can dogs have oranges to increase health?
In some instances, additional ascorbic acid can help prevent damage to the liver and improve the stability of other nutrients.
This is particularly true when dogs exert themselves through strenuous exercise, which may halt the liver’s ability to produce vitamin C.
All in all, there are no major health benefits associated with dogs eating oranges. However, the vitamin C oranges provide may provide limited support for some dogs on some occasions.
Can Dogs Eat Orange Peels?
Peels and seeds can cause problems for dogs. Therefore, it’s best for owners to remove these before offering an orange as a treat.
While peels and seeds are not toxic to dogs, they are harder to digest than the soft fruit. This can lead to upset stomachs.
As with any food, if you notice your dog behaving strangely after eating an orange, stop feeding him oranges immediately.
Can Dogs Have Orange Juice?
Because dogs don’t need vitamin C supplements, they don’t need to drink orange juice or eat whole oranges to be healthy. But if your dog truly has a hankering for the occasional taste of citrus, you’d be better off offering a piece of whole orange.
Why? Store-bought orange juice contains added sugars.
Your dog may love to lap it up, but too much can lead to health problems like obesity or belly bloat.
It is therefore best to provide your dog with plenty of water and to save the orange juice for your own breakfast table.
Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges?
According to Veterinarian David Dilmore of Banfield Pet Hospital, oranges, mandarins, tangerines, and clementines are not toxic to dogs.
All of these fruits contain citric acid, but as outlined above, this is not a major concern for canines.
The type of orange will not matter much; just remember to remove peels and seeds first, and only feed in small quantities at first.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Oranges?
While many can eat oranges without a problem, some dogs will get an upset stomach from eating even the soft parts of oranges. They will not likely suffer any long-term consequences, but the dog may be uncomfortable until the orange is out of their system.
For this reason, it is best to offer your dog small pieces of orange until you are sure his body will tolerate it.
If you suspect your dog is not well or if they have eaten a huge amount, monitor them closely and look out for the particular symptoms mentioned below.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Many Oranges?
Diarrhea, vomiting, bloated belly, loss of appetite and lethargy are all signs that your dog may have eaten too many oranges.
However, this does not mean that you need to be concerned. More often than not, these symptoms will pass on their own. Ensure your dog gets plenty of hydration and stop feeding them oranges straight away.
If these symptoms worsen over time or your dog has other underlying health issues, contact your vet right away.
Can Oranges Treat Inflammation in Dogs?
Oranges have anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat inflammation in humans and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. But can they do the same for dogs?
Although it is believed that vitamins and antioxidants may help reduce inflammation and help older pets with arthritis, there is not enough research to support the theory that oranges can treat canine inflammation.
Can Oranges Treat Constipation In Dogs?
Oranges are rich in fiber, and so it’s no wonder some people will look to them to relieve their doggy friend from uncomfortable constipation.
However, there really is no major research to support this theory. In addition, if your dog has a sensitive digestive system, it might not be best to introduce new foods such as oranges or other citrus fruits.
Some specialists do recommend certain foods such as pumpkin to relieve constipation in dogs. However, you should always consult your veterinarian first.
Should I Give My Dog Oranges?
There is no evidence to support that giving your dog oranges has any significant health benefits; however, they are a nice treat that your dog may enjoy.
Check out our list of alternative doggy snacks below for some pet-friendly treats if you have decided to steer clear of oranges.
How to Prepare Oranges for Dogs
To begin with, offer just one or two sections of orange. This will make it easier to avoid the dog overeating or getting an upset stomach as you learn whether their body can handle the fruit.
After you know your dog can eat oranges without getting an upset stomach, it is safe to feed them a little more.
Overall, however, you should try to stick to just one or two sections of orange for all sizes of dog.
Veterinarian David Dilmore of Banfield Pet Hospital agrees, recommending up to two pieces of orange each day. He states that oranges “along with any other treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories.”
In addition, make sure to remove peel and seeds as these can cause an upset stomach.
Alternatives to Oranges for Dogs
There are plenty of healthy treats that you can feed your pooch. Check out the links below for more information.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges? – Summary
So, can dogs have oranges? Yes, but you need to be careful.
Dogs can eat oranges, but owners should make sure to monitor how much they eat and how often they eat them.
Take care to remove seeds and peels, and to offer small amounts until you are sure that your Lab won’t get an upset stomach.
We recommend serving one or two sections of orange – and not exceeding the maximum serving of one whole orange.
As long as dogs eat oranges in moderation, they won’t experience any major health concerns.
References and Further Reading
- “Can Dogs Eat Oranges?” American Kennel Club. 2019.
- Dilmore, D. “Ask A Vet: Can Dogs Eat Grapes Or Oranges?” Banfield Animal Hospital. 2019.
- Hesta, M. “The Effect of Vitamin C Supplementation in Healthy Dogs on Antioxidative Capacity and Immune Parameters.” Laboratory of Animal Nutrition. 2008.
- ”Dog Stomach Swelling: Causes and Treatment.” WebMD. 2019.
- Paul, M. “Dog Diarrhea: When is It Serious and How Do I Stop It?” Pet Health Network. 2015.
- “How to help a constipated dog.” Central Garden and Pet. 2018.
- “Fruits and veggies for pets.” TruPanion. 2019.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website