Can dogs eat oranges? The Labrador Site team takes a look at how to safely share oranges with your dog.
Oranges are not toxic to dogs. You can safely give small amounts to your pup. But, they are not very good for your dog. They are high in sugar, and the seeds and peel are hard to digest. So if you share oranges with your pup, keep quantities small and prepare them carefully.
Are Oranges Safe For Dogs?
The answer to “Can dogs have oranges?” is, in general, yes. Small quantities of oranges, if they have the peel and seeds removed, should not cause any significant problems for your dog. However, there is little benefit to feeding your dog oranges, apart from some possible but unlikely benefits to liver health. But 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.
Are Oranges Good For Dogs?
Now that we know oranges are safe for dogs—do dogs and oranges mix? In other words, are oranges good for dogs? To answer this question, we should look at the primary nutrient found in oranges—ascorbic acid (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.
Dogs Don’t Need Oranges
If you feed your healthy dog a normal, balanced diet, they do just fine without additional vitamin intake. If you feed them complete dog food, extra vitamins shouldn’t be necessary. Therefore, dogs and oranges don’t exactly match in this way. 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 dogs can or can’t eat.
When Are Oranges Bad For Dogs?
Oranges do not contain any harmful chemicals or nutrients that negatively affect dogs. However, remember that any food can be a choking hazard for young dogs. Also, in high quantities, there are some instances where oranges might not be the best choice of a doggy snack. So, how else are oranges bad for dogs?
High Sugar Content
While there is no toxic element to oranges, they do have high amounts of sugar. And some of the long-term health issues associated with dogs consuming too much sugar can be dangerous—particularly, obesity and dental problems. Also, if your dog is diabetic or has other conditions aggravated by sugar, it’s best to steer clear of oranges.
Generally, dogs can eat small amounts of oranges, but owners should monitor how much they eat and how often they eat them.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Many Oranges?
If you suspect your dog is not well or if they have eaten an enormous amount, monitor them closely and look out for the particular symptoms mentioned below. 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 Dogs Eat Orange Peels and Seeds?
Peels and seeds can cause problems for dogs. Therefore, owners should remove these before offering an orange as a treat. While orange peels and seeds are not toxic to dogs, they are harder to digest than the soft fruit inside. Peels and seeds are not good for dogs with GI issues or diabetes due to the acid and sugar because it can lead to upset stomachs, vomiting, or diarrhea.
As with any food, if you notice your dog behaving strangely after eating an orange, stop feeding him oranges immediately.
Can Dogs Drink 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 a 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 dental problems. Therefore, it’s best to provide your dog with plenty of water and save orange juice just for your breakfast.
Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges?
According to Veterinarian David Dilmore of Banfield Pet Hospital, oranges, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and clementines are not toxic to dogs. These fruits contain citric acid, but this is not a major concern for canines, as outlined above. The type of orange will not matter much. Just remember to remove peels and seeds first and only feed in small quantities first.
Health Benefits of Oranges for Dogs
So, we know that oranges are not necessarily dangerous for dogs, but can dogs have oranges to improve their 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. However, there is no evidence to support that giving your dog oranges has any significant health benefits. They’re more a nice treat that your dog may enjoy.
Are Oranges Good for Dogs With Inflammation?
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 some people believe 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.
Are Oranges Good for Dogs With Constipation?
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 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 other foods to treat constipation in dogs. However, you should always consult your veterinarian first.
How Can I Feed My Dog Oranges?
While many dogs can eat oranges without a problem, some 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.
To begin with, offer just one or two sections of an 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.
Ideal Serving Size Varies
Keep in mind the size of your dog when giving orange segments. Large dogs can eat two or three pieces with no issues, but tiny dogs may get sick with that amount. Generally, veterinarians recommend that treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories. And remember, make sure to remove peel and seeds as these can cause an upset stomach.
Does Dog Food Contain Oranges?
Since we know the answer to “can dogs eat oranges” is yes, is this a common ingredient in dog food? In a word, no, dog food does not contain oranges. The nutrients in dog foods are often found in other, less sugary sources.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges? Summary
So, can dogs have oranges? Yes, dogs can safely eat a small number of oranges slices with no lasting ill effects. However, not all dogs react the same way to every food, so it’s essential to take your dog’s health and tolerance to new foods into consideration before you start giving your dog oranges. Take care to remove seeds and peels and offer small amounts until you’re sure that your Lab won’t get an upset stomach.
As long as dogs eat oranges in moderation, they won’t experience any significant health concerns. Please tell us about your experiences with dogs and oranges in the comments below!
References and Further Reading
- “Can my dog eat oranges, tangerines, or grapes?” Banfield Animal Hospital.
- Delicano, et. al., “The shared risk of diabetes between dog and cat owners and their pets: register based cohort study,” BMJ (2020).
- Harrison, C., “Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients,” The Veterinary Nurse (2017).
- Hesta, M., “The Effect of Vitamin C Supplementation in Healthy Dogs on Antioxidative Capacity and Immune Parameters.” Laboratory of Animal Nutrition (2008).
- The relationship of feeding patterns and obesity in dogs,” PubMed (2011). “
- “Fruits and veggies for pets.” TruPanion (2019).
- Linder, D. E., ”The A-B-C’s of Vitamin C,” Cummings Veterinary Medical Center (2018).
- Malmanger, E., ”Can Dogs Eat Oranges?,” PetMD (2020).
- “Working Out Pet Weight Loss,” Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2021).
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