Can Dogs Eat Tangerines? Are They Good Or Bad For Them? And How Much Is Too Much?
Welcome To Our Complete Guide To Dogs And Tangerines!
We’re all guilty of occasionally giving our dogs things they shouldn’t have.
They’ll often stare up longingly at food we’re eating, and we’ll end up giving them a piece.
This isn’t always a great idea though.
Foods that are totally safe for humans can sometimes be fatal if consumed by our dogs.
But, it’s tricky to know what’s going to be healthy. Both in the short and long term.
It gets a lot trickier when foods we conventionally think of as healthy and ‘natural’ are brought up.
So today we’re taking a look at tangerines, those delicious fruits many of us had in our lunch-boxes growing up.
Can a dog eat tangerines too? Or is it best to save this snack for yourself?
Can dogs eat tangerines?
Long story short, dogs can eat tangerines, but they really shouldn’t.
These easy to peel super sweet oranges are incredibly popular with humans and many other primates, and that’s where it should end.
It’s not that tangerines are toxic to dogs, there’s nothing poisonous about them.
They do however contain much more sugar and fiber than your dog should be eating.
As a fruit, the tangerine is probably most comparable to the orange.
It belongs the same genus as oranges, limes, lemons and most other acidic fruits.
Tangerines (also called mandarin oranges), along with other fruits, have been selectively bred to be sweeter and sweeter.
This has increased their sugar content a lot.
Dogs are domesticated versions of wolves. In fact, they are the same species in biological terms.
The entirety of these wild animals’ diets is made up of meat.
Dogs may have been domesticated now for more than 30,000 years, but in evolutionary terms, this is a very short time.
Their digestive tracts are much the same as when they were wolves, so their food should probably be as similar as it can.
Can dogs eat tangerines? Unfortunately, they probably shouldn’t
But, are there any benefits at all of feeding tangerines to dogs?
Are tangerines good for dogs?
The main proponents of tangerines for dogs like to point out their vitamin C content.
It’s true, tangerines have a dose of vitamin C that’s great for humans. But your dog doesn’t need it.
Dogs are one of a surprising number of animals that can actually synthesize this vitamin in their body.
Dogs don’t get their vitamin C by eating it. They make it themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, taking a dose of vitamin C higher than what they require has no benefits.
This doesn’t just stand true for dogs though; it’s applicable to humans too.
As long as your dog already has enough of it, an extra boost will do nothing. Except possibly give him diarrhea!
Unless your dog has a vitamin C deficiency, he won’t benefit from tangerines.
The only person who could tell you if this was the case would be a vet.
Your vet would likely then prescribe a vitamin supplement to match the amount your pet was missing.
It just looks like there’s really no place for tangerine for dogs.
So, can dogs eat tangerines and feel the benefits? Sadly, again the answer is no.
But is there any actual harm in feeding one to him? You know, just occasionally!
Are tangerines bad for dogs?
Although eating a tangerine is unlikely to cause immediate harm to your dog, it’s still quite bad for him.
The high sugar content will upset his stomach in the short term.
It will do much worse in the long term.
Large amounts of extra sugar could lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. Obese dogs live shorter, less enjoyable lives.
They’re also much more at risk for a list of health issues including heart disease and diabetes.
Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in dogs, just as dogs are becoming more likely to be obese. By giving huge amounts of sugar to an animal that’s not set up to deal with it, you’re asking for trouble.
The other main issue with tangerines is fiber. Each one of these fruits contains a huge amount of fiber, which is really helpful for lubricating the bowels of a lot of animals, but not dogs.
Fiber makes digested food flow easier through the gut. This method is essential to herbivores with very long digestive tracts, but dogs are not herbivores.
Dogs are in essence carnivores. They have a relatively short digestive tract. If food moves too quickly due to excessive fiber, vital nutrients may not be extracted.
They might also become dehydrated as their food is not inside long enough for them to properly absorb the water.
In fact, the natural way that dogs lubricate their bowels is with the fat in the food they eat — something not present in any great quantity in tangerines.
It’s true that dogs fed a relatively low fat dry food may need a small amount of dietary fiber, but this is included in any reputable dry dog food.
The best source of fiber to use has been the subject of rigorous scientific research.
Healthy for us does not mean healthy for them. We have very different nutritional requirements to our pets, and differently structured digestive systems.
So just because a tangerine every once in a while might be beneficial to us is no reason to assume they’ll help our pets.
Can puppies eat tangerines?
So the answer to can dogs eat tangerines is looking like a pretty definitive no, but what about puppies?
Most foods that have the potential to be bad for dogs are even worse for puppies.
Similar to human babies, their brand new stomachs are just getting used to food that’s meant for them. So feeding them something different, like a tangerine, could really get them in a spin.
Too much sugar could cause issues like weight gain and diabetes early on.
An overload of vitamin C or fiber causes severe diarrhea and that could be life threatening — dehydration is exceptionally dangerous to young animals.
In this respect fiber and vitamin C rich tangerines could pose a real threat.
We need to be much more careful with our puppies diet than we are with adult dogs.
A badly formulated homemade diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, seizures, and even death. None of us want that!
Puppies grow at an enormous rate, and their nutrition is what drives that. Experimenting with food can have disastrous consequences.
So be cautious, and always talk to a vet before incorporating new items into your pup’s diet.
If you are going to make your puppy’s meals, consult a vet. They’ll be able to give you advice on how to provide the correct nutrition.
The fact of the matter is that a huge amount of research has gone into puppy specific foods, and they make it much easier and safer to feed your pup. They’re only young, so they’re much less robust than adult dogs in all aspects.
So, despite your best efforts, your dog gets hold of a tangerine. What do you do?
My dog ate a tangerine, what do I do?
Dogs are always on the look out for food and will often eat things that aren’t meant for them.
They don’t typically go after fruit, but if your dog does eat a tangerine you’ll probably be slightly concerned.
One tangerine is unlikely to cause irreparable harm to your dog.
With that being said, if your dog eats something unusual, you should always watch for signs like diarrhea or an upset stomach.
If any symptoms persist it’s best to take them to a vet, just to be sure.
The amount of a dangerous food that it takes to cause harm to a dog is largely dependent on the dog. His size and constitution will definitely come into play.
For example, a bite-size piece of chocolate would probably do more harm to Pomeranian than it would a German Shepherd.
As we’ve said, tangerines aren’t dog poison, but they certainly aren’t dog food. Just because a food item isn’t toxic doesn’t mean it will always be harmless.
Can dogs have tangerines?
Although it probably won’t kill them, dogs should not have tangerines.
Dogs and tangerines do not mix, there’s no reason at all to feed this fruit to your dog.
The common sense that applies to human nutrition stops making sense at all when it’s applied to dogs.
Let’s not forget that wolves, the same species (biologically speaking) as your beloved family pooch, survive perfectly well in harsh conditions on meat alone.
If you are ever stuck on what your dog can and can’t have, or your dog has eaten something weird, get in touch with your vet.
Dogs eat stuff they shouldn’t all the time. A good vet should be able to tell you whether it’s no cause for worry, or offer treatment is it is.
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