Everyone agrees that the health benefits of oranges and the refreshing feeling they provide are great. An orange can be a sweet and nutritious snack for most of us, but does that mean your dog should eat them? So, before you think about feeding your dog this fruit, make sure you ask yourself a question–should you feed your dog an orange? Thankfully, the good news is yes and oranges are fine for them to eat in very small quantities. However, the full answer is not so simple. There are some things you should know before feeding oranges to your dog.
What types of oranges can dogs eat?
There are different varieties of orange such as navel oranges, tangerines, and clementines. Tangerines and clementines are not toxic to dogs, but they are high in sugars and can potentially cause GI upset if he eats too many of them. So, let’s try navel oranges first. They are a seedless variety and you don’t need to remove the seeds inside the fruit.
Health benefits of oranges for canines
Oranges are a great source of potassium and fiber, which makes them a healthy snack if given correctly and in moderation. This fruit also contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, which can provide a boost for your dog’s immune system. Additionally, Vitamin C can be beneficial for canines if they ingest toxic substances such as onion powder, propylene glycol, and other oxidative toxins.
Interestingly, healthy dogs can produce their own vitamin C, so this snack shouldn’t be used in their daily diets. “In some dogs, extreme exercise or stress can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to make vitamin C,” said Christine Keyserling, DVM at The Animal Medical Center in NYC. “In these cases, it may be beneficial to provide additional vitamin C supplementation. However, for most pets it’s not required.”
Are oranges bad for dogs?
Oranges have a lot of natural sugar, so they are not the best fruit for overweight and diabetic dogs. They really don’t need to eat extra calories, as too much sugar in their system might cause a spike in their blood sugar levels and an upset stomach.
Hazards of oranges for dogs
The outer rind of orange has a large amount of vitamin C as well as additional vitamins and minerals. However, it is not recommended as it can become lodged in your dog’s digestive tract. The best way is to keep orange peels out of your dog’s reach for those reasons. Stop feeding your dog oranges at once if you see any unusual signs and call your vet immediately.
How should oranges be served to dogs?
Although oranges are healthy, too many can cause more harm than good. That means you’re feeding oranges as a treat. Nutritionists recommend that you only give 1 or 2 segments per day. Any more than that can lead to obesity or other issues. These along with any other treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories.
To keep your dog healthy, always consult your vet before introducing any human food to him. “Try feeding a single section to see his reaction. In general, most dogs don’t like citrus as these fruits have a greater tendency to have a bitter flavor,” Dr. Dempsey says.
Dogs can have fleshy fruit parts of oranges because they aren’t toxic. However, the orange’s peel, the white film on the orange’s flesh or any other plant part are not good for them. It’s best for owners to remove all traces of skin, pith and seeds as these parts may contain toxic compounds.
As with any food, if you notice your dog has strange behaviors after eating an orange, stop feeding him oranges and call your vet immediately. If you don’t see signs of any side effects, you can keep it up but be sure to not overfeed.