Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Can dogs eat oranges or should you keep them away from this sweet citrus fruit?

Unlike cats, who are obligate carnivores, dogs can eat a variety of different foods, including fruit. In fact, a lot of pooches will love feasting on delicious fresh nom-noms and using fruit as a treat can be a great, healthy alternative to store-bought snacks. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all fruits are safe for canine consumption; in reality, there are many fruits that dogs should never eat.

So, how about oranges- where do these sweet and juicy treats stand when it comes to our pets? Can dogs eat orange without any risk?

The short answer to the question can dogs eat orange would be yes. Contrary to the popular belief, this citrus is not toxic to dogs, and most pooches can indulge in a few slices without experiencing any issues. However, knowing how much orange is OK to be served to your pupper is essential, as overdoing it can lead to digestive and other health issues. Additionally, not all dogs should be treated to oranges- canines affected by certain diseases should steer clear of this particular fruit.

If you’re looking to find out if there are any benefits to giving your pooch oranges, can dogs eat orange peel, clementines or tangerines, as well as get some creative and vetted ideas on how to serve orange to your pet, read on.

Can Dogs Eat Orange? Are There Any Benefits?

There is a variety of dog-safe fruits to choose from when you want to give a fresh and sweet treat to your pooch. Some of the most widely known fruits that dogs can eat include apples, bananas, blueberries, or watermelon, all of which are beneficial to canines as well. As you’ve already gathered by now, oranges belong on this list, as they are not toxic to dogs and they can consume them. But, as it is always the case with human foods, serving size and preparation make a world of difference, especially when it comes to reaping benefits from giving fruity treats to your pet.

When it comes to oranges, most people believe that dogs will either dislike them or that they shouldn’t eat them, and both things are untrue. The reason for this is probably that cats detest citrus fruit scent and usually have adverse reactions if they come into contact with it. Following that logic, some pet owners thought it best not to risk it with canines either. However, not only that oranges are safe and, in most cases, quite tasty to dogs, this yummy citrus can have a few health benefits to boot!

Oranges are a good source of dietary fiber and they’re full of Vitamin C, which can strengthen your pet’s immune system and help them ward off any potential health issues more efficiently. Yes, dogs do produce Vitamin C on their own and, in the majority of cases, they don’t need additional supplementation to be in top shape, but introducing an additional source of it in their diet can’t harm them. Additionally, due to stress or extreme activity, some canines have a diminished capability to synthesize Vitamin C in their liver, so eating foods rich in this nutrient can significantly improve their well-being.

Furthermore, if you have a pooch that’s struggling with their weight, orange can be a fantastic alternative to fattening doggie treats. Reward your pupper with a few slices of this appetizing fruit without having to worry that indulging them with something sweet will affect their diet. While they are nutrient-rich, oranges have very low energy density.

Are There Any Risks to Feeding Dog Oranges?

The rule ‘less is more’ is important to remember when it comes to giving your four-legged companion oranges. Sure, there’s no doubt about can dogs eat oranges, but if you overdo it and give your pet too much of it, there could be some side-effects.

Too much dietary fiber in your pet’s diet can cause diarrhea, and oranges, as a fiber-rich food, can contribute to the issue, especially if you give too much to your pet. Vomiting and diarrhea can occur if you have a dog who has a particularly sensitive digestive system, although this rarely happens.

Oranges are rich in natural sugars, which is one of the reasons why they taste so good. According to veterinarians, natural sugars fed with fiber are safe within limits, if you have a healthy furbaby. In case your pet has diabetes, is best to avoid giving them sweet treats such as fruit- even though natural sugars are safe for dogs, diabetic pooches might have an adverse reaction.

Although oranges are safe for dogs, it is important not to give your pet too much of any fruit, in order to avoid any potential issues or side-effects. So how much orange should you give to your four-legged bestie? As a rule of thumb, most pooches should have their citrusy fill at a segment or two. Small dogs shouldn’t have more than one-third of an orange, whereas large breed dogs can finish off a whole orange, as long as you dole it out in smaller servings- just to make sure their tummy can handle it right.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peel?

Yes, in theory your dog could eat orange peel (the rind), but they shouldn’t. While the peel itself doesn’t have any harmful substances or anything similar, it can be hard to digest and, therefore, upset your pet’s stomach. However, there is one aspect to orange rind that has actual benefits- and not many people know about it.

Orange pith, or the white stringy layer between the fruit’s flesh and rind, is chock full of antioxidants and fibers. Additionally, the orange pith has no sugar or acid, so there won’t be anything that could irritate your sensitive pooch’s tummy. As long as it’s removed from the tough orange peel, the pith is probably the safest and most beneficial part of the orange you can treat your pooch too!

Can Dogs Eat Clementines and Tangerines?

Now that we’ve determined can dogs eat oranges and how to serve them to your pet, why not branch out to mandarins? In case you didn’t already know this, mandarins are a class of oranges that are easily recognizable by being flatter on both ends, and by having a somewhat different flavor. Tangerines and clementines are both mandarins- and the same rules apply to these fruits as they do for oranges. This means that your dog can eat clementines and tangerines, as long as you peel them first and be mindful of the amount you’re giving them.

Some pooches even prefer mandarins over oranges, as they tend to be sweeter, but this also means that you should be particularly careful with pooches who shouldn’t have foods that cause their blood sugar to spike. Only give clementines and tangerines to a pooch that has no health issues; and never more than a half of fruit for a smaller dog and a whole tangerine or clementine for bigger canines.

How To Serve Oranges to Your Dog

The simplest way is sometimes the best way, and when it comes to oranges, this means peeled and divided into segments. Raw orange fragments are a great treat for furry gourmets, and most dogs will enjoy gobbling it down when served like this. Orange juice, on the other hand, is not the best choice. You might find it hard to imagine breakfast without a glass of OJ, but orange juice, even freshly squeezed, is not a good option for your dog, as it is too concentrated, and without the dietary fibers that make natural sugars safe for canine consumption.

In case you want to take it up a notch, we have some fun and creative recipes for dog treats that call for oranges, such as these tried and true favorites- if your pet loves this citrus fruit, they’ll go crazy for these treats!

Orange Carob Dog Treat Recipe

Although this recipe was inspired by Terry’s Chocolate Orange, the ingredients used to make it are entirely dog-friendly. The chocolate was swapped for the healthy and safe-for-canines carob, and the rest of the ingredients are healthy and yummy alike. Combine clementines, carob, olive oil, flour, flaxseed meal and an egg to make a big batch of treats that will have your doggo drooling for more.

Orange Cranberry Dog Treat Recipe

This is one of the cleverest recipes ever- because it allows you to give your pet the whole orange in a completely safe way. Instead of throwing away the rind, you can zest it to intensify the flavor if your pooch loves the citrusy smell and taste. In addition to orange, you’ll need dried cranberries, egg, honey, flour, ground rolled or whole oats and vanilla extract to make these mouthwatering nom-noms.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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