- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Oranges have long been considered a sweet, healthy treat packed with Vitamin C for humans, but what about our furry best friends? Can dogs eat oranges?
Does your dog roll over for fruit? Some dogs can’t be bothered, but others love a tangy, fruity treat. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans, but they actually have only about 1/5 as many tastebuds. That might mean that they have a less sensitive sense of taste.
Research shows that dogs can taste sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors, in addition to an enhanced ability to taste flavors in meat and fat. Which could explain why not all dogs go crazy for sweet foods.
When people eat oranges, the experience is packed with flavor, but dogs undoubtedly experience the taste differently. If your dog is interested in eating oranges, is it ok to have a taste?
The answer is yes, but in limited amounts. Oranges aren’t toxic to dogs, but the canine digestive system isn’t designed to process large amounts of oranges due to their high acidity and sugar content.
Interestingly, healthy dogs can produce their own vitamin C, so this snack isn’t a “must” in their daily diets. However, In small doses, oranges can help boost an immune system with an extra dose of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
Exceptionally athletic dogs may benefit from supplemental vitamin C. New York veterinarian Christine Keyserling told petmd.com, “In some dogs, extreme exercise or stress can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to make vitamin C. In these cases, it may be beneficial to provide additional vitamin C supplementation. However, for most pets, it’s not required.”
Want to share the joy of fresh, juicy oranges with your pup? Try these suggestions for getting a bit of orange goodness into their treats.
- Chop up a mixed salad of dog-friendly fruits and veggies like cucumber, celery, apples, and carrots. Add a few slices of orange, or use orange juice as a dressing.
- Mix up some fruity pupsicles and add some orange juice for flavor and sweetness.
- Freeze sections of orange and share them with your dog as a refreshing treat on a hot day.
- Share a few fresh wedges while you’re enjoying a juicy snack.
Dogs should avoid orange peels. They are not toxic to dogs, but they are difficult to digest and can cause uncomfortable (and messy) digestive upset.
If your dog overindulges in oranges, look for these signs and consult your vet if you are concerned with your dog’s symptoms:
- Upset stomach: For some dogs, oranges have too much sugar and may cause digestive or stool issues.
- Diabetes complications: Dogs with diabetes should stay away from this high-sugar fruit as it will cause a spike in blood sugar.
- Choking hazard: Dogs may have issues swallowing oranges if not properly prepared. if orange slices still have seeds or peels attached to them, remove them to prevent potential choking issues.
- Blockage: In a worst-case scenario, your dog can accidentally eat an orange peel that creates a blockage in their GI tract. This could require immediate emergency surgery.
- What about orange juice? Though juicing this fruit would avoid a choking hazard, experts agree that it’s safer to avoid it.
When it comes to oranges, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You may find that some dogs naturally are averse to the tart smell and overwhelming citrus of oranges.
To test if this is true for your furry friend, set down a peeled slice, and let your dog sniff it first for a bit. You may find that they are not interested, or they may seem to want an unlimited amount.
Oranges are about 9% sugar by weight, and a one-cup serving of orange slices contains about 17 grams of sugar and four grams of fiber. Due to the high sugar content, make sure to limit your orange-loving dog’s fruity snack to only 10 percent of their daily calories.
As with all high-sugar fruits and veggies, oranges are not a good choice for dogs with diabetes.
Learn more about feeding your dog a wonderfully varied diet while learning the limitations of a dog’s sensitive digestive system. We offer a collection of articles on foods that are safe, limited or even toxic for dogs to eat, including vegetables, dairy, bread, and junk food.
Want to learn more about the risks of orange peels? You might also be interested in reading Can My Dog Eat Orange Peels?