Can My Dog Eat Oranges?
When you have a dog, you want to give them the best. Pets are like family. For this reason, you take extra care what you feed them. It is not a good idea to feed your pet just about anything, that’s why there are dog foods available on the market. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give your canine companions healthy fruits and vegetables? But are they even safe?
One of the healthiest fruits that a lot of people love are oranges, and you probably wonder if oranges would be good for your dog. We have the answer!
YES, you can give your dog oranges.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
You can feed your dog oranges – even veterinarians agree. However, your dog might not be a huge fan of a strong-smelling citrus. Oranges are packed with Vitamin C and potassium. They also contain fiber.
Oranges can be a good reward or treat for your dog.
Potential Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Oranges
Take note that in most cases, the health benefits of feeding oranges to your dog far outweigh the possible side effects. However, oranges are rich in Vitamin C, which is already produced naturally by your dog’s body. So, take note that oranges are not a strict requirement in your pet’s diet.
Oranges and a diabetic dog do not mix. The abundant supply of Vitamin C and increased sugar levels could potentially affect blood values and might lead to more serious complications. Before feeding your dog oranges, consult with your vet first, especially if you have an older dog because they are more prone to developing diabetes.
Highly acidic fruits like oranges could speed up dental decay. Too much oranges could also lead to diarrhea or constipation in dogs. Oranges are high in fiber, so it doesn’t seem to make sense that the fruit may cause constipation. Most of the fiber in oranges is soluble, though, which absorbs water in the stool.
How Can Oranges Be Bad for Dogs?
Oranges have small seeds, and these contain cyanide. While orange seeds don’t contain as much cyanide as apple seeds, even small traces could still be harmful to your dog. In case your pet accidentally ingests a few seeds, it won’t pose any danger. But, if they constantly eat orange seeds, cyanide could build up in their systems and cause more serious health problems.
Eating orange seeds may also not be good for their digestive system as the seeds could easily cause an intestinal blockage, leading to constipation.
The Nutritional Value of Oranges
A small orange is packed with nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
Supports Heart Health
Oranges are good for your dog’s heart. Similar to bananas, oranges contain high levels of potassium. How does your dog benefit from potassium? Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for the proper function of the heart. When the potassium level becomes too low, dogs could develop a condition known as arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.
A few orange slices could be particularly beneficial to aging dogs who are more prone to heart conditions. It is still important to consult with your vet to determine if you can use oranges to promote your dog’s heart function.
Potentially Combats Cholesterol
Oranges may help lower cholesterol in dogs. High cholesterol is associated with hyperlipidemia, a condition where there are excessive lipids in the blood, and cholesterol is one of these lipids. To help reduce the levels of blood lipids, vets recommend a low fat diet with high amounts of fiber. The fruit contains high amounts of soluble fiber and has low fat content, ideal for this type of diet.
Some commercially available dog food might contain too much fat, which often leads to increased amounts of blood lipids. Again, it is still important to seek the vet’s approval before giving anything to your dog apart from what the doctor has already recommended.
Can My Dog Eat Orange Peels?
Unfortunately, orange peels are bad for dogs because they are hard to digest. Ingestion of orange peels could lead to stomach aches or gastrointestinal upset. The rind is an extremely nutritious part of the orange and is highly recommended for human consumption, but the same rules don’t apply to dogs.
If your dog is a diagnosed diabetic, never give them orange peels because they contain high levels of Vitamin C.
There is nothing to worry about should your dog accidentally eat a few pieces of orange peels because it won’t do too much damage. The only thing you have to be concerned about is that the outer layer of orange peels may contain pesticide, a chemical that may harm your dog. Overconsumption of pesticide may lead to serious issues. Bring your dog to the vet if they accidentally eat unwashed orange peels.
How Much of an Orange Can Dogs Eat?
Vets recommend that you give your dog one or two segments of orange daily. Any more than that amount may lead to obesity and other health problems. Oranges and other treats shouldn’t be over 10% of your dog’s daily calories. If you give your pet treats, decrease their daily food intake by 10% to prevent obesity.
If you are just starting to introduce oranges to your puppy’s diet, limit the serving to one segment a day. Doing this allows your pet to adapt to this new type of food and prevents upsetting their digestive system. Should you notice diarrhea, vomiting, or other unusual behavior after eating oranges, stop giving them right away.
Is Vitamin C in Oranges Good for Dogs?
As earlier mentioned, dogs can naturally produce Vitamin C and therefore don’t need it added to their daily diet. However, vets believe that there are instances when dogs can benefit from adding citrus in their diets. In cases where dogs are under a lot of stress, their liver might not be able to produce enough Vitamin C. In this case, oranges can be a good addition.
Aging dogs might need a boost in Vitamin C, and oranges can provide them the daily dose they need to keep their immune system functioning well.
How to Give Your Dogs Oranges
The best way to give your dog oranges is fresh from the market (or the tree!). You should feed them one segment at a time to prevent stomach issues. And of course, make sure the fruit is peeled! Avoid feeding your dog oranges from cups or cans, as they may contain harmful preservatives and acids.
Dogs are rarely allergic to oranges, but it is recommended that you talk to your vet first before giving your dog anything.
Can Dogs Eat Other Citrus Fruits?
Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat other citrus fruits like tangerines. The nutrients they contain are the same. In fact, tangerines are recommended for smaller dogs.