oranges in a basket

Nothing beats the satisfaction of biting into a juicy fresh orange on a hot summer’s day. It is sweet, thirst-quenching, and its jam-packed with vitamin C, but can your canine companion enjoy this tangy and sweet citrus treat? Maybe your lawn is riddled with fruit from the orange tree and your pup loves to play fetch with all the fallen fruit. Should you be concerned if they take a bite? You may be wondering, are oranges safe for dogs to eat?

The answer is yes, your pet can enjoy the delicious sweetness of oranges, but like everything, moderation is key. While most pups don’t enjoy the acidity of oranges, they are safe and nutritious, providing vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

What Happens If My Pet Eats an Orange?

Although oranges are not toxic to dogs, the high acidity and sugar content can be a lot for their digestive system to process, so if your dog suffers from gastrointestinal problems, oranges should be avoided. Overweight and diabetic dogs should also avoid sweet fruits, as they can affect blood sugar levels.

Oranges can be beneficial in a dog’s diet due to the high dose of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, which will boost their immune system. They should avoid the peel since it is difficult to digest and contains oils that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. The seeds should be avoided, especially if you have a smaller dog, as they can be a choking hazard.

If you allow your pooch to indulge in oranges now and then, make sure they don’t comprise more than 10% of their daily calorie intake or replace any important elements of their diet.

If your dog eats peels or one too many oranges, they should be fine and symptoms should pass within a day. If you are unsure, always talk your vet for expert advice.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Are Oranges Good for Dogs?

As we have mentioned before, oranges should be served to dogs in moderation, keeping in mind that most conventional dog foods are balanced and provide essential nutrients. When you treat your pup to a tangy slice of orange, it can be beneficial to your dog’s diet. Oranges are made up of 88% moisture and electrolytes like potassium, which can provide your pet with extra hydration, especially after an active and playful day. Oranges are enriched with vitamin C, which is an important nutrient for dogs that helps the immune system, and they are a also good source of fiber.

If your dog eats a few too many oranges, there are some things you should look out for:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort: The high sugar content can cause discomfort in your dog’s stomach, and in rare occasions the peel could cause a blockage.
  • Diabetic complications: If your dog is diabetic, the high sugar content can spike blood sugar levels.
  • Choking: The seeds can be a choking hazard, especially in small dogs, as well as the rind if a big enough piece gets lodged in the throat. A whole orange can also potentially get stuck, so it is best to peel and slice oranges before feeding them to your friend.
  • Orange juice: Although this is a safer method, the sugar content in orange juice is very high.

If you notice any unusual behavior, stop feeding your dog oranges immediately. The number of oranges your dog eats should be limited, and it is always best to remove the rind. You should introduce oranges into the diet slowly if your pup hasn’t eaten oranges before to avoid causing stomach problems. Oranges and other citrus fruits are all edible and non-toxic, but many dogs won’t enjoy the tart, acidic taste and will most likely choose not to eat the fruit.

Final Thoughts

Oranges can be an enticing snack on a hot day, and your canine may be grateful for the sweet, thirst-quenching treat. While oranges contain some health benefits that both dogs and humans can thrive from, they should only be served to your dog occasionally.. If you choose to share your sliced-up orange, remember to remove the pips and rind.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock