Dogs are just like humans: there are different kinds of foods they can and can’t eat. One of the most asked questions is: can dogs eat oranges? If what brings you here is because that you’ve seen your dog chew some oranges, our first suggestion is not to panic. Read on to discover how these fruits affect your lovely friend.
What is In Oranges?
Originally coming from the regions in Central Asia, this citric fruit is well-known with its undeniably orange-colored rind and sweet-sour watery flesh. Oranges are also famous for their rich vitamin C content, among other minerals like iron and zinc.
Having oranges right from your backyard requires planting the trees first. The growing process can take a long time until the fruits mature and are ready to harvest. Planting from the seeds requires up to 15 years, while one grafted onto rootstock can take up to 3 years.
How Does Oranges Affect Dogs?
Your dog’s digestive health, weight, and overall health condition are some factors considered when it comes to the question: can dogs eat oranges? These are the good and bad effects from allowing your dog to consume oranges:
Since the most prominent component in oranges is vitamin C, dogs can also reap some benefits from this substance. If you train your dog or give them regular exercise, a proper dose of vitamin C in oranges can be a beneficial addition.
Christine Keyserling, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, stated, “In some dogs, extreme exercise or stress can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to make vitamin C.”
Vitamin C, along with other nutrients found in oranges, can also boost your dog’s immune system and clear their stomach if they accidentally ingest toxic matters. For instance, propylene glycol, oxidative toxins, and even onions.
If you or your vet detect a vitamin C deficiency in your dogs, oranges can be a very healthy treat, as long as you give them in proper quantities.
One medium-sized orange contains up to 12 grams of sugar. It may sound like not a lot, but it actually is. Moreover, even if it’s natural, sugar still means calories. If your dog is considered overweight or even diabetic, eating oranges might not be recommended.
The amount of sugar in oranges can also lead your dog to gastrointestinal (GI) upset if they consume the fruits too much.
Eating orange peels is also wrong because the white film inside it may contain toxic compounds. Hence, it’s so crucial to eliminate all traces of skin, pith, and even seeds as clearly as possible.
Moreover, the rind itself contains a large amount of vitamin C, just like its flesh. Due to its firmer structure, the peels can be painful for your dog to digest. If they swallow it, it can again lead to GI upset. Worst case scenario: you may need surgery to remove the obstructed orange peels inside your dog’s digestive tract.
Please note that eating oranges isn’t the same as eating orange juice. Even drinking freshly-squeezed orange juice isn’t recommended. To keep your dog hydrated, it’s better to stick with just water.
How to Feed Dogs Oranges?
Anything too much can be harmful, even if it’s inherently good. Jan Dempsey, a Senior Nutritionist at the Purina PetCare Company, says that
“You don’t want to feed your dog anything that will put him off his nutritionally complete meal.”
That means oranges are only a treat and not your dog’s main meal.
If you consider introducing oranges to your dog, you should take things slow. Try one single slice first before observing his or her reaction. If they don’t like it, it’s probably because the oranges give off bitter flavor, since it’s citrus. The considerable amount of acid in it can also lead to vomiting.
If your dog seems to enjoy the fruit after several days and doesn’t show signs of any side effects, feel free to keep it up. Don’t overfeed them one or two segments a day already make for a healthy bite. Only if your dog has unusual behavior should you stop the intake and start consulting your vet.
Stephanie Liff, another DVM, and partner at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Hospital in New York, mentions that smaller dogs can eat between 1/4 to 1/3 of a whole medium-sized orange. Larger-sized furry friends can be fed an entire orange. These numbers can vary depending on your dog’s condition, so a keen observation of their intake is super important.
Learning about the nutrients in oranges and how they affect your dog can help you decide whether you need to feed your dog oranges. Observe how additional vitamin C, sugars, and calories in oranges fit into your dog’s daily diet. If their current diet is already balanced, more mineral or vitamin supplementation from oranges may not be needed.
Here’s our short guide for you to prepare the oranges for your dog:
- Pluck out any leaves and stems, and peel off the orange rind and the white skin inside.
- Split every segment of the fruit to remove all remaining white stringy bits altogether.
- Carefully remove the seeds.
- Place the orange slices on your dog’s plate. You can also choose to cut them into smaller pieces so that they can chew easier.
- Besides serving the fruits fresh, you can also freeze each piece as a refreshing treat for the summer.
Can dogs eat oranges? With this primary question throughout the reading, oranges are edible to some extent. There are particular precautions you should pay attention to, considering the content inside the fruits. If you follow the guide from the professional vets or experts, you’ll surely succeed in feeding your dogs this delicious treat.