Can Dogs Eat Oranges? Yes, But Follow These Rules

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

Starting your morning with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is one of the best ways to wake up your body and acquire energy for the day ahead.

Its natural sugars supply healthy fuel to your muscles, and it has loads of vitamin C, providing a boost for your immune system.

Everyone knows — there are plenty health benefits of oranges, and the refreshing feeling they provide is undeniable.

No wonder your puppy begins to drool when they see you put a fresh orange slice into your mouth. Some even go nuts for the smell! It’s moments like these when we begin to wonder: “Is it safe for dogs to eat oranges?”

The answer is, “Yes, dogs can eat oranges — mostly.”

Oranges are safe, beneficial even, but only if given correctly and in moderation. Oranges contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. And although they are healthy, too many can cause more harm than good.

Can Dogs Have Oranges?

Dog eating orange slice
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Contrary to  what many people think, the citric acid that is found in oranges, clementines, and tangerines is not actually harmful or toxic to dogs. But these citrus fruits are very high in sugars and can cause digestive system problems if your puppy has too many slices.

Like many good things, the oranges are beneficial only if they are given in moderation. A slice or two a day is more than enough to keep your pup happy and healthy!

Health Benefits Of Oranges For Dogs

Oranges for dog
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Oranges are high in potassium, folate, thiamine, and vitamin C while being low in sodium. This makes them a very healthy treat for yourself and your puppy alike — but only in small quantities, as mentioned before.

The vitamins and nutrients found in oranges can help strengthen your dog’s immune system and help to clear their stomach if they get their teeth on more toxic foods (such as onions).

Oranges can also help doggies with a vitamin C deficiency. Christine Keyserling, DVM at The Animal Medical Center in NYC tells PetMD, “In some dogs, extreme exercise or stress can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to make vitamin C.” She goes on, “In these cases, it may be beneficial to provide additional vitamin C supplementation. However, for most pets it’s not required.”

How Should Oranges Be Served To Dogs?

Slicing orange
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Even though orange peels and seeds are not toxic to dogs, they can be difficult to digest. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving these to your puppy.

Also, while the orange itself is OK for your doggy, it is the pith, or the white layer of the orange, that is filled with the best kind of goodness (such as fiber and antioxidants). It is also less acidic. This is by far the best and healthiest part of an orange to give to your dog.

How Many Oranges Should Dogs Eat?

Dog digestive diagram and orange
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

As a Veterinarian and Medical Editor of DMV, David Dilmore explains to Banfield Pet Hospital, “I recommend that you only give 1 or 2 segments per day. Any more than that can lead to obesity or other issues. These along with any other treats should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories. If you feed treats, their daily food intake should be decreased by 10% to prevent obesity.”

However, if you are only beginning to introduce oranges to your puppy’s diet, you should give them no more than one segment a day. This will help them adapt to this new, exciting ingredient safely without upsetting their digestive system.

If you notice diarrhea, vomiting or any other unusual behavior from your dog after giving them oranges, you should stop at once. Your pup might have a more sensitive stomach, and eating oranges will not do them any good.

When Are Oranges Bad For Dogs?

Orange juice and snacks for dog
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If your doggy has diabetes, they must never get their teeth on a slice of orange. Oranges are full of vitamin C and natural sugars, which can affect the sugar levels in the blood.

Pups that are obese should also stay away from oranges, as they are full of calories and sugars. In such cases, strawberries might be a better option for a treat.

Lastly, store-bought orange juices and other orange-flavored drinks and snacks are probably the worst kind of treats that you can give to your dog. Almost all of these items contain artificial sugars and are very bad for health.

So Make Sure To Stick To The Fresh Stuff Only!

Bowl of oranges
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you found this article helpful in understanding how oranges can work as treats for your pup, then SHARE it with your friends. And remember, dogs can eat oranges, but only in moderation!