Contrary to what many pet owners think, dogs enjoy fruits and vegetables. Your pet’s diet doesn’t necessarily have to be all about meat. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the ingredient list of many dog foods.
As a matter of fact, some dogs are crazy for apples and bananas and eat them like there is no tomorrow. Then, it’s logical to wonder what other fruits your pet might like to taste - for example, oranges.
We know that oranges are beneficial for the human body, but what about our pets? Can you give Rover a slice of orange? Keep on reading to find out.
Can dogs eat oranges?
A lot of people believe that oranges are bad for dogs. The main reason for these assumptions is the presence of citric acid, which gives oranges their bitter taste.
However, if you look carefully at the ingredients in some brands of dog food, you’ll discover that they contain minimal quantities of citric acid. It’s used as a preservative.
So, in small amounts, citric acid is not harmful or toxic to dogs. That means that if Rover enjoys oranges, you can give him a piece without worrying too much about adverse effects.
The trick is that you should introduce new food slowly into your dog’s diet. Otherwise, you risk upsetting Rover’s stomach.
The Benefits of Oranges for Dogs
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. As you know it, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and it gives the immune system a boost. That’s why doctors recommend vitamin C pills when you’re feeling under the weather.
Humans are not the only one that requires vitamin C. But, the curious thing is that dogs, unlike people, produce vitamin C thanks to their glandular system.
What I’m saying is that Rover doesn’t need to consume food high in vitamin C. Usually, Rover’s body produces as much vitamin C as he needs so that you don’t have to worry about it.
However, sometimes the ability of the glandular system to manufacture vitamin C is compromised. It might happen because of stress, strenuous exercises, or an illness. In these cases, giving your pet a piece of orange can help restore the levels of vitamin C in the body.
In addition to this, according to vets, vitamin C is also beneficial when a dog consumes a toxic substance, such as onions. And it comes in handy when you need to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Besides vitamin C, oranges are low in sodium, and they contain other nutrients necessary for the dog’s organism. For example:
In fact, sometimes dog food gets recalled because it doesn’t contain enough thiamine. And oranges would be on the “not allowed” list, dogs start to exhibit various symptoms from vomiting to heart problems.
The Hazards of Oranges for Dogs
Usually, oranges are perfectly safe for dogs. However, depending on your dog’s overall condition you have to keep a couple of things in mind.
First, as l already mentioned, oranges are high in potassium. While potassium is necessary for the organism, when your kidneys are not working, potassium is the last thing you need. The kidneys can’t filter the excess potassium, and it builds-up in the organism.
Usually, dogs with kidney failure follow a specific diet, low in protein and potassium. That means that safely eat clementine, tangerines, and mandarins. And citric acid might contribute to the kidney failure, so keep all orange away for the dog.
The other thing you have to be careful about is sugar. Dogs as carnivores do not need as many carbohydrates in their diets as humans do. When dogs overeat sugar, it leads to obesity, problems with blood sugar, and tooth decay.
So, if your dog has already problems with his blood sugar levels, do not give him oranges as a treat. They can raise his blood sugar levels quickly. The same goes if your dog is overweight because the added carbohydrates won’t be good for him.
Speak with your vet to determine what kinds of fruits and vegetables are suitable for your pet.
What types of oranges can dogs eat?
Besides oranges, dogs can safely eat clementine, tangerines, and mandarins. They are not so different from oranges and rarely cause any problems. Just don’t overfeed your dog and Rover would be fine.
Lemons, on the other hand, should be avoided. They have too much citric acid in them and would likely cause digestive discomfort. What’s more, it’s very unlikely that your dog will like the bitter taste of lemon.
I also want to warn you that you mustn’t give your dog grapes or raisins. While it’s still not clear why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and can lead to acute kidney failure. So, be careful about what kinds of fruits you feed your dog.
How much of orange can dogs eat?
As any other treat, oranges should be given in moderation. While your dog might love the taste of these delicious fruits, remember that treats should be no more than 10% of the daily calories your dog requires.
What’s more, giving your dog too much orange can lead to stomach discomfort and blood sugar spikes.
Depending on your dog’s size you can give him between 1/4 of a whole orange (for small breeds) to a whole moderate-sized one (for larger breeds). But be sure to speak with your vet about it.
Can my dog eat orange peels?
Orange peels are something you should keep away from your dog. For once, peels might get lodged in the stomach and cause a blockage. It’s not a common occurrence, but if your dog gobbles up food without chewing properly, it can happen.
The other possible issue is that these peels are hard to digest. As a result, your dog might get stomach pains. If you observe discomfort, stop feeding your dog oranges.
You’d also want to remove any seeds from the orange before giving it to Rover. Just like the peels, seeds are difficult to digest, and they can cause problems if your dog eats too many of them.
Can dogs drink orange juice?
Who doesn’t love the sweet taste of orange juice? Well, sometimes dogs are not an exception to this rule. However, orange juice is not something I would recommend for any dogs.
First, orange juice has too much artificial sugar in it. So, it’s not good for your dog’s blood sugar levels or weight.
Second, orange juice is too acidic. As a result, it can damage your dog’s teeth. Besides, dogs do not need anything but water to keep them hydrated, so there is no need to offer orange juice to your dog.
However, do not worry if you find out that Rover has taken a sup from your orange juice. It won’t do him much damage as long as it doesn’t turn into a habit.
The bottom line is that dogs can eat oranges. However, they don’t really need oranges when they eat a balanced diet.
Nevertheless, you can offer a small portion of orange as treats as long as your dog doesn’t have any medical problems and loves the sweet-bitter taste.
What do you think about this? Does your dog eat oranges? How much do you give him? Tell us your opinion in the comment section.