Dog Care

Can Dogs Eat Oranges? Find Out If Oranges Are A Safe Treat

 Can Dogs Eat Oranges? Find Out If Oranges Are A Safe Treat

Written By Amica Graber

Mar 13, 2017

From our point of view, oranges are great! What’s better than waking up on a summer weekend and tucking into some delicious slices of Jaffa oranges? But although oranges might be fine and dandy for our consumption, we know that our healthiest foods don’t always agree with our four-legged friends.

For instance, avocados are a miracle cure-all for health-conscious humans, but if your dog eats avocado, you’re in for a miserable trip to the vet. This is because avocados contain a toxin called persin, which is fine for people and poison for pups.

So when it comes to dogs eating oranges, what’s the score?

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

My dog ate an orange! Is he going to be okay?! The good news is that oranges, in moderation, are fine for dogs. If your dog chowed down on an orange, you’re unlikely to need medical assistance, but you should direct all questions to your vet.

Oranges aren’t toxic to dogs, but at the same time, it’s not a good idea to routinely allow your dog to have oranges as a snack. Oranges are high in sugar. For obese dogs or dogs with diabetes, eating too many oranges can cause weight gain or cause blood sugar levels to spike. A segment or two isn’t likely to cause any harm, but it’s still preferable to avoid feeding your dog oranges.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?

Yes! Like oranges, tangerines (and mandarin oranges/clementines) pose no significant threat to your dog unless your dog has diabetes. The sugar contained in tangerines can be problematic for a diabetic dog, so avoid feeding them any.

While humans need vitamin C for boosting our immune systems (and avoiding scurvy), dogs actually don’t need any of the nutrients provided by oranges or tangerines. From a nutritional standpoint, tangerines and oranges are just empty calories for your doggo. Large amounts of citrus fruits could cause your dog to have diarrhea, but there’s nothing toxic to dogs in these fruits.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peel?

While a segment of orange should be fine for most dogs, it’s inadvisable to allow your dog to eat orange peel or tangerine skins.

First of all, the outside layer of oranges has probably been exposed to a variety of pesticides and toxins that should not be digested. Furthermore, orange peel can be ruff on your doggy’s digestive system. Orange peel contains trace amounts of citrus oil, which is actually super poisonous for pets (see “citrus oil toxicity” below) and should be avoided at all costs. Because of the toxicity of citrus oil, some pet parents choose to keep their dog clear of all citrus fruits.

If you see your pup about to go to chow-town on an orange skin, take it away from them. It’s not worth the risk. Most dogs instinctively know that citrus oil is bad news, which is why some have such adverse reactions to citrus smells. Although my dog moonlights as a Hoover, a fallen orange peel clears the room. But still, it’s better to put any peels safely in the trash and away from inquisitive noses.

Citrus Oil Toxicity In Dogs

Linalool and d-limonene is commonly known as citrus oil. You can find citrus oil in aromatherapy products, the skin of an orange, and orange trees. Citrus oil is the most potent form of linalool and d-limonene, and it should be kept away from pets entirely. If you use aromatherapy products, double check the ingredients and ensure they never come into contact with your dog. Other products that may contain citrus oil include:

  • Potpourri

  • Shampoos

  • Perfumes

  • Flea shampoos

  • Food flavorings

  • Herbal remedies

If a dog ingests citrus oil, it can be fatal. Symptoms of citrus oil toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Weakness

  • Drooling

  • Lethargy

  • Low blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Trembling

  • Hypothermia

  • Dermatitis

  • Walking difficulties

  • Muscle tremors

  • Pawing at the face or mouth

  • Redness on tongue, lips, skin, or gums

If you suspect your dog has ingested citrus oil, go to the vet immediately.

What Fruit Can I Feed My Dog?

If you want to swap over your regular Scoobie snacks for a healthier alternative, a segment of orange may be okay, but be sure be pair it with something else, rather than solely relying on this sugary fruit.

Consider swapping a treat for a fruit like blueberries, watermelon, or apples. All of those have a lower sugar content than oranges, and they are less likely to cause an upset stomach or diarrhea in your dog.

Alternatively, read some of our healthy treat ideas on DogPack.