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Yes, dogs can eat oranges! that's why

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Our dogs are at our feet waiting for us to pass them a little taste whenever we eat a snack. But you may find yourself wondering which foods are safe to feed them and which aren't. If you're wondering if it's safe to give your dog oranges, the answer is yes. Oranges are safe for your dog, and they have great health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits below. Read on to learn more about giving your dog oranges.

What are the health benefits of feeding oranges to my dog?

While dogs should get most of their nutrition from a healthy, balanced dog food, there's nothing wrong with your dog's treats now and then — especially something healthy like an orange. Offering the misty fruits and veggies you may have in your fridge is a cheaper, healthier alternative to the prepackaged commercial dog treats available at most pet stores. Citrus fruits like oranges are one of the healthy fruits dogs can eat without too many risks.

Oranges and all other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and potassium. In fact, oranges have more potassium than bananas! They're also high in fiber and low in sodium. They contain thiamine, folic acid, and antioxidants, which are important nutrients for keeping your dog healthy. Let's take a closer look at some of the vitamins and minerals found in oranges:

  • Vitamin C: This is a powerful antioxidant that seeks out and eliminates free radicals in your dog's body that can damage its cells. It also helps support the dog's immune system by reducing inflammation in the body. This helps fight certain cancers and reduces the effects of cognitive aging. Dogs naturally synthesize vitamin C in their liver. Very active or extremely anxious dogs may exhibit decreased liver function and may benefit greatly from vitamin C supplementation or consumption of oranges, which naturally contain vitamin C.
  • Potassium: This is an important mineral that helps keep your dog's kidneys functioning properly. It also supports healthy heart function, muscle function and a healthy digestive system.
  • Dietary Fiber: The fiber in fruit is soluble fiber. This means its benefits are related to promoting healthy, beneficial gut bacteria and the growth of healthy cells in your dog's colon. Fiber also retains water, which helps with your dog's stool consistency and regularity. Including enough fiber in your dog's diet also helps with transit time, which is the time it takes for food your dog eats to travel through its digestive system.
  • Manganese: This supports your dog's healthy bones as well as healthy cartilage in the joints. Manganese also helps in the production of fatty acids by metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins. These jobs can support your dog's energy levels. Manganese is not found in meat but is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and eggs.
  • Moderate amounts of natural sugars: Along with all the essential vitamins and minerals we mentioned above, it's also worth mentioning that oranges do contain moderate amounts of natural sugars. This can raise your dog's blood sugar, so if your dog is diabetic, you may want to be careful about how many oranges you give him. Even though it is naturally present in fruit and has no added natural sugars, natural sugars can lead to diabetes if consumed while getting them.
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As you can see, oranges have many health benefits, so they're a great snack for your dog. Now, let's look at some safety measures you may want to take before giving your dog the first tablet.

Can I feed my dog whole oranges?

If you have a large dog, then yes, you can give him a whole orange – be sure to peel it first. The only risk of giving your dog a whole orange is that it will be high in sugar. If your dog is diabetic or overweight, you may need to feed him less to avoid raising his blood sugar. Even the sugar in healthy foods can lead to obesity and other health problems if eaten in excess. For small dogs, you want to avoid feeding them whole oranges, as they can get too much fiber, citric acid, and sugar into their system. Feeding whole oranges to puppies may cause gastrointestinal upset and discomfort.

The safest way to give your dog an orange, especially if it's his first orange, is to give them a small portion at a time. Be sure to peel the oranges and remove any seeds inside before feeding him so they don't pose a choking hazard. Observe your dog for a while after you have given your first morsels to make sure he is not showing any signs of stomach pain or discomfort. If you have a puppy and want to give him orange slices, be aware that they are more prone to gastrointestinal distress at that age. Only small amounts should be given until you know there is no reaction to citric acid or high fiber content.

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As for the peel and seeds of oranges, they are not poisonous. However, they are difficult for your dog to digest and should not be given to them. Both the peel and seeds can cause choking or blockage problems if consumed, which can be life-threatening. The skin also contains oils that can cause an upset stomach in dogs prone to gastrointestinal issues.

The pith (the white, sticky part between the peel and pulp of an orange) can be given to dogs in small quantities. It actually contains antioxidants and fiber that are good for your dog. Remember that orange peel and seeds are not easy to digest.

Are all citrus fruits safe for dogs?

This article refers generally to oranges, tangerines, and clementines, but all citrus fruits are safe for dogs as long as they are not served in large quantities. Most dogs dislike citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruit, but will be more than willing to try a slice of sweet orange. Some citrus fruit scents are too strong for dogs and many will refuse when offered.

Orange, lemon, and grapefruit juices are highly concentrated juices that are not suitable for your dog. They're also too high in sugar to be considered safe for your dog. Diabetic dogs and overweight dogs in particular should stay away from fruit juice concentrates, even though they are not healthy for any dog, regardless of weight or health. These juices also don't contain beneficial fiber, so there's no reason to give them to your dog as a treat.

What are some ways I can feed oranges to my dog?

The best and easiest way to feed oranges to your dog is to peel the orange and remove the seeds from the inside. Give your dog a fresh slice at a time and keep an eye on your dog's reaction to it to make sure it doesn't upset his stomach. A good thing to remember is the 10% rule, your dog's daily calorie needs should not consist of more than 10% fresh fruit or vegetables.

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If there are no gastrointestinal issues, larger dogs can eat up to one whole orange, while smaller dogs should only eat one or two slices to avoid consuming too much fiber and sugar for their bodies. If your dog is diabetic or overweight, you need to consult your veterinarian before giving him an orange to make sure it is safe for your dog's health. Oranges are considered a healthier treat than many of the commercial dog treats on the market—especially when eaten in small quantities, but your veterinarian always knows what's best for your dog's individual health needs.

Another great orange treat for your dog is to add orange slices to plain yogurt, along with other dog-safe fruits like blueberries or bananas, for a healthy smoothie. Oranges are also high in water, so they can be very hydrating and refreshing. This makes it the perfect snack for your dog to keep cool on a hot summer day. You can also add small pieces of orange or orange slices to your dog's food bowl to provide an extra boost of nutrition to his regular healthy dog food at mealtimes.


Oranges are a very healthy snack for your dog to enjoy as they are non-toxic and pose no risk if fed properly. As long as you remove the peel and seeds before serving to your dog, your dog should be able to enjoy this treat without any problems. Offer your dog only the right amount of orange slices based on his size and weight. If your dog has any underlying health issues, such as diabetes or obesity, be sure to consult your veterinarian before offering oranges to your dog.

While oranges are a healthy food, we recommend one of the following dog foods to provide complete daily nutrition.

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Maltese puppy with oranges on gray background
Oranges are a healthy food for dogs as long as you follow certain safety guidelines.

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about the author

shawnis lewis

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.

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