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Can dogs eat oranges?

Bichon frise dog with an orange advice

Always introduce new foods to a dog slowly

© Shutterstock

Can dogs eat oranges? Can dogs eat lemons? Or grapefruits? You'll find out all this vital information and more in our article.

By Dr Karen Ingleby BVetMed MRCVS

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Many dogs will eat fruit and vegetables that we give them, but there are some human foods that can be harmful to our pets. As such, it is always worth checking with a vet before you feed it or if you are worried they have already eaten something. So: can dogs eat oranges?

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Can oranges be bad for dogs?

As a rule, oranges are perfectly safe for most dogs to eat if this is done in moderation. In fact, oranges are packed with vitamin C, fibre and potassium, and other antioxidants that can benefit your pooch.

However, oranges are also high in citric acid, which can cause gastric upsets and result in diarrhoea if eaten to excess. They are also high in sugars, so are not recommended for diabetic dogs.

How much of an orange can dogs eat?

As with all new foods, if your dog has never had an orange, you should introduce it slowly. Don’t forget to remove the seeds and peel first, then try giving them one or two segments. You should then keep an eye on them for the next day or so to check that they don’t have a sensitive gut.

If your dog likes it and you are not noticing any negative effects, then I would suggest keeping oranges for a treat, but no more than one small orange daily for a large dog and 1/4 to 1/3 of an orange daily for smaller dogs.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

What types of oranges can dogs eat?

They can eat clementines, satsumas, mandarins and other kinds of oranges, as they all have the same benefits and warnings as normal oranges. So, remove the peel and pips, and give in moderation.

Can dogs eat orange peel?

We don’t recommend allowing your dog to eat orange peel. It is high in citric acid and difficult to digest. This can lead to diarrhoea or even worse – if they eat a lot of peel, it can result in a blockage that requires emergency veterinary care.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Can dogs eat clementine peel?

As with oranges, we don’t recommend allowing your dogs to eat clementine peel. It is also high in citric acid and difficult to digest. This can lead to diarrhoea or even worse – if they eat a lot of peel it can result in a blockage that requires emergency veterinary care.

Why is citrus bad for dogs?

The flesh of a citrus fruit is not bad for dogs, it is the level of citric acid in the fruit that can cause digestive upsets. Some citrus fruit like lemons, limes and grapefruits are particularly high in citric acid, and a dog's system simply can't cope with large amounts, leading to severe digestive problems.

There are lots of fruits a dog can eat, but we don’t suggest you try lemons, limes or grapefruit.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

The benefits of oranges for dogs

Oranges are packed with vitamin C, fibre and potassium, and other antioxidants that can benefit your dog. However, one thing that isn’t that well known is that dogs produce their own vitamin C, so it is rare that they need more from food.

Occasions when extra vitamin C may be required are when they are stressed, sick, have exercised too much or if they have eaten certain toxic substances. In those circumstances, feeding oranges may help improve their Vitamin C levels.

The hazards of oranges for dogs

Although the flesh of oranges is not toxic, we need to remember they are high in citric acid, which can cause gastric upsets and result in diarrhoea, if eaten to excess.

They are also high in sugars, so are not recommended for diabetic dogs.

Orange peel should not be eaten, as it is difficult to digest, which can result in a blockage that requires emergency veterinary care.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

When should I see a vet?

If you believe that your dog has eaten a lot of oranges or citrus and they are experiencing a nasty bout of diarrhoea, then please contact a vet, as your dog may require fluids and medical attention.

If you are aware that your dog has eaten a large amount of citrus peel and is now straining and not passing any faeces, please contact a vet as there may be a blockage and this will require immediate attention.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Some links in this article will redirect you to My Family Vets website.

Ask for advice

Worried about your pet?

Speak to a qualified vet online, from the comfort of your home

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