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Food & Diet

Orange (Aren’t) You Glad Dogs Can Eat This Fruit?

At A Glance

Oranges are a safe fruit for dogs when consumed in moderation. Too much of the fruit can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. Moreover, it is important to remove the seeds and peels, as they can be toxic to dogs. Remember the following points:

  • Blood oranges and other types of citrus fruits, such as mandarins and clementines, can be given to dogs.
  • Eating oranges has a lot of health benefits, but it should always be given in moderation to dogs.

Last Updated on: July 5, 2023


Your four-legged best friend has different nutritional needs than you. And not all human foods are appropriate for dogs to eat. So, it is important to know what your pet can and cannot eat.

Stephanie Liff, Medical Director of Pure Paws Vet Care, says, “Sweet, juicy and loaded with Vitamin C, oranges including mandarin, clementine, satsuma, navel, and other seedless varieties, are safe for dogs to eat if they do not have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and you pay attention to the amount eaten and always remember to remove peel.”

However, before you go ahead and add them to your dog’s diet, there are a few things to know and keep in mind.

And no! Orange peels, leaves, and seeds are not to be fed to dogs. In fact, nothing apart from the fleshy orange segment is ideal to be fed to dogs, and that includes stems of the orange, the white thready outer layer called rind, and even freshly squeezed orange juice.

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The Green Signal for Oranges

If you’re wondering if your dog can have oranges, the answer is yes. Oranges are safe for dogs to consume in moderate amounts.

What would happen if your dogs ate too much of the fruit?

Citrus fruits, such as oranges, contain a high level of acid which negatively affects a dog’s digestive system. The acid content can cause digestive issues such as upset tummy, diarrhea, or vomiting. Also, oranges have moderate sugar content. If eaten in large quantities, it could potentially cause gastrointestinal issues.

“My boxer Mollie likes bananas, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, and watermelons, but don’t try grapes or raisins as they are toxic to dogs. Liking fruits is not unique to my Mollie either, I have encountered many other dogs who love fruits as well.”, Jeff Marshall, Dog lover, Vermont.

When introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, it’s important to start off in moderate amounts. Offer no more than one small segment of an orange per day, and observe your dog for any reactions. If your dog doesn’t show any signs of digestive distress, you can gradually increase the amount.

According to Karina Carbo-Johnson, Senior Nutritionist at Nestlé Purina Petcare, “Oranges should be considered as treats and should therefore make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. One to three orange slices would be appropriate for most dogs.”

So, citrus fruits or any “human-safe” foods should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet. Veterinarians can help you determine the best way to incorporate oranges into your dog’s diet while ensuring their overall health and well-being.

Oranges and Their Health Benefits

Can Dogs Eat Oranges - Oranges and Their Health Benefits

Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can support a healthy immune system in dogs. The fruit is also rich in fiber which helps regulate digestion and prevent constipation in dogs.

Senior Veterinarian Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care, New York, Christine Keyserling says, “In some dogs, extreme exercise or stress can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to make vitamin C. In these cases, it may be beneficial to provide additional vitamin C supplementation. However, for most pets, it’s not required.”

Given that oranges contain 86% of water, they are excellent to keep dogs hydrated, especially during the summer. Moreover, they are low in fat, making them an ideal treat for dogs who need to shed extra pounds. The citric acid in oranges can also help freshen a dog’s breath and maintain dental health.

However, remember never to give your dog orange juice. Store-bought juices, especially, have tons of preservatives and additives that can lead to severe health issues.

According to Karina Carbo-Johnson, Senior Nutritionist at Nestlé Purina Petcare, “Orange juice is not recommended to give to your dog. The juice is concentrated with sugars and citric acid that can be harmful to your dog. Giving your dog water is the best way to keep them hydrated.”

Can Oranges Be Bad for Some Dogs?

Not that any particular dog breed has been reported to have an inherent aversion to oranges and citrus fruits of its kind. However, not all dogs may enjoy the tart taste of an orange.

Stephanie Liff, Medical Director Pure of Paws Vet Care, points out, “Oranges can affect blood values in diabetic dogs, more due to the vitamin C than the sugar levels, and would be best avoided in these patients.”

Some dogs will gobble up anything you put in front of them, orange peels and seeds included. This could lead to obstructions in your dog’s digestive tract and even lead to surgery.

Orange peels contain oils that can cause digestive upset and skin irritation in dogs. The leaves of the orange tree also contain cyanide, a toxic substance that causes breathing difficulties and seizures.

So, ensure you peel the orange and remove any seeds before feeding it to your dog.

Fun Ways to Introduce Oranges to Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Oranges - Fun Ways to Introduce Oranges to Dogs

As with any new foods, start with small amounts and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions. If your dog doesn’t show any signs of digestive distress, you can gradually increase the amount.

If you’re serving your pet oranges for the first time, ensure you wash the orange thoroughly to remove any dirt that may have been used on the skin. Then, peel the orange and remove any seeds or fiber, as these can be hard to digest for dogs. Lastly, cut the orange into small segments or slices and remove the skin or membrane that might be left behind.

Some dogs may not like oranges, which is fine. There are many other treats you could try. However, if your pup loves chomping on them, you can try some of these recipes.

Orange and Oat Treats

Mix together 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 mashed ripe banana, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil.

Roll out the dough until it’s about ¼-inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

Orange and Chicken Treats

Take about 1 cup of cooked and shredded chicken, 1 cup of brown rice flour, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1 egg.

Then, roll them out and shape them however you’d like. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Orange and Yogurt Treats

Can Dogs Eat Oranges - Orange and Yogurt Treats

Mix together 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1 cup of rolled oats in a bowl. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it freeze for 2 hours.

Once solid, serve them to your pet and watch them enjoy it. This treat will be loved even more when the weather is hot.

Orange and Peanut Butter Treats

Gather a 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 cup of rolled oats, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Combine it well until it has a dough-like consistency and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes and let them cool before serving.

Remember to always check with your veterinarian before making any changes in your dog’s diet.

How Many Oranges Can Dogs Eat?

It’s not a question about “how many” but rather, “how much.” Even large dog breeds that weigh over 91 lbs are to be fed not more than two orange segments at a time. So, you can never give a whole orange to a dog.

Dog Size Recommended Orange Serving Examples of Dog Breeds
Extra-small (2-20 lbs.) ½ orange segment Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs, Maltese, Shih Tzus
Small (21-30 lbs.) ½ orange segment Basenjis, Beagles, Miniature Australian Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Welsh Corgis
Medium (31-50 lbs.) 1 orange segment Basset Hounds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Dachshunds, Jack Russell Terriers
Large (51-90 lbs.) 1-2 orange segments Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Boxers
Extra-large (91+ lbs.) 2 orange segments Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Oranges?

While oranges are not known to be toxic to dogs, the chances of them being allergic to oranges (or the compounds in orange) are rare.

Some fragile or sensitive canines can develop allergic reactions after consuming oranges. The symptoms could include itching, redness, hives, and vomiting.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peels?

No, dogs should never be fed orange peels. It is actually a no. Orange peels contain oils that can cause skin irritation in dogs. It can also obstruct the dog’s digestive tract, leading to a plethora of problems.

So, it is advised not to feed orange peels. If your pet has accidentally ingested oranges, rush to the nearest vet.

Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges?

Can Dogs Eat Oranges - Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges

Yes, dogs can eat mandarin oranges and some other varieties in the citrus fruit family, such as tangerines and clementines.

However, it is necessary to exercise portion control. Since citrus fruits are rich in acids, they could have a bad effect on your dog’s digestive system.

Can Dogs Eat Blood Oranges?

Yes, dogs can eat blood oranges. These fruits are known for their distinctive red-ish color and are safe for dogs to consume in moderation.

But keep in mind that, like all citrus fruits, blood oranges have a high acid content, which can cause digestive upset in some dogs.

Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?

Orange juice is not recommended for dogs. They contain high acidic content, which can upset their digestive system.

Also, ready-to-drink orange juices have added sugar which can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive issues in dogs. Some orange juice products contain artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs.

Fresh oranges, cut into small pieces or prepared as dog-friendly treats, are safer than orange juice.

Can Dogs Have Other Types Of Citrus Fruits?

Yes, citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, mandarins, and blood oranges, are safe for dogs to consume in small amounts. However, they shouldn’t be a staple in a dog’s diet.

Some citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and grapefruits, can cause an upset stomach and digestive issues and should be avoided altogether.

It’s best to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

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