Can My Dog Eat Oranges?
Here's what to know before sharing a slice.
If you’ve ever felt tempted to slip your dog a slice of the orange you’re eating, then good news!
Dogs can eat oranges — you’re just going to want to watch how many slices you give them per day.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, to learn more about how oranges can be good — or not so good — for your dog.
Are oranges good for dogs?
Oranges can be a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber for dogs.
“Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that has many benefits in the body,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.
Benefits of vitamin C for dogs include:
- Growing, developing and repairing body tissue
- Collagen formation (which is good for coat and joint health)
- Boosted immune system
- Strengthening bones, cartilage and teeth
Potassium is good for your dog’s heart and kidney health, while fiber helps his gastrointestinal system, keeps his blood sugar levels in check, and even aids weight loss.
Are oranges ever bad for dogs?
But oranges can be bad for dogs if eaten excessively. Oranges are packed with sugar, and a high amount won’t make your pup feel so great.
“Dogs eating more may develop gastrointestinal upset with vomiting and diarrhea due to the sugar content of an orange,” Dr. Burch said.
You also need to be careful if you have an orange tree in your backyard — or if your neighbor has one and the fruit falls in your yard from time to time. You don’t want your dog to have access to entire oranges that have fallen on the ground in case he eats too much or chokes trying to scarf one down. But you especially don’t want to risk your dog eating a fruit that’s gotten moldy on the ground, because that can cause some serious issues.
“Ingestion of the moldy fruit can cause what is called tremorgenic mycotoxin toxicity,” Dr. Burch said. “The mycotoxins are by-products of the fungus on the fruit and will affect neurological systems.”
Symptoms of tremorgenic mycotoxin toxicity include:
- Muscle tremors
- Drunk or uncoordinated walking (aka ataxia)
- Abnormal eye movement
- Increased body temperature
If you notice your dog experiencing any of those symptoms, bring him to the vet ASAP.
How much orange can dogs have?
According to Dr. Burch, you should only give your dog one or two segments of an orange per day — otherwise, you’re giving him too much.
What about orange peels?
While dogs are totally OK to eat the fleshy part of an orange, the peel is a different story.
“The peels can cause vomiting due to citrus oil and d-limonene irritating the stomach,” Dr. Burch said.
So if you want to give your dog a couple pieces of an orange, that’s totally fine, Just make sure you keep them out of his reach so he doesn’t eat too much or accidentally chow down on the peel.
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