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With their bright color, fresh taste, and high vitamin content, oranges are nearly synonymous with good health. But what’s good for the human may not always be good for the dog. Can dogs eat oranges? We’ll peel away the confusion and get straight to the facts.

Can Your Dog Have Oranges?

Yes! While not all “people food” is safe for dogs, oranges are OK to share with your furry companion. Specifically, dogs can safely eat the juicy flesh of an orange in moderate amounts.2 Not only can they benefit from the healthy qualities of citrus, but many dogs love the sweet taste of oranges just as much as humans do.  

Can dogs have orange peels?

Orange peels aren’t toxic to dogs, but the tough skin can be difficult to digest. Feeding your dog too much orange peel could lead to gastrointestinal problems, which might incur expensive vet bills to deal with. A dog insurance policy could help cover some of the costs, but it’s still something you want to avoid. Always remove the peel before giving your dog an orange treat.

Can dogs eat tangerines?

Tangerines are just another type of orange, with all the same health benefits. So, yes, your dog can eat tangerines!2 They’re smaller than your average orange, making them the perfect snacking size.

Can dogs eat clementines?

Clementines are a hybrid of sweet oranges and mandarin oranges. Not only are they just as healthy for your dog as a regular orange, but they’re also seedless. That makes them an even safer treat.2

Are Oranges Good for Dogs?

Oranges are both dog-friendly and good for their health.2 Like other fruits for dogs, oranges are high in fiber, which aids in digestion and regular bowel movements. They’re also full of potassium, an electrolyte that’s especially important for heart health,3 and vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.4 There are potential hazards to consider, however.

Risks of giving oranges to your dog

Oranges are not a standard part of a canine diet, which means they could have some negative effects on your dog. The sugar that makes the fruit so sweet could upset some dogs’ stomachs and, if given in excess, contribute to weight gain in dogs or diabetes.

It’s also possible for some dogs to have an allergic reaction to citrus. Keep an eye on your pooch and always talk to your vet before introducing new food to your dog’s diet.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Oranges

After consulting your vet, there are some steps you can take to give your dog oranges with minimal risk:

●      Peel and deseed the orange. Both seeds and orange peels could be harmful to your dog’s digestion, so make sure you’re only feeding them the flesh of the fruit.

●      Start slow. Give your dog a small piece of orange to begin with. Monitor their reaction over the next hour or so in case of an allergic reaction.

●      Augment the size of the treat based on the size of your dog. Smaller breeds, like Jack Russell Terriers, have a lower tolerance for the sugar and acidity. More than one segment of orange could upset their stomachs, whereas a larger breed like a Great Dane may be able to tolerate two or three segments.

●      Keep it a treat. Oranges are healthy, but they’re also high in sugar and not part of a typical canine diet. Dole out small portions of orange on rare occasions, not every day.

A Treat So Sweet

Oranges are a sweet treat that might just become your dog’s new favorite. Just remember to consult your vet, treat your dog in moderation, and avoid feeding them the seeds or peel.

If you’re worried about an allergic reaction, pet insurance from MetLife1 could help cover some of the cost of potential vet visits.2 Read more to find out if pet insurance for your pup is worth the investment.   

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

2Malmanger, E., (2020), “Can Dogs Eat Oranges?,” PetMD

3(2020), “3 Easy Ways to Add Potassium to Your Dog’s Diet,” ParsleyPet Wellness

4Burke, A., (2020), “7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life,” American Kennel Club