Orange juice has long been a breakfast table staple, and the fruit is popular year-round for its citrusy-sweet taste and Vitamin C. Come winter, some people load up on oranges to help their immune systems during cold and flu season (this may be a myth). But oranges do help prevent kidney stones and heart disease. And during the pandemic, sales of orange juice have skyrocketed.
We want the best not only for ourselves but for our pups too. If oranges have benefits for humans, it’s natural to wonder if they can help keep our pets stay safe, healthy and prolong their lives.
But not everything humans eat is safe for dogs (hello, chocolate and grapes). To help determine whether oranges are safe for dogs, we did some research and spoke with Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH, of Animal Acupuncture in New York City.
Can dogs eat oranges?
Let’s cut to the chase: Yes, most dogs can have oranges, though certain pups should abstain completely. But unlike humans, who require dietary sources of vitamin C, dogs manufacture their own vitamin C. “It isn’t required in their diet,” Dr. Barrack says. “Oranges are high in sugar and thus shouldn’t be given to overweight or diabetic dogs.”
In other words, you can hand Fido an orange slice as a treat here and there if they enjoy the taste, but their primary source of nutrition should be dog food.
How should I feed my dog an orange?
Dogs should only get the fleshy part of the orange and not the skin.
“The skin is the most acidic part of the orange and can cause the most GI upset,” Dr. Barrack says.
Orange juice should also be avoided. Whether your dog is diabetic or not, the sugar content is too high.
When to stop letting your dog eat oranges
Some dogs love the taste of oranges, making them a fun occasional treat. But oranges don’t sit well with every pet. If you notice gastrointestinal discomforts, such as an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea or inappetence, stop giving orange slices to your pup and consult your vet.
Otherwise, it’s fine to let your pup have a taste of this natural candy. Though they may not reap the same benefits as humans it’ll make them happy — and there’s nothing better than a happy dog.
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