Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

If your question is, “Can dogs eat oranges?”, the quick answer is YES. Many fruits are safe for dogs with the exception of grapes, onions, avocados, potatoes, and rhubarb. The truth is…not every dog likes oranges!

Of course, there’s more to the answer than just “yes”. In this post, I’ll talk about nutritional impact (including vitamins and minerals), how much orange is appropriate to feed and the implications of fruits that are high in sugars. 

Can Dogs Eat Oranges if They Are Diabetic?

Before getting into this topic, you should know that most experts only recommend feeding oranges to dogs with no underlying health concerns. Diabetes would be the biggest concern, since diabetic dogs have a strict diet to be followed.

Oranges (like most fruit) are high in sugars.  Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit.  Of the three types of sugar (glucose, sucrose, and fructose), fructose doesn’t affect your dog’s blood sugar as much, but it can have an impact on diabetic dogs. If your dog is diabetic or has any other underlying conditions, it’s best to check with the veterinarian before giving oranges. 

Rather than try to explain the different sugars and how they act in the body, you can visit this link.  They do a much better job of explaining it!  www.healthline.com 

Watch this short youtube video!  It gives you fast examples of top fruits for dogs.

The Issue of Weight Gain in Dogs

There is some concern that overfeeding fresh fruit like oranges to dogs could contribute to weight gain. I’m not a veterinarian or a dietician, but in my opinion…feeding your dog a few slices of oranges now and then isn’t going to be a problem, especially if you substitute the orange segments for pre-packaged dog treats.  That’s assuming your dog is a healthy with no underlying disease. 

On the other hand, if you are adding food to an already high-calorie, treat-laden diet, then yes – weight gain is possible.

Oranges versus Processed Treats

Have you looked at the calories on a bag of processed dog treats? In addition to the added calories, there are countless ingredients including sodium that can be harmful to the overall health of your dog. In my mind, substituting those high-cal treats with fresh fruit or even dried sweet potato slices has to be a better option. 

Guidelines Around Feeding Dogs Oranges

According to veterinarians at Banfield Animal Hospital, a dog’s caloric intake should only include 10% treats (and that includes oranges).

Overall Caloric Guidelines for Dogs

It is recommended that dogs receive 30 calories per pound of body weight. Of course, slight variations exist based on the size and activity level of the dog, the time of year, and whether the dog is a puppy or an adult.

EXAMPLES:

  • A 5 pound dog = 120 – 180 calories per day for full-grown dogs
  • 10 pound dog = 420 – 630 calories per day for full-grown dogs
  • 20 pound dog = 700 – 1050 calories per day (same as above)
  • 30 pound dog = 930 – 1400 calories per day (same as above)
  • 50 pound dog = up to 2000 calories per day
  • 70 pound dog = up to 2500 calories per day
  • 100 pound dog = up to 3600 calories a day

**Always check with your veterinarian for your dog’s precise caloric needs. Activity level, dog’s physical health, and other factors can impact how much a dog should eat to avoid weight gain.

Wondering what else your dog can or can’t eat? Check out my post on 32 Poisonous Plants You Should Know About.

Comparing Oranges & Dog Treats

An average orange contains about 47 calories in addition to fiber and vitamin C.  Plus, oranges are almost 90% water!

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Grab that bag of dog treats out of the cupboard and have a look at the stuff in those things. To be honest, I wish I had taken a closer look before. Oranges would have been a better choice from day one, not the heavily processed treats with questionable nutritional value.

The average store-bought treat contains 70 to 100 calories (or more) and include a high amount of salt and other detrimental ingredients like:

  • Corn
  • wheat gluten.
  • Meat and grain meals
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin.
  • Food Dyes
  • PG (Propylene Glycol)
  • Rendered fat.

Oranges versus Orange Juice for Dogs 

There’s a big difference in the amount of sugar and calories in orange juice versus plain old oranges.  Seeing a dog drink orange juice isn’t a natural thing, but it’s not out of the question.  

It’s recommended that you don’t let your dog drink orange juice for a few reasons including the calorie content (high in natural sugars) and the citrus acid, which is toxic to dogs in high doses.

What Vitamins Does a Dog Need?

Unlike people, dogs are able to produce Vitamin C within their own bodies.  That means it’s not necessary to supplement with additional Vitamin C, which is the prominent vitamin in oranges.

However, because Vitamin C is not stored in the tissues, and any extra is excreted through the kidneys, too much Vitamin C is not toxic.  Veterinarians, however, do not recommend feeding your dog orange peelings because they’re hard to digest.

The Rules Are Different for Diabetic Dogs

A healthy dog who eats an orange now and then is going to be fine.  That might not be the case, however, for a diabetic dog.

Click the blue link above and read Diabetic Life Expectancy of Dogs

Low Sugar Dog Diets

When dogs require special diets due to allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or chronic illnesses like diabetes, it’s important to have a veterinarian or nutritionist determine the menu.  Ask the questions, “Can dogs eat oranges?” and listen carefully to your veterinarian’s advice. It’s very likely they will say yes – in very small amounts. Never assume that is the case, however.

Please be careful no matter what you feed your dog and make sure to avoid the peeling. It probably goes without saying, but the peeling is gross. Besides, it doesn’t digest all that well and that last thing you want is your dog vomiting orange peelings.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

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Have you ever considered getting your dog’s DNA tested? Find out which dogs are more prone to stomach upsets and weight gain, or which breeds may carry certain genetic mutations.  Read my review of two different DNA TESTS.

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About Lisa Theriault

Lisa Theriault wants you to know right up front that she is not a veterinarian. None of the articles/posts on this website are meant to take the place of veterinarian care. That said, Lisa has had a lifetime of experience dealing with dogs and plans on further education on dog anatomy and canine massage. In the meantime, Lisa's posts are all professionally researched and carefully crafted. The last thing she wants is to do or say anything that would hurt your dog. Stay tuned for more updates to Lisa's bio.