Read time: 5 mins
30 May 2023
While pet parents might need five-a-day to stay healthy, it’s not quite the same for our four-legged family members. As they digest food differently to us, not all fruits and vegetables should be on their menu. What does that mean for oranges? Can our pooches eat them?
Yes, oranges are good for dogs.
For us humans, oranges are a valuable source of vitamin C and are full of flavanones, which can protect our bodies from heart disease. Dogs, on the other hand, don’t get the same benefits, as their bodies already create vitamin C naturally so they don't need a top-up from their food.
There are positives to be taken from oranges, though, as these delicious fruits are packed with important nutrients, such as potassium and fibre, which make them a healthy snack for your pooch. Fibre helps keep digestion moving along and lets your dog's system absorb nutrients more efficiently by slowing down digestive transit.
Whilst most dogs will be fine digesting the simple sugars in oranges – glucose, fructose, and sucrose – others might struggle.
Dogs suffering from diabetes either don't produce insulin or their bodies don't use it properly, so they can't properly process glucose. The condition can be managed by insulin injections and a carefully balanced diet. Sugar spikes are to be avoided, so sugary fruit should be, too.
If your pup craves a clementine or is mad for mandarins, here are some things to think about.
Remove the rind and seeds
If we swallow a seed or a bit of rind, it’s not the end of the world (fruit trees don’t grow in our bellies, even though our mums insist they do). But if a dog swallows some, it could be another story.
This is because the peel and pith (the white inner skin) of oranges is difficult for dogs to digest and can cause obstructions if they're not chewed properly. It's also worth noting that orange seeds (similar to apple seeds) contain tiny traces of cyanide, which is poisonous in large quantities. While your pooch would have to eat a lot of satsuma pips to feel any effects, it's easy enough to avoid them having any.
If you're keen to introduce oranges into your dog’s diet, make sure you remove the peel and pith along with the pips. Or try a fancy seedless variety like a naval, Jaffa or Valencia.
If you're using oranges as an alternative to processed treats, they will need to be rationed because of their high sugar content. As with anything sugary – natural or otherwise – feeding them too much could cause weight gain.
A little goes a long way, so when it comes to oranges, take it one segment at a time.
Oranges are also really acidic (that sting when you get the juice in a cut – ouch). And this level of acidity can upset your pup's digestion – especially if they're known for having a sensitive tummy. If eating orange coincides with loose poos, diarrhoea or vomiting, take it off the menu.
When introducing anything new into your pooch’s diet, you should take it slow. And remember that little luxuries, like oranges, shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet since there’s not an awful lot of nutritional value in them.
No, dogs should not eat orange peels.
Whilst it is unlikely that eating orange peel will cause your dog any harm, it is not recommended. Orange peels can be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause tummy upset, likely in the form of sickness or diarrhoea. The peel also contains higher concentrations of essential oils compared to the fruit's flesh, which can be really irritating.
It's best to prevent your dog from eating orange peels to avoid potential digestive issues. But, we know that sometimes pooches can pounce too quickly for us to intervene. If you’re worried about how much they’ve eaten, keep a close eye on their behaviour and contact your vet if they show any signs of being unwell.
If you want to share oranges with your dog, it's safer to offer them small, peeled and seedless segments of the fruit in moderation.
No, dogs should not have orange juice.
While orange juice is not toxic to dogs, we don’t recommend giving it to them. Orange juice is high in sugar and acidity, which can potentially upset a dog's stomach and lead to digestive complications. The high sugar content can also contribute to weight gain and dental problems for pooches.
Big thumbs (paws) down from us.
Oranges are joined by an army of other pooch-pleasing fruits, such as:
When feeding fruit to your pup, you should make sure that any cores, rinds, seeds, pits, stones and skin are removed, as these parts of the fruit are not suitable for dogs and can cause harm. Fruit should also be fed in moderation, as a treat, due to its naturally high sugar content.
Just like us humans, a lot of dogs also enjoy some taste and texture variety in their food. Here at Butternut Box, we include fresh fruit in some of our meals to give them the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. In our You’ve Got Game and Plant Get Enough recipes for example, you’ll find cranberries on the ingredient list. Meanwhile, our Pork Of The Town and Chicken You Out recipes include apple as part of their ingredients, for a juicy burst of flavour.
Drool worthy indeed.
When you sign up to Butternut Box, we ask all about your dog's life and health, including details of their snacking habits. That means we can accurately calculate how many calories they need for their breed, age and activity level. So if they're partial to an easy-peeler from time to time, we'll take that into account when we portion out their drool-worthy pouches.
For an exact price and plan, click the Build Your Box button below.