Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Updated Feb. 16, 2024
dog watching their owner squeeze an orange into a carafe

iStock/Stefa Nikolic

NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one

If your dog has ingested an orange, tangerine, or clementine, you may be wondering, “Can dogs eat oranges?” Here’s the good news: Yes, dogs can eat the fleshy part of oranges.

Dogs can also eat tangerines and clementines. In fact, dogs can eat all kinds of oranges, including mandarins.

Here’s what you need to know about the nutrients in oranges and which dogs should not have oranges.

Are Oranges Good for Dogs?

While some dogs may not enjoy the acidic taste of this citrus fruit, the fruit of oranges is safe and full of vitamin C, while also packing a punch of potassium and fiber.

Because commercial dog food diets are nutritionally balanced, your dog should not require supplementation of any of these nutrients. But if your furry friend begs for this sweet treat, oranges can be enjoyed in small quantities.

Can Oranges Be Bad for Some Dogs?

While dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes can safely eat oranges, they should be avoided in dogs with certain health conditions.

For example, dogs that are overweight or diagnosed with diabetes should not be fed oranges. While the natural sugar in oranges is not inherently bad, it can affect the blood sugar levels of diabetic dogs and can lead to excess calories if fed in large amounts.

The sugar naturally found in oranges, as well as their acidic nature, can also cause stomach upset in some dogs. You should only offer your dog a small piece of orange the first time to ensure this doesn’t happen. Dogs that are known to have sensitive gastrointestinal (GI) systems should not be offered oranges at all.

Can Puppies Eat Oranges?

Yes, puppies can eat oranges, but they may be more prone to GI upset than adult dogs. Because of this, only offer your puppy a very small amount of orange. As with adult dogs, remove the peel and seeds from the orange first.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Peels?

The orange peel and seeds should always be removed before feeding your dog orange slices. The peel is difficult to digest and could lead to intestinal obstruction. The oils in the peel can also cause serious GI upset (upset stomach), leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly dehydration.

Can Dogs Have Orange Juice?

While orange juice is non-toxic to dogs, it is not recommended that you give it as a treat. Orange juice is high in sugar and very acidic.

How Many Oranges Can Dogs Eat?

The size and breed of your dog may also affect how their body digests oranges. A Husky or German Shepherd might be able to have two or three segments of an orange with no problem, but a smaller breed like a Yorkie or Pomeranian would probably have an upset stomach if they ate that amount.

Also, the same amount of orange would make up a much higher proportion of a smaller dog’s daily calorie and sugar intake compared to a larger dog. All of the treats you give your dog (including any dog-friendly fruit, such as oranges), should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake, so make sure to adjust meal portions accordingly.

Here are some general guidelines for safe feeding portions based on your dog’s weight and breed size. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian if you have questions about your dog’s diet.

Although oranges are not toxic to dogs, eating too many can cause an upset stomach because of the high sugar and citrus content. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach:

How To Feed Your Dog Oranges

If you’re ready to feed your pup an orange snack, there are many ways you can safely serve up this citrus treat. Just be sure to thoroughly wash the oranges, peel them, remove any seeds, and cut them into small pieces before feeding them to your dog.

As a Snack

Follow the portion guide, based on the size of your dog, to give them oranges as a tasty snack.

As a Food Topper

If you want to make your own dog food topper, chop or blend orange pieces and mix them into your dog’s usual dog food.

Frozen Into Their KONG Toy

Blend some orange pieces, stuff them into your dog’s KONG® toy, and freeze it for a refreshing, cold treat for them to enjoy later. 

In a Fruit Smoothie

Blend your orange pieces with some other dog-safe fruits like apples, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. Then put a little in a bowl as a treat, use it as a food topper, or freeze it into your dog’s KONG toy for later. 

Mixed Into Yogurt 

Blend or mash up the orange pieces and mix them with completely plain, sugar-free, and xylitol-free yogurt (xylitol is toxic to dogs). You can serve it like this or blend it with other dog-safe fruits.

Frozen as Fruit Popsicles 

Put your fruit and yogurt mixture (from above) into an ice cube or popsicle tray and freeze it overnight for some doggy popsicles your pup will love! You can even use a dog treat or bully stick as the popsicle stick.

Made Into Ice Cream

Freeze chunks of orange pieces overnight. Then blend them with plain yogurt to make a dog-safe orange ice cream. You can add some of the other dog-safe frozen fruits to this treat, too.

Dehydrated

If you have a dehydrator at home, you can make dehydrated orange pieces. The sugar will be more concentrated per ounce now, so feed them to your dog in small portions. And avoid any store-bought dehydrated fruits—they usually add quite a bit of extra sugar and preservatives.

Can Dogs Have Other Types of Citrus?

The fleshy parts of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruits are edible for dogs. However, most dogs do not like them because they are so tart and acidic. The peels and seeds of all citrus fruits can also cause GI issues.

But your pup can eat many other types of fruits, including: 


Ellen Malmanger, DVM

WRITTEN BY

Ellen Malmanger, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Ellen Malmanger is originally from Arkansas, but attended Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine for veterinary school....


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