Dogs can eat Mandarin Oranges and Here’s why you should feed them

Inadvertently giving our furry friend something which causes them problems is one of the worst nightmares for any dog owner.

We know mandarin oranges to be tasty and healthy, but is that always the case? We’ve put together this article to answer any questions you have regarding their safety and whether they’re appropriate for your dog.

Can my Dog Eat Mandarin Oranges?

The quick and easy answer is yes, they’re okay to eat. A piece or two every now and then shouldn’t do any harm.

Whether they like the taste or not is a different story, but we know for a fact some do from personal experience.

Though they can be a bit weirded out when first encountering an orange segment, don’t be surprised if your pet quickly acquires a taste for them.

So dogs can eat mandarin oranges. Should they become a regular part of your pet’s diet, though? They may not be toxic to dogs, but that does not necessarily mean they’re suitable for regular feeding.

As always, it comes down to moderation. If you have yourself an orange every now and then and feel like giving your pup a little slice, go for it. You’re extremely unlikely to see any adverse effects. If you’re an orange fiend who eats a few every day, however, you may want to refrain. It’s when you give them too much that you can expect problems to arise.

The Nutritional Value of Mandarin Oranges

Is all that great stuff that mandarin oranges are packed full of good for our dogs, too? Let’s take a look at their nutritional value and see.

Vitamins

Mandarin oranges are incredibly rich in vitamin C. It’s considered important for dogs and helps with cognitive aging and inflammation, but unlike us, they can actually synthesize their own vitamin C through a process done in their livers. That’s not to say supplementation is a bad thing. It’s claimed that some dogs can benefit from added vitamin C, especially if they’ve been stressed or ill as this can deplete the stuff they’ve already built up naturally.

These oranges are also rich in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for your dog. It helps with their nerves and muscles, as well as their coat and skin.

It’s particularly useful for pregnant dogs and pups, as it is needed for proper growth. The correct balance is important, however, as it is possible for it to be toxic in large quantities.

Minerals

Mandarin Oranges have calcium, which has the same benefits to our dogs as it does to us. It’s good for bone and tooth strength, as well as helping with the health of their heart, muscles, and nervous system.

Like so many other things, dogs can suffer from a deficiency of calcium. This can have a range of effects, from poor appetite to seizures.

They also contain potassium and magnesium, which are both key nutrients for our dogs. If they don’t have enough they can suffer from issues such as lethargy, lack of appetite, and heart problems. If you are worried that your dog has a deficiency of any kind, consult your vet to determine the best course of action.

Carbohydrates and Sugars

While mandarin oranges contain a lot of good stuff, there is some bad stuff in there too. While dogs are like anything else in that they need carbs and sugar, their intake should be properly controlled. It may be natural fruit sugar as opposed to added sugar, but too much is still going to be bad for your pet. Dogs can get fat just like we do.

If you’re thinking of orange as an occasional treat, which is what they should be, then the carbs and sugar aren’t likely to be much of a bother.

Fiber

Mandarin oranges are also a good source of fiber, something else we all need. You should already know if your dog needs extra though, in the same way you’d know if you need it yourself. Too much of it will likewise have the same bad effects on your dog.

Can Mandarin Oranges be Bad for Dogs?

So the things that make up mandarin oranges can have health benefits for dogs too, but that doesn’t mean you should start feeding them to your pet just yet. Let’s talk about some of the potential downsides first.

GI Issues

The most likely problem you’ll encounter if your dog eats too much mandarin orange is tummy trouble. If they’ve overfed they could experience discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is thanks to the high amount of sugars. This is not going to be any fun for your dog, and we doubt it’ll be much fun for you either.

Obesity

Another long term problem is the risk of your dog becoming overweight, again because of the sugars. As we stated, just because they’re natural sugars does not mean your pet should have a lot. Avoid your pup becoming overweight by feeding them a healthy, balanced diet and making sure things like orange segments are kept to treat time.

Seeds

Something else that is worth keeping in mind is the fact that mandarin orange segments tend to contain seeds. You may want to take these out before feeding a piece to your pup. They contain cyanide like apple seeds, though not quite as much. Although the amounts are incredibly low you may still want to take this into consideration if you’re planning on using orange segments as a regular treat. They will also be far harder to digest than the flesh of the fruit.

Other Types of Citrus Fruits and Their Effects on Dogs

A lot of people’s concern when it comes to dogs and oranges is the acid. Unlike some other animals, the citric acid itself is not harmful to dogs. Does that mean all citrus fruits are okay for our dogs to eat?

Regular Oranges

Regular oranges differ from mandarins in a few ways, but they’re still okay for dogs to eat when they’re given in moderation. Too much and the dog will experience the same GI issues. They also contain larger pips, and they have a different taste. While your dog may like the sweetness of mandarin oranges, their larger counterparts can be more sour.

Clementines

These are the smallest type of mandarin orange. Your dog may like this kind especially because they’re even sweeter than the others. They’re also seedless, so you won’t have to worry about picking out the pips.

Lemons and Limes

While the citric acid still isn’t toxic, there’s far more of it in these fruits than in oranges to the extent that they could cause stomach problems. Most people wouldn’t bite into a lime or lemon (unless there is tequila involved) so your dog shouldn’t be doing so either. They’re highly unlikely to enjoy them anyway.

Grapefruit

Again, while dogs technically can eat this fruit, it’s also more on the bitter side and they probably wouldn’t enjoy it in the same way they would a piece of mandarin orange.

Fruit Juice

You may feel better about drinking juice instead of a soda, but it isn’t all that much better for you. Some juice even contains more sugar. It’s a definite no-go for your dog. When it comes to giving them something to drink, all they need is water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mandarin Oranges and Dogs

Can my dog eat the skin of a mandarin orange?

It is not recommended that you feed the peel to your dog. They can have a difficult time digesting it and it can be hard on their stomachs, and it can contain oils that are bad for them. Discard it along with any seeds.

Can a small dog eat mandarin oranges?

Yes, a small dog should be able to eat some orange, but it’s important to scale portions. A chihuahua isn’t going to have the same tolerance as something like a lab or a husky and will likely experience any problems far sooner.

Can my puppy eat mandarin oranges?

Yes, but the same applies. A puppy will be able to handle a lot less than a larger dog. Their tummies and digestive systems aren’t fully developed yet either, so they’re more prone to issues and as such should be fed smaller quantities.

Are there any types of dogs that should avoid mandarin oranges?

While mandarin oranges may make a nice treat every now and then, there are some dogs that should go without. Any dog which is overweight or diabetic should not be fed them, and the same goes for any other foods with too much sugar.

My dog ate a lot of orange by mistake. What should I do?

Keep an eye on them. If they seem like they’re in distress, or they vomit or have diarrhea, then you’ll want to get in touch with your vet.

Conclusion

Mandarin oranges could make a good occasional treat for your dog. We’ve fed pieces to ours before, and he loves them. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, and don’t feed them the skin or seeds. Your pet’s stomach can only handle so much.

Sources

Tangerines, (mandarin oranges), raw Nutrition Facts and Calories (Nutrition Data): https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1978/2 Ask a Vet (Banfield Pet Hospital): https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/ask-a-vet/my-dog-likes-oranges

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