Oranges may be a perfect snack for people, but they’re best as a once-in-a-while treat for your pooch. Stick to these rules, and your dog can enjoy an occasional boost of fiber and vitamin C as much as you do.

By Sarah Gerrity
August 24, 2020
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Oranges are a great source of fiber and vitamin C for humans, but have if you ever wondered, can dogs eat oranges? As it turns out, the fruit can be a nutritious treat for dogs—but there are a few important precautions to keep in mind. We spoke with Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, and senior director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, to find out what pet parents need to know before feeding their pups a slice or two of that juicy snack. 

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

As long as you stick to the citrusy flesh, oranges are A-OK to share with your dog. However, “While the actual fruit itself is edible,” Wismer says, “the peels and plant material can cause issues.” Thick peels and leaves are tough for dogs to digest and can cause an intestinal blockage. Additionally, “orange peels contain essential oils that can be irritating,” Wismer notes. Peels and plant material can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even depression in dogs, so when it comes to the rest of the fruit—and even parts of the plant itself—keep the peels and leafy plant material out of your pup’s reach. 

How Much of an Orange Can Dogs Eat?

Like many fruits, oranges contain a reasonable amount of sugar, which can cause some gastrointestinal issues for your pup when consumed in high amounts. Limit your dog’s daily consumption to one or two wedges from a peeled orange, and that should keep you from experiencing those pesky stomach issues.

As always, when introducing a new food to your pet, it’s a good idea to feed your dog a small amount of an orange slice first, and then monitor him closely to make sure it agrees with his stomach. If he seems to enjoy it, feel free to reward him with a larger tasty orange treat—but avoid overindulgence, as too many treats can lead to weight gain and obesity.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Oranges?

Oranges are low in sodium and chock full of nutrients, including potassium, which helps dogs’ bodies regulate fluids. Plus, the fiber content of orange flesh is great (in limited amounts) for their digestive systems. And, just like in humans, the levels of vitamin C in this citrus fruit help keep dogs' immune systems on point. 

Overall, oranges make a great treat or reward for your dog. As long as you stick to the fruity flesh in small portions, your pup can enjoy a healthy boost of fiber and vitamin C along with you.