Can dogs eat tangerines? The Labrador Site team takes a closer look at tangerine for dogs.
It is safe for dogs to eat tangerine in small quantities. Tangerines are not toxic to dogs, and contain important nutrients like vitamin C. But, they also contain lots of sugar. So, too much tangerine in their diet can lead to issues like tooth decay and weight gain. Only offer tangerine to your dog as an occasional treat.
Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?
Generally speaking, dogs are okay to eat tangerines as an occasional treat if the peel and seeds are removed. And tangerines aren’t toxic to dogs. However, they contain sugar and calories that should be fed to your dog in moderation.
Tangerines and Dogs
Tangerines, like oranges, are a good source of vitamins A and C, and minerals, including thiamin, folate, and potassium. They are particularly high in vitamin C. However, dogs are one of a surprising number of animals that can actually synthesize vitamin C in their body. Yes, they make it themselves.
There is some evidence that extra vitamin C in a dog’s diet may benefit them. Especially if they are sick, or older. However, more research is needed to confirm this.
If you think your dog needs more vitamin C in their diet, it is always best to consult your vet to determine if and how to increase vitamin C for your dog. So is there any actual harm in feeding your dog tangerine?
When are Tangerines Bad for Dogs?
Sadly, the answer to “can dogs eat tangerine” isn’t a straightforward yes. Although eating a tangerine is unlikely to cause immediate harm to your dog, it’s not ideal for them. The high sugar content may upset their stomach in the short term. And it can potentially do worse in the long term.
Large amounts of extra sugar over time can lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. And obese dogs live shorter, less enjoyable lives. So if your dog is overweight, then you should avoid giving them these extra sugars and calories.
Tangerines also contain a large amount of fiber. This is really helpful for the long digestive tracts of a lot of animals like herbivores, but not for dogs. Dogs are carnivores. They have a relatively short digestive tract. If food moves too quickly due to excessive fiber, vital nutrients may not be extracted.
It’s true that dogs fed a relatively low fat dry food may need a small amount of dietary fiber, but this is included in any reputable dry dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Tangerine Peels?
Everything we’ve looked at so far refers to the fruit itself. But can dogs eat tangerine peels?
No, you shouldn’t be feeding your dog tangerine peels. While they’re not toxic, they can easily cause an obstruction either as a choking hazard or in your dog’s digestive tract. They are much harder to digest than the actual fruit of a tangerine.
Many places sell candied tangerine peel. But, you should never give this to your dog either. Not only can this cause the same problem – internal blockages – but sugar can upset your dog’s stomach, and lead to obesity.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Tangerine Peels?
You should monitor your dog if they do eat tangerine peels or even seeds. They could cause blockage or other gastrointestinal issues. Be sure to consult your vet if they show any signs of loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or other stomach or digestive concerns.
Are Tangerines Good for Dogs?
Peeled tangerines can be a fun occasional treat for your dog. But they’re not necessarily good for them because of their high sugar content. Your dog should be getting all of their dietary needs met in their main diet. Tangerines shouldn’t be the main staple for them. Nor should they be necessary to boost their vitamin C intake.
Should I Give My Dog Tangerines
Tangerines are generally a safe treat. But it’s always a good idea to only give a small portion of food if you don’t know how your dog will react. The natural sugar in tangerines, as well as the citric acid, can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. So it can be a good idea to offer your dog small pieces of tangerine and see how they react.
Generally, a few slices of tangerine properly prepared is okay to give your dog once in a while if they aren’t overweight or diabetic.
How to Prepare Tangerines for Dogs
You should peel the skin and remove the seeds of tangerines before feeding it to your dog. Additionally, you should break it up into small segments. This all helps reduce the hazard of your dog choking and makes it easier to digest. Remember, the peels and seeds can cause gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and diarrhea.
Alternatives to Tangerines for Dogs
Summary: Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?
So can dogs have tangerines? A few segments of tangerine once in a while won’t hurt your dog. As with most human food, moderation is key. Treats should not account for more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Tangerines are full of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. However, your dog’s diet should be nutritionally balanced, to begin with, and should not need any supplements from other foods like tangerines.
If your dog wants a little treat, you can feed your dog a small amount of tangerine fruit. But it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. And be sure to prepare it properly for your dog by removing the skin and seeds.
References and Further Reading
- K, Berkheiser, “Tangerines vs. Oranges: How Are They Different?” Healthline.
- Delmore, D., “Is It Okay to Give My Dog Oranges, Grapes, Tangerines, and Clementines?” Banfield Pet Hospital.
- Gordon, D.S., et. al., “Vitamin C in Health and Disease: A Companion Animal Focus,” (2020).
- Hesta, M. “The Effect of Vitamin C Supplementation in Healthy Dogs on Antioxidative Capacity and Immune Parameters.” Laboratory of Animal Nutrition,” (2009).