Dogs take an interest in the strangest foods, usually because they’re very curious about what their human caretakers are doing. They want to be a part of your activities, and they might even want to eat near the table where you eat.
There are plenty of things your family eats that you can safely share with your dog, but you should think twice before letting your dog lap up a few sips of orange juice.
The Nutritional Benefits of Oranges
It’s not exactly obscure knowledge that oranges are a healthy snack. They’re loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C, which makes them popular around cold and flu season. In addition to fortifying the immune system, the vitamin C in oranges works to facilitate the production of healthy collagen. Vitamin C is necessary to heal wounds, maintain structural health of the skin, and promote healthy gums.
Oranges also boast powerful antioxidant properties. The antioxidants in oranges sacrifice themselves to protect healthy cells from damage.
The Difference Between Oranges and Orange Juice
Oranges and orange juice are a lot more different than they may initially appear. The bulk of the fruit is what makes an orange feel satiating. When you take away the bulk, you’re losing the beneficial fiber that fruit contains. You’re also concentrating the natural sugars that occur in the fruit. A glass of orange juice typically contains substantially more sugar than you may expect.
Some drinks labeled to look like orange juice are actually orange flavored beverages spiked with high levels of table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It’s important to thoroughly read the labels to be sure that what you’re buying is actually orange juice and not an orange-flavored juice drink.
Most orange juice products are packaged in a way that leads people to believe that they’re healthy. To some extent, they are. Orange juice contains the same vitamins and minerals that oranges contain, but they don’t come in the same form.
Most of the time, orange juice at the store has been reconstituted from concentrate and blended with water. It isn’t freshly squeezed right into the carton like the packaging may lead you to believe. Oranges aren’t in season year round, so companies that produce orange juice need to sustainably store their harvest to keep juice on your table.
Natural orange juice is very high in sugar. It takes many oranges to make a single glass of juice, and every bit of naturally occurring sugar from those oranges makes its way into the glass. Rather than consuming the reasonable sugar content of a single orange, you’re getting the sugar content of about three medium sized oranges.
Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?
Dogs should never have anything to drink other than water. Orange juice is highly acidic and very sugary. The combination of acid and sugar can contribute to tooth decay. The acidity of orange juice can also upset your dog’s stomach, leading to nausea or diarrhea.
Dogs are carnivorous omnivores (which is why vegan dog foods aren’t as impossible as some people may think) — their bodies need protein and a little bit of roughage (aka fiber) to function efficiently.
Sugar is not a part of a dog’s healthy diet — there’s better places for your dog to get their carbs. Dogs should never have added sugars or foods with high concentrations of sugar. Sugar can significantly contribute to weight gain and diabetes in dogs.
It’s especially important to avoid giving your dog foods with sugar if your dog is overweight or lives with diabetes. In your dog’s body, naturally occurring sugar isn’t any different from refined sugar. Giving your dog a few sips of orange juice would essentially be the same as feeding your dog a few packets of table sugar.
Can Dogs Have Oranges?
Dogs who are at a healthy weight and don’t have conditions like diabetes can typically safely eat raw oranges. It’s important to limit the amount of special treats your dog receives, but it’s absolutely possible to safely incorporate them within the appropriate threshold.
About 90% of your dog’s daily nutritional needs should be met with a well-balanced dog food formulated with fresh, whole ingredients. You should ask your dog’s vet for recommendations if you’re concerned that your dog’s current diet may not be meeting their needs or supporting their wellness holistically.
The other 10% of your dog’s diet can come from treats. Most pet owners use well-balanced dog treats as training aids or rewards. Some pet owners prefer to share some of the healthy things they love with their dogs. You can use foods like cooked protein, certain fruits, or plain vegetables as treats for your dog.
An orange slice is relatively low in calories and can easily be incorporated into the treat allotment of a healthy dog’s diet.
How To Give Your Dog Oranges
Dogs can have the interior portion of the orange, but not the rind or the seeds which can cause intestinal blockage in large amounts since they aren’t digestible by your pup’s GI system. Navel oranges are seedless and relatively inexpensive when they’re in season. If you have a bowl of navel oranges on your counter, these are perfect for your dog. Make sure you completely peel the orange before you serve it to them.
Break the orange apart into segments. A small dog can have a small orange segment, but it’s best to break that segment in half to see if your dog likes it. A medium dog can have about two slices, and a large dog can have about three slices.
There’s a good chance your dog might not want to eat an orange. Oranges have a very strong floral aroma. Humans often associate the smell of fresh oranges with cleanliness because of that flowery scent. Your dog has an extremely sensitive nose, and they may find the natural aroma of oranges to be off-putting.
If your dog refuses oranges, that’s perfectly fine. They don’t need oranges to maintain their health. They might prefer a tasty bite of banana or a plain scrambled egg instead. Let your dog pick and choose the treat foods they enjoy the most. If they truly love their treat, they’ll feel more inclined to behave appropriately or learn new tricks if they know they’ll get a few special bites of something yummy.
Can Oranges Make My Dog Sick?
Overall, a small amount of orange is relatively safe for most dogs. It’s unlikely that oranges will make your dog sick, but it isn’t impossible. Anything that isn’t designated specifically as dog food can potentially make your pet sick. Whenever you introduce a new fruit or vegetable to your dog, you should always monitor your dog for signs that they aren’t tolerating it well.
If you notice that their appetite or bathroom habits change, or if your dog vomits or has diarrhea, you should usually stop giving that food to your dog.
If the vomiting or diarrhea becomes severe, you should contact your vet. If your vet isn’t available, call your local animal emergency medical center and seek their advice. If your dog is at risk of dehydration and won’t drink, the emergency center may recommend that you bring your dog in.
Keeping Your Dog Well
Orange juice doesn’t have any place in your dog’s diet, but a small amount of fresh orange is generally safe. If your dog has special medical needs, you should always speak to your dog’s vet before you incorporate new foods into your dog’s diet.
VETCBD Hemp embraces a holistic approach to pet wellness. When you make your own treats or carefully choose your dog’s special snacks, you have more control over the quality of your dog’s diet. For more ideas about homemade dog treats and dog safe snacks, browse our blog.