Tangerines are great fruits. They are usually sweeter than oranges, but still contain a lot of vitamin C and other important nutrients. If you are enjoying a tangerine, then your dog might ask you to share a few segments with her. But can dogs eat tangerines? Or is this citrus fruit not okay for our canine friends?
Can Dogs Eat Tangerines? The Quick Answer!
The quick answer would be yes, dogs too can eat tangerines, so it is okay to share a few segments with your doggy. However, it’s best not to feed your dog more than a few segments in a day as tangerines are still high in sugar, which is not good for dogs in large amounts.
4 Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Tangerines to Your Dog
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when sharing this fruit with your dog:
1. Dogs Don’t Really Need to Eat Tangerines or Other Fruits
Us humans don’t eat fruits like tangerines simply because they taste good, we actually need the vitamin C from the fruits to keep us from getting scurvy. Scurvy is a serious diseases, which is caused by the lack of vitamin C. Among other things, it can cause easy bruising, poor wound healing, losing of teeth and even death.
Fortunately, dogs cannot get scurvy. Dogs’ bodies actually produce all of the vitamin C they need themselves. So, there’s absolutely no need to feed your dog tangerines or other fruits and vegetables simply because they contain vitamin C.
2. Yet a Small Amount of Tangerines or Other Fruits Can Benefit Your Dog’s Health
Occasionally eating a little bit of fruits and vegetables can still greatly benefit your dog. While vitamin C is the most prominent nutrient in tangerines, these little citrus fruits still contain dietary fiber and other important nutrients.
Besides vitamin C, tangerines are also a very good source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin B-6 and Magnesium. All of these three nutrients are essential for dogs to be healthy and they do need to get these nutrients from food — their bodies cannot make everything they need themselves.
The dietary fiber tangerines have to offer is very important for your dog’s digestive system. If your dog’s diet contains a healthy amount of dietary fiber, then it keeps both constipation and diarrhea away.
3. Never Feed Your Dog a Lot of Tangerines or Other Fruits at Once
There are two reasons why you should not feed your dog a lot of tangerines at once:
For one, tangerines, just like most other fruits, contain quite a lot of sugar. The sugar is not good for dogs because it can make them hyper, unfocused and can upset their digestive tract. In long term, it can also contribute to weight gain and lead to diabetes.
For two, tangerines contain quite a lot of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is very good for your dog’s digestive system in small amounts, but a large amount of dietary fiber can give your dog diarrhea.
4. Always Wash and Peel the Tangerines First
It’s always recommended to thoroughly was any fruit before eating it yourself or giving it your dog. That’s important because the fruits sold in supermarkets today are very likely to contain pesticide residue, which can be toxic for both humans and our pets.
Although, tangerine peels are edible for us humans, it’s best to peel the fruit before sharing it with your canine friend. Tangerine peels are difficult for a dog’s digestive system to process, so if you would feed your dog tangerine peels, then it’s likely to cause an upset stomach.
Frequently Asked Question About Dogs and Tangerines
Now that we have already covered the main points concerning the topic of feeding your dog tangerines, let’s answer some frequently asked question about this topic, just to be sure you get all of the answers you need.
Are Tangerines Toxic to Dogs?
No, tangerines are not toxic to dogs. If fed in large amounts, the excess sugar, dietary fiber and citric acid from the tangerines can upset your dog’s stomach, but in small amounts (a few segments a day), it’s safe for dogs to eat tangerines.
However, don’t ever feed your dog grapes (and raisins), unripe tomatoes, avocados and most fruit seeds and pits, because they are toxic to dogs.
How Many Tangerines Can Dogs Eat in a Day?
The amount of tangerines your dog can eat in a day depends on the size of your dog. While a small dog should not be given more than 1 or 2 segments a day, it is okay for bigger dogs to have a few more — 4 or even 5 segments are okay for medium and large sized dogs.
However, if this is the first time for you to share this fruit with your dog, then only give her a single segment. All dogs are different and there’s really no way to know how a dog’s digestive tract reacts to a new food, so it’s always wise to introduce new foods gradually.
Can Dogs Eat Tangerine Peels?
No, dogs cannot eat tangerine peels. The main problem with tangerine peels is that they are difficult for a dog’s digestive system to break down, so they are likely to cause an upset stomach. It’s also best to avoid giving your dog tangerine peels because even if you thoroughly wash the tangerines, the peels are still likely to contain some pesticide residue, which is likely toxic to dogs.
Can Puppies Eat Tangerines?
Puppies often have sensitive stomachs, so it’s best if you won’t feed your puppy tangerines or other fruits when she first starts eating solid foods. However, after your puppy has already been eating solid foods for a few months, then it’s okay to give her a single tangerine segment, but no more than that.
Are Other Citrus Fruits Okay for Dogs as Well?
So, the answer to the question “Can dogs eat tangerines?” is yes, but what about other citrus fruits? Can dogs eat other citrus fruits as well?
Sweet citrus fruits like clementines, oranges and tangerines are okay for dogs to eat, but it’s best not to feed you dog lemons and limes. Although, lemons and limes are not exactly toxic to dogs, they are highly acidic, and because of that they are very likely to upset your dog’s stomach. It’s also unlikely that a dog would even want to eat a lemon or a lime, but most dogs do love the sweet taste of tangerines.
Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat Tangerines
To sum it up, it is safe for dogs to eat tangerines, but no more than a few segments — otherwise you risk giving your dog diarrhea. You also have to remember to thoroughly wash and peel the tangerines before offering some to your four-legged buddy.
Does your dog like to eat tangerines? What about other citrus fruits? Like always, you can join the discussion in the comments below and tell us about your dog.