When it comes to fruit juices, OJ comes second place. It’s refreshing, yummy, and oh so healthy. And since it’s packed with nutrients like vitamin C, sharing this with your furry friend might sound like a good idea. The question is: Can dogs drink orange juice?
Yes, it’s easy to assume that drinks like orange juice are safe for dogs, given their nutritional load. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Dogs’ tummies are not made like humans. As such, dogs don’t process food and other substances as we do. This makes some of the foods we eat bad – or even toxic – to dogs.
What about orange juice and orange?
If you want to know if orange juice and oranges are good or bad for dogs, read on. Your go-to site for anything dog food-related, Dog Food Guide is here to tell you what you need to know about orange and orange juice, its effects on your pet’s health, and more.
Juicy Orange & OJ Facts
Consumed worldwide, orange and its juice is a popular fruit and drink used for various recipes, including desserts, sauces, and dressing. And this is all thanks to its sweet, tangy taste.
Interestingly, this bright-colored, pulpy citrus fruit is a hybrid of mandarin and pomelo. It originated in Southeast Asia and has been around since 4000BC. At the most, this fruit has over 600 varieties.
Orange juice is the zesty extract we get from squeezing the orange fruit. Like many fruit juices, orange juice came about to avoid spoilage when there is a surplus in fruit production. Nowadays, many grow this fruit specifically for juicing.
What Makes This Citrus Fruit Healthy?
Health buff or not, many (if not all) are aware of orange’s high ascorbic acid or vitamin C content. Besides that, this fruit is also loaded with dietary fiber.
But, do you know what? Besides vitamin C, this fruit also contains other essential vitamins and minerals. This includes:
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin A
Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?
If you want to know if orange juice is toxic to dogs, the answer is No. Your dog will most likely feel A-okay after having a little orange juice.
However, even though this fruit juice isn’t toxic to dogs like grape juice, it’s not good for your dog’s health and is best left out of your dog’s diet.
What About Oranges? Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
Good news! Although orange juice is not recommended, your dogs can eat oranges – the fruit itself.
Yes, you read it right. You can give your dog oranges. The key here is moderation. Most dogs don’t like its acidic taste. But if your dog likes it, you can give your dog a few pieces.
Since dogs can eat small quantities, you’re probably asking if you can let your puppies eat oranges. The answer here is Yes. Your puppies can also eat a slice. Just make sure to give small amounts since puppies are prone to GI upset.
Health Benefits Of Oranges To Dogs
We love eating oranges every day because of its vitamin C content and its immune system boosting features. On the other hand, dogs can make vitamin C on their own. This makes the added vitamin C in your dogs’ diet unnecessary.
However, if you have a hyperactive dog or a highly anxious dog, the added vitamin C might help. Why? Your dogs’ ability to synthesize this water-soluble nutrient is affected when they’re stressed or excessively active.
Besides that, your dog can also reap the following benefits if you decide to feed your dog oranges:
It’s hydrating. Composed of 86% water, a few slices of oranges can keep your dog hydrated. Of course, fresh water is still the king when it comes to hydration.
It aids digestion. Since it’s loaded with soluble fiber, letting your dog eat a few slices can also help encourage the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s gut. It also helps with your dog’s stool formation.
It can improve heart, muscle, & nerve health. If you think banana is already high in potassium, think again. Orange contains more.
Potassium is a mineral needed by your dog’s body to maintain its internal PH levels. It also helps regulate your dogs’ heart rate, muscle contractions, and nerve stimulation.
Why Is Orange & Orange Juice Bad For Dogs?
Since the orange fruit itself is alright and can be given to dogs in moderation, why is orange juice bad for dogs?
Many store-bought orange juice products contain artificial flavors and sweeteners that are bad for your dog. This makes it a no-go for dogs.
On the other hand, freshly-squeezed orange juice may be free from artificial ingredients, but its citric acid and sugar content are worrisome.
Think of it this way. To make a cup of orange juice, you’ll need 2 to 4 medium-sized oranges. Since orange is high in citric acid and contains moderate amounts of natural sugar, you can expect a cup to have natural sugars and acids in concentrated amounts.
Simply put, your dog is getting too much orange whenever you let your dog drink orange juice. And too much sugar and citric acid often result in health problems, including:
Although oranges are low in calories, it still contains natural sugar. If a dog consumes this fruit or its juice regularly, weight gain is bound to happen. As such, your furry best friend should avoid oranges if your dog is already having trouble losing weight.
The sugar and citric acid in orange combined can ruin your dog’s tooth enamel. Over time, it can damage your dog’s teeth.
If a dog eats too many oranges or drinks too much orange juice, your dog might get an upset stomach and other GI problems. This includes abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
So, if you know your dogs have sensitive tummies, you're giving yourself and your dog a big favor by not giving them oranges and other foods that are highly acidic.
Diabetic dogs shouldn’t be fed oranges. Since orange is high in sugar, eating or drinking a lot of this fruit and its juice may increase your dog’s blood sugar levels.
What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Too Much Orange & OJ?
There’s no need to panic if your dogs eat oranges or if you see your dog drinking orange juice. At the end of the day, orange is not an immediate danger to dogs.
However, you might want to keep an eye on your dog if your dog suffers from various health conditions like food intolerance or diabetes. Dogs that show adverse effects after eating oranges should be seen by the vet right away.
Tips On How To Feed Your Dog Orange Juice & Oranges
Allowing your dog to eat oranges or drink leftover orange juice is fine every now and then. But when you do decide to feed your dogs orange juice or orange, make sure to do the following to avoid any mishaps:
Get rid of the peel and seeds. If you want to know if you can let your dogs eat orange peels? The answer is no. The same applies to the seeds and the rind.
For one thing, the orange peels and seeds are hard to digest. They are also considered a choking hazard, and swallowing it can lead to intestinal obstruction. Besides that, the orange peel also contains oils and acids that can give your dog a burning sensation when they poop.
Start small. Since many dog owners are unaware of the food sensitivities of their dogs, it’s always a good idea to give your dog a small amount and wait a few hours before giving your dog another slice. This way, you can observe your dog for any adverse reaction.
Remember, dogs are not created equal. One dog can eat oranges without problems, while another might already get an upset tummy after having a bite.
Follow the 10% rule. Orange and other fruits and veggies are seen as treats in the canine world. As such, this should be given occasionally and should not exceed 10% of the daily calorie intake of your dog.
How much is too much? Small breeds will often do fine with just a fourth or half of an orange. On the one hand, large dog breeds can eat a whole orange (minus the seeds and peel).
Food For Thought
Can you give your dogs orange juice? If your dog likes orange juice, you can probably let your dog have a slurp occasionally. But given it’s high acidity and sugar content, you might want to reconsider. In the end, this might just turn into a bad habit that’s hard to break.
Every dog owner just wants to see their furry best friend happy and healthy. And you know what? Most dogs won’t mind if you give them healthy alternatives – think plain water.
After all, water is the best drink there is. At the same time, don’t make a fuss if your dog laps on a few drops of OJ. It’s no biggie.