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Tangerines, just like oranges, mandarins, and other citrus fruits, have an irrefutable and longstanding reputation as immune-boosting superfoods for us, humans.
Not to mention, that they also taste incredibly good, and are very much accessible.
So, there’s no wonder why our canine companions are also attracted to the sweet and zesty flavor of this pretty and tasty citrus fruit. But, can dogs eat tangerines?
Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?
Yes dogs can eat tangerine in moderation. This mandarin orange is an excellent source of nutrients. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, folate, and other nutrients that are beneficial for dogs. It is also low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
However, tangerines are also high in natural sugar, which is not good for your dog’s diet. So, even if the fruit, in general, is healthy, its high sugar content makes it problematic in dogs. As we know, too much sugar is synonymous with plenty of calories.
So, feeding your dog large amounts of tangerines can make him overweight, and can lead to weight-related health issues that can significantly affect the quality of his life.
Are Tangerines Safe for Dogs?
A small amount of tangerines, when the peel, seeds, and pith are removed, won’t cause significant problems in dogs. As mentioned earlier, the flesh of this fruit is not toxic, so, it’s generally safe for your dog to eat it as an occasional treat.
And though tangerines are not that sweet compared with oranges and clementines, they still have high sugar content. So, if you give them too much of this fruit, your dog will be at risk for obesity, irregular blood sugar, and diabetes.
The presence of high sugar in his diet can also lead to dental problems since sugars can easily attract the growth of harmful bacteria inside your dog’s mouth.
Moreover, while tangerine is generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation, it’s also not advisable because of its potential side effects on your pet’s overall health.
Additionally, its high vitamin C content won’t really contribute added benefits since dogs can already produce their own vitamin C.
Hence, if you feed your pup large quantities of tangerine, his body might produce more than enough vitamin C which can result in kidney stones.
Nonetheless, tangerines, as well as other fruits and vegetables can be a safer and healthier snack or treats for dogs because they are low in calories, and they are also nutrient-dense.
However, tangerine should not be part of your dog’s daily menu or core meals. Your dog can already get a complete and balanced diet with all the essential nutrients that he needs to thrive each day if you are feeding him high-quality dog food.
So, your dog is definitely not missing something if you won’t include tangerine in his diet.
When Are Tangerines Bad for Dogs?
Tangerines are generally safe for dogs and they are excellent sources of important nutrients for us, humans. However, it doesn’t mean that they are good for dogs. Just like other human foods, some parts of this fruit can be a choking hazard to your dog.
Some pet parents also think that citrus fruits like tangerines and oranges are helpful to relieve their dog’s digestive issues because of the fruits’ high fiber content. But there is no major study, yet that can support this theory.
And besides, dogs have a shorter gastrointestinal tract, so, if it’s indeed true that its fiber content can help move foods faster through the intestines, then, the body won’t have enough time to absorb the vital nutrients.
Moreover, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it’s even more not advisable to introduce a new food to his diet, especially acidic and sugar-rich foods like tangerines.
Nonetheless, whether your dog has a sensitive stomach or not, large amounts of tangerines can upset your dog’s stomach causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Taking all of these into consideration, your pup can be better off without tangerines.
Are the Peel, Pith, and Seeds of Tangerine Toxic to Dogs?
We may not eat the entire peel of tangerines or other citrus fruits, but we do grate their peels to add zest to some of our favorite recipes.
And when we grate the peels, we are also releasing the fruit’s essential oils to our food. For us, humans, we may love the added citrus flavor from the oils, but our dogs don’t usually feel the same way.
More importantly, the citrus essential oils from the fruit’s peel can be toxic to dogs when taken in huge amounts. The oil won’t only cause vomiting diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs, but it can also irritate their tongue and mouth.
The pith also contains the citrus essential oils that can harm your dog, and it also tastes bitter. So, it’s not really something that will please and benefit your pup.
Finally, the seeds of tangerines and other citrus fruits contain trace amounts of cyanide. And while your dog may not be harmed if he gobbles on a few seeds, you definitely won’t want to add these to your dog’s food.
Just like the pith, and the peel of this fruit, the seeds could also be hard to digest, or may not even be digested by your dog.
Hence, there’s also the risk for intestinal obstruction, especially for smaller dogs who eat large quantities of these toxic and hard-to-digest parts.
Can Dogs Eat Clementines and Other Citrus Fruits?
Clementines, tangerines, and oranges are very similar fruits, so, yes, your dog may also eat clementines in moderation or as a healthy treat.
However, the same restrictions and warnings should be taken seriously. It may also be best to consult your vet if you are planning to add new food to your dog’s diet.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Tangerines?
While most dogs won’t have a problem when fed with tangerines, some may experience digestive issues even from eating small portions of the fruit’s flesh.
So, if it’s your first time letting your dog eat tangerines, it’s best to only give him one or two sections of the fruit.
This will lessen his chances of having stomach upset. And once you are aware that your dog can tolerate the fruit, you can increase the portions gradually.
However, tangerines are considered as alternative dog treats so you should also observe the 90/10 rule or 90% of your dog’s daily caloric intake should be from his dog food, and only 10% should be from his treats.