The simple answer is yes, they can but in moderation. When introducing tangerines as treats, it’s best to start gradually as you monitor your dog’s reaction.
Before you add this fruit as an occasional treat, it’s always best to research what the limit is? Can dogs eat tangerines safely? What are the risks involved?
Can Dogs Eat Tangerines? What Are The Benefits?
Tangerines are a popular citrus fruit for their sweetness, but they also pack tons of health benefits. Here are some of the nutrients present in this fruit.
- Vitamin C: Acts as an antioxidant that improves the dog’s overall health and reduces aging.
- Vitamin A: Boosts bone growth, aids in healthy vision and general immunity system.
- Antioxidants: These chemicals help in lowering cholesterol and combat severe conditions such as heart disease and arthritis.
- Fiber: Tangerines have lots of fiber that help in losing weight. This will also help your dog stay healthy and fuller for longer.
In a serving, a medium-sized tangerine that weighs about 88 grams contains the following nutrients.
- Sugar: 9.3 grams
- Protein: 0.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 1.6 grams
- Calories: 47
Tangerines are also a minor source of potassium, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, and B6.
What are The Risks of Tangerines For Dogs?
Dogs are very sensitive to diet changes. As natural carnivores, they will experience stomach irritation when fed foods outside their typical diet.
While humans don’t have a limit as to how much tangerines they should consume every day, the same doesn’t apply to dogs.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential risks for your dog.
High Amount of Natural Sugars
Like other citrus fruits, tangerines contain lots of naturally occurring sugars. Adding this to your dog’s diet can be risky and could potentially lead to weight gain.
As a high-calorie fruit, it will increase the number of calories your dog takes in a day which is not ideal for their joints and overall body weight.
Some breeds are more prone to joint problems; hence they’ll be more likely to get affected.
To keep this in check, you should check or consult with your vet about how many calories your pup needs to consume daily.
For instance, if your dog is diabetic, you can manage the disease via nutrition by maintaining the calories intake.
If the tangerines will interfere with the blood sugar concentrations, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Most dog commercial foods are formulated with the necessary nutrients that your dog needs. Adding new food suddenly could upset your dog’s stomach easily.
To avoid trips to the veterinarian, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog the tangerine peel, which could cause indigestion, bloating, vomiting and diarrhea.
These issues eventually lead to an intestinal blockage which is severe and could require surgery.
In addition, if your dog has a very sensitive stomach, the citric acid in tangerine could cause stomach issues and diarrhea, resulting in dehydration.
Toxic Citrus Essential Oils
While the tangerine is not toxic in itself, the essential oils from the tangerine peel are not safe for your dog .
In high amounts, they will upset your dog’s stomach, tongue, and mouth and cause indigestion problems.
In addition, the tangerine pith also contains essential oils and is very bitter. Therefore, it should also not be included as part of the treat.
If your dog has consumed these oils, you’ll observe symptoms such as
- Respiratory distress
- Low heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Skin irritation
- Rear limb paralysis
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
Trace Amounts of Cyanide
Like other citrus fruits, tangerine seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide . If your dog consumes a few seeds by accident, it will not have severe issues.
However, it’s advisable to avoid adding the seeds regularly.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Tangerines
Even though tangerine treats come with some risks, there are some health benefits that are still suitable for your dog.
The nutrients present in the fruit are essential for your dog’s overall health as long as you do it in moderation.
So, how can you prepare the tangerines in a way that they will not harm your canine friend? Here are some tips.
Wash the Fruits
Like any other vegetable or fruit, you should wash the fruit well to remove any toxic compounds that could affect the pup.
Peel the Fruit
Tangerines have a peel and seeds that are not very suitable for your dog’s diet. To prevent choking and digestion problems, you should only separate the three parts and leave the fleshy, juicy part.
Slice the Tangerine Into Pieces
To make it easy for your dog to eat, it’s best to slice the fruit into smaller digestible pieces. This way, your dog won’t choke and will be more interested in eating.
Mix it With Other Treats
For a more balanced and fun diet, you can mix the tangerines with other fruit or vegetables in one bowl. However, if your dog prefers to eat them alone, you can still serve them separately.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Consumed Tangerine Peels or Seeds?
If your dog has already consumed seeds or peels by accident, you have to watch out for any symptoms and call your vet.
Your dog may exhibit signs such as drooling, coughing, or distress when they are choking.
Contact your vet if your pup also starts experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain due to indigestion.
It’s advisable to have the dog checked immediately or as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
For cyanide levels in the seeds, the vet is best placed to determine the toxicity levels and the level of treatment your dog will require.
To avoid severe complications, always observe your dog and check what they are consuming.
In summary, tangerines aren’t bad for your dogs. They have healthy nutrients such as antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for your pup’s health.
However, the high sugar content is potentially harmful and could lead to weight gain, diabetes, and dental issues.
Therefore, as a dog owner, you need to add this fruit as a treat but moderately. In addition, you need to remove the peel and seeds to keep your canine friend safe and healthy.
Whether your dog has medical conditions or is healthy, it’s always good to consult with a vet first before adding any new foods to your dog’s diet.
If you want to learn more about the ideal dog’s diet, read more in our article How Much Should I Feed My Dog.