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Can Dogs Eat Clementines? Vet-Approved Facts & Safety Guide

Kerry-Ann Kerr Profile Picture

By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Can Dog Eat clementines

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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They’re small and refreshing, but can your dog eat clementines? The answer is yes and no. The flesh of the clementine is safe to be eaten in moderation and as an occasional treat. However, you should never feed your dog the peel, seeds, stems, and leaves because these are toxic. 

A dog’s diet should be complete and balanced, providing all the nutrients they need to thrive. For this reason, your dog doesn’t need any supplementation with fruit or other food items to get vitamins they may lack otherwise. However, if your pup enjoys citrus fruits, an occasional clementine nibble won’t harm them. So, let’s look at what you need to know before sharing a few clementine segments with your dog.

Important note: Before giving your dog any human food you should consult with your vet to make sure it is a safe option for your pup. Depending on their age, diet, medical history, and current health, some foods might not be suitable for your dog. 

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Benefits of Eating Clementines

Not all dogs will like the tart taste of clementines, and some will snatch a fallen segment and promptly spit it out in disgust. This fruit contains great amounts of vitamin C, which humans must get from their diet. However, dogs’ bodies are different, and they can make their own vitamin C, so you don’t need to worry about supplementing your dog with any citrus fruit. 

However, a little extra very occasionally won’t harm them if they enjoy the taste. Depending on your dog’s size, we recommend giving your dog no more than one or two segments of clementines occasionally. Remember to cut them into bite-sized chunks if you have a smaller breed to prevent choking!

bunch of clementines close up
Image Credit: Graphic Node, Unsplash

Risks of Eating Clementines

The flesh of any citrus fruits like clementines, tangerines, or oranges isn’t toxic to your dog, but it’s important to note that they should never be fed the peel, seeds, stems, and leaves because these are toxic. Clementines are high in sugar, so we would recommend avoiding them if your dog suffers from health problems like obesity or diabetes or if they suffer from sensitive gastrointestinal systems. If your dog is diabetic, the natural sugars in a clementine can affect blood sugar levels, and if fed in large amounts, it can also lead to excess calories being consumed.

Clementines are acidic, which can cause an upset stomach. If this is the first time you’re giving your dog citrus, give them a small piece and keep an eye out for any signs of stomach issues, such as:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling (due to nausea)
  • Licking their lips
  • Looking uncomfortable
  • Vomiting

The peel and seeds should be removed; while clementines tend to be seedless, they can still contain the odd seed, so always check. Not only can the oil in the peels cause digestive upset, but the peel’s tough consistency is also difficult to digest and can lead to an intestinal obstruction.

If you notice any signs that worry you or your dog ingesting something they shouldn’t, take them to the vet to get checked over.

clementines on the table
Image Credit: Tatiana Byzova, Unsplash

Safe Fruits to Feed Your Dog

If your dog has a taste for fruit and you want to explore your options, there are a handful of fruits your dog can safely eat. Remember to cut them all up into bite-sized chunks and feed them in moderation! Examples of safe fruits to share are:

  • Apples: Apples are refreshing and provide an extra fiber boost. The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, so be sure to deseed and core your apple before offering it to your dog.
  • Bananas: Bananas are packed with potassium, vitamins, and fiber. Ensure you keep the peel out of reach, as they’re difficult to digest.
  • Blueberries: They’re not only yummy but also full of vitamins and antioxidants. They can pose a choking hazard to tiny dogs, so a good way to offer them is mashed up.
  • Mango: Remove the pit from the middle and peel the skin, and mango is the perfect, yummy treat this summer.
  • Pears: The seeds must be removed before offering it to your dog.
  • Strawberries: An occasional strawberry can be a delicious treat.
  • Watermelon: After removing the rind and seeds, watermelon is a wonderful source of hydration on warm summer days. It’s also packed with vitamins and potassium.
a variety of fruits
Image Credit: Tapati Rinchumrus, Shutterstock

Fruits That Are Unsafe for Your Dog

If you’re making a list of healthy fruit for your dog, it’s wise to recognize the fruits you should avoid. Chances are you’ve got one or more of these in your kitchen right now, so be sure to keep them out of reach of your opportunistic pup!

  • Avocado: While it poses a higher risk to other animal species like birds, horses, and rodents, avocado contains persin, which is toxic. The leaves are the most dangerous part. The pit can cause intestinal blockages, and the high-fat content can result in an upset stomach, even if your dog only has a little.
  • Tomatoes: Ripe tomatoes aren’t toxic to dogs, but they should be fed in moderation. Tomato plants contain solanine, which can cause drooling, lack of appetite, weakness, and severe digestive problems.

Never offer these fruits to your dog:
  • Grapes/raisins: Any amount is considered toxic, so if you notice your dog ingesting either of these or suspect they have, take them to the vet immediately.
  • Wild berries: As they can be misidentified, it’s best just to stay away from wild berries in case you feed your dog a toxic one, such as black nightshade.

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Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, clementine flesh isn’t harmful for dogs as long as you pick out the seeds, peel off the skin, offer them as a very occasional treat, and always check with your vet first. Your dog may have certain health problems or have specific dietary requirements that can make clementines a bad option for them. Remember that citrus essential oils are toxic to dogs and you should avoid its use around your pup. 

If your vet has given you the green light and this is your dog’s first time eating a clementine, serve a tiny piece and watch for any signs of an upset stomach. We always recommend running by any change to your dog’s diet past your vet, no matter how small the change is.

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Featured Image Credit: Graphic Node, Unsplash

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Authored by

Kerry-Ann lives in Scotland and wishes her garden was bigger so she could have her very own Highland cow but thinks her dogs probably wouldn’t like that idea very much. She has a La Chon called Harry who was poorly with a liver shunt when he was a puppy. It wasn't likely he would make it into adulthood, which was difficult to comprehend, but he beat the odds and is a healthy old man now. She also has a Pug called Maddie...Read more

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