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Can Dogs Eat Tangerines? Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

can dogs eat tangerines

Tangerines are a sweet treat that make a healthy snack for humans, but what about your dog? You may have noticed that your pup likes a sweet snack just like you do, and fruit is a healthy alternative to cookies and cake. However, there are many fruits dogs should avoid — like grapes. You may have wondered about the safety of feeding other types of fruits as well.

So what about tangerines? Can dogs eat them? Are they safe?

Dogs won’t immediately have a toxic reaction to citrus fruits like lemons or limes, but there are things to be aware of before letting your dog eat this fruit. We’ll cover everything you need to know about tangerines, so you can decide whether or not your pup should share this fruity treat with you.

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Should Dogs Eat Tangerines?

The flesh of citrus fruits is not toxic to dogs. However, they are high in sugar, which can cause many different health problems in dogs if they consume too much of it. Weight gain, dental issues, irregular blood sugar, and diabetes are all side effects of a dog consuming too much sugar in its diet.

Tangerines are less sweet than oranges or clementines, but they still contain plenty of sugar. If you want to share one segment of a tangerine with your dog, it won’t be enough to cause health problems. However, this isn’t a healthy enough treat for dogs to justify regularly feeding on them.

There are some other concerns when it comes to feeding tangerines to dogs that you should know about.

Are the Peel, Pith, and Seeds Toxic to Dogs?

Although humans don’t typically eat the whole peel of citrus fruits like tangerines, we do use the zest from them. When you use a grater on citrus fruit to add zest to a recipe, you’re releasing the fruit’s essential oils. While this adds delicious flavor to our recipes, dogs don’t feel the same way.

Citrus essential oils are toxic to dogs, especially in high amounts. Not only can essential oils upset your dog’s stomach and cause digestional issues, but they also can irritate your dog’s mouth and tongue.

The pith of the tangerine is bitter and should be avoided. It also contains citrus essential oils that can harm your dog.

Citrus fruit seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. If your dog accidentally gobbles up a few tangerine seeds, it won’t suffer from cyanide poisoning, but you don’t want your dog to regularly eat the seeds.

Image Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter, Pixabay

Is Vitamin C in Tangerines Good for Dogs?

Vitamin C has an antioxidant effect, which is great for a dog’s immune system. However, you can have too much of a good thing. If your dog consumes too much vitamin C, it can cause cell damage instead of boosting its immune system.

While humans get their Vitamin C from their diet and supplements, dogs actually make their own. Because of this, if dogs get too much of the vitamin in their diets, it can result in kidney stones.

Tangerines also contain vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in your dog’s healthy immune system. Folate and thiamin are also B vitamins, and they help support healthy metabolism in dogs. However, tangerines contain only a small amount of these vitamins.

Most commercial dog foods are formulated to provide your dog with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Feeding your dog tangerines regularly could upset their balanced diet from dog food.

Can Tangerines Cause Digestive Problems?

The citric acid in tangerines can upset dogs with sensitive digestive systems. It can cause diarrhea and vomiting. In puppies, it can even cause diarrhea so severe they become dehydrated.

Tangerines contain a lot of fiber, which helps digested food move easier through the intestines. This is great for humans, but dogs have a short digestive tract. Compared to humans, food moves through their digestive tract three times as fast. If food moves too quickly, vital nutrients might not be absorbed properly.

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Bottom Line

Although tangerines have some health benefits like B vitamins and antioxidants, they also have some potentially harmful components. The high sugar content makes them high in calories for a dog. Too much sugar can cause weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes.

Essential oils found in the peel and pith are toxic to dogs and need to be avoided. The seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, so they should be removed before giving your dog any tangerine flesh.

The citric acid found in tangerines can cause digestive upset in many dogs. If you know your dog has a sensitive stomach, then you should avoid giving it tangerines.

Tangerines are a healthy, sweet treat for humans. For our doggie friends, though, they end up doing more harm than good. This is one snack that’s better enjoyed without sharing with your dog.

Featured Image: Couleur from Pixabay

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