Although fruits are generally considered healthy for humans, not all are safe for dogs to consume. But what about oranges? Can German Shepherds eat oranges?
Can German Shepherds Eat Oranges?
Yes, German Shepherds can eat oranges. The same is true for clementines, mandarins, and tangerines. All dogs may not like the tangy, citrusy taste of these fruits, but others love them especially because they’re so juicy.
If your dog loves oranges and other citrus fruits, be sure you know how to feed them properly and minimize the possible risks.
Benefits of Oranges to Dogs
Like other citrus fruits, oranges are packed with nutritional benefits. These include:
- Vitamin C – Oranges are best known for their vitamin C content, which helps boost the immune system.
- Potassium – Citrus fruits are rich in potassium, which plays a key role in heart, muscle, and nerve health.
- Fiber – Oranges provide ample fiber, which is beneficial to proper digestion and gut health.
- No Sodium – Many dog treats are filled with sodium and other preservatives. Oranges can be a great sodium-free alternative.
How to Feed Oranges to German Shepherds
Since oranges are not considered toxic to dogs, safe feeding is mostly about preparation and serving size. Generally, here are some tips for your dog to enjoy oranges without putting their health at risk:
- Remove the peel. Orange peels contain oils that are likely to upset your dog’s stomach.
- Remove the seeds. Seeds are difficult to digest. Even just a few seeds could cause vomiting and diarrhea, especially if your pup has a sensitive gut.
- Consider removing the skin. The segment walls aren’t necessarily harmful, but oranges are more easily digested without them. Consider removing these portions and giving your dog only the juicy flesh to enjoy.
- Limit the portions. German Shepherds and similarly-sized dogs can typically tolerate two to three segments at a time without risking any gastrointestinal upset or insulin spikes. For puppies and smaller breeds, give even smaller portions.
Potential Hazards of Oranges to GSDs
Without the peel and seeds, oranges are generally safe for dogs to consume in controlled portions. However, here are some cases where you should avoid giving this fruit to your dog:
If your dog is allergic
Although uncommon, some dogs have fruit allergies. When you’re feeding your dog oranges for the first time, check for common allergy symptoms like excessive scratching, skin inflammation, and upset stomach.
In severe cases, your dog might swell or have trouble breathing. In either case, make sure you get veterinary treatment right away.
If your dog is overweight
Whether your dog is obese or you’re just watching their weight, oranges might not be a good idea. Since they’re high in sugars, they can quickly contribute to weight gain.
Remember that treats and snacks should only total 10% of your dog’s daily calories. If you’re keen on giving your dog some oranges, just be sure you don’t go beyond that 10% treat allowance.
If your dog has diabetes
Having diabetes will make your dog respond even more negatively to the sugar content of oranges. Always consult your veterinarian before giving any additional food, treats, and snacks to your diabetic pup.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach
German Shepherds as well as many other dog breeds are prone to digestive issues. These dogs might find it too difficult to process citrus fruits like oranges, so it’s better to avoid it altogether.
For as long as you don’t overdo it, oranges can be an exciting occasional treat for your dog. If your German Shepherd happens to be allergic to oranges or has a medical condition that would make ingesting oranges unsafe, don’t fret. You can always try other beneficial fruits like strawberries, apples, blueberries, and bananas.