Tangerine is a small, easy-to-peel citrus fruit with a sweet taste. It is a mandarin orange hybrid, a popular fruit available in most grocery stores.
Due to its sweet taste, you might have considered sharing the fruit with your canine. This article will tell you more about tangerines and if they are safe for dogs.
Are Tangerines Safe for Dogs?
Feeding tangerines to your dog in small quantities will not harm it. They have nearly the same nutritional value that oranges offer, and your pup might also enjoy eating them. However, the sugar content of tangerines is relatively high; hence they should be consumed in moderation.
Feeding Tangerines Safely to Your Dog
Even with the multiple nutritional benefits tangerines have, it is vital to feed your dog the correct way to avoid possible stomach upsets or choking. Tangerine has indigestible parts that might affect your dog’s stomach when eaten. Just as it is not ideal for dogs to eat orange peels, you should also remove the pith, seeds, and bitter rind from a tangerine.
Avoiding parts of the fruits that are indigestible can help you prevent diarrhea and vomiting and also save you constant trips to the vet.
How Can I Prepare Tangerines for My Dog?
When adding a tangerine to your dog’s diet for the first time, it is essential to follow these steps during preparation:
- Peel the Fruit– The flesh of tangerine is the only suitable part to be consumed by a dog. Peel off the skin and remove seeds and pith until only the pulpy part of the citrus remains.
- Use a Healthy Portion– The size of your dog will determine the amount of tangerine suitable for them. If your dog is a larger breed, you can feed them more than two sections in a day. Smaller dog breeds should not take more than a full section in a day.
- Slice into Small Pieces– To prevent a choking hazard, cut down the sections into bite-size pieces before feeding them to your dog.
- Serve the Fruit Alone – If your dog is eating tangerines for the first time, do not mix them with any food or treats. This will make you determine if your dog loves tangerines. Offering it in isolation will also help determine if your pooch has allergies to the fruit.
- Serve in Different Ways– Once you have determined that tangerines are safe for your dog, you can be creative in how you offer them the treat. An example is creating a dog-safe Popsicle or mixing small portions of the fruit into their favorite bowl of treats.
What to Do If a Dog Eats Tangerine Peels
The peels of a tangerine contain natural oils that can be toxic to dogs. While the peels aren’t fatally poisonous, they may cause gastrointestinal problems. Thus, it is best to keep tangerines out of a dog’s reach when unpeeled. The tangerine seeds have trace amounts of cyanide and sugars, which can also be toxic to a dog.
Is The Vitamin C in Tangerines Good for My Dog?
Vitamin C is a common vitamin in citrus fruits. It has antioxidant properties for a dog’s immune system. While the vitamin can vary in amounts in different fruits, it is highly present in tangerines.
Giving tangerines in excess to your canine can lead to the vitamin causing cell damage instead of preventing and slowing it down.
Alternatives to Tangerines
Most citrus fruits have a similar taste and feel to tangerines. If your dog loves tangerines and they are out of stock in the grocery store, you can find a substitute for them.
Two ideal alternatives include:
- Mandarins – Feeding mandarins to your dog can be a great substitute as the fruits are from the same family.
- Clementines – Offering a clementine to your dog can also be a game-changer. It has a sweeter taste than tangerines, and if your furry friend has a sweet tooth, this will be the perfect replacement.
What to Avoid
Avoid feeding your dog grapefruit or only feed them in very small amounts. Although they are from the same family, grapefruits contain psoralen, which is toxic to dogs.
Also, avoid feeding your dog lemons if they suffer from obesity. Although lemons are known for weight reduction properties, they can be harmful to dogs with sensitive stomachs. In addition, excess vitamin C from both lemons and tangerines can cause kidney stones.
Feeding lime to your dog is also not ideal as it can potentially harm them. Generally, when it comes to dogs, highly acidic fruits should be avoided as they can cause acid reflux.
Why Should Some Dogs Avoid Tangerines
Diabetic dogs should stay clear of tangerines due to their high sugar content. They can cause a spike in insulin levels, leading to cardiovascular diseases. Excessive sugar levels can also lead to uncontrolled and unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
Though tangerines have plenty of vitamins and antioxidant properties, they are also high in sugars and calories.
When feeding them to your dog, ensure you follow the correct preparation procedure and always remember the 10% rule, where dog treats should only make up 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.