Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice Safely?

Written by Colby Maxwell
Published: September 12, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Foto-front
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We love our pets dearly, and one of the ways that humans express their love is through gifts and food! When it comes to our dogs, our desire to spoil them is usually well-intentioned, but that doesn’t always mean it is good for them. In fact, many of the foods that our dogs eat may be foods they love, even if it doesn’t make them feel good. Today, we are going to answer the question: Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice Safely? The answer may surprise you! Let’s get started.

Can dogs drink orange juice?

Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice Safely?
Dogs will be ok if they only drink a small amount of orange juice, but it isn’t a healthy option for them.

k–k/Shutterstock.com

Orange juice isn’t toxic to dogs, although large amounts of it are unhealthy and may cause an upset stomach.

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As a general rule, orange juice isn’t a dangerous food for dogs, although it most definitely isn’t a healthy one. In most scenarios, a little spilled orange juice that is pounced on by your dog won’t have any effects at all. In situations where a dog somehow drinks a lot of orange juice (multiple cups), the effects may be consequential, but they are unlikely to be serious or deadly.

Are oranges toxic to dogs?

Oranges aren’t toxic to dogs, although it is important to know the difference between something that is “good” for a dog as opposed to “bad” or “toxic” for a dog.

Most veterinarians actually recommend a small amount of fruit for most dogs on a semi-regular basis. Fruit is full of micronutrients that are essential for various bodily functions and overall health and longevity. The problem arises, however, when you remove the fruit and only leave the juice.

Juice isn’t a whole fruit, but a processed form of the fruit where the liquids are extracted and the fibrous remains of the fruit are discarded. Although the juice of fruits does contain some vitamins and minerals, it also has a concentrated sugar content that is almost impossible to replicate in the wild. In order to equal one cup of orange juice, for example, you would need to consume around 4-5 whole oranges to equal a single glass of juice.

What in orange juice is bad for my dog?

Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice Safely?
Orange juice contains a lot of sugar and citric acid, both of which are bad for dogs.

Wpadington/Shutterstock.com

Although nothing is inherently toxic in orange juice for dogs, there are some things that aren’t good for them.

First, the extremely high sugar content of orange juice is the biggest problem for dogs. In fact, a single glass of orange juice (1.5 cups) has about 32 grams of sugar. For reference, the daily recommended limit for an adult male is 36 grams of sugar. The extremely high levels of sugar are bad for your dog in the short and long term.

The second is citric acid. Citric acid is found naturally in orange juice, but processed (store-bought) orange juice has more acid added to act as a preservative. Citric acid is damaging to tooth enamel and can be harmful in large quantities for dogs. The levels in orange juice won’t outright kill a dog as chocolate or caffeine could, but it is most definitely not good for them.

What are the symptoms if my dog drinks orange juice?

Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice Safely?
Most symptoms of drinking too much orange juice are digestive in nature.

135pixels/Shutterstock.com

If a dog only consumes a small amount of orange juice, there likely won’t be any effects at all. A small amount of sugar and citric acid is tolerable by dogs and won’t cause much of a problem. If a little is spilled or a dog knocks over a glass and drinks it, there likely won’t be any noticeable behavioral or physical changes, particularly in larger dogs.

If a smaller dog is able to drink more than just a little spilled orange juice, or a large dog is able to drink multiple cups of orange juice, symptoms could include:

  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • bloating
  • digestion problems

What should I give my dog instead of orange juice?

Although a little orange juice won’t harm your dog, there is a better option for them: Water!

Despite sounding a bit boring, all your dog should be drinking is water. Dogs will drink almost anything given to them, especially if it smells yummy, but the best and healthiest option for any dog or dog breed will be plain old water. Water helps hydrate dogs and allows their bodies to efficiently carry out their essential functions. Water should be provided all day long for dogs unless otherwise advised by your vet.

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Maltese Puppy with oranges on a grey background
Oranges are a healthy treat for dogs as long as you follow certain safety guidelines.
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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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