Can Dogs Eat Clementines and Other Citrus Safely?

Written by Marisa Wilson
Published: October 4, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/baibaz
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Small oranges known as clementines are seedless, simple to peel, and, when fully developed and ripe, are also deliciously sweet to consume. They are raised on citrus mandarin trees that are a hybrid variety and may have come from Algeria or China. 

They are commonly called “cuties,” and children love them. You may want to share with your pup some and wonder if your dog can join the fun of these delicious snacks. It’s always great to check the facts before giving your dog human food, and it’s fantastic that you care enough to do it! 

Here we will cover all the risks, safety precautions, and other citrus fruits you may be curious about feeding your dog. You’ll understand everything you need to make an informed decision for your pet.

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Most people enjoy a good snack about as much as any dog does. Understanding what is inside treats and risks is essential for a pup’s health. Let’s look into each common citrus fruit and see which ones are safe and which ones aren’t.

Lemons and Limes

Mexican Lime Tree
Lemon and lime should not be given to dogs.

ANEK SANGKAMANEE/Shutterstock.com

They offer no nutritional benefits and should be skipped as a dog treat. If you think your dog has eaten excessive amounts of lemons, keep a close eye on him and look for any strange behavior or indicators of vomiting or nausea, such as repeated lip-licking and exaggerated swallowing motions. 

Take your dog to the vet for observation if you observe any of these symptoms. Although it might not be an emergency, you might be able to ease their discomfort. Lime shouldn’t be given to dogs. These green, sour citrus fruits are poisonous to dogs and can lead to lime poisoning. Your dog’s digestive system may become irritated by limes’ strong citric acid content and essential oils in the lime peel.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit
The citric acid in grapefruit can cause vomiting.

iStock.com/ValentynVolkov

Giving your dog grapefruit frequently or in high doses is not advised. Citric acid is abundant in the flesh, irritating the digestive tract and causing vomiting and diarrhea. Even worse for our cats are the peel and seeds. These are the fruit’s poisonous portions and can lead to more severe stomach troubles and other problems like fatigue and skin problems. 

The skin is toxic and indigestible and should not be eaten because of these two factors. Large amounts of skin eaten by accident by your dog could obstruct their stomach or intestines, needing possible emergency surgery. The benefits do not outweigh the risks. 

Clementines 

clementine
Giving clementine to your dogs in moderation does not harm them.

iStock.com/baibaz

Clementines are a fantastic source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which assist cells in combating free radicals and boost a dog’s immune system. Dietary fiber, abundant in fruit, helps dogs have a healthy digestive system and avoid constipation. 

Moderation is the key to sharing with your pup. Because dogs’ digestive systems are incapable of processing citrus fruits properly, excessive ingestion might result in stomach distress and diarrhea. 

Clementine peels contain d-limonene, a substance that can upset a dog’s stomach, and acidic citrus oil. Dogs who are obese or have diabetes shouldn’t be fed oranges or sweet fruits. Oranges are intrinsically good natural sugar that can affect diabetic dogs’ blood sugar levels and, if served in high quantities, can result in extra calories. 

Lemon and Lime Poisoning 

An upset stomach is one of the initial signs of a bad reaction to eating lime fruit. Heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and other side effects are all possible due to the chemicals in lime, notably the high amounts of citric acid. It’s doubtful that a dog would consume enough limes because of how intensely sour they taste, but it is possible. 

Lethargy, vomiting, excessive saliva, diarrhea, loss of balance, low blood pressure, and shaking are just a few symptoms that dogs may have. Serious problems, including liver failure, might develop due to poisoning. Psoralen, a substance in lime peels and lime tree leaves, can negatively affect dogs, including rashes and discoloration. 

How Much and How to Prepare Clementines for Your Dog 

In general, your dog should only need one or two orange segments every day. However, your dog’s breed and size may also impact how their bodies process oranges. As a result, larger dogs are better able to tolerate larger doses than smaller dogs. 

Treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake; the same amount of orange would account for a smaller puppy’s daily calorie intake more than a bigger dog. Dogs should refrain from eating orange peels and seeds. 

This is because these portions of the fruit may contain traces of some hazardous substances. Before giving orange slices to your dog, make sure to completely remove the seeds because they pose a risk of choking. To give your dog a citrus fruit, rinse well, peel, divide and share! Just remember the size of the dog determines how many slices they get.

What If My Dog Eats a lot of Clementines or Citrus? 

Small mixed breed dog eating a radish on the grass
Depending on the amount of citric fruit your dog took and any underlying condition, you can make a decision to visit the vet.

iStock.com/Libortom

Did your childish dog take some cutie clementines or oranges while you weren’t looking? Unless you suspect your dog ate a lot of sweet citruses, or if your dog ate the skin peels that weren’t split into smaller pieces, a quick trip to the emergency vet isn’t always necessary. 

If your dog merely nibbled on a small portion of the orange, we advise keeping a close eye on him over the following few days in case of any adverse reactions. Some dogs may have moderate gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomachs and runny stools. Other pets could recover without exhibiting symptoms if your dog is diabetic; however, it may be a different story. 

Excessive sugar levels and the excess vitamin C may damage your pet’s blood values and cause more significant health issues. Surprisingly, the high sugar content of oranges has less of an impact on this than vitamin C. In particular, if the dog exhibits clinical symptoms of hypoglycemia or if the ketone readings are positive, clients should alert the veterinarian if more than two urine glucose tests come back negative.

Clementines and Other Citrus: The Bottom Line

Clementines are great for dogs as an occasional treat. Other citrus fruits aren’t as beneficial and should be avoided since better and safer options are available for a dog treat. 

It’s easy to find clementines and prepare them for your dog; as long as your pet has no medical issues like obesity or diabetes, then you are free to let your pup enjoy this yummy fruit. When you doubt feeding your dog something, always research what they can have.

Knowing beforehand is always better than frantically searching Google for answers during a potential pet emergency. Have a nice day with your doggie, and share this article with someone you know who has a dog and loves citrus fruits!

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iStock.com/baibaz
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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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