Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice? If you’re enjoying a refreshing glass of orange juice with breakfast in the morning and you look down to see your beloved dog giving you those puppy dog eyes you just can’t resist, then you may wonder – can dogs drink orange juice?
1. Is it Safe for Dogs to Drink Orange Juice?
Can dogs drink orange juice? Yes, there’s nothing toxic in oranges or orange juice which technically makes it safe for your dog to consume. However, it’s not recommended that you give your dog orange juice.
While we consume orange juice for the Vitamin C and the refreshingly sweet and tart flavour, dogs are able to produce their own Vitamin C and the sweet orange juice flavour can be detrimental to their health.
2. What Happens if a Dog Drinks Orange Juice?
The biggest issue with giving your dog orange juice is the sugar content. Regardless of whether you drink fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice, the sugar content can be very concentrated for a number of reasons; added sugars and citric acid, the natural sugars of the fruit, and other additives to beverages that are “from concentrate.”
When your dog consumes something with a high concentration of sugar that means they are consuming a lot of calories which can be an issue for dogs that are overweight. Also, just like when we consume fruit juices, these sugars cause insulin levels to spike, which is especially problematic for diabetic and older dogs.
If your orange juice contains added sweeteners, you need to be extra careful about your dog consuming it. Xylitol can be found in a lot of products marketed as low sugar, no sugar, keto, diet or light and is toxic to dogs. Other popular sweeteners like aspartame, erythritol, and stevia are generally considered safe for dogs but can cause gastrointestinal issues and should be avoided whenever possible.
There is also the risk of orange juice causing stomach upset and diarrhea in some dogs, especially those with a sensitive stomach. Citrus fruits contain a lot of acids, and juices can contain even more with the addition of citric acid. These acids can trigger digestive issues, especially in puppies and younger dogs.
3. How Much Orange Juice is Safe for Dogs?
Since orange juice is not toxic to dogs, technically it’s safe for them to consume it. However, you should treat orange juice like treats, meaning giving them very small quantities and it should be limited to a once in a while treat. Treats as a whole should be about 10% of your dog’s diet and meal portions should be adjusted according to the treats they consume.
Giving your dogs too much orange juice can impact their weight and result in gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea. How much orange juice your dog can consume without experiencing any issues or negative side effects can depend on your dog’s age, health and size which is why it’s good practice to consult your vet whenever you consider giving your pet a new food or treat.
4. Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
So, if it’s technically safe for your dog to drink orange juice does that mean they can eat oranges too? Again, the answer is technically yes.
Dogs should only consume the fleshy part of the orange and similar to dogs drinking orange juice, eating oranges should be limited. For the same reasons as drinking orange juice, eating oranges can also be troublesome for your dog, especially in high portions or in dogs with existing health conditions.
Oranges themselves are high in sugar and acids, meaning they contain calories your dog doesn’t need and can cause a spike in insulin levels. Eating oranges can also cause stomach upset in some dogs, especially puppies.
The peel, pith (white membrane) and seeds of the orange should be completely removed before feeding the fleshy part to your dog. These parts of the orange may contain toxic compounds that may harm them.
So, overall can dogs drink orange juice? While it’s a nice gesture to want to share your favourite food and drink with your beloved pet, we have to remember that it’s not always the safest choice for them. When it comes to orange juice, it is generally safe for your dog but contains a high amount of sugar and acids which can lead to negative side effects.
Similarly, dogs can eat the fleshy portion of an orange but can experience negative side effects when consumed in excess. When it comes to oranges though, there may be toxic compounds on the peel, pith and seeds of the orange which must be completely removed before sharing with your dog.
If you want to share this refreshing treat with your dog, let them lick the juice off your plate after eating or cutting oranges and try to avoid giving them orange juice directly from the jug.