Ask The Vet – Can Dogs Eat Mandarins, Clementines and Tangerines?

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
Mandarins, tangerines and clementines... They are perfect to-go snacks on autumn days, and are also very healthy for humans. But can you share some with your dog? Read on and discover.

As soon as autumn approaches, we start picking those seasonal fruits nature has prepared for us. Usually, grocery stores become filled with various citrus fruits that we all love. And while we have oranges throughout the entire year, at this time of year, we usually tend to buy mandarins more.

These citrus fruits are so tasty, sweet and juicy that you just forget how many of them you just ate. It may be quite tempting to give a little bit of that tangerine to your dog, but can your dog enjoy safely this fall titbit?

We already discovered that grapefruits are toxic for dogs, while oranges are beneficial in moderate quantities. But what to do when it comes to mandarins? Are clementines ok for dogs? What about tangerines?

We did a research in order to answer this question for you. Let’s first start by naming the differences between these three citruses.

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What Are Mandarins?

The mandarin orange, commonly known as the mandarin or mandarine, and the common orange are members of the same family. However, apart from their similar color and same family, they don’t share a lot of characteristics. They have different origins and differ in size, shape, and taste.

Mandarins are usually smaller than oranges and have a rather oblate shape. They also have a sweeter, less sour taste and a thinner skin.

Are They Healthy?

Mandarins are rich in vitamins that help combat viruses, winter colds etc. There’s a reason why we eat them as the weather gets colder. These sweet citruses help us boost our immune system and are beneficial for our heart, for obesity and high blood pressure control.

While they definitely contain multiple benefits for us, humans, does the same count for dogs?



Mandarin is a very healthy type of citrus that is rich in vitamins. It can be fed to dogs under certain conditions.

We will get back to that, as soon as we describe the differences between various types of mandarins.

What’s the Difference Between Tangerines and Clementines?

First of all, let’s start by making clear that tangerines and clementines are variants of a mandarin orange. And though they both contain vitamin C and citric acid, they still differ in several aspects.

Tangerine is smaller and thin-skinned type of mandarin orange. They are usually used in salads and desserts and its peel is often dried. Their season starts in October and ends in April in the Northern Hemisphere. Tangerines have a pebbly skin that’s slightly trickier to peel compared to Clementines.

Clementine is known for containing no seeds. They are also referred to as the Algerian tangerine and are widely spread in the Mediterranean. They have an intense, sweet taste and a smooth and shiny skin that is very easy to peel.


Tangerines are smaller and have a pebbly skin, while clementines have a smooth, shiny skin and are completely seedless.

Can Dogs Eat Mandarins?

Yes. But they don’t need to.

Mandarins, as well as oranges, aren’t toxic to dogs. But mandarins can’t be considered as healthy as oranges for our four-pawed friends. The main reason for that is that mandarins contain higher levels of sugar, so that’s why these fruits can’t be given to all dogs (for example to dogs that suffer from diabetes) and they should never be given in larger amounts.

However, if you have a healthy dog feeding him every now and then with few mandarin sections will be completely fine. However, while a small amount of peeled mandarins won’t harm him, larger servings can upset your dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea.

Another thing you should be aware of is that mandarins can have seeds, and citrus seeds, like most of the fruit seeds, actually contain cyanide that is toxic for your dog’s digestive system.

So if you decide to give some mandarins to your dog, make sure you peel them and remove any visible seeds. Do not share too much with your dog, and pay attention if your dog has any reactions after first trying this sweet citrus.


Dogs can safely eat some mandarins, but they don’t need to. Oranges are way healthier for dogs than mandarins.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?


Tangerines contain a slightly bigger amount of calories per serving than their citrus cousins clementines. Nonetheless, they still can provide a good amount of vitamin C.

Similarly to mandarins in general, tangerines aren’t toxic for your dog but do not bring any benefits to his health. Tangerines are the most common type of mandarins, and we usually snack them on the go whenever we buy them. Because they’re so tasty to you, doesn’t mean you should feed them to your dog.

If your dog really wants to try some tangerine sections, sharing some with him won’t kill him. However, do not exaggerate as tangerines might contain toxic seeds and due to their high levels of sugar, they might cause stomach issues.

So, are tangerines good for dogs?

Although they are not toxic, tangerines are not really good for dogs. They probably won’t cause any harm, but they won’t provide your dog with any health benefit either.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerine’s Peel?

No. Even if people use tangerine peels in their food, they shouldn’t be given to a dog at any cost. There are two main reasons for this. First, they are hard for dog’s digestive system to break down, and second, the peels might contain pesticide residue which is toxic for your dog, but also for you.


Tangerines aren’t toxic to your dog, but they don’t have significant health benefits your dog can enjoy.

Can Dogs Eat Clementines?


Yes! Clementines are safe to share with your dog if fed in moderation.

Clementines contain a high amount of sugar, and should, therefore, be given to dogs carefully. The same as with most of fruits and veggies, never give your dog too much of clementines. Opt for few sections so he can taste the fruit, but you probably don’t want to share the amount you would share with your human friend.

The only thing that makes clementines slightly safer for dogs, is their absence of seeds. Being cyanide-free makes it the best mandarin variant you could share with your dog ONLY if you don’t overdo the adequate dosage.


Clementines are only better for dogs than tangerines because they don’t contain seeds. They contain high amount of sugar, so they should never be overfed.


To sum it up, mandarins, tangerines, and clementines aren’t toxic for your dog and won’t kill him. Although they do contain vitamins held to be beneficial for our dogs, they aren’t considered as very healthy for our four-pawed friends.

However, if you decide to share some with your beloved pup, make sure to wash them well, remove visible seeds and give them only several sections instead of the whole fruit.

If your dog reacts with diarrhea or becomes unfocused, chaotic, and “high on sugar” after having some of these citrus fruits, then maybe it’s better that you skip them and opt for some other fruits instead.