Can Dogs Eat Oranges, Grapefruit and Lemons?

Ever wondered if dogs can eat oranges, grapefruits and lemons? We have done a research and it's come out with clear answers about harmfulness of these citrus fruits.

Dogs and humans are not created as equals. And although it may be tempting at first to feed your dog with fruits (as they are considered very healthy for humans) dog’s system may or may not be capable of digesting some of them.

For this reason, we have researched whether dogs can eat some of the most common fruits, namely oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, and have come up with very precise answers to this issue.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

The orange is a fruit that is allowed for our four-legged friends. Oranges can be healthy for dogs if given in moderation.

What does it mean?

This accounts for an orange a day for a large dog, and a quarter of an orange for a small puppy. The high content of Vitamin C found in oranges can strengthen their immune system and make them cope better with stress.

In fact:

Some dogs under stressful conditions are given Vitamin C supplements in order to strengthen their nervous system. Oranges can also get rid of the toxins found in a dog’s body – toxins which could be acquired from the environment or other foods.

Many dogs like the sweetness found in oranges. However, here is a specific case in which oranges can be harmful for dogs. Due to the high amount of sugar found in oranges, diabetic dogs are better off avoiding them than ingesting them.

Furthermore, dogs shouldn’t be given the orange peel as their system isn’t designed to digest it and your pet may develop stomach problems as a result of it. Also, some dog’s systems may not resist the acidic nature of this fruit.

Thus, if you are going to feed your pet with it, it is better to start off with small quantities to see how your dog reacts to it.

Can Dogs Eat Grapefruits?

can dogs eat grapefruit

This one is a definite no! The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has included the grapefruit on their list of toxic foods for dogs.

Where does the grapefruit toxicity come from?

There are two sources of toxins found in grapefruits:

The first one consists of the essential oils that are present in both the skin and the pit of the fruit. The other one comes in the form of an organic chemical compound known as psoralens.

Eating even a small quantity of grapefruit might make your dog show signs of toxicity. The main symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and photosensitivity (sensitive to light).

Other less common signs include trembling, a general debility, and rashes. In extreme cases, some dogs may need to have their blood replaced in order to recover completely from grapefruit toxicity. Grapefruit can also affect your dog’s kidneys. That being said, grapefruit should be kept at bay from your dog’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?

Many of us already know that dogs in general dislike lemon juice. In fact, in some cases it is used by expert dog trainers to “punish” them when they bark excessively. However, other dogs enjoy the sour taste that lemon provides them with.

But are lemons bad for dogs?

Actually, the lemon should be given in very small amounts if you decide to feed them with it. There are many videos of dogs reacting to lemon juice on the Internet which kind of proves that giving dogs lemons is a type of cruelty that should better be avoided.

Can dogs drink lemon water?

Nevertheless, the lemon also has healing properties that when used correctly can improve your dog’s health. Canine halitosis or bad breath can be cured by introducing lemon juice into a cup of water and letting them drink it. According to experts, dogs never ate lemons in their natural habitat.

Thus, it is advisable to keep portions low as the acidity found in lemons may hurt their stomach – plus, they will not be too willing to ingest it if the taste is too sour.

Interestingly enough, you can also apply lemon juice with water on your dog’s body if your pet is being harassed by too many fleas.

This natural remedy will make them fly away.

What’s the bottom line?

Of all the three fruits listed, oranges are the preferred choice for feeding your dog. They can be healthy if given moderately.

Lemon juice is the second on the list and it is better to be used as a natural remedy than a food on its own.

Finally, grapefruits should be avoided if you want to keep your pet healthy.

For more human foods that are toxic to dogs, read this article.

Hope you found this article interesting. If so, feel free to spread the word!

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  • Marlys

    We have difficulty with the dog water dish collecting mosquitos. Could we put a slice of an orange in the upside-down water container to deter the mosquitos?

  • Mary

    Lemons boiled and left overnight then placed in a spray bottle makes a great flea spray and it does work 

  • Sandra Machuga

    Thank you for the great info

  • Madie

    I had a female Labrador that loved oranges. I was not in the habit of buying them, but a friend from Florida sent me some and I put them in the basement to keep them cool. When I walked back upstairs with one in my hand, she went nuts wanting to have it. She was an avid retriever so I just thought she mistook it for a ball. I peeled in with her dancing around my feet. I gave her a small piece thinking she would probably spit it out, but she gobbled it down and wanted more. Thereafter, whenever I ate an orange, I shared it with her. Her brother had no interest in oranges at all, strange since of the two, he was the foodie.

  • HowardKL

    Just happened to read this article, I actually dropped a piece of orange fall to the ground the other day, and my dachshund vaccumed it up immediately. Was worried for a bit, but she seemed to be fine. Thanks for providing the degree of comfort!