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Can Dogs Eat Mandarin Oranges? Not A Simple Answer!

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Dogs have been a close friend of humans for a very long time. Some people let their dogs sleep, do other activities and even eat with them. They believe that dogs can digest every human food because they are an omnivore. In fact, some foods like chocolate, almonds and onions are obviously poisonous to dogs, but can dogs eat mandarin oranges? Let’s find out!

Can Dogs Eat Mandarin?

Mandarin oranges, or mandarins in short, is a kind of fruit belonging to citrus fruit. Mandarins are loved by many people around the world due to their half-sour-half-sweet taste.

In terms of the nutrition value, scientists and doctors recommend people to eat this fruit regularly in order to be healthy, not only mandarins but also all kinds of citrus fruits providing vitamin C which is very good for immune system. That’s why Chinese people consider them as one of traditional medicine.

Photo credit: ross turnbull 

But does it work on dogs? When this question is asked, some owners say YES while some say NO. The truth is that some dogs have reacted very unusually after eating this fruit. In fact, mandarins are neither bad nor good for dogs. However, we still recommend that you needn’t feed your dogs on this. The following section will show you why!

Are Mandarin Oranges Really Bad?

This is the first thing we need you to know: mandarins, themselves, don’t harm your dogs because they don’t have any toxic substances which are bad to them. This fruit contains lots of vitamin C, which seems to be good and necessary for human health because we all need these to be healthy, especially when we’re sick. Because of this, some people believed that dogs also need vitamin C and thus, feeding their dogs on mandarin oranges is the most convenient way.

Unfortunately, you must know that dogs don’t need any extra vitamin C like humans. If your concern is that your dogs don’t get enough vitamin C by themselves, don’t worry because when you feed them daily balanced diets, they have already had enough vitamin C. In case your dogs do lack in this vitamin, you should ask the vets for advice. If not, don’t feed them regularly, the higher quantity doesn’t have benefits.

Photo credit: Megan Lorenz 

In addition, mandarin oranges have a high amount of sugar and fiber but low sodium:

To overweight dogs, sugar can be the problem. They have been fat already; eating more sugar just makes them more obese. The fatter they get, the higher risk of having heart disease and other diseases related to high calories. Sadly, their life expectation will be reduced.

Eating too many mandarins means lots of fiber will be absorbed into the dogs’ body. Fiber plays an important role in making the food flow in the intestine faster and easier. However, dogs don’t need that role because they are short digestive tract. Too fast food flow may make their body can’t abstract nutrition and water. As a result, your dogs can’t have enough nutrition to supply body’s need and they can also be dehydrated.

How About the Mandarin Rinds?

Feeding dogs on mandarins is just an option because it’s not fully bad for them, but feeding them mandarin rinds is completely not advised. Although the huge amount of fiber in mandarin rinds is usually good for animals’ digestive system, dog’s one is not able to handle too much fiber.

The rinds will remain stagnant in their stomach until the dogs vomit out. This will occur when your dogs eat seeds, too. Hence, before throwing them a piece of mandarins, make sure you have eliminated all the peels and seeds.

How Much Can They Eat?

If your dogs are interested in mandarins, you should pay attention to this. Two segments are the recommended number for dogs whose health is normal. This means they don’t get some diseases like obesity or others related to the heart. A large amount of sugar in mandarin oranges can make your dog fatter and fatter as well as affect their blood values, and too much vitamin C can make them undigested.


Photo credit: Anna Verdina (Karnova) 

If you are afraid of mandarins, you can go with many others healthy fruits which are not only completely safe for them but also provide enough vitamins and minerals:

  • Watermelons
  • Apples
  • Apricots (remember to remove the seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Peaches (remove the seeds as well)
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

Be Cautious

There are some circumstances that dogs shouldn’t eat mandarins as well as other citrus fruits:

  • Your dogs are getting diarrhea. Vitamin C can push them into a worse situation.
  • Dogs which react abnormally after eating mandarins. You shouldn’t let them eat this fruit once again.
  • Be careful with your puppies; they must not be fed mandarins in every situation because their digestive system is still not strong enough. Mandarins can kill them by accidentally.


It is okay when you feed your dogs just a little segment of mandarins for fun. However, let them eat this fruit too frequently can cause many health problems to them like gaining weight which usually leads to heart and high-calories diseases or stomach upset and vomiting.

If you still want to feed this fruit to your dogs for any reasons, make sure the rinds and seeds are completely eliminated. Also, watch your dogs’ react after eating mandarins so that you can have action timely or you can choose alternatives for safe.

These are what we think you should know about mandarins to your dogs so that you can keep your dog having good health. If you have any questions, please leave comments below. We will answer them as soon as we can.

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