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Can Dogs Eat Clementines?


Last Updated: February 20, 2024 | 5 min read | Leave a Comment

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This article should not substitute contact with a veterinarian. Contact your local vet immediately if your dog is reacting poorly after consumption.

We pet owners work hard to ensure our dogs eat enough healthy foods, but should dogs eat fruit? It depends. Some fruits are safe, and some are not. One popular fruit in the citrus family is clementines. These tasty, juicy little orbs are popular among kids and adults alike, but can dogs eat clementines?

Dogs can eat clementines if they are peeled, have no seeds, and have had the pith cleared off them. Also, don’t overdo it; just like any citrus fruit, these should only be an occasional treat.

Read through our guide before peeling and sectioning out a tasty orange slice for your pup. There are a few things you need to be aware of before feeding clementines to your canine companions.

Can Dogs Eat Clementines?

Yes, your dog can eat clementines but only in moderation. Along with these, other citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines are nice juicy treats but are not for everyday feeding. They are often sold under alternative names like mandarins, “Cuties,” and “Sweeties.” These are usually very affordable and are a favorite for school lunches and at home. So, it’s excellent news that they are not toxic to canines.

The clementine is a hybrid citrus fruit, a cross between a sweet orange and a willowleaf mandarin orange. They are a naturally occurring hybrid named after the French missionary who discovered them in Algeria.

Benefits Of Clementines

Hand giving clementine orange slice to mixed breed brown dog.
From peel to pulp: understand the risks and benefits of feeding clementines to dogs.

Clementines are a healthy food and are a top choice for humans. For hungry pups, they can be a tasty treat and offer some nutritional value. These benefits include:

  • Vitamin C and antioxidants work to boost the immune system and fight free radicals. Vitamin C also works to reduce inflammation and help prevent diseases like cancer.
  • Dietary fiber helps regulate the digestive system and can work against constipation.
  • Clementines contain something called flavonoids, which are compounds in plants that can help reduce inflammation.
  • Citrus also contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and more.

While this food is safe for your pup in small servings, not every food or fruit is safe. Your pup will surely encounter unexpected hazards and health concerns as they age. Pet insurance can decrease financial worry so you can focus on your pet’s health and recovery should an emergency arise.

When Are Clementines Bad For Dogs?

Eating large amounts of citrus is unhealthy for your dog. Their digestive systems are unable to properly digest high amounts of citrus fiber, and the acidic content can lead to stomach upset, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Though mandarins have lower sugar content than some citrus, it’s still too high for your pup to eat regularly. Overeating this food can also lead to obesity and other health issues.

Always avoid citrus seeds. These are a potential choking hazard and are hard to digest. Citrus seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is dangerous to canines. While a single seed or two is not a massive risk, more significant amounts may become a problem.

Though rare, some canines may be allergic to citric acid. That allergy means they are allergic to clementines. An allergic reaction can include itching, ear infection, skin inflammation, loss of fur, and more. Some canines are also allergic to limonene, the chemical found in the peels.

If you suspect an allergic reaction from any food in your pet, it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately for advice or take your pet to the nearest emergency vet.

How Much Clementine Can My Dog Eat?

How much your dog can eat depends mainly on the size of your pup as well as the size of the fruits. Between one and three segments at a time should not be harmful for most healthy dogs. Use your best judgment depending on your pup’s size, diet, and whether or not your dog has had this food before.

Always peel the fruit, remove any excess plant material and pith (the white part between the peel and fruit), inspect for seeds, and separate the sections before feeding your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Clementine Peels?

No, they should not eat clementine peels. They are difficult to chew and can be a choking hazard. Once swallowed, they can be challenging to digest and potentially cause an intestinal blockage. Additionally, the peels contain a substance called d-limonene, which causes stomach upset in canines. Along with that, they contain acidic citrus oil, which is also a stomach irritant.

Can Dogs Have Little Cuties?

Yes, your pup can have Little Cuties. They must be peeled and have any excess material like pith removed from them, then served in small, bite-sized pieces.

What Other Fruits Are Safe To Feed My Dog?

There are many other options for produce that canines can safely enjoy. These include apples, apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, cranberries, mangoes, papaya, pears, pumpkin, raspberries, watermelon, and more. You can learn more about what fruits are safe for dogs to eat and those that are unsafe in our guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Border Collie in a crate with clementines with clementine trees.
Peeling back the truth with some additional questions about dogs eating this citrus fruit.

Below, I discuss and answer some of the top questions about feeding dogs clementines. If I didn’t get to yours, let me know in the comments section.

Are canned oranges and mandarins safe for dogs?

It is best to avoid any kind of canned fruits for your pup. These include the plastic fruit cups found in the grocery store aisle. These products are often soaked in heavy syrup and have additives like extra sugar, other juices, and artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol are extremely toxic to canines and can cause severe symptoms and illness if ingested in large amounts.

Can my dog drink orange juice?

Canines should avoid drinking orange juice or any other kind of citrus juice. These juices are highly acidic and can be irritating to their stomachs and hard to digest.

What citrus is toxic to dogs?

Lemons and limes are fruits that should always be avoided. Lemons, in particular, are dangerous due to their elevated level of citric acid. Large amounts of citric acid is toxic to canines. Along with that, lemon skin and rind contain psoralen, which is toxic to dogs. Grapefruit is also bad for dogs.

Looking For Other Healthy Dog Treats?

Fresh produce can be a nice, occasional doggie treat. There are plenty of other options you can pick from. Many pups enjoy vegan dog treats, freeze-dried dog treats, homemade treats, or even treats with CBD. You may want to consider freeze-dried raw or fresh dog food to use as a complete meal or topper, which can add flavor and nutrition.

Stick to high-quality dog food, which uses named animal proteins as the first few ingredients. Avoid those that use fillers like corn or wheat gluten or foods that use unnamed meat byproducts. Natural formulas that use artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives are best. Look for nutrition to suit your pup’s size, like small, large, or giant breeds, and formulas designed for certain life stages, including puppy and senior.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Danielle has shared a special bond with dogs since she was a child. She has over 30 years of experience with dogs of all sizes, as well as dogs with special needs. Danielle is a dedicated professional researcher and pet product reviewer. She spends countless hours researching the latest developments in pet care, health, food, and training to help owners learn what’s behind the label. Her two dogs, Daisy and Falkor, serve as in-house food testers, and together, they have tested over 100 brands of dog food. Danielle works alongside a professional and experienced team to bring the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information to our readers.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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