Many dogs like to snack on a sweet, juicy segment of orange, and this citrus fruit is a popular treat for our canine friends. We normally peel them first out of habit, but can you feed the skin to dogs too? Can dogs eat orange peels, or is it toxic to them?
Can dogs eat orange peels?
It is not a good idea to feed orange peel to dogs, or any other type of citrus peel.
It is not entirely clear whether orange peel is truly toxic to dogs, but it is known to contain some compounds which may cause unpleasant problems for your dog.
The first of these are essential oils, which tend to be more concentrated in the peel or skin of an orange. Some dogs can have a bad reaction if they consume essential oils.
It is also thought that orange peel may contain plant compounds known as psoralens, although not in such large quantities as other citrus fruits such as lemons. These can be toxic to dogs, especially if your dog eats a lot of orange peel.
Another problem associated with feeding orange peel to dogs is that it is difficult to digest. This can lead to them causing an intestinal blockage if the dog swallows larger chunks of peel.
What are the signs of toxicity?
Psoralen poisoning in dogs leads to digestive problems, including symptoms such as persistent vomiting and diarrhea.
If not treated quickly, long-term effects include kidney dysfunction, weight loss, and sensitivity to light. Dermatitis causes reddening or irritation of the skin.
Toxic levels of essential oils will also affect the digestive system, along with neurological symptoms such as wobbliness and drooling.
What to do if my dog ate orange peel?
Luckily the bitter taste of orange peel means that your dog is unlikely to eat it. However, we all know that some dogs are inclined to eat things even if they taste bad!
A small amount of orange peel is unlikely to harm your dog, but you may find that he will vomit it up anyway. If your dog eats orange peel, monitor your canine friend closely for any adverse reactions.
You should contact your veterinary clinic immediately if your dog appears at all unwell or displays any unusual behavior.
In the unusual event that your dog eats a large amount of orange peel, then it is vital to seek medical help straight away.
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