Can dogs eat tangerine? How much is too much?

Fed your dog a tangerine or wondering if it’s safe to feed your dog a tangerine? Then you’ve come to the right place. As part of our ‘What can dogs eat?’ series we take a look at the question – “Can dogs eat tangerines?”

Dogs can eat tangerines but they shouldn’t. They aren’t toxic like chocolate but they aren’t particularly healthy either. Tangerines can cause some health issues when given in excess (sometimes even in small amounts). It’s best your dog stays away from them.

Tangerines (Citrus tangerina) and other fruits from the mandarin family are tasty, sugary fruits which aren’t toxic to dogs but they are very high in sugar which can disturb your dog’s GI (glycemic index). What does this mean? Extra sugar means extra calories which can lead to obesity and even more serious problems if they receive large quantities over a long period of time. Our advice? Try to not feed your dog any tangerines (and any other mandarins/citrus fruits) for that matter. It’s just not worth it.

If you’re wondering if you should feed a puppy tangerines then it’s a definite no from JugDog. Puppies do not have a developed digestive system yet so they may be overwhelmed by the sugars, calories, fibre and other things in the citrus fruit. We strongly recommend never feeding a puppy a tangerine or any other high sugar citrus fruit.

Are there any benefits of feeding my dog tangerines?

If the above hasn’t swayed you and you are adamant you want to feed your dog tangerines then there are some benefits of doing so.

  • High in vitamin C
  • Has high water content
  • It’s tasty and can be used as a healthier alternative to some treats

We should note that dogs create their own vitamin c and as such supplements of any kind are rarely needed. The high water content can be substituted by always having fresh water in their bowl and we would always recommend using healthy treats as treats (see also our article on pigs ears) rather than fruits and vegetables.

Read More: Best Dog Treats You Can Buy in UK 2022

Hazards of feeding your dog tangerines

Can dogs eat tangerines

If your dog is living the tangerine dream and neither of you wants it to end consider the high calories and sugar they contained which can cause insulin spikes, as well as potential digestion problems from the rind and seeds if there are any.

Heart disease and diabetes are also genuine concerns for dogs who are regularly fed high sugar foods like tangerines. Dog’s diets are designed to be almost entirely meat and any nutrients, vitamins and minerals they don’t get from the meat they can usually make themselves.

A little known hazard of giving a dog a more vegetarian diet is too much fibre. Tangerines and many of other fruits and veggies contain an awful lot of fibre – a lot more than a dog would need if they are already on a decent enough diet with plenty of fibre.

What’s the problem with too much fibre you ask? Too much roughage could lead to food travelling through the digestive system too quickly meaning your dog doesn’t get as much of the nutrients that they could have.

I’ve already fed my dog tangerines, what should I do?

If you’re reading this and you have already fed your dog a tangerine then doesn’t worry – tangerines are not toxic to pooches like chocolate is etc. Tangerines just aren’t very healthy or necessary for dogs rather than dangerous.

We wouldn’t recommend continuing to feed your dog tangerines, however as there are much better alternatives out there whether it’s for a nice treat or a change for your pup.


  • Jonathan Spaeth

    I'm a professional business person who loves dogs. I'm motivated by a passion for dogs and a deep understanding of pet care and behavior. I have more than 10 years of experience in animal healthcare—my lifelong passion for helping dogs.

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