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Like humans, dogs like to eat fruits, particularly those that are sweet. The question then becomes how safe these fruits are for the body system of these pets because the body of dogs does not have the ability to withstand and process large amounts of certain elements. Below are all you need to answer the question “can dogs eat mandarins?”.
Mandarins are one of the most popular species of citrus fruits and are regarded as a healthy choice of food for a lot of people. Like most foods, it is normal for you to wonder if mandarins are as safe for your canine as they are for humans especially if you are the type to share your meals with your pets.
You only need to be careful and take certain things into consideration before you start to feed them to your dog. Like most foods, mandarins have their own pros and cons, it is important to take note of them.
WHAT ARE MANDARINS AND WHAT DO THEY CONTAIN?
As stated already, the mandarin is one of the members of the family of orange and by extension, they belong to the citrus fruit groups. Mandarins are a lot smaller than oranges, they are also sweeter coupled with the fact that at the top and at the bottom, they are flatter. They are easier to peel because they have thinner skins. Unlike oranges which can be gotten throughout the year, mandarins are seasonal and they arrive close to the fall season. Examples of variants of mandarin are tangerines and clementine’s.
WHY ARE MANDARINS BAD FOR YOUR DOG?
Although they contain a lot of nutients, there are a number of reasons why mandarins might be bad for canines. You need to take note of them if you are to feed them to your dog.
- High Sugar Content: Mandarins generally have high sugar content which could result in health complications like diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, among others. You need to be extra careful because more dogs are becoming obese. Recent statistics show that 45% of dogs over the age of 4 are obese. If your dog is already obese or is showing signs of obesity, it is best to not feed them mandarins at all.
- Seeds: Certain species of mandarin contain trace amounts of an element known as cyanide. In large doses, cyanide could result in potential health complications for your canine. Although your dog would need to crush or chew the seeds to get to the cyanide within, the risk is still very much present. It is best for you to remove the seeds before feeding them to your pet or just go for the seedless variety like clementine’s.
- Peels: The perks of mandarins have been found to be extremely sour, they are also difficult for the digestive system of your pet to break down. Another factor to consider is that the peels might contain pesticides which are toxic to your pet and could cause rashes, tremors, diarrhoea and more. Dogs are not able to remove the peels themselves, you should try to get rid of them before giving the fruit to your dog.
- Stomach Upset: Even after getting rid of the peel and the seeds before feeding your dog mandarins, too many slices are likely to result in an upset stomach or even diarrhoea.
WHY ARE MANDARINS GOOD FOR YOUR DOG?
Mandarins come with a lot of health benefits that make them suitable for your dog.
- Vitamin C: Mandarins are a good source of vitamins, they are particularly rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin helps to keep your pet healthier by acting as an antioxidant to ward off diseases. They carry out their function by removing free radicals and reversing the effects of oxidation. Vets have been known to prescribe Vitamin C to dogs suffering from ailments like cancer, many bacterial infections and kennel cough.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is present in mandarins and it helps to protect the mucus membranes of dogs. It also improves their night vision.
- Minerals: Mandarins are a good source of minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium which are a part of the many processes in your pet’s body. They give energy to the dogs and keep them at optimum health.
- Water: Pets need constant hydration. Mandarins contain a lot of water to serve this purpose.
HOW SHOULD I FEED MY DOG MANDARINS?
If you have a dog with a healthy weight and no signs of health related problems such as diabetes or any other conditions, then you can treat your pet to a couple of mandarin slices once in a while. It’s probably not safe to feed the dog and entire mandarin, about 25% of the fruit will do just fine. You should be sure to get rid of the seeds along with the skin before giving it to your pet. You should also wait until after your dog’s dinner to give them the mandarin slices to prevent the citric acid from causing a stomach upset.
The moment you notice any negative reactions at all, you should stop feeding the fruit to the dog. Common signs to watch for include diarrhoea, stomach upset and hyperactivity caused excessive sugar.
CAN DOGS EAT OTHER CITRUS FRUITS?
Yes. Even though there are certain fruits and vegetables that aren’t considered safe for dogs, veterinarians have stated that dogs can eat other citrus fruits in small quantities.
Citrus fruits are generally full of plenty of nutients including potassium and fiber. They also contain low amounts of sodium. This low sodium content makes them safe for dogs especially if they are given in controlled amounts – no more than one or two pieces a day and not everyday. The presence of Vitamin C makes them very beneficial to the immune system of your dog.
Dogs are able to eat tangerines and so can eat oranges and the other species of citrus fruits available. Although oranges might prove a bit acidic, they might still enjoy them. Your dog is probably unlikely to take to lemons.
Mandarins are a nice treat to give dogs to enjoy after eating. Your dog would be happy with just a slice or perhaps two, but no more.
WHAT FRUITS CAN DOGS EAT?
Apart from mandarins and citrus fruits, dogs can eat various other fruits in small quantities including:
- Apple slices
- Blueberries (in even smaller quantities because they have been known to cause irritation in some dog’s intestines)
If you ever have any doubts or questions about the suitability of a particular fruit your dog seems to enjoy, it would be safest for you to ask your vet for advice. Your vet would be in a better position to evaluate the health status of your dog and determine if it is safe to continue to feed it the fruit it enjoys.
Dogs will eat almost anything you put in front of them. It then becomes the responsibility of you as a pet owner to be conscious of the kinds of things you feed to the dog. It would do both you and your dog a whole world of good to engage in proper research before you begin feeding your dog the same things you enjoy.
When it comes to mandarins, you should try to take proper precautions by removing the seeds and the peels. Dogs have no way of getting rid of the peel themselves and they are very likely going to swallow the peel and seeds along with the fruits when they are fed carelessly. When accidents like this occur repeatedly, the chances of your dog coming down with fatal conditions increases.
Besides mandarins, there are a ton of other fruits that might prove enjoyable to dogs. Just as with mandarins, it is imperative that you take the right steps to ensure that these fruits are fed to your dog the right way so they do not end up becoming toxic to the dog.