Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?

By Bethany Tate

Yes, dogs can eat tangerines in moderation. Canines that are overweight or are diabetic need to be more careful, however. Natural sugars in the fruit cause weight gain and issues associated with diabetes.

Have you ever noticed the expression on your pup’s face when you’re eating a tangerine? Instead of a smile, you usually see the devastation with an “I’m starving within an inch of my life” concern.

Most pet parents will testify that their pooch has no problem pulling out all the stops when they want you to share.

So, the big question is: Can dogs eat tangerines?

Can Dogs Eat Tangerines?

Yes, tangerines are one of many fruits that are safe for most dogs. As a citrus fruit, they are a sweet yet tangy treat you can enjoy together. The key is moderation, however. 

Tangerines have a lot of benefits for your dog, but there are some drawbacks, as well. Below, we will take a closer look at both.

What Are The Health Benefits?

Tangerines are part of the citrus family also called “the fruit of the C”. They are a sub-group of mandarins and cousins to the orange. Unlike oranges, however, tangerines are smaller, flatter, and softer.

Tangerines offer a lot of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your pup. Let’s take a look at each, and how they help your dog.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps with cognitive aging, reduces inflammation, and helps boost the immune system by fighting free radicals.
  • Folate: A natural form of B9, folate is a folic acid that is especially helpful in pregnant dogs. It promotes rapid cell growth and red cell production.
  • Beta Carotene: Beta Carotene is a form of Vitamin A that gives tangerines their red/orange color. It’s a great way to improve eyesight. As an antioxidant, it also helps your dog’s immune system. 
  • Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that strengthens the electrical charges to your pup’s nerves, heart, and muscles. It is arguably the most beneficial part of the tangerine.

Can Tangerines Hurt Dogs?

Unfortunately, tangerines also have their downside. As you likely know, a lot of sugar is not good for canine companions. What you might not know is even natural sugar can be bad for some dogs.


The sweetness you taste when you eat a tangerine comes from two forms of sugar. They are natural fructose and natural sucrose. Both of these form organically in the fruit, and it’s what likely attracts your dog to it in the first place.

Although natural sugar is better for your dog than other forms, it can still have its drawbacks. For example, tangerines are not recommended for overweight dogs. They can cause weight gain from the additional calories.

Pets with diabetes should steer clear of tangerines, as well. It can cause their insulin levels to go off-kilter. Plus, it can cause other complications associated with canine diabetes. 


If your dog is not used to citrus fruit, it can cause digestive issues. The citric acid can react poorly in their stomach causing issues such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Gas 
  • Nausea

Make sure you introduce tangerines to their diet slowly. You don’t want them to cause your fur baby any stomach upsets.

Natural Oils

Another concern is the natural oils tangerines produce. These oils are mainly in the skin and pith (white inner skin). Consumed in large quantities, they can negatively affect your pooch. 

That said, natural oils are toxic to dogs in large quantities, so take care when feeding them to your pet. We will explain more about this a bit later.

What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

Adult Dogs can eat most fruit, but not all of them. Some are toxic while others, like tangerines, are good in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Yes, dogs can safely eat oranges. They are a cousin to tangerines, so they have most of the same benefits and drawbacks. As long as you give them as a sporadic treat, oranges are okay to share with your pooch. 

Can dogs eat Orange Peels?

No, orange peels are not healthy for your pet. Not only do they contain a small amount of natural oils, but they are also hard to digest. If you want to give your pet a piece of orange as a treat, it’s recommended to peel the fruit first.

Can They Eat Mandarin Oranges?

As we mentioned at the beginning, tangerines are part of the mandarin family. So, they are okay for your pet to snack on. Like other citrus fruits, it’s better to give them this treat in small quantities without the peel and pith.

Are all Citrus Fruits Safe For Dogs?

Your dog can eat citrus fruits as long as they are not eating them all the time in large quantities. Giving them too much can cause weight gain from the natural sugars. It can also cause complications with diabetic dogs. 

Not only that, a dog with a sensitive stomach might not be a fan of citrus. Eating even a little can cause digestive upset. They can have strong gas, loose stools, and they can throw up.

Most fruit in moderation is okay for dogs to consume. Popular favorites in the canine community include apples, bananas, pears, plums, and of course, tangerines. There are a few you need to stay away from, though, including:

  • Grapes/raisins
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • Unripe tomatoes

How Many Tangerines Can You Feed Your Dog?

The question is not how many tangerines they can eat, but how much. In other words, you don’t want to feed them a whole tangerine at one time. Instead, you can give them three or four pieces as a treat, or as a positive reinforcement tool.

Can They Eat The Peel?

The answer to this question is no, you shouldn’t give your dog the peel to eat for a few reasons. First, the natural oils in citrus peels are toxic to dogs. Keep in mind, it takes a large quantity to affect them, but better to be safe than sorry.

Tangerines peels, though thinner than orange peels, are hard to digest. It can cause all the digestive issues we spoke about above. Worse than that, eating the peel could cause a blockage in their digestive tract that could require surgery to fix.

Can Dogs Eat Tangerine Seeds?

Seeds fall under the same category as the peel. Tangerine seeds are hard to digest, so they are best avoided. Be that as it may, if your pup happens to eat one or two, there is no need to panic. They are unlikely to cause a blockage because they are so small.

Most dogs will be able to pass them without an issue. They are also unlikely to have stomach problems from eating just a few. You will want to be more careful with sensitive digestive systems.

Guide For Safely Feeding Dogs Tangerines

If your fur buddy loves citrus fruit, we suggest speaking with your vet before you permanently add the fruit to their balanced diet. Once you have the go-ahead, feeding a few slices to your dog is rather easy.

Again, you should limit the amount to a few slices every few days. Your vet can help you determine what the right portion should be. In general, though, you want to look at the calorie intake recommended for your pup. 

When you give your dog tangerines it should not be more than 10% of their daily calories. Otherwise, they run the risk of gaining weight and developing other harmful side effects.

Peel the tangerine and remove as much of the white skin as possible. Also, try to get out as many seeds as you can see.

Start with one piece at a time if your dog is not used to the citrus. If they don’t show signs of digestive distress, you can continue giving them a few slices as a treat or if you just feel like sharing.

Photo of author
Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.