Oranges for Dogs: A Juicy Boost to Your Pet's Health
As we continue celebrating National Fruit and Veggie Month, today we're shining the spotlight on oranges and their health benefits for dogs. Oranges are not only a delicious and nutritious snack for humans, but they can also be a healthy treat for our pups. There are many ways oranges can enhance the health and wellness of your beloved canine companion.
Rich in Bioactive Compounds
Oranges are packed with bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and alkaloids. These compounds give oranges their antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study by researchers from the University of Benin and Kentucky revealed that incorporating oranges into your pet's diet could help protect them from infections and chronic diseases caused by inflammation.
Vitamin C Powerhouse
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in boosting both the adaptive and innate immune systems. Vitamin C is particularly important in supporting the epithelial barrier function and maintaining skin health – the body's first line of defense against pathogens.
In addition to its immunity-boosting properties, vitamin C is involved in collagen production. Collagen is essential for wound healing, skin health, and improving gut permeability and microbiota health. Just two tablespoons of orange slices can provide your pet with up to 12 milligrams of vitamin C.
Feeding Oranges to Your Pet Safely
While oranges can be a healthy treat for your dog, it's essential to feed them safely and in moderation. Offer your dog a few fresh, peeled orange slices with the seeds removed. Be sure to avoid giving them the peel, as the essential oils it contains may cause stomach discomfort. Overfeeding oranges can result in loose stools, so it's essential to limit their intake.
Cats generally dislike citrus, but a small bite of an orange without the peel is safe if they show interest. However, avoid giving your pets orange-flavored food or drinks, such as orange juice and canned oranges, as these products often contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, which can be harmful to your pet's health.
The 10% Rule for Treats
While oranges and other fresh fruits can provide health benefits for your pet, it's essential to remember that treats should only make up around 10% of their daily diet. The majority of their nutrients should come from complete meals, with treats serving as a tasty addition to a nutritionally balanced diet.
Oranges can be a great way to add some zest to your dog's diet and provide them with essential vitamins and antioxidants. So go ahead and share a juicy slice with your pup, knowing you're contributing to their overall health and wellness. Happy National Fruit and Veggie Month from all of us at Three Happy Hounds!