We all know what orange juice is but there is often much confusion about how healthy it is for us. Additionally orange juice is made for human consumption… and not dogs. But can dogs drink orange juice in the sense of it being toxic for them? If your dog drinks a little orange juice, will it be harmful?
To answer right up front for those looking for a quick answer, a little orange juice will probably not mean you’ll require a trip to your veterinarian, unless it contains harmful sweeteners.
Freshly squeezed orange juice isn’t toxic to dogs, but it’s not something you should actively allow your dog to drink either.
You should definitely never let your dog drink commercially produced orange juice that contains sweeteners like xylitol. Xylitol is a food that’s harmful to dogs.
Find out more about dogs and orange juice below.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?
- What Happens If Your Dog Drinks a Large Amount of Orange Juice?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Drink Orange Juice?
Often marketed as super healthy as it’s packed with vitamin C, the actual health benefits of orange juice are highly disputed.
Most commercial producers of OJ pasteurise the juice they manufacture. The pasteurisation process impacts the taste and so manufacturers add flavourings and sugars / sweeteners to improve flavour.
As a result, the sugar contained in orange juice counteracts the health benefits of the vitamin C content: oftentimes the sugar in OJ is comparable to the amount found in soft drinks and sodas.
Consequently, although dogs can drink orange juice, they really shouldn’t because of the sugar and or sweeteners it probably contains.
Sugar poses many differ threats for dogs, so you shouldn’t deliberately allow your dog to drink orange juice on a regular basis. Excess sugar in a dog’s diet has the potential to result in a range of medical problems:
- Canine obesity
- Dental problems
- Reduced quality of life
- Shortened lifespan
As a general rule for us humans, pure, freshly squeezed orange juice is a far healthier option than most commercially produced options. However, even freshly squeezed OJ still contains a high amount of fructose (a sugar), so it’s still not something you should give to your dog with any degree of regularity.
Of course, sugar in itself isn’t an immediately life-threatening foodstuff if consumed in small quantities on occasion. However, commercially produced orange juice can also contain sweeteners, some of which can be extremely dangerous for dogs.
Xylitol is one such sweetener, consumption of which can be fatal to dogs. Small doses of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, while higher doses can lead to liver failure… both extemely serious conditions.
What Happens If Your Dog Drinks a Large Amount of Orange Juice?
Personally, I would never allow my dog to drink orange juice. That’s not to say I’d be overly worried if she licked out the bottom of my glass or snaffled an OJ spillage.
I just wouldn’t give her orange juice to drink.
Now… if she were to somehow drink a large glassful of freshly squeezed orange juice while my back was turned, I wouldn’t be concerned she was going to be poisoned, but I would be concerned about the potential for a stomach upset.
Orange juice is high in citric acid (it’s a citrus fruit after all). If your dog drinks orange juice in some quantity, it’s likely that it will lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.
That’s not something I ever want to encourage!
However, if my dog drank commercially produced OJ containing xylitol, I would take her to a veterinary professional immediately.
Although dogs can drink OJ and not be poisoned (assuming it doesn’t contain sweeteners like xylitol), there are risks in allowing your dog to drink orange juice on a regular basis.
Orange juice is indeed high in vitamin C, but any health benefits here are offset against the sugar it contains… especially in commercially produced varieties.
Furthermore, orange juice containing sweeteners poses a serious threat to dogs… so why would you ever allow them to drink it?
Long term consumption of any sugary drink can lead to all kinds of health problems. So although dogs can drink freshly squeezed orange juice, they really shouldn’t…. and you should never allow your dog to drink sweetened commercially produced OJ.
The best thing for your dog to drink is water… so don’t overcomplicate things by giving yours something that could easily make it unwell.
Have you ever had a problem with your dog drinking orange juice? What happened? Please leave a comment in the section at the bottom of this page to let me know.
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