Satsumas, those delightful citrus fruits, are a favourite during the winter season. Their sweet and tangy flavour makes them a refreshing treat for humans. But what about our furry companions? Can Dogs Have Satsumas too?
In this article, we’ll explore whether satsumas are a healthy snack for dogs or if they should be kept out of their reach. From nutritional benefits to potential risks, let’s peel back the layers and find out if satsumas are a pawsitive addition to your dog’s diet.
What is Satsumas?
Satsumas, which come from the region in Japan where they were traditionally grown, are small in size, sweet, seedless citrus fruits. They come from the Mandarin Orange Family, along with clementines, tangerines and other popular varieties. They can be hard to distinguish from the other, aside from the fact that, unlike tangerines, satsumas are always seedless.
Satsumas are also the type of fruit most commonly used to make canned mandarin orange slices. They are also often found in salads, usually paired with blue cheese or other bold flavours. Though they are small in size, satsumas are big in nutritional value.
Can Dogs Have Satsumas?
Satsumas are full of vitamin C, fibre and potassium. Although the nutrients found in oranges help maintain a healthy immune system, dogs will usually take the nutrients they will need from specially formulated dog food. Now of course, a little boost of vitamin C won’t hurt, but it’s best to think of oranges more as the odd treat rather than a necessary addition to your dog’s daily diet.
While some dogs may not enjoy the acidic taste of the citrus fruit, satsumas are safe and full of vitamins and minerals. Commercial Dog Food diets are nutritionally balanced, your dog should not require supplements of any of these nutrients, but if it begs for the sweet treat, it can be enjoyed in smaller quantities.
Moderation in quantity has to be maintained so that your dog doesn’t induce acidity or gastrointestinal issues later. It is not recommended to offer Satsumas and other citric fruits to puppies as their immune system is lower than the adult pups. Before introducing any new edibles to your pets, consult your veterinarian.
Potential Risks and Benefits
With all good things, there comes a little bad too. Citrus fruits like satsumas and oranges are very beneficial for your pet when it comes to the overall nutritional values of the fruits but what about their gut health? Eating too many slices of satsumas or oranges can harm their digestive systems and take a toll on them.
You should only give your dog a few slices of satsumas in a single sitting. These fruits also contain a lot of sugar, so they’re not the best thing to provide to your pet. Regardless, your pet will enjoy having a few bites of oranges or satsumas from time to time.
Benefits of Satsumas
This citrus fruit is not toxic or dangerous to dogs, and while satsumas have no particular nutrients that could hurt a healthy dog, moderation is the key. You should not feed your dog more than two satsumas slices on average but keep in mind your dog’s size when thinking about portion control.
Satsumas are full of healthy vitamins and nutrients like potassium and fibre and low in sodium, which makes them a healthy snack if given in limited amounts. Rich in vitamin C, which can benefit your dog’s immune system.
Risks Attached to Satsumas
Citrus fruits are high in sugar and acid content which could potentially make existing health problems worse for your pup. If your dog is perfectly healthy, satsumas shouldn’t be harmful to them in small amounts. However, certain conditions could be aggravated by eating satsuma. Here are some of the health issues to consider before feeding oranges or satsumas to your pup :
- Diabetes: If your pet is diabetic, you should avoid giving them satsumas due to the high sugar content of the fruit.
- Excess Weight: If your dog is overweight and is on a weight-loss diet, you may want to consider a low-calorie fruit instead. For example, an apple.
- Digestive Problems: If your dog often suffers from stomach issues, the acidity of satsumas (or any other citrus fruit) can upset their digestive system.
How to Feed Satsumas to Your Dog
There are many ways you can safely feed Satsumas (or any citrus fruit) to your puppy. Just be sure to wash the fruits properly, peel them, remove any seeds, and cut them into small pieces before feeding them to your pet. If it’s ready you can try giving them these treats to see how it reciprocates:
Blend your Satsumas pieces with some other dog-safe fruits like apples, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries.
Blend or mash up the satsuma pieces and mix them with completely plain, sugar-free, and yoghurt. You can serve it like this or blend it with other dog-safe fruits.
Put your fruit and yoghurt mixture into an ice cube or popsicle tray and freeze it overnight for some doggy popsicles your pup will love!
If you have a dehydrator at home, you can make dehydrated satsuma pieces. The sugar will be more concentrated per ounce now, so feed them to your dog in small portions.
General Guidelines for safe feeding portions are based on your dog’s weight and breed size, according to PetMD.
- Extra-small dog (2-20 lbs.) = ½ orange segment (Examples: Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs)
- Small Dog (21-30 lbs.) = ½ orange segment (Examples: Basenjis, Beagles, Miniature Australian Shepherds)
- Medium Dog (31-50 lbs.) = 1 orange segment (Examples: Basset Hounds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs)
- Large Dog (51-90 lbs.) = 1-2 orange segments (Examples: Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds)
- Extra-large dog (91+ lbs.) = 2 orange segments (Examples: Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees)
Can Dogs Have Satsumas?
Dogs have delicate digestive systems, and introducing new foods should be approached cautiously. It’s advisable to avoid giving Satsumas to puppies until they are older and their digestive systems are more robust.
Can Satsumas Be Beneficial for Dogs?
While the vitamin C content may offer some benefits, the risks associated with citrus fruits often outweigh the potential rewards. Consult your veterinarian for safer dietary alternatives to boost your dog’s health.
How Much is Too Much?
Moderation is crucial. A small, occasional piece is generally acceptable for most dogs. However, excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal issues, so it’s wise to limit Satsuma intake.
Can Satsumas Help with Bad Breath in Dogs?
While citrus fruits can freshen breath in humans, the same effect may not be observed in dogs. Opt for dog-friendly treats or toys to address bad breath effectively.
Are Other Citrus Fruits Safer?
Citrus fruits, in general, pose similar risks. If considering alternative treats, consult your veterinarian to ensure they align with your dog’s specific dietary needs.
In the “Can Dogs Have Satsumas” debate, caution and moderation emerge as the guiding principles. While a small taste may not harm every dog, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential risks and monitor your pet closely. When it comes to your diet, consulting with a veterinarian is always the best course to ensure your pet’s health and happiness.