Dogs like a lot of different things. They love walks, playing catch, and eating all sorts of things. However, most dogs really dislike oranges or citrus fruits altogether. This is such a curious concept. What is it about oranges or citric acid that turns a dog’s nose up? Is Vitamin C good for a dog? Some fruit like bananas can be beneficial for your dog. So, the real question is, are oranges bad for your dog? It’s important to look at this from both your dog's displeasure in oranges and in the sense of your dog's overall health. Either way, we should explore this dislike a bit more.
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The Root of the Behavior
The majority of dogs dislike any type of citrus smell including oranges. The real issue is that the smell is just very unpleasant to a dog. This is much like how you just do not like certain smells.If you really think about it, what smells do you dislike? Why do you dislike these smells other than they just don’t smell good to you? It is really just hard to pinpoint why we don’t like things sometimes unless it is triggered by a memory. While oranges are typically pretty safe for a dog, the smell is not usually their favorite. You can give your dog an orange in small amounts on occasion as a treat if he would eat it. Oranges do contain Vitamin C and fiber which dogs do like. They do not really need to be supplemented with Vitamin C, but it is okay in small amounts. Keep in mind though that the orange rinds should be discarded. The peel is actually really hard on a dogs stomach and could even cause intestinal blockage.
Also, keep in mind that citrus essential oils may not be so great for your dog, as well. Topically, you should never put citrus essential oils on your dog. This typically causes your dog to lick it and ingest it. Some of these citrus oils, if ingested, can cause liver poisoning, toxicity, or damage to the liver. If you are diffusing a pure citrus essential oil, typically that is okay, as long as your dog is not locked in the room. If the smell bothers him at all, it is best to make sure he can exit the room on his own. Since most dogs do not like oranges, the scent has often been used to deter dogs from behaviors that are undesirable in your pet, such as chewing on furniture.
Encouraging the Behavior
You can definitely use your dog’s dislike for citrus and oranges to your advantage. You can diffuse or spray citrus smells in areas of the house that you do not want your dog in. Or even cut up fruit and put them in areas that you want to be pet protected. Also, it can deter your dog from chewing on objects such as furniture, shoes, pillows, or bedding. All you have to do is spray these with a citrus or orange spray that you either bought from a pet store or made on your own. If you do not want your dog in your flower beds or plants, you can bury the orange peels in the pot or ground to help deter him from digging unwanted holes in these areas. Do not go overboard with the oranges in your home though. Keep in mind your dog still needs his safe place to go to when he is overwhelmed or tired. Keep this room free of oranges or citrus smells. Also, keep in mind if you have a dog that actually likes the smell of oranges, which is not common, using oranges and citrus scents will do nothing in deterring him from your beloved objects.
Other Solutions and Considerations
You should also keep in mind that dogs do not like the smell of lemons, and even more so, there are compounds in lemons that are quite toxic to dogs. Most dogs will not eat lemons at all. However, if your dog does get a hold of a lemon and eats it, there are signs that you should look for. If after your dog eats a lemon, he or she shows any of these signs: diarrhea, vomiting, or any type of light sensitivity, call your vet immediately. Always be sure to keep lemons away from your dogs for their safety.
Most dogs just find oranges to be repulsive and that is okay. You can use it to your advantage by deterring unwanted behaviors. If your dog doesn’t like an orange as a treat every now and again, that is okay too. There are plenty of other fruits that are beneficial treats for your dogs like apples and bananas.