Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit? Are Grapefruit Safe for your Dog?

The answer to whether or not dogs can eat grapefruit is yes and no. This is because while grapefruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals, which would typically be suitable for your canine, grapefruit likewise is very acidic and can give your dog some serious digestive problems.

There may be various kinds of fruits that are better for your pet to eat.

Spitz puppy with a grapefruit

Continue reading to learn more about feeding your dog grapefruit and the specific risks of adding this treat to your pet’s eating regimen.

Why are Grapefruits Bad for Dogs?

Grapefruit should not become a staple part of your dog’s diet because it can cause digestive problems. Due to the acidity in grapefruit, eating the flesh of this fruit could give your dog a runny tummy or lead to vomiting.

A whole and sliced grapefruit
A ripe whole and sliced grapefruit

Also, the hard rind of the grapefruit can cause your dog to choke, while the peel also contains essential oils, which can be toxic for your pet.

What’s in Grapefruit that are Harmful to Dogs?

A sick dog with gastric infection
A sick dog with a gastric infection just laying on the bed – Image source

If you’re thinking of adding grapefruit to your pet’s diet, you need to be aware that grapefruit contains some substances that could be dangerous for your pet to consume.

1. Citric Acid

Grapefruit contains 0.30 mol/L, which is very high compared to other citrus fruits like oranges, with just 0.005 mol/L.

Too much citric acid in your dog’s food can irritate the linings of the stomach and intestines, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

2. Psoralen

The skins and seeds of the grapefruit contain a chemical known as psoralen. This psoralen, as well as other essential oils found in the rind of grapefruit, can be toxic for your dog.

While your dog isn’t likely to die from grapefruit rind, it can cause digestive problems and skin allergies.

What Parts of the Grapefruit Are Toxic?

Grapefruits on the tree
Ripe grapefruits on the tree

As discussed, the rind and seeds of the grapefruit are where you are likely to find toxic chemicals and oils. The skin and plants can also be harmful to dogs.

Thus, if you plan to feed your dog grapefruit, you should only offer him the fleshy part of this fruit. That said, even the flesh of the grapefruit is highly acidic and can cause an adverse reaction in your dog.

Are grapefruit seeds toxic to dogs?

Yes, grapefruit seeds are part of the plant that is toxic for dogs. As discussed, grapefruit seeds contain the chemical known as psoralen.

This chemical can cause problems for humans and canines and can lead to skin issues, nausea, abdominal pain, an upset stomach, and dizziness. 

Which Types of Grapefruit and Foods Made from it Can’t Dogs Eat?

French Bulldog with the grapefruits on the eyes
Funny French Bulldog with the sliced grapefruits on the eyes

Still unsure about feeding your dog grapefruit? Let’s look at the different types of grapefruit and if you can or can’t feed it to your dog.

1. Pink Grapefruit

The flesh of the grapefruit can vary significantly in color, from pink to red. Pink grapefruits are on the sweeter side, so some dogs may prefer to eat this type of grapefruit, yet you still shouldn’t actively feed your dog pink grapefruit due to the risks associated with this fruit.

2. Red Grapefruit

Most dogs won’t enjoy eating red grapefruit due to the strong taste, and that’s okay because the high citric acid levels in red grapefruit can be dangerous for your dog.

That said, feeding your dog some red grapefruit flesh should be fine; however, the grapefruit peel, seeds, and pith should be avoided as these are toxic to dogs.

3. Melogold

The Melogold is a citrus fruit that is a cross between a grapefruit and a pomelo, and it’s typically sweeter than a standard grapefruit.

While your dog may prefer the taste of the Melogold, it’s still very acidic and high in sugar and thus shouldn’t be actively fed to your pup. 

4. Pomelo

Grapefruit originated by crossing a sweet orange with a pomelo. Also known as a shaddock, pumelo, pommelo, or Chinese grapefruit, the pomelo can be fed to your dog; however, your pup can still get sick from eating this fruit due to the high sugar and citric acid content.

Is There Any Way You Can Feed Fido Some Grapefruit and Reduce the Health Risks?

Curious German Shepherd dog
A curious German Shepherd dog tilting her head – Image source

If you want to give your dog some grapefruit, you could try feeding him a small amount of flesh free from any skin, pith, or rind.

That said, most dogs don’t love the taste of grapefruit anyway, so you may be better off feeding your dog some other dog-friendly citrus fruits such as oranges, mangoes, or peaches.

Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit with Certain Amounts?

While, of course, it’s possible to feed your dog grapefruit, it isn’t recommended due to the reasons listed above. Even a small amount of grapefruit juice could cause an adverse reaction for your pet.

Instead, try making your dog a delicious fruit salad that includes bananas, blueberries, apples, and strawberries – all great fruits for pooches.

A juicy slice of grapefruit
A juicy slice of ripe grapefruit

How much grapefruit can a dog eat?

If your dog doesn’t exhibit any adverse reactions after eating grapefruit, you can try feeding small blocks or a slice of this fruit now and again.

Just be sure to exercise restraint and adhere to the 10% guideline. This implies that any treats, such as grapefruit, should record for a modest amount of your pet’s daily calories.

How much grapefruit large dog breeds can eat?

As mentioned, no dog should be given grapefruit to eat, regardless of its size.

Monstrous breeds like Great Danes or German Shepherds have a greater possibility of choking on grapefruit as they might be able to take bigger bites out of the hard rind, which can get stuck in their throat.

How much grapefruit small dog breeds can eat?

Small breeds should likewise not be fed grapefruit, fundamentally because of the citric acid and psoralen content which can have worse effects on little canines.

These dogs are more likely to show an adverse reaction to grapefruit after consuming even just a tiny amount of this fruit.

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Too Many Grapefruits?

Sleeping sick dog wearing collar cone
A sick dog wearing a collar cone sleeping on the owner’s lap – Image source

Eating too many grapefruits could cause your pet vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal upset. Your pup might also develop toxicity after eating too many grapefruits, especially if he consumes the rind or the seeds of the fruit.

How to treat grapefruit poisoning in dogs?

If your dog eats some grapefruit by accident or gets hold of a whole grapefruit, then you can follow these steps.

  1. Make an effort not to show your stress: Pets can pick up on your uneasiness and may show stress if you begin to panic.
  2. Contact your veterinarian: You should contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pooch has eaten grapefruit. Depending upon the quantity of grapefruit your canine consumed, your vet may want to see your pet as soon as possible.
  3. Keep any evidence: Your vet will require information concerning the quantity of grapefruit your canine ate and what sort of grapefruit it was as well as which parts of the plant he consumed. You can show your vet any remains of the grapefruit, expecting there is any left.
  4. Take the direction of your vet: Don’t attempt to treat your canine at home. Note any advice your vet gives you, as they are best positioned to focus on your pet.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Grapefruit?

Although you may recognize that you shouldn’t feed your pet grapefruit, our pets, now and again, get hold of food they shouldn’t eat.

Store any grapefruit in a spot far away from your pet to guarantee that he can’t get to it, such as the refrigerator or a tall pantry cupboard.

Moreover, guarantee that every one of your children, relatives, and staff at your home know not to offer grapefruit to your pet.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Grapefruit?

Golden Retriever wearing crown and sunglasses with the grapefruit
A laying Golden Retriever wearing a crown and sunglasses besides the grapefruit

Despite the downsides of grapefruit for dogs, there are some benefits to feeding your dog this fruit. They are low in calories and high in water content, so they can keep your pet hydrated without adding extra fat to his diet.

Additionally, they contain plenty of vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin A and C, which can boost your pet’s immune system.

What Other Dangerous Fruits Should You Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

A Dachshund being curious on the lemon
A Dachshund dog being curious about the lemon on the table – Image source

As you have read, it’s not recommended to give grapefruit to your dog as a treat. As we all want to do what’s best for our furry family members, you should also stay away from feeding your dog these fruits. 

  • Grapes and raisins are highly toxic for pets. Dogs can go into renal failure within 24 to 72 hours after eating grapes, and even just one grape could be fatal for dogs.
  • Tomatoes, particularly green tomatoes, contain tomatine that can poison your dog if large concentrations are eaten. Thankfully, ripe tomatoes have hardly any of this compound, but unripe tomatoes, as well as the leaves and stem of the plant, should be avoided.
  • Lemons like grapefruit are very acidic and contain psoralen and aromatic oils that can be toxic for dogs.

What are Safe Alternatives to Grapefruit for Dogs

A Pomeranian Spitz excited for the mango treats
A Pomeranian Spitz dog sticking tongue’s out excited for the mango treats – Image source

Instead of feeding your dog grapefruit, other foods you can consider will make a tasty treat for your pet. 

  • Mango is full of vitamins and nutrients that can benefit your pet. Just be sure to remove the pit and skin before feeding your pet.
  • Bananas are full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.
  • Cantaloupes are rich in antioxidants, pack plenty of fiber, contain few calories, and are made up of 90% water to help keep your pup hydrated. 
  • Papaya contains an enzyme called Papain which can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and swelling, treat diarrhea and infections, and combat allergies.
  • Strawberries can make a tasty treat for pets with a sweet tooth and are particularly excellent served frozen on a hot summer’s day
  • Watermelon is another dog-safe, refreshing and hydrating treat containing plenty of water.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?

As you have seen, your canine can eat grapefruit, but he really shouldn’t. While the flesh of grapefruit isn’t incredibly toxic to canines, the rind does contain essential oils that can be toxic for your dog if consumed in enormous sums. 

That said, the odd little bit of grapefruit now and again should be fine for your pet, but it’s better to stay away from actively feeding your dog grapefruit.

Have you ever fed your pet grapefruit? We’d very much want to hear about your shaggy relative and your experiences providing your dog grapefruit in the comments beneath.

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