Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?

Hi. My name is Otis and I am a Labrador. I like to run around, chase my tail, and eat all kinds of food!

While I like dog food, my owner’s food always looks more delicious and this is why I always try my best to stare at them and lick my lips until they share some food.

Recently, they were eating some different fruits and one caught my eye. I had never seen or eaten it before so I put on my best puppy dog eyes and stared as usual.

This time, however, my owner refused to give me any, telling me that he didn’t think it was a good idea to feed me this fruit. The fruit in question was a grapefruit.

Upon barking at my neighbor, Tammy, a labradoodle, she told me that grapefruit was a subtropical, semi-sweet, sour fruit and is an ancestor of Jamaican sweet oranges.

I love oranges but Tammy told me that grapefruits are not as safe for dogs to eat as oranges or apples.

While grapefruits are very healthy for people because of the vitamins and minerals packed inside, they can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

If you want to find out more about grapefruits and what lies within them, continue reading and I will tell you why grapefruits shouldn’t be fed to any dogs.

Is it safe for dogs to eat grapefruits?

According to ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), dogs shouldn’t eat any grapefruits as they are toxic.

Firstly, it is unlikely your dog will even like the taste of a grapefruit as we don’t like bitter flavors such as this fruit.

Grapefruit flesh is very acidic and can cause serious digestive problems for dogs. This may result in loose stool and vomiting leaving us pups in pain and your floor in a mess.

Other fruits such as apple slices without the seeds or core and mashed banana are a much better and safer alternative.

Dangers of grapefruits

There are many benefits of grapefruits for human ingestion but there are far more dangers when it comes to me and my canine buddies.

There is a high concentration of essential oils in grapefruits and a compound known as psoralen. This is especially toxic for dogs and can cause nasty digestive issues.

You may be confused if you have fed your dog grapefruit before and not seen any problematic side effects.

As a dog, I can safely say that we eat a lot of foods that we are not supposed to.

However, just because we may seem okay after eating something out of the trash, doesn’t mean it is healthy for us to consume.

In general, it is a bad idea to feed us grapefruit as the negatives outweigh the positives.

It has been found that the seeds and pith inside grapefruits are the most harmful to dogs. This is why, if a dog eats some grapefruit, it needs to be meticulously prepared first.

This won’t avoid all possible problems but could reduce the risk of any harm. Instead, it is much safer to just feed us other fruits like apples, just to be on the safe side.

These tend to be far more nutritious and beneficial for our health too.

Grapefruits contain high levels of Vitamin C which is ideal for human health but I and my furry pals don’t need high amounts of this vitamin.

We can actually produce our own vitamin C so giving us more could prove to be very harmful.

You may think that the antioxidants in grapefruits would be beneficial for dogs and while it is good to add some antioxidants into your dog’s diet, you must be careful with how much.

We can get enough antioxidants from other fruits such as blueberries and especially made dog food so don’t put us at risk with grapefruits.

Side effects of your dog eating grapefruit

If you suspect your pup has eaten some grapefruit including the highly toxic seeds and rind, you should contact your vet immediately.

If they have only eaten the flesh and not the rind, there are some signs to look out for over a few hours to see if they have any symptoms of a stomach problem.

The most common signs are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, as the toxicity progresses, dogs can become more sensitive to light so they may keep their eyes closed more.

Furthermore, they may drool excessively and find it hard to walk or even stand.

Toxicity, such as this, can be fatal to dogs. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Photosensitivity
  • Skin irritation/rashes
  • Trembling
  • Depression
  • Drooling excessively
  • Unable to stand or walk

What to do if your dog eats grapefruit

I can speak for all dogs when I say that we will eat things that are not good for us. If you believe your dog has eaten some grapefruit, look out for the toxicity symptoms as outlined above.

If they are exhibiting any of these signs, get your pooch to the vet immediately. If your dog is vomiting, this is a sign that it is trying to get rid of any toxic elements.

This can be a good sign as they may have already expelled any dangerous substances but you should see the vet anyway.

If you can’t get to the vet, try forcing your dog to throw up. You can do this by feeding a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per pound of your dog’s body weight.

This should expel any toxic elements in the stomach. However, you should do this as soon as possible after ingestion.

Once this is done, if you have any activated charcoal around the house, try and give some to your dog. This absorbs any leftover traces of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing any more absorption by the body and reducing the risk of serious illness.

In Summary

As you can see, dogs should not eat grapefruit as it is very toxic and acidic to us. Try and stick to other fruits like bananas, apples (without seeds or core), and blueberries but only in small doses.

Tammy is barking for me! Time to chase a cat!