Can Dogs Have Grapefruit – Everything You Need To Know

Should dogs have grapefruits? No, dogs should not eat grapefruits. While grapefruits are highly nutritious (to humans), according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), grapefruits are poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses.  The grapefruit flesh is highly acidic and can cause digestive problems for dogs.

Thankfully, dogs generally do not like and will not eat grapefruits as their taste buds can sense bitterness. The tart in grapefruits means dogs are unlikely to willingly consume grapefruits.  

What Are the Health Benefits of Grapefruit?

In general, grapefruits are all rich in fiber and vitamin C in the form of pectin. They also carry high levels of an antioxidant called lycopene. They have been reliably proven to lower cholesterol, and their seeds have also been shown to perform antioxidant characteristics. Even though grapefruits can seem nutritious to us humans, your dog  should not be consuming grapefruits as dogs have different nutritional needs. 

Why Are Grapefruits Bad For Dogs?

The high concentration of a compound called psoralen and essential oils in the grapefruit rind are poisonous for canines. Additionally, the pith and seeds are also potentially dangerous to dogs. 

Grapefruits also have high levels of vitamin C but canines don’t require high quantities of Vitamin C, not in the way humans do because they can produce their own Vitamin C. So feeding them excessive amounts of Vitamin C would simply result in loose stool, nausea and/or vomiting.

Antioxidants are another compelling reason to feed grapefruit to your pet. And if you infiltrate your canine’s diet with a few antioxidants, you need to be very cautious as there are antioxidants in other varieties of fruits like blueberries.

Of course, we want a healthy dog, and many of us do buy factory-made dog foods because, honestly, a lot of them are made from cheap fillers with zero nutritional advantage to our pets. 

Can Dogs Eat Peeled Grapefruits?

While dogs can eat peeled grapefruits as they are not toxic (unlike the rind), dogs generally do not like the bitter flavor of grapefruits. Moreover, the citric acid in grapefruits can result in diarrhea and vomiting.   

What If My Dog Had Grapefruit?

Depending on how much (and which part of the) grapefruit your dog consumed, you may want to consider either doing nothing (if less than one grapefruit), offering a home-remedy, or calling your vet. 

For example, while the flesh is acidic, it is not toxic to dogs unlike the rind. If your dog shows signs of grapefruit poisoning, immediately contact your vet. Additionally offer as much detail to your vet to assist them in helping your dog. 

Symptoms of Grapefruit Toxicity

If you think your dog consumed grapefruit, they will be showing one or more toxicity indications, including 

  • diarrhea
  • behavioral changes such as depression
  • vomiting
  • photosensitivity
  • rashes
  • shaking
  • general weakness

You should quickly get your dog to the vet if he shows any of these symptoms. Vomiting will warn that your dog is attempting to expel the toxic components by themselves. 

Solutions To Avoid Grapefruit Poisoning

Consider the following first aid techniques to help your dog avoid grapefruit poisoning:

  • Activated charcoal with a glassful of water: Take a spoon of activated charcoal and blend it up with a glass of water. Give the dough to your dog. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide with a glass of water: You can also combine 3% hydrogen peroxide instead of activated charcoal. It must be counted as 1ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide/10lbs measurement of dog.

Alternatives to Grapefruit

Given the large amounts of citric acid in grapefruits that can throw off your dog’s digestive system, you should consider alternative fruits. Apple slices with removed seeds, blueberries, strawberries and mashed bananas are all great alternatives to grapefruits. 

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, dogs can’t have grapefruit. This fruit is even on the list of toxic dog foods. The main signs of grapefruit poisoning involve photosensitivity, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other less regular signs include rashes, shaking, and weakness. Some dogs may need a blood transfer to improve eventually from fruit’s toxicity in severe cases. So, let’s keep the grapefruit away from your dog’s bowl.

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