Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that is known for its sweet and sour taste. This tropical fruit grows on the tree in clusters, just like grapes (hence the name). Grapefruits may differ in color – from yellow to pink and red, and they can vary in taste as well.
You may know by now that this tart fruit is very rich in vitamin C and A. It contains nutrients, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. We may proudly say that it is one of the healthiest citrus fruits on earth! Not only that, but recent researches show that this citrus powerhouse can yield several health benefits, including the risk of heart disease and weight loss.
Grapefruit Nutritional Value
|Vitamin C||64% of the RDI|
|Vitamin A||28% of the RDI|
Thus, it is only natural to think that you can give your canine a piece or two. But is that safe for your pup? Can dogs eat grapefruit at all?
Luckily for you, we’ve undergone some thorough research about this topic and came up with a lot of important information. Let’s get into it!
Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?
It is best to avoid giving your pup grapefruit, so our answer would be – no, dogs can’t and don’t need to eat grapefruits. In general, grapefruits should be off-limits to dogs as their rind contains essential oils that are toxic to dogs, cats, and even horses.
Which Parts Of Grapefruit Are Toxic?
The fruit contains a compound called psoralen, which is very toxic for your pup. In addition, grapefruit peel, pith, and seeds are also harmful to dogs as they contain the highest concentration of this compound. However, that doesn’t mean that a little bit of this citrus fruit will endanger the life of your pet. If you carefully prepare it, the toxicity risks may be slightly reduced.
Nevertheless, there aren’t many benefits that grapefruit can offer to your dog, and we just think it’s not worth risking your canine’s health.
Do Dogs Like The Taste Of Grapefruit?
If you’re thinking your dog is missing something – fret not. The acidic and bitter taste of this fruit will be a turn-off for your dog instantly.
Dog’s taste buds are sensitive to any bitter or sour food, which can be great as grapefruits should be avoided at all costs. Even the most curious dogs will likely stay away from it. So, it is better not to force your dog to eat grapefruit anyway.
Can Dogs Eat Peeled Grapefruit?
In theory, yes, they can. Dogs can eat grapefruit’s flesh, but it is for the best you don’t force your dog to eat it. Grapefruit can cause many problems for your dog’s digestive system, including diarrhea, vomiting, and other worrisome health risks.
Which Fruit Can You Give Your Dog Instead?
- Apple slices (without seeds)
Remember that all of these fruits are treats, and you should always keep them at 10% of your dog’s total daily calorie intake.
How Is Grapefruit Toxicity Diagnosed?
The most toxic parts of grapefruit are the seeds and the rind, so if you suspect your pup has eaten grapefruit, we advise you to contact your vet immediately. If your dog has only eaten the flesh and not the rind, you can observe your dog’s behavior for the next few hours to see whether he’ll show any symptoms of stomach upset.
If your dog has eaten grapefruit, he will most likely first experience nausea, vomiting, and possible diarrhea. As the toxicity progresses, your dog may become sensitive to light, drool excessively, or be unable to stand and walk.
Toxicity can be fatal to your dog, so make sure you contact your vet immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Skin dermatitis
- Excessive drooling
- Unable to walk or stand
How Is Grapefruit Toxicity Treated?
It is essential to give your vet as much information as possible, to help him know how to advise you and treat your dog.
If your dog has experienced vomiting and diarrhea, the vet will start by giving your dog a series of IV fluids and running bloodwork tests to monitor your dog’s kidneys and liver. Your dog may also be given some antiemetics to stop the vomiting and help him feel better.
The vet may also induce vomiting to rid the stomach of any remaining contents and give some activated charcoal to soak up any toxins left. Depending on how much grapefruit your dog ate and how severe the symptoms are, your dog might need to stay at the clinic for the night.
If your dog shows any skin symptoms, your vet may prescribe some creams to apply to any affected area to calm the itchiness and irritation. If, however, there are some signs of photosensitivity, your dog will need to remain out of the sun for the next couple of days. Or at least until the toxin has left his system.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
The short answer here would be – no, there aren’t many known benefits grapefruit can offer your dog.
Unlike humans, dogs are perfectly capable of producing their own vitamin C. Therefore, feeding your dog with grapefruit will result in vitamin C overdose or other potential health hazards. Vitamin C is often added to dog food because of its preservative action, not so much because of its nutritional value.
Furthermore, vitamin C needs to b replenished if a dog is old because older dogs are less capable of producing their vitamin C. Also, it needs to be replenished when dogs undergo surgical procedures or experience stress.
Are There Any Health Benefits From Grapefruit Juice For Dogs?
The grapefruit juice is equally harmful to your dog’s stomach. This stands for every grapefruit variety out there.
Benefits Of Grapefruits Seed Extract For Dogs
Some researches show that grapefruit seed extract can be very beneficial for your dog. Grapefruit seed extract acts as a powerful antioxidant (because of the chemical compounds called polyphenols) and has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
The extract also contains omega-6 fatty acids that will contribute to a healthier and shinier coat. Essential acids will also moisturize dry and cracked snouts and provide healthier teeth and gums.
1. Skin infections
Grapefruit seeds can fight skin infections caused by bacteria and fungi. Just add 10 drops of extract to your dog’s shampoo and when bathing your dog, always leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
Or you can simply add 30-40 drops of extract to a liter of water and transfer the liquid into spray containers. That way, you can use it more often, just make sure to avoid the area around your dog’s eyes.
2. Ear infections
Ear infections are quite common, and grapefruit seeds can undoubtedly help. Simply make a solution of 5-10 grapefruit seed extract drops and a half-ounce of aloe vera gel. To kill all germs and bacteria, clean your dog’s ears twice a day with this solution.
3. Open wounds and sores
Grapefruit seed extract (when diluted with water) can promote healing and effectively cure minor wounds and cuts.
1. Digestive problems
Grapefruit seed can be used for treating gas, diarrhea, and other types of stomach upset. Put one drop of grapefruit seed extract into your dog’s food for every ten pounds of your dog’s body weight, twice a day.
Candida is a fungal infection that can be treated with grapefruit seed extract. Put three drops into your dog’s food twice a day.
Grapefruit seed is also used for treating worms, giardia, and fleas. You can use 10-15 drops per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight, three times a day.
Note: Don’t ever use grapefruit seed extract without diluting. Avoid the eye area, and always give grapefruit seed extract with food to avoid stomach upset. Also, allergic reactions are rare but can still happen. Hence, if you notice any worrisome signs, stop giving your dog GSE and consider taking him to the vet just to make sure everything’s fine.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods