Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?

Is your dog running after you just to have a bite of that grapefruit? But it’s bothering you whether you can actually feed it to your pooch or not? Don’t worry; we are here with a complete guide for your answer.

Dogs can only eat the flesh of a grapefruit without its peels because they contain a lot of citric acids, leading to dermatitis in canines when sunlight exposes them. Overconsumption of grapefruits can make your pup suffer from gastrointestinal issues, and sometimes, these issues can be very severe, requiring prompt medical attention.

In this article, we will tell you why your dogs can have grapefruit and what will happen to them if they don’t eat it in a moderate amount. Other than that, you will also get to know if the seeds of grapefruit are safe for your pooch or not. So, let’s begin!

What Happens If A Dog Eats Grapefruit?

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If you feed too much grapefruit to your pooch, it might end up with loose stool, vomiting, or sometimes choking on grapefruit seeds.

Make sure that you only feed the grapefruit’s flesh to your pooch, and if he doesn’t like it, then better not force it to eat that. Other than that, if your pup likes it so much, then just don’t overfeed grapefruits to your pup.

Here we have listed some of the cases that may occur if you don’t feed grapefruit in a moderate amount:


The citric acid in grapefruit contains psoralen. When coming into accidental contact with your puppy’s skin, psoralen causes the skin to be more light-sensitive. Under strong sunlight, the exposed skin area can become reddish and itchy due to dermatitis, causing some discomfort to your beloved puppy.

Besides psoralen, furanocoumarins are also found in grapefruits which cause UV sensitivity in dogs. This compound causes inflammation and damages the cell membrane of your pup’s skin.


Grapefruits can actually make drugs and medicines stay longer in your pooch’s body. When these drugs are not needed anymore, they can cause overdose, which can cause depression due to intestine bleeding, muscle damage, respiratory issues, and kidney damage.

Stomach Issues

Canines usually have sensitive stomachs, so a lot of citric acids can cause severe stomach issues. If your pup consumes a high amount of citric acids, it can cause acid reflux. So, if your pooch is already suffering from gastrointestinal problems, it would be better to avoid serving grapefruits.

A Choking Hazard

Grapefruits contain small seeds in it as lemons and oranges do. If you have a small dog, there is always a danger of your choking. After choking the seeds, your pup might end up drooling, wheezing, having trouble breathing, or coughing badly.


No matter how much nutritions grapefruits contain, it will make your pup throw up if you feed your dog more than a moderate amount.

Moreover, it can lead to serious problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Sometimes, grapefruit also causes vomiting when interacting with the drugs you provided your pooch to treat nausea.

Why Can Dogs Have Grapefruit?

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Grapefruits can provide several benefits when fed in moderate amounts. They come with dietary fiber and vitamins to help your puppy’s heart and brain function properly.

Other than that, if your pup is overweight, you can feed it grapefruit to lose weight. Let’s dive in deeper to know everything in detail.

Good Source Of Antioxidants

Grapefruits come with various antioxidants that provide your pooch with multiple health benefits. Plus, it reduces the risks of many common diseases in dogs.

For instance, antioxidants in grapefruits decrease damage caused by free radicals that cause harmful reactions in your pup’s body.

Provides A High Amount of Nutrients

Grapefruit is actually a very healthy treat as it has a high amount of nutrients. Also, it is low in calories, which is perfect for obese dogs. It provides your pooch with a decent number of fibers and more than 15 different minerals and vitamins.

Reduces Risks Of Kidney Stones

Feeding grapefruit flesh to your pooch can reduce the risk of kidney stones by reducing the build-up of waste in dogs’ kidneys. When these waste materials crystallize in the pup’s kidney, they take their shapes as stones.

Moreover, the larger stones can cause urinary system blockage, which can be extremely painful for your canine. However, citric acid, an organic compound in grapefruit, can help prevent these stones.

Helps In Weight loss

Feeding grapefruit to your pup will help it consume fewer calories and control its appetite. Plus, it has a lot of water which is another good property known to help weight loss.

Half the flesh of a grapefruit before a meal should help your pup reduce its weight. So, if your pup is overweight, feeding grapefruit comes up as a viable solution.

Is Grapefruit Seed Toxic To Dogs?

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, grapefruit seeds are considered non-toxic to dogs if ingested in small quantities. However, you should ensure that your pooch doesn’t choke on it.

Grapefruit seeds come up with multiple benefits for pups. Besides being rich in vitamins, it has antiseptic properties and provides your canine with healthy dental properties.

Here, we have listed some of the benefits of grapefruit seeds that your pooch can receive.

Antiseptic Properties

Grapefruit seed has been widely used for treating different types of infections. It has antiseptic properties, which means it effectively kills harmful bacteria living in your pup’s body. It can include bacteria in your puppy’s intestines, respiratory tract, and even on the skin.

Rich In Vitamins

Dogs with a low immune system get sick easily and take more time to recover from any kind of infection.

But, grapefruit seeds also have a high content of vitamin C, which can boost the immune system. These are also rich in vitamin A, which will help strengthen the arteries’ walls and prevent the formation of blood clots.

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Healthy Gums And Teeth

It has been used in several dog commercial products like toothpaste and deodorant. If you brush your dog’s teeth, then make sure to buy one with grapefruit seed extracts.

Moreover, grapefruit seed extracts can kill some dangerous dog parasites like Guardia and Cryptosporidium. But, keep in mind that it doesn’t work well on all parasites.

What Are The Effects Of Grapefruit Seeds On Dogs?

It’s not toxic, but it can cause side effects like slow heart rate, confusion, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. There are also some rare cases when grapefruit seed can cause life-threatening problems in dogs like abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death.

This happens only if an excessive amount of grapefruit seed extract is consumed by your pup. Also, mixing it with some other medications can increase the risks of severe side effects.

For instance, it’s not safe to feed these seeds if your dog is consuming cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. This is because it can increase levels of some liver enzymes in your puppy’s blood.

Also, it’s better to avoid giving grapefruit seeds to your dog with a specific type of antibiotic called erythromycin. It binds to grapefruit extract and prevents its breakdown by the body, leading to toxic side effects.

That’s why if you give your pet a medication that contains erythromycin, it’s better to provide it at least two hours before or after feeding your canine with grapefruit extract.

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Pete Decker