Can I Give My Dog Grapefruit?

Can I Give My Dog Grapefruit?Grapefruit is very nutritious but can owners safely give some to their pet dogs? After all, what’s healthy for people isn’t always appropriate or even safe for canines. But it’s understandable why folks would want to share.

Grapefruit’s human health benefits are numerous but it should never be assumed that this also apples to our four-legged friends. Since grapefruit is viewed so favorably, we are going to set the record straight and hopefully help someone out!

This sour fruit is very acidic tasting, or extremely bitter, but that isn’t actually why you should be questioning if grapefruit can be fed to dogs. The truth is that there is a level of toxicity in this hybrid citrus which makes it off limits.

Can I Give My Dog Grapefruit? Answer: No, it could be toxic

The essential oils have the potential to cause harm and for this reason it’s to be avoided.

People do give their dogs grapefruit without incident. We’re offering prudent advice and therefore do not recommend it. According to the ASPCA, a compound found in this fruit, called psoralen, is also toxic for dogs. So while this excellent health food offers some great benefits for people, it should be withheld from your pets. Keep your grapefruit supply out of reach just in case they get their paws on some.

FYI: Grapefruit is citrus fruit, like pomegranate, but it actually was created in Barbados by crossing a sweet orange with a pomelo in the 1700’s.

The Most Dangerous Part

Some point out that it’s the grapefruit’s peel, seeds and what’s known as the pith that are actually toxic for dogs. That’s true and if you carefully prepare it for consumption then you can reduce the toxicity risks.

However, we think it isn’t worth it to attempt feeding this acidic fruit to your pet. If you take a hard look at what grapefruit can uniquely offer to canines, you’ll probably agree that you should consider alternatives because the benefits don’t apply so much to pets.

Grapefruit and Vitamin C

The biggest vitamin boost to be had from eating grapefruits is from the high levels of vitamin C they contain. However, dogs don’t usually require any type of vitamin-C supplementation compared to us humans. Interestingly, they produce their own and introducing more would be overkill and possibly harmful in many instances.

The Other Health Benefits

People consume grapefruits for many reasons including for the powerful antioxidants. Dogs can also greatly benefit from antioxidants, especially older ones, but owners have to be selective about how they introduce them. The good news is that there are ways to provide this without having to give your dog any grapefruit.

Another healthy aspect that’s associated with this super fruit involves weight loss. Again, you have many alternatives available to you if you have an obese or overweight pooch. A popular diet out there is called the Grapefruit Diet but don’t even consider putting your dog on that as a way to burn fat!

Perspective & Another Use

Sure, you want the family dog to be very healthy. But instead of offering something like a highly questionable grapefruit, it would be better to spend your money on top quality food that you can consistently provide as part of their routine diet.

This way you can ensure they get lasting benefits. So while you can occasionally give your dog certain fruits, grapefruit being one exception, a good dog food makes much more sense.

FYI: It’s surprising but there’s grapefruit and spearmint aromatherapy shampoo and conditioner that’s canine-formulated. It seems to be a highly-rated product.

Conclusion on Grapefruit

Grapefruit isn’t a great choice for dogs, especially the peel and seeds. Even if you properly prepare this fruit, it could upset your buddy’s stomach. There’s a potential for more serious symptoms. It’s questionable that your dog would even like the taste of grapefruit. Consider that canines don’t typically need extra vitamin C. We recommend not giving your dog this healthy fruit.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie January, 2016

There is a difference between letting your dog eat a grapefruit, drink liters of the pure juice, and just putting a few drops or shot into a dish full of water as a supplement/taste. I think the third option would be the best idea for any who refuses to hold their dog back from ever experiencing the fruit.


William January, 2015

Grind up the seeds from grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes or other citrus fruits and add them to food. Grapefruit seeds are effective for killing, weakening and repelling parasites.


Edward January, 2015

My dog loves fruits. She steals apples from my bowl and eats a few slices. She also likes grapefruit, grapes and oranges. Honestly, it seems she prefers fruits over normal dog food.


Robin April, 2014

My dog absolutely goes bonkers over grapefruit. I always give her some, but I’d like to know if I’m doing damage.


Nicole February, 2014

My dog ate some small amounts of grapefruit the other day and had no complications. She really enjoyed it and wanted more.


Jon January, 2014

The ASPCA website says grapefruit is toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Look for diarrhea, depression, vomiting and possible photosensitivity.


Diana March, 2015

The ASPCA is referring to the grapefruit plant, not the fruit.


Jon March, 2015

The ASPCA website specifically names Citrus Paradisi and even includes a photograph of the fruit. It states, “Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses”


Janelle September, 2013

My dobie went crazy trying to get my grapefruit out of my bowl, it was weird! I didn’t think he would even like the smell of it but he did so I gave him a very small taste and he liked it, a lot! But this is not something I would give him regularly.


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