Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit? Is It Safe?

The rise in popularity of dog owners feeding their dogs more fruits and veggies raises the question; which fruits and veggies are actually safe for our dogs? Well, for starters, grapefruit is not one of them. As it contains many healthy substances that can be beneficial to human health, it can have quite the opposite effect on your dog.

The fact that grapefruits are one of the healthiest fruits out there makes us believe they should be safe for our dog, but quite the opposite is true. Due to the toxic compounds and essential oils that grapefruit contains, your dog’s grapefruit consumption can lead to health issues and scares that are not relevant to human health.

Why Your Dog Should Avoid Grapefruit

Within grapefruits, you will find essential oils and toxins known as psoralens, and these are the root most health issues that will affect your dog after consumption. A lot of the symptoms described below fall under the category of Grapefruit Poisoning.

After ingestion and exposure to the sun, the psoralens can lead to phototoxic dermatitis, leaving your dog with highly uncomfortable itches, rashes, burns and lesions. These effects will need to be treated by your veterinarian immediately, and can often cost a lot to remedy. These skin issues can leave your dog very anxious and uncomfortable.

In relation to the phototoxic dermatitis they may experience, your dog also may become more photosensitive, making them less capable of withstanding the light that enters their eyes.

After consumption, your dog may experience diarrhea and vomiting due to their inability to properly digest the grapefruit and its toxic components.

Symptoms of excessive drooling and excessive thirst may also arise, followed by incapability to properly walk or stand, throwing their coordination out of whack.

Grapefruit contains a lot of highly acidic properties, which can cause wear-and-tear on their insides and digestive processes, while also decaying their teeth and its protective properties.

The sour taste will likely be undesirable for your dog, so any attempt to forcibly feed them grapefruits would absolutely never be recommended, for this reason and the ones listed above.

Not Just Grapefruits!

There are many healthy fruits and veggies out there for your dog, but, just like grapefruit, many can also prove to be detrimental to their health.

Grapes and raisins are at the top of this list, causing health issues in many dogs, and even cats, who happen to ingest them.

Their consumption of grapes and raisins can lead to renal failure in a lot of dogs, and essentially in all cats.

Renal failure in your dog can happen within just a few days after consumption, and smaller dogs are even more at risk.

Immediate tell-tale signs of renal failure are vomiting and diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion, and can likely be followed by abdominal pain, dehydration and tremors.

Are Any Parts Of The Grapefruit Safe For My Dog?

To stray any dog owner away from feeding their dog grapefruit, it is safe to say that basically all parts of the grapefruit are toxic for your dog, the most toxic parts being the seeds, pit and peel. Dog owners feeding their dogs the peel is the most common, but this, as mentioned,  should always be avoided, as there are many toxic components in it.

Every part of the grapefruit contains some substances that are not beneficial for your dogs health. Many parts are good for human health, but this has proven to not be true for dogs. Your dogs inability to properly digest the grapefruit in a non-life threatening way should always keep you away from feeding them the fruit.

Simply, it is not worth it to feed your dog this fruit in any way, seeing that there are many safer alternatives for them to digest that will provide them with the health benefits that grapefruits have to offer.

No Grapefruit, No Problem

Seeing that there are no beneficial uses in your dog’s grapefruit consumption, it is always recommended to just steer clear of introducing grapefruit into their diet. Their grapefruit consumption will likely only lead to health issues, big or small, that will make your dog uncomfortable and just simply not themselves. There are many safe fruit and veggie alternatives out there for your dog, so just leave grapefruits out of the equation! In the end, it is not worth it.


Elliott, Brianna. “10 Science-Based Benefits of Grapefruit.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 18 Feb. 2017,

Gwaltney-Brant, Sharon M. “Raisins and Grapes – Toxicology.” Merck Veterinary Manual,

Turner, Callum. “Grapefruit Poisoning in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, Wag!, 6 Oct. 2016,

Wakefield, Mary. “Citrus Oil.” Citrus Oil – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, 2014,

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