Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Many pet owners have wondered – can dogs eat grapefruit? – so before you let your dog have this tangy treat, there are a few things you should understand.

Can Dogs Eat Grapefruit?

Pet owners may be worried when their dog snags a piece of grapefruit, but this isn’t as common as you might think. Most dogs dislike the taste of grapefruit, and won’t actively seek it out. However, as a general rule, you should keep this fruit out of reach of your dog.

The rind of the fruit, as well as the pith, contain certain toxins and essential oils that will likely give them gastrointestinal distress. In large quantities, the toxicity symptoms can be even more severe. Some argue that the flesh of the fruit is safe to eat, but given the limited health benefits the fruit provides, you should simply avoid this fruit altogether. [1]

A puppy sitting with his paws on a grapefruit

Dogs often do not like the citrusy taste of grapefruit. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Symptoms of Grapefruit Toxicity In Dogs

If your dog does consume toxic parts of grapefruit, some of the recognizable symptoms include the following:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Depression and behavioral changes
  • Photosensitivity

Grapefruit Toxicity Treatment

  • If you see any of the symptoms of grapefruit toxicity after your dog eats this fruit, contact your veterinarian immediately. [2]
  • They may induce vomiting or have your dog consume activated charcoal to neutralize the toxins.
  • Topical irritation or inflammation can also be treated with basic salves and creams, as well as a good scrubbing.


If you completely clear off the rind and pith from a piece of grapefruit, it could be acceptable to give your dog, in extremely limited quantities. However, feeding your dog human food should always be an occasional treat, rather than a regular dietary supplement. Regular dog food already contains an ideal nutrient mixture to keep your dog healthy and strong. [3] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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