There is no doubt that grapefruit is among the most beneficial fruits for humans. So, most dog owners tend to share it with their dogs because they want their tail-waggers to benefit from the anti-oxidant filled grapefruit as much as they do. But is that the right move? Is grapefruit good for dogs, or is it bad? In this article, we will find an answer to that question.
Is Grapefruit Good or Bad for Dogs?
The short answer to that question is, unfortunately no. Although it has many benefits for humans, grapefruit is not a fruit that is good for dogs because it contains some compounds that are harmful and even toxic to pups. Also, most dogs don’t even like the taste of the grapefruit, so, they will most likely stay away from it.
Let’s look at the effects of grapefruit for dogs and the alternative fruits that you can feed to your pooch.
Effects of the Grapefruit for Dogs
It is Toxic to Dogs
As we mentioned above, grapefruit, the cousin of the orange and lemon, has a wide range of benefits for humans. Like the other members of the citrus family, it is loaded with vitamin C. Other than that; it has high amounts of fiber.
On paper, grapefruit seems like a very nutritious and beneficial fruit for both dogs and humans. But that is not the case because grapefruit contains some toxins that can be very harmful to tail-waggers.
The essential oils and psoralens in grapefruit are toxic to dogs. If your pooch ends up consuming too much and becomes exposed to UV light from the sun, psoralens in it can lead to phototoxic dermatitis.
Most parts of the grapefruit contain some kinds of compounds that are toxic to dogs. The seeds, the flesh, peel, and the pith, contain toxins that can be dangerous when consumed too much.
But some parts of the grapefruit are more toxic to dogs than the others. For instance, peel and seeds are the most toxic parts of this citrus fruit.
It Can Cause Digestive Issues
Grapefruit has very high levels of citric acid. So, it can cause severe discomfort for your pooch if consumed too much.
Symptoms of Grapefruit Poisoning
Even the smallest amount of grapefruit can cause issues for pups. The common symptoms to look for are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, behavioral changes, and photo-sensitivity.
The photo-sensitivity is very easy to detect because your pooch will become sensitive to light and will have a hard time standing.
Other less common symptoms can occur if your dog ends up eating too much grapefruit. They include trembling, general debility, and rashes. In excessive amounts, grapefruit can even affect your dog’s kidney.
Luckily, like most of the other animals, dogs can identify most of the foods that are harmful to them. Also, dogs can taste the sour taste of the grapefruit, and they don’t like it. So, it is unlikely that they will attempt to eat a grapefruit.
If your pooch is like most of the other dogs, he will dislike the taste of the grapefruit. That is why there is no reason to force him to eat a fruit that he is not fond of. Also, because of the reasons that we mentioned above, grapefruit can cause severe issues for pups.
Treatment of the Grapefruit Poisoning
We should start by mentioning that if your pooch consumed even small amounts of grapefruit, you should immediately contact the vet. Because the consequences of not doing it can be severe.
When you call the vet, he will able to clarify whether the symptoms are the result of grapefruit consumption. He will probably give your pooch IV fluids. Also, he will provide supportive care to treat symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, the vet will monitor his liver and kidney functions. In the meantime, he will make sure that your pooch is not getting dehydrated.
The method of treatment will depend on how long ago your dog consumed the grapefruit. If your dog ate the grapefruit less than half an hour ago, the vet would likely induce vomiting. Then, he will administer activated charcoal to soak up any residual toxins.
If your dog’s issue is skin related photosensitivity, the vet might collect a scraping sample to examine what is causing the problem. He will do that by scraping a layer of your dog’s skin and view it under the microscope. This will allow her to rule out other causes of skin irritation.
We should mention that grapefruit toxicity is a serious issue, and, in some cases, it can even be fatal. So, if you suspect that your pooch has eaten the grapefruit, the best thing to do would be taking him to the vet immediately.
Alternatives to Grapefruit
Fortunately, grapefruit is not the only citrus fruit around, and there are many alternatives to it. Tangerine and orange can be perfect substitutes for grapefruit.
The good news is they contain all the nutrients that grapefruit has, and they are perfectly safe to be consumed by dogs. You can offer some to your tail-wagger and see if he likes it. We should mention that there is a good chance he won’t because dogs don’t usually like the acidic fruits.
Also, you should keep in mind to keep the lemon away from your pooch because it is another citrus fruit that is toxic to dogs. Like grapefruit, lemon also contains psoralen, which is a compound that is toxic to dogs and can cause stomach issues.
Conclusion: Is Grapefruit Good or Bad for Dogs?
The idea of feeding your pooch a fruit that contains high levels of vitamin C can be tempting. But sadly, grapefruit is not the ideal fruit for your pooch to consume.
It contains psoralen, a compound that can be toxic to dogs, and it can cause several issues such as photosensitivity and digestive issues. These issues can be serious, so, it is a good idea to take your tail-wagger to a vet if you suspect that he ate some grapefruits.
Also, citrus fruits are a family that consists of a lot of fruits such as oranges and tangerines. They are perfectly safe for dogs, but it is possible that your pooch will not like the taste of them. But there’s no harm in trying!