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The quick answer: Not recommended. This tart fruit is very acidic and could cause digestive upset for dogs. The rind of a grapefruit contains essential oils which are toxic to dogs.
Benefits of grapefruit
For humans, grapefruit is said to help strengthen the immune system, boost metabolism, reduce the risk of kidney stones, and help reduce stress. Grapefruit is a sweet and tart fruit that contains vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Dogs that eat a balanced dog food will get all the nutrients they need from their regular meals and do not need added fruits and vegetables to meet their nutritional requirements. However, some dogs enjoy munching on fresh produce. If you’re interested in sharing fruit with your dog, there are many options that are safer, and that your dog will find much more appetizing. Try giving your dog a bite of apple, tangerine, or cucumber instead.
Hazards of grapefruit
Due to the citric acid in grapefruits, eating a bite will likely cause your dog to experience tummy troubles and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. Though grapefruit is too sour for most dogs’ tastes, it’s a good idea to keep them well out of reach from curious dogs that like to try eating everything.
Be especially cautious about discarding the seeds and rind of a grapefruit. Not only does the rind contain essential oils which will upset your dog’s digestive system, but it is also very tough and difficult to digest. The seeds and rind may also pose a choking hazard for some dogs. If you suspect your dog has swallowed the rind of a grapefruit, contact your veterinarian. Maintain dog health insurance on your pets, so you’ll be able to get treatment for any kind of stomach upset.
When sharing safe fruits and vegetables with your dog, keep the 10% rule in mind: added snacks including fruits and veggies should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s diet.
Want to find out more about what dogs can and cannot eat? Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on “What Human Foods Dogs Can and Can Not Eat.”