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Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract for Your Dog


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Offering your dog grapefruit seed extract (GSE) can provide them with a number of amazing benefits. This substance works as both a preventative and a remedy and is great for a wide range of conditions that can affect your dog. If you take your dog with you on hikes in the woods or any area that can have parasites, bacteria, or fungi, then GSE is a good way to ensure they do not bring any hitchhikers home with them. GSE can be used both internally and externally to fight a variety of skin and gastrointestinal problems. 

Despite the name, grapefruit seed extract is not only from the seeds, but also contains elements of the membrane and pulp of the grapefruit. It should not be mistaken with grape seed extract which is a completely different compound made from grapes, and highly toxic to dogs. GSE is very bitter and acidic, so when taken internally, it is typically in the form of a capsule or tablet.

How Grapefruit Seed Extract Works

GSE has antiseptic properties that can help destroy a wide range of organisms both on your dog and internally. It offers antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It is also rich in vitamin C and E and serves as a detoxifier and immune booster.

Grapefruit extract works by destroying the cell membranes of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses making them unable to replicate in the body. GSE also creates an alkaline environment that is hostile to microorganisms. This supplement is most beneficial because, unlike antibiotics (which kill off all bacteria good and bad), GSE only targets the bad bacteria and microorganisms.

Conditions Treated with GSE

Grapefruit seed extract has many different uses for your dog. It is beneficial when used externally for parasites and bacterial and fungal infections, and helps fight the same infections when used internally. Discuss the uses of the extract with your vet before giving it to your dog.

External Use:

  • Skin Infections – Grapefruit seed extract makes a great antiseptic and can be mixed in your dog’s shampoo to help fight bacterial and fungal skin infections. Simply add about 10 drops of liquid GSE to your regular dog shampoo and bathe your pup as normal. Let the shampoo stay on your pooch for five to ten minutes. You can also put grapefruit seed extract in a spray bottle, 30 to 40 drops to a liter of water. This allows you to use it more frequently. Be sure to keep GSE or any products made with the extract out of your dog’s eyes.

  • Ear Infections – Ear infections are quite common in dogs, especially those with long hair and ears that cover the ear canal. One way of treating ear infections is to make a solution of 5 to 10 drops of GSE with a half-ounce of aloe vera gel. Clean ears twice daily with this mixture to kill bacteria and parasites.

  • Open Wounds and Sores – If cuts or sores are minor, they can be treated with a solution of grapefruit seed extract and water to help keep them clean and to promote healing.

Internal Use:

Grapefruit seed extract is known to help fight up to 800 strains of bacteria and viruses and can help with dental care, diarrhea, yeast infections and more. GSE can also help to clear up parasites, improve other digestive issues and boost the immune system. Consult your dog's vet to talk about the uses listed below.

  • Digestive Problems – Put one drop of GSE for each ten pounds of body weight into your dog’s food. You should give your dog this dose twice a day. If infections are acute, you should always check with your veterinarian, but higher dosages can be used since there is no known toxic level of grapefruit seed extract. GSE can be used for diarrhea, gas, and other types of stomach upset.

  • Candida – Candida is a fungal infection that can frequently be brought under control with the use of GSE. Holistic vets recommend 3 drops, twice daily, in your dog’s food.

  • Parasites – GSE is often used as a holistic remedy for giardia, worms and even fleas. For internal parasites, dosages are 10 to 15 drops per 10 pounds of body weight 3 times a day. To use as a preventative and to help repel fleas, use 1 drop of grapefruit seed extract per ten pounds of body weight twice daily.


For the most part, GSE is safe to use and there is no documentation of overdosing. However, allergic reactions do occur rarely and grapefruit seed extract can cause stomach irritation in sensitive dogs. Always give GSE with food to avoid stomach upset and watch your dog carefully for signs of a reaction. 

Grapefruit seed extract should never be used to avoid seeking appropriate medical attention for your dog. If your furry companion is sick, take them to the vet to ensure there are no serious underlying conditions. If you are interested in using GSE, a holistic vet can give you more information and help you to find the right dosages and applications for your dog’s condition.

Considering treating your pet with grapefruit seed extract? Most pet insurance companies offer wellness add-ons that cover the cost of natural supplements and preventative care. Start shopping around for pet insurance today to find the “pawfect” option for your fur-baby.

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