Grapes may seem like a perfectly harmless fruit to you, but if you have heard that both grapes and raisins could harm your dog, you may be wondering – can dogs eat grapes?
In this article, we will look at the risks of feeding these foods to your pet dog, and tell you what to do if your dog eats them.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Are grapes safe for dogs to eat?
- Can dogs eat raisins?
- Symptoms of grape & raisin poisoning
- What to do if your dog eats grapes or raisins
- Treatment For Grape & Raisin Poisoning?
- How to prevent grape and raisin poisoning
- Alternative fruit treats for your dog
No, your dog shouldn’t eat grapes.
Grape and raisins are highly toxic to dogs. Ingesting grapes could potentially lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs.
Are Grapes Safe For Dogs To Eat?
Grapes are one of the most toxic fruits that your dog can consume. One of the most severe complications is severe kidney damage, which can lead to sudden kidney failure and anuria (lack of urine production).
Not all dogs are affected this severely after eating grapes, although there have been many cases of grape toxicity recorded amongst dogs, and the risks are incredibly high.
Due to grapes usually being packaged or displayed in fruit bowls on a vine and in large bunches, care should be taken not to allow your dog access, as they are likely to eat many grapes at once.
Even a small amount of the fruit is dangerous and can cause kidney failure in some dogs.
You should be careful not to allow your dog to have access to any part of the grape, including the vine and stalks, any seeds, and regardless of the color of the fruit or whether the grapes have been peeled.
Can Dogs Eat Raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes and are, therefore, just as dangerous and toxic as fresh grapes.
They may even perhaps be considered a higher risk as they come in packets that contain many raisins, which are easy for your dog to eat all at once, and are a popular snack for children and straightforward addition to cereal, cakes, and other desserts and foods.
Very little is known about the toxicity of this fruit, and therefore it is impossible to say how much or how small grapes or raisins will pose a severe threat to your dog.
Factors may include the size, weight, and breed of your dog, the quantity of the toxic food they eat, or just your dog’s reaction to the toxicity.
Related Topic: Can dogs eat peanuts?
It is essential to be aware that even a single raisin can cause problems for your dog, and so it is best to keep your dog safe by keeping grapes, raisins, and food products that contain them out of your dog’s reach.
Your dog will be attracted to grapes and raisins as dogs are primarily drawn to things that smell good.
Dogs are curious creatures, and they like to investigate new things like foods not only with the eyes and noses but also with their mouths.
If you leave grapes and raisins within reach of your dog thinking he won’t be interested, you are likely to be mistaken, so don’t take the risk.
Symptoms Of Grape & Raisin Poisoning
Your dog can start to show symptoms of grape and raisin poisoning after eating just a single grape or raisin. If you know or suspect that your dog has consumed one or more grapes or raisins, these are the signs and symptoms you should look out for.
- Vomiting and diarrhea within a few hours after ingestion – You may notice pieces of the grapes or raisins in the fecal contents of vomit.
- Decreased appetite or no interest in food or treats
- Lethargy, weakness, a lack of interest in activities, or unusual withdrawn behavior and quietness.
- Dehydration and/or decreased or no urine production
- Increased thirst and urination
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Foul breath
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Grapes Or Raisins
If you know that your dog has consumed grapes, raisins, or a food product that contains either, for example, a fruitcake or grape juice, you should treat the incident as an emergency, regardless of whether your dog has started to show symptoms.
The sooner that you can get your dog to see a veterinarian, the better chance you will have of treating your dog before his condition gets worse. If you are not sure what to do, you can phone your vet for advice.
They are likely to ask you to take your dog to your nearest veterinary clinic for immediate emergency treatment.
You should take the situation especially seriously if you have a small dog, as it may only take a minimal amount of the toxic fruit to affect them.
Likewise, if your dog has eaten an enormous quantity of the fruit in any form, or if you have an older dog that could be more vulnerable if complications occur.
Treatment For Grape & Raisin Poisoning?
Your vet’s priority will be to try and get as much of the toxic material out of your dog’s system before your dog has the chance to absorb it.
If your dog ingested the grapes and raisins recently, your vet’s first action would be to induce vomiting.
To do this, they will use an injection that causes your dog to vomit immediately, emptying the stomach.
When your dog vomits, your vet will be able to see in the contents to get an idea of how much of the toxic food has already been digested and is passing through your dog’s system.
If you have taken your dog to the vet early enough, most of the grapes or raisins will be able to be brought back up with induced vomiting.
Your vet may need to follow induced vomiting with gastric lavage, which is a procedure to wash out the stomach.
You will then be sent away at this point with a prescription of activated charcoal, which can be administered at home and aims to absorb any of the remaining toxins in your dog’s system.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
In more severe cases, or where your dog has ingested grapes or raisins longer than two hours before treatment, your dog might need to stay in the hospital to begin intravenous fluid therapy.
This helps to flush toxins out of the bloodstream, encouraging the kidneys to keep producing urine. Your vet with regular blood work checks will then continuously monitor your dog’s kidney function.
In the circumstance of kidney failure, things won’t be looking good for your dog. To support your dog’s life, Haemodialysis may be necessary until the kidneys recover, but there is no guarantee that they will.
For some dog owners, a kidney transplant could be an option at this point, but many opt for euthanasia as the most humane and practical course of action once the kidneys have shut down.
How To Prevent Grape & Raisin Poisoning
The only way to prevent grape and raisin poisoning is to be aware of the dangers and make sure that the other people in your dog’s life are aware of the severe health implications too.
This may include educating your family members, especially young children, who are less likely to be careful when offering your dog titbits.
You should also ensure that anyone else caring for your dog is aware of food toxicities, for example, your puppy sitter, dog walker or dog boarder, and any grooming services your use for your dog. Always be aware of strangers out on walks who wanted to pet or offer food to your dog.
Training your dog to leave food alone, whether it is available to them or not, unless you have given them a command to communicate that they can have it is a great precaution.
Alternatively, teaching your dog commands like “leave it” and “drop it,” and other self-control exercises around tasty food options can be a great tool to help your dog avoid eating things he shouldn’t, and which might be dangerous for him.
Aside from these things the best thing you can do is to keep all food that isn’t meant for your dog, out of their reach, and resist allowing your dog to beg at the dinner table, hoover up leftovers or hover in the kitchen for fallen titbits while you are preparing food.
It is also a good idea to ensure that you have full control over your dog during the picnic and BBQ season, to avoid your dog raiding other people’s food supplies while out on walk-in warmer weather.
Alternative Fruit Treats For Your Dog
Just because grapes are toxic for your dog, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid feeding fruits and berries to your dog ultimately. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & strawberries are great treats for your dog.
Many fruits can provide your dog with health benefits and be a healthy treat alternative to many of the commercial dog treats on the market.
Here are some safe and tasty fruits that your dog can enjoy:
Tip: Be careful to avoid feeding the stalks and cores, pips, and stones to your dog, as these may pose a health risk.
Can a single grape kill a dog?
Just one or two grapes can lead to serious illness or even death in some dogs from acute kidney failure.
How soon will a dog get sick after eating grapes?
The first symptoms are usually vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms will usually develop within 24-48 hours.
Can dogs eat green grapes?
No. Grapes are highly toxic to some dogs, and this appears to be the case with all grape varieties—red or green, seedless or not. It’s unclear what about grapes makes them so dangerous, but ingestion can cause kidney failure and even death.
Grapes are a common household fruit and pose a significant threat to your dog, particularly in the form of raisins because they are hidden in all sorts of sweet treats, and easily fall to the ground without you noticing for your dog’s expert nose to sniff out.
Vet bills can quickly soar if your dog ingests even a small quantity of this toxic fruit, and your dog’s life could be put at risk.
It is, therefore, crucial to be vigilant and know what foods your dog has access to and to help spread the word to others so that more people are aware of the dangers for their pets.