Can Dogs Eat Raisins?

Published Oct. 26, 2020
close-up of rasisins

Raisins may seem like a harmless and healthy snack, but for dogs, they can cause a lot of trouble. Why are raisins bad for dogs if they’re fine for us to eat?

Here’s some valuable info on why dogs can’t eat raisins and what to do if you even suspect that your dog ate even one raisin.

Are Raisins Bad for Dogs? 

Raisins are toxic to dogs. They are just dehydrated grapes, which are also toxic to dogs. 

Do not give your dog raisins or raisin products, and make sure your dog does not have access to them at all times. Make sure that all family members and visitors know that raisins are toxic to dogs and should never be given to your dog.

Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure, which can be fatal. The exact toxic substance in grapes and raisins is unknown, but it’s believed that it could be the inability of dogs to metabolize flavonoids, tannins, and monosaccharides from the grapes.  

Even bagels with raisins should not be given to dogs. Raisins and raisin products don’t provide any nutritional value that can’t be substituted with dog-safe fruits, such as apple slices. 

Should I Worry if My Dog Ate One Raisin? 

The toxic number of raisins is unknown, and it doesn’t affect all dogs the same. Based on known cases of grape toxicity in dogs, even one or a few grapes or raisins can cause acute kidney failure, which can be fatal.

Kidney failure is not seen in all dogs that eat raisins, but we don’t know why some dogs are affected excessively while others are not. But regardless, raisins are bad for any dog to consume, and you don’t know how your dog will react.

Signs of Raisin Toxicity in Dogs 

The onset of symptoms tends to occur between 12-24 hours after a dog eats raisins. Symptoms of raisin toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea, often within a few hours of ingestion. You may see pieces of raisins in your dog’s stool or vomit.

  • Increased urination (initial stages)

  • Drinking a lot (initial stages)

  • Decreased urination or not urinating (sign of the kidneys shutting down)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lethargy, weakness, or unusual quietness

  • Dehydration (Check by gently pulling up the skin at the back of your dog’s neck. If it doesn’t go back into place right away, your dog is dehydrated.)

  • Bad breath

What to Do if Your Dog Ate Raisins 

If your dog eats raisins, treat it as an emergency situation. Take your dog to your local veterinarian or pet emergency clinic for assistance.

Call the clinic to let them know you are coming and that your dog ate raisins or may have eaten raisins. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 on the way to the vet’s office.

Do not induce vomiting if you have not been instructed to do so, and especially if you aren’t sure what your dog ate or if your dog is:

  • Unconscious

  • Having trouble breathing

  • Showing signs of serious distress or shock

Your dog may vomit on their own, but whether or not your dog vomits, you still need to go to the vet immediately.

What Will the Vet Do to Help a Dog That Ate Raisins?

The mainstay of treatment at the vet’s office starts with decontamination. Your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting to get the raisins out. Then they will give activated charcoal to help bind any leftover raisins in the stomach and absorb the toxin.

Expect that your dog may need to be hospitalized for 48 hours so the vet can give intravenous fluid therapy and monitor your dog’s kidneys through bloodwork.  

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Hector Joy, DVM


Hector Joy, DVM


After graduating with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University, Dr. Joy completed a 1-year internship in general canine and...

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