Can Dogs Eat Grapes and Raisins?

October 26, 2020
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Grapes may seem like a harmless and healthy fruit, but for dogs, they can cause a lot of trouble. Why are grapes bad for dogs if they’re fine for us to eat?

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

Can Dogs Eat Grapes? Are Grapes Bad for Dogs? 

Grapes are toxic to dogs. All colors of grapes, such as red, green, and purple, as well as all types, including those with seeds and seedless varieties, should be avoided when it comes to dogs or any pet.

Do not give your dog grapes or grape 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 grapes are toxic to dogs and should never be given to your dog.

Grape 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 is unknown, but it’s believed that it could be the inability of dogs to metabolize flavonoids, tannins, and monosaccharides from the grapes.  

Grape products such as grape juice, grape jelly/jam and even bagels with raisins should also not be given to dogs. In addition to containing grapes, juice, jams, and jellies have a lot of sugar or corn syrup that can cause obesity and diabetes in dogs. Grapes and grape products don’t provide any nutritional value that can’t be substituted with dog-safe fruits, such as apple slices. 

Can Dogs Eat Raisins?

Raisins are also toxic to dogs. Raisins are just dehydrated grapes, so they are just as toxic.

 

Should I Worry if My Dog Ate One Grape or One Raisin? 

The toxic number of grapes or 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 grapes or raisins, but we don’t know why some dogs are affected excessively while others are not. But regardless, grapes are bad for any dog to consume, and you don’t know how your dog will react.

Signs of Grape and Raisin Toxicity in Dogs 

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

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea, often within a few hours of ingestion. You may see pieces of grapes/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 Grapes or Raisins 

If your dog eats grapes or 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 grapes or may have eaten grapes or 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 Grapes?

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

Featured Image: iStock.com/baytunc