There are many types of fruits and vegetables that you can share with your canine companion. But, while many human foods are completely safe for dogs to eat, some, like grapes, can be dangerous.
So, can dogs eat grapes? No, dogs can’t eat grapes. Peeled and seedless grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs. The exact cause of grape toxicity is still unknown, but even a single grape can cause sudden kidney failure and death. If your dog eats grapes or raisins call your vet or animal poison control right away.
In this article, we’ll tell you why grapes are bad for dogs and what are the symptoms of grape toxicity in dogs. Continue reading to learn what to do if your dog eats grapes!
Are Grapes Good for Dogs?
Grapes, and raisins, which are dried grapes, have many health benefits for people and are commonly found in fruit bowls and salads. Full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, grapes are very healthy for you, but they can be deadly for your dog.
Grapes in any form and this includes raisins, peeled and seedless grapes, and grape juice, contain a toxin that can poison your dog. Once ingested, these fruits can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs and in some cases death in 72 hours or less.
To put it simply, dogs shouldn’t eat grapes or raisins under no circumstances! If you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes, don’t waste any time and call your vet right away.
Are Grapes Toxic to Dogs?
Scientists have put a lot of effort into figuring out the exact cause of grape and raisin toxicity in dogs. So far, research only showed that grapes are toxic to dogs, but it is still unknown why this fruit is toxic.
Although scientists don’t know which substance in grapes makes this fruit so toxic to dogs they do have several theories. So far, researchers have ruled out fungus, molds, salicylate, seeds, and pesticides as possible causes of grape toxicity.
Many believe that the inability of dogs to metabolize monosaccharides, tannins, and flavonoids from grapes is to blame. But, so far, an exact toxic agent hasn’t been identified (source).
However, although no one knows why dogs develop a toxic reaction from grapes, we know that they do. Therefore, any type of seedless or peeled grape varieties, raisins, or any other foods and products that contain grapes are all potential sources of poison.
Symptoms of Grape Toxicity in Dogs
Many dog owners, not knowing how dangerous grapes are, leave it in a fruit bowl within their dog’s reach. And since grapes are very small, your dog can eat a handful before you have any time to react.
The first symptoms of grape poisoning tend to occur 12 to 24 hours after a dog eats grapes or raisins. If you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes, watch for the following signs of grape toxicity:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea usually within the first few hours after ingestion of grapes
- Loss of appetite
- Increased urination and thirst in initial stages
- Abdominal pain
- Dehydration, with panting, dry nose, and pale gums
- Decreased urination or not urinating (signs of kidney damage)
- Bad breath
When not treated right away, grape poisoning can potentially lead to renal failure and death. Once kidneys start to shut down your dog might experience additional symptoms including seizures, tremors, and coma.
With grape or raisin poisoning, most dogs develop kidney failure within the first eight hours of ingestion. Therefore, you must be aware of the initial symptoms and call your vet or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away!
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Grapes?
If your dog eats grapes or raisins, act quickly and call your vet right away. Your vet might ask you to induce vomiting at home to get the grapes out of your dog’s stomach as quickly as possible.
However, don’t try to induce vomiting if you weren’t instructed to do so, or if your dog is unconscious and having trouble breathing. In this case, take your dog to your vet or the closest emergency clinic.
Your vet will induce vomiting if grapes were ingested less than two hours ago and then administer activated charcoal. This will help bind any leftover grapes and toxins and prevent any additional kidney damage (source).
Depending on your dog’s condition, your vet may order additional tests to check kidney function and see if there is any damage. Your vet can also administer intravenous fluids and keep your dog hospitalized for 48 hours to monitor how his kidneys are functioning.
How Many Grapes Will Hurt a Dog?
It’s hard to say how many grapes will hurt a dog because scientists still don’t know what exactly makes grapes and raisins toxic to dogs. Furthermore, the risk also depends on your dog’s size, age, overall health, and how many grapes he has eaten.
For example, eating a single grape can prove fatal for a small dog like a Chihuahua but might not harm a large Labrador. Still, larger size doesn’t guarantee safety, and some large dogs can get poisoned from only several grapes.
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how many grapes will hurt your dog! Thus, for your dog’s safety, make sure that all grapes and raisins are stored out of reach.
Many fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat, but grapes and raisins are highly toxic, even in small amounts. Grape toxicity can cause kidney damage that can result in sudden renal failure that can be lethal.
Unfortunately, no one knows how many grapes can make a dog sick and not all dogs are affected the same way. Some dogs develop a serious reaction and experience sudden kidney failure, while others aren’t affected at all.
Nevertheless, grapes and raisins are bad for dogs and you have to make sure that they are kept out of your dog’s reach. And if by any chance your dog eats grapes consider it an emergency and call your vet right away!