Dog Health

Grapes and Raisins are Toxic to Dogs

September 4, 2022


Many owners will, on occasion, share a small tidbit of human food with their canine companions. But it’s important to make sure that you are aware of what foods are safe, and which ones can potentially be dangerous. Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, and at certain concentrations can even be fatal.

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Grapes and Raisins?

grapes raisins dogs

Watermelon, unlike grapes, is dog safe!

It’s still unknown what, exactly, is in grapes and raisins that is so bad for dogs.  The most current theory suggests that tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate are to blame, although further research is still ongoing.

What Happens if Dogs Eat Grapes or Raisins?

There have been cases where dogs were poisoned after eating grapes or raisins, and in some instances the fruits have proven fatal. The dogs ultimately experienced kidney failure, but first display classic signs of poisoning such as acting lethargic, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms may start as soon as a few hours after your dog eats grapes or raisins. More advanced symptoms can include food refusal, abdominal pain, and increased thirst. Severe symptoms can sometimes take as long as 24 to 48 hours to appear.

How Many Grapes or Raisins Do Dogs Have to Eat to be Toxic?

The toxic dose of grapes is not well established, but the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center suggests that a dose of 0.1 oz/kg can be toxic. Going by this, around 12 to 15 grapes would potentially be deadly to a 15lb dog. Raisins are even more concentrated than grapes, making ingesting fewer of them dangerous.  However, other sources state that ingesting any, even a very small, amount of either grapes or raisins could cause toxicity in some dogs.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Raisin or Grape

Contact your vet, or an emergency vet, right away if your dog consumes grapes or raisins.  They will most likely recommend that either they, or you, induce vomiting, as long as too much time has not passed.  They may want to administer activated charcoal, and supportive care.  There, unfortunately, is not currently an antidote to grape and raisin toxicity for dogs.  Your vet will most likely want to closely monitor and support your dog’s kidneys if they ingest either grapes or raisins.

Prevention is the Best Medicine!

If you regularly share your food with your dogs always make sure that all foods, and ingredients, are dog safe first.  The other day Kit kept trying to lick fruit juice out of my cup.  Not really a huge deal, but I wanted to check the ingredient list before letting him have a taste.  I was more looking to see if it had a lot of sugar or the potentially deadly (to pets) sugar substitute xylitol.  While that wasn’t the case, I did notice that the juice contained grapes.  I’m glad I checked.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry!  I enjoyed the juice and gave Kit a more appropriate treat.

If your dog experiences any symptoms of poisoning, or you suspect your dog may have eaten either grapes or raisins, it’s important to call your vet. The sooner the problem is dealt with, the more likely you are to avoid damaging your pets delicate kidneys.

grapes raisins dogs

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