When it comes to foods that dogs absolutely, positively cannot eat, you might not realize what falls near the top. Most of us know about chocolate, for instance—but grapes are usually a surprise. However, even one grape or raisin could have devastating consequences when it comes to the health and well-being of your dog. Read up to find out why, and what to do if your dog happens to eat one.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
In short, no. Or at least they shouldn’t. Just one or two grapes—which may seem harmless enough—can lead to serious illness or even death in some dogs. The main consequence is sudden, acute kidney failure. Studies haven’t confirmed the exact reason for this, though pesticides, heavy metals, and fungi have been ruled out.
While the particular compound of a grape that leads to that scary reaction is still a mystery, one thing isn’t: the incredible toxicity of grapes for these dogs. It’s thought that perhaps a genetic variant causes some dogs to be susceptible to grape poisoning, while others remain unaffected by it.
Dogs and Raisins Don’t Mix, Either
Raisins are dried grapes, so they’re also toxic. Some say that because raisins are more concentrated than grapes, they’re actually more toxic. The bottom line is still the same: no raisins for your dog.
What Are the Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Dogs?
Sometimes, it only takes a small amount for dogs to experience symptoms of grape toxicity. The size, age, or overall health of your dog doesn’t change whether or not your dog will be affected. Some dogs suffer from vomiting and diarrhea as their bodies try to purge the poison, which results in lethargy and dehydration.
Signs of dehydration in dogs include:
- Heavy panting
- Dry nose and mouth
- Light gums
The most serious complication, however, is sudden kidney failure, which leads to a lack of urine production and can even lead to death.
Can Grapes Kill Dogs?
Without immediate care, yes. Sudden kidney failure is the most extreme consequence of eating grapes, which can cause death in only days.
How Do I Know If My Dog Ate Grapes?
It can be hard to know, because symptoms of grape toxicity mimic other illnesses. If you saw your dog eat grapes or raisins, call the vet immediately. And if you didn’t spot the illicit snacking, it goes without saying that if your dog is acting out of character, vomits, or has bad diarrhea, you should also call the vet.
The fewer grapes your dog eats and the earlier you seek treatment, the greater chance of a favorable prognosis.
The bottom line? Feeding dogs grapes and raisins = an absolute no.
Fortunately, there are plenty of fruits and veggies that your CAN enjoy safely. This list is a great starting place.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.