Are Grapes Toxic to Dogs?

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Michael Fassbender

Grapes and raisins are highly toxic for dogs, regardless of breed, age, or gender. There is ongoing research about why that is. There isn’t a safe amount of grapes or raisins that your dog can consume. Grape toxicity is linked with kidney damage. Eating the fruit can result in sudden kidney failure and even death. The toxic substance in grapes is unknown, but dogs cannot metabolize tannins, flavonoids, and monosaccharides from grapes. This could be the primary reason for grape toxicity in dogs. When dogs eat grapes of any kind and in any form, they are at risk of kidney (renal) failure. All types of grapes, whether cooked, seedless, peeled, dried, or fresh, are toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. You should also avoid giving your dog any grape products such as raisins, juices, jelly, or jam.

Since there isn’t a well-established toxic dose of grapes for dogs, even very low amounts of it could be harmful to your pet. For example, an amount as low as 0.3 ounces of grapes per pound of body weight could also cause various symptoms of food toxicity. If your dog consumes even tiny amounts of grapes, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. They may be able to induce vomiting so your pet is in the clear instead of waiting for serious symptoms that can be fatal. Keep an eye out for serious symptoms such as increased blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. If you are unaware of the food product that your dog has consumed, it is wise to induce vomiting. However, if your dog has trouble breathing or exhibits any signs of distress, you should visit the vet as soon as possible.

Discovering the Culprit

ASPCA Poison Control Center (APCC) veterinarians solved the 20-year mystery of why grapes, raisins and sultanas are poisonous to dogs. It turns out that the tartaric acid in grapes causes these symptoms. Grape toxicity has previously been difficult to assess. After ingesting grapes, some dogs suffered mildly, while others had acute renal failure. Knowing that tartaric acid is the culprit explains much. Grapes, raisins and sultanas contain different levels of tartaric acid based on the type of grape, where it was grown and ripeness.

Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Ingestion

Loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, increased thirst, and kidney failure are some of the signs and symptoms of toxic ingestion. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after consuming grapes, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Grapes

If your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, treatment is absolutely critical. Contact your veterinarian, who may suggest you induce vomiting as soon as possible. However, you should not induce vomiting if your dog is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or exhibiting signs of distress, as well as if you’re not sure what they have eaten.

Grape and Raisin FAQs

FAQ #1: My dog ate grape jelly. Will he be ok?

At this point, there haven’t been any reports of toxicity from grape juice, jelly, or jam. But there is a lot we still don’t know about grape toxicity. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving your dog grape jelly, grape jam, or grape juice. If your dog does ingest one of those products, contact your veterinarian, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, or Pet Poison Helpline.

FAQ #2: My dog ate raisin bread. Is this bad for her?

Any raisin-containing product, such as raisin bread, cinnamon raisin bagels, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate-covered raisins, Raisin Bran cereal, or yogurt-covered raisins could be toxic for dogs. While cooking the raisins may slightly decrease their toxicity, they can still cause kidney failure in many dogs. If your dog eats raisins in trail mix, baked goods, or any other food, please promptly contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline for advice.

FAQ #3: My dog ate one grape. Can one grape kill a dog?

While just one grape may seem harmless, it could potentially be dangerous, especially for a very small dog. We still don’t understand exactly why some dogs develop kidney failure from a small amount of grapes or raisins while others can eat grapes every day and be just fine. Therefore, the best course of action is to seek immediate veterinary care if your dog has ingested any amount of grapes or raisins.

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