Protect Your Pup: Understanding the Serious Risks of Feeding Grapes to Dogs

Pet owners often raise questions to the experts regarding toxic foods, and many wonder whether feeding their pets grapes is a good way to go.

Now, dogs do eat grapes or raisins, which have a sweet and delicious taste, which is the most common reason for attraction towards this tasty treat. But grapes can cause serious health problems for dogs. The natural sugar in grapes is harmful to your canine friend and can cause various digestive issues.

are grapes toxic to dogs
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1. Grape Toxicity

Most dogs might enjoy eating grapes or raisins, but they are toxic. Dogs who eat grapes and raisins are at risk of kidney failure. A journal published by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests grapes and raisins ingestion can be fatal, and certain aspects need thorough research. 

The reason behind this toxicity is still not known. Some studies found that the accumulation of an unidentified golden-brown pigment within renal epithelial cells or tartaric acid in grapes could be a reason. However, various studies show different reasons for the same. We will not indulge in the scientific findings and research studies; instead, we will discuss the consequences of grape and raisin poisoning and their treatment. 

Grapes or raisins poisoning differs from one dog to another. Some dogs may not get affected by grapes or raisins consumption, whereas others might get into trouble after eating one grape; this determines that there is no well-established toxic dose for grapes or raisins. The substance consumed in proportion to the body mass is also a factor that needs keen observation. 

are grapes toxic to dogs
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2. Kidney Failure in Dogs

The kidney is a vital organ in humans and animals. There are various reasons for kidney failure in dogs. Some common causes are dental disease, bacterial infection, geriatric degeneration, congenital disease, and the one we are discussing here; toxicosis. When dogs eat grapes or raisins, that can cause damage to the kidney cells, which leads to kidney failure. 

Many professionals advise vomiting within 2 hours of consuming any toxic substance like grapes or raisins; there are some medications they prescribe to induce vomiting. Typically, apomorphine and hydrogen peroxide are the most commonly referred medicines for grape and raisin poisoning. However, you should avoid taking any action without consultation with professionals. 

Inducing vomiting may not help after certain hours. Taking your dog to a veterinary hospital must be followed if a dog eats grapes. After the necessary clinical evaluation and based on the dog’s medical condition, professionals may perform further treatment. 

3. Symptoms of Grape Poisoning if a Dog Eats Grapes

One of the most common concerns regarding dogs who eat grapes is knowing if they have eaten such toxic substances. Often pet parents fail to keep an eye on their pet’s diet (intentionally or unintentionally); this may lead their pet to consume toxic substances and suffer grape poisoning. Identifying the exhibiting signs is something that needs discussion. 

If a dog ate a grape or a raisin, one of the early signs we may see is vomiting. Lethargy, lack of appetite, or possibly diarrhoea can also appear within 12-24 hours after dogs ingest grapes. Severe signs like nausea, uremic breath, pale gums, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and excessive thirst take 24-48 hours to appear after ingestion. 

A dog’s condition may deteriorate as the grape poisoning progresses. In severe cases, urine production may be affected in dogs, which leads to increased blood pressure. The dog may get poorer once the kidneys start deteriorating. 

4. Treatment of Grape and Raisin Poisoning

Veterinary professionals would recommend canine friends follow immediate treatment or induce vomiting if their dog eats grapes. For example, decontamination immediately or within a few hours would prevent a dog’s stomach from absorbing toxins. To perform decontamination in a dog, administering a correct dose of activated charcoal may help. As already mentioned above, apomorphine and hydrogen peroxide are also options to induce vomiting. 

In the case of acute kidney failure (a serious health risk for dogs), the dog requires medical attention. The most common treatment for acute kidney failure is intravenous fluids (IV), formulated liquids used to prevent or treat dehydration. A decrease in urine during IV fluid therapy indicates the need for other treatment processes; careful monitoring is necessary. 

are grapes toxic to dogs
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5. The Most Asked Questions

5.1. What happens if your dog has eaten grapes?

Grapes are toxic to some dogs; if they have consumed them, they need immediate medical attention. In some cases, inducing dogs to vomit may help, whereas medical attention is necessary in other cases. If your dog has eaten a grape, and you find it out within a few hours, try to make the dog vomit after a consultation with a veterinary professional. 

5.2. How to Identify if Your Dog Has Consumed Grapes Accidentally?

Vomiting could be the earliest symptom after a dog eats toxic substances like grapes and raisins. A dog who has eaten such toxic substances may exhibit symptoms like vomiting, appetite lethargy, diarrhoea, and lack of appetite within 48 hours. Grapes are considered poisonous for dogs due to the presence of some substances that cause harm to the animal’s body. 

5.3. What is the reason behind grape toxicity in dogs?

According to some scientific findings, the high concentration of tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate present in the grapes are the leading causes of their toxicity. In 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association published a letter in the journal to alert practitioners regarding the toxicity of grapes. 

5.4. Reasons behind grapes, raisins, and currants toxicity to dogs?

Grapes, raisins, and currants may not be toxic to humans, but when consumed by dogs, they are considered poisonous and may lead to serious health problems for your dog. Not all dogs are privileged enough to sustain a small quantity of these toxic foods; some may fall sick even after small doses. 

Homemade playdough also contains substances that are toxic in high concentrations. Tartaric acid, an essential ingredient present is considered a toxic agent and can cause tartaric acid poisoning.

5.5 What to do if the dog ate grapes?

Dogs often eat grapes, and we might not notice it before clinical signs appear. Whether it is just dried grapes, single grape/one grape, grape juice, or grape pressings from wineries, dogs might not survive consuming grapes in any form as these are considered toxic to pet animals.

An organization named Animal Poison Control Center is just a call away if your dog suffers from grape or raisin toxicity. The pet poison helpline instructs you to take the necessary steps to avoid poisoning your dog from grape, raisin, and currant poisoning.

are grapes toxic to dogs
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6. Final Words

 Often, dog owners forget which human food might cause harm to their dog, and they end up offering such toxic substances that might develop severe toxicity. However, sometimes it is hard to prevent the dog from eating such toxic substances; thus, the above methods must be followed.

Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by