Before we start things off, there's a very important question we need to answer.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
And now for the answer:
Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) are toxic to dogs when consumed. Dogs of any breed, age, or gender are susceptible to grape toxicity. Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can be fatal for your dog.
Although it is not yet known what exact substance makes grapes toxic to dogs, the toxic effects of grapes in dogs have been well-documented. In some dogs, ingestion of grapes leads to severe kidney damage, which can result in sudden kidney failure, lack of urine production, and even death. So, long story short, you do not want your dog munching on any amount of grapes or raisins.
My dog ate a grape - what do I do?? Well below are common symptoms of grape poisoning. However, if you believe your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, seek medical attention immediately regardless of whether your dog exhibits these symptoms.
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea (usually within a few hours of ingestion; may contain pieces of grapes or raisins)
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain (tender to touch)
- Dehydration and/or increased thirst
- Urine production that has decreased or ceased
- Kidney failure
What To Do?
If you believe your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, seek medical attention immediately
. Your first step is to call your veterinarian (or local animal emergency clinic if it's after hours). Grape poisoning is a time-sensitive medical emergency that can potentially result in kidney failure and even death. While some dogs may be able to consume some grapes with no adverse effects, it is best to not take the risk with your furry family member.
If you are positive that your dog has consumed grapes or raisins and they have not begun vomiting, your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting as soon as possible (especially within the first 2 hours of ingestion). This may purge the fruit from your dog’s system and prevent or slow down additional absorption of toxins. However, you should not induce vomiting if your dog shows signs of difficult breathing, distress, or unconsciousness.
Your veterinarian will likely require you to bring your pet in so they can stabilize your dog’s condition as much as possible, which may include pumping the stomach, inducing more vomit, and/or supporting the kidney.
How To Prevent Grape Poisoning
Like with any toxic food source, the most important step is prevention. Keep dog-toxic substances (e.g., grapes, raisins, chocolate, rodent poison, et cetera) secure and out of reach from your four-legged friends. Be mindful of picking up any grapes or raisins that drop on the floor or any surface your dog could access. Educate those who also care for your pup (others who live in the household, pet sitters, friends who crash at your place more than their own...) on the toxicity of grapes and raisins to dogs. Your dog’s kidneys will thank you!