Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

can dogs eat grapes

The answer is NO; grapes are bad for dogs to eat, so asking the vet “my pup ate one grape, will he be ok?” is a common question. So, to keep your dog, Bosco, safe from them is important. Just a small amount can cause serious complications.

This is because grapes are documented to cause toxicity in canines. If your pet eats significant amounts of this fruit or raisins, he will most likely become poisoned. Too, among dogs, there is an individual sensitivity to fruit. Some pups can eat a small dose and be fine, and other can eat one and are poisoned. There’s no way to tell which way your dog would react, though a bigger pup won’t react to a few grapes as badly as a smaller dog usually.

dog starving at grapes

Mistakes do happen; however, and sometimes your canine companion may eat this fruit by accident. Maybe you had some grapes or raisins on the counter or the coffee table and walked away for a few minutes. Maybe it was a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich he ate. Just like with children, it only takes a moment of inattention to have a disaster happen. Still, there are some things you can do if your pup eats too much, and we will explain that later in this article.

Are Grapes Safe for Dogs?

The answer to this question is no, grapes aren’t safe for pups. So, the next question to keep him safe that needs to be asked is why. If you know why then you will understand better the procedures to treat your lovely friend if he eats fruits also. So, the reason why grapes aren’t safe is that the complications to the kidneys of a dog that cause. 

Grapes can cause acute kidney failure without urine output. These are toxic with or without their skin because it’s the fleshy part of the grape which is the problem. An interesting fact is that even though dogs react badly to this fruit, it’s isn’t known what’s in the grape that causes this problem.

dog eat grape

Another thing is if Bosco does get into your grapes, his weight compared to how much he ate is vital in how he gets sick he gets and how severe the poisoning will be.

What happens if a Dog Eats a Grape?

The debate about why this fruit makes pups sick has a lot of different opinions. One theory is that your pup will have an idiosyncratic reaction. It’s not an allergy, but there’s a reaction the first time your canine friend eats grapes. Another theory is that the fruit could have been exposed to fungus or molds which produce the toxins nephrotoxic mycotoxins. But nothing has been found on it to prove this theory.

So, if Bosco does eat grapes or raisins, what should look you for?
There are symptoms or a combination of symptoms which will make you aware that this fruit is poisoning your pet. The symptoms to look for are:

  • If there’s diarrhea and vomiting a few hours after Bosco has eaten the grapes. Diarrhea or vomit may have some pieces of the fruit in it.
  • If there is a loss of appetite or he won’t drink even though water is offered.
  • If he’s lethargic, is unusually quiet and is acting weak; for example, having trouble getting up or down.
  • If you notice he has foul smelling breath, ulcers in his mouth or whimpers with abdominal pain if touched on the abdomen.
  • If he has tremors or starts to have seizures.
  • If your pet goes into a coma
pup and wine glass and grape

Things to do if your dog accidentally Ingests Grapes

If your pet accidentally ingests grapes, it’s a medical emergency, and he will need treatment immediately. If you know for sure that Bosco has eaten in the last two hours, you need to get him to vomit. You must get him to do this as soon as you’re sure he’s eaten the fruits before the toxins are absorbed.

But, there are reasons not to have your pet vomit immediately which are also important to observe.

  • If your pet is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.
  • If Bosco is showing signs of shock or acute distress.
  • Or if you’re not sure he has eaten the grapes.
dog eating cookies from table

If your pet has vomited already, don’t make him try to vomit more. Call your vet for advice on what to do until you get your pet to the office.

If your vet tells you to try to induce vomiting, you can use this method:

If Bosco hasn’t eaten in the last two hours, offer him a small amount of food. It will help him to vomit when the treatment is administered, but it’s not overly important if he doesn’t eat the food. Next, you measure 1 milliliter (ml) 3% hydrogen peroxide for one pound of Bosco’s weight with either a teaspoon or a syringe. The most hydrogen peroxide that you can give a pup is 45 ml. This is even if you have a large dog over 45 pounds.

You open your pet’s mouth and squirt the hydrogen peroxide using either a turkey baster or a syringe. If nothing happens within fifteen minutes, you can do the process again but don’t do it more than two times and less than fifteen minutes apart. If Bosco still hasn’t thrown up after the second dose, don’t try to induce anymore vomiting. Also, only use hydrogen period and not something stronger unless it’s cleared with your veterinarian.

At this point, whether Bosco throws up or not after this first initial care, he needs to go to the vet immediately. Your vet may need to soak up any leftover toxins in Bosco’s stomach; your vet may need to give him activated charcoal or administer a gastric lavage. The vet will also start treatment to help protect your pet’s kidneys.

The treatment following Grape Ingestion

If Bosco has thrown up or had diarrhea, the vet may want a sample of either or both. It will help your vet figure out how severe the poisoning is and begin treatment faster. Your vet will perform a blood count, urinalysis and biochemistry profile. The tests could show increased blood calcium plus higher levels of creatinine and phosphorous which tell how the kidneys are functioning. Also, changes in the urine could show up dealing with protein and glucose.  

Too, an ultrasound can display the size of the kidneys, as well as deposits of minerals which are abnormal. If there weren’t any pieces of grapes in the feces or vomit, then treatment is based on circumstantial evidence as well as any symptoms Bosco may be showing. After the tests are completed, your pet will be put on intravenous fluid therapy. This is to flush the toxins out of Bosco’s bloodstream. The fluid therapy encourages his kidneys to keep making urine. Your vet, if necessary, could give your pet medications to keep him from vomiting and to maintain the kidney function. During this period, the vet will be doing a lot of rechecking of bloodwork to monitor the function of Bosco’s kidneys.

Vet and sick dog

Bosco will be on intravenous fluids for between 24-48 hours following eating the fruits. He will be at the vet for between two to seven days depending on how severe the poisoning is. After Bosco is released to go home, he’ll need bloodwork repeated in about 2-3 days. The reason for the rechecking after being sent home is to be sure that the kidney blood values haven’t increased.

The Prognosis

What the prognosis turns out to depend on several factors. For instance, how severely was Bosco poisoned; how soon after ingestion was the toxins removed from his system, and if had already started into kidney failure. It also depends on when treatment was started and whether the kidney values and clinical signs improved after treatment was started.

If Bosco only ate a couple of grapes, depending on how big he is, and got immediate attention, then he would have a good prognosis probably.

Goldie looking at raisins and grape

How to Avoid Poisoning

It can be so toxic to Bosco that he shouldn’t even have that bite of peanut butter and grape jelly on toast or in a sandwich. The fresh fruit needs to be avoided as well as jelly, juice, and even fruit gummies. Also, if you have a glass of wine sitting around, empty the glass and wash it out.

Dog staring at grapes and figs

Another point is to make sure that your family members are aware of the dangers of Bosco eating grapes. Kids are known to feed dogs food which the pet shouldn’t be eating.

There are so many foods and treats for dogs which are healthy, so feeding him with this fruit is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Question: Were you aware of the dangers of grapes and raisins to your pet?

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can dog eat grapes and raisins - infographic

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