If a dog vomits after accidentally eating grapes, it can be a cause for concern for new dog owners. Unfortunately, grapes can be particularly bad for dogs and should be given immediate action if you suspect that your pooch has eaten a few pieces. In this article, we answer a question that many pet parents have probably wondered about at some point in their journey, “Are grapes bad for dogs?”
Are Grapes Bad for Dogs?
All types of grapes, including green grapes, purple grapes, red grapes, and both seeded and seedless grapes have a toxic effect on dogs. Moreover, grape-related foods such as wine, grape juice, currants, and raisins will also hurt our canine companions. By doing research and learning what we can about symptoms of grape toxicity, we’ll be able to determine whether our pup will need immediate treatment or not.
Why Are Grapes Bad For Dogs?
Unfortunately, researchers aren’t sure of what makes grapes toxic to dogs. Many of them speculate that it’s a mycotoxin called tartaric acid, a toxic substance produced by fungus or mold. Others suspect that a salicylate drug found in dogs causes problems in our dog’s health.
When a dog becomes sick from eating grapes or grape-based products, it’s referred to as grape or raisin toxicosis. After eating grapes, dogs are likely to experience acute kidney injury (AKI) or kidney damage. The symptoms of grape poisoning will vary in each dog but it only takes a small number of grapes to affect your dog’s kidney function.
However, no one really knows the reason why grapes are bad for dogs — all we know for sure is that there are serious consequences for pups that eat grapes. A word of warning; the more grapes, currants, and raisins your dog eats, the more likely it can get sick. Even if your pup has only eaten a single grape, be sure to contact an emergency vet or the pet poison helpline at (855) 764-7661.
Signs of Grape Toxicity in Dogs
Whether your adult dog or a small puppy has eaten grapes, currants, or raisins, there are a few early signs that you should check for to see whether it’s time to take it to the vet. Clinical signs of raisin toxicity include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble Breathing
- Bad breath
Other signs of toxicity include an increase in urination followed by lower urine production once the kidneys start to shut down. Generally, symptoms will appear around 12 to 24 hours after the ingestion of grapes, currants, or raisins. If you notice something strange about your dog, then contact your veterinarian right away.
Even if the vet’s office is closed, be sure to take your pooch to the nearest animal hospital to get the treatment it needs. Grape or raisin poisoning can lead to acute kidney failure and even death in extreme cases.
How Grape Poisoning is Treated
If you’re calling your vet from home, they could suggest giving your dog a hydrogen peroxide solution to treat your pup; give it 1 tsp. per 5 pounds of your dog’s body weight. This should push your dog to vomit out the grapes it ate. However, pet owners shouldn’t take any steps to treat their dogs without first getting guidance from their vet.
On the other hand, if you decide to go straight to your vet, they will try to prevent the development of renal failure and attempt to restore lost kidney functions. Similar to the treatment done at home, your vet may induce vomiting in your dog and give it activated charcoal to stop the absorption of the toxin into your dog’s stomach.
Furthermore, your vet might use fluid therapy or intravenous fluids to help against the effects of grape poisoning.
How to Prevent Dog Grape Poisoning
It’s best to keep human foods away from your dogs, including raisins, grapes, currants, grape jelly, and grape juice — store them in a safe place away from their reach. Before you share any food you eat with your dog, be sure to check the ingredients used in it since it may contain items that won’t agree with your dog’s digestive system.
Other Foods that are Toxic for Dogs
There are also many other human foods that can be toxic to our canine friends, including the following:
- Macadamia nuts
- Trail mix
- Foods containing xylitol
Much like with grapes, it’s a good idea to check labels for the ingredients used in your favorite food items in case they have small amounts of toxic substances. If you feed your dogs grapes by accident, even a small amount of grapes can be harmful for a small dog, so be sure to get help right away.
Fruits that Dogs Can Eat
Because dogs can’t eat any type of grape, they’re considered to be toxic fruits, so you’re probably thinking about which fruits are safe. Fortunately, dogs can consume different kinds of fruits, such as:
- Apples (except for the seeds)
However, keep in mind that some dogs could be sensitive to these fruits, so be sure to give only a small amount. If your dog seems allergic, stop feeding them right away — because fruits have a lot of sugar, they’re not the best option for a tasty treat. Seeds should be removed from fruits, and this is especially important for apples since they are poisonous to dogs.
A great alternative to fruits is pumpkin dog treats, which can provide them with a healthy snack. Just keep in mind that they could become a choking hazard to smaller dogs — your safest bet is to larger dogs or purchase treats according to your dog’s size.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Grapes?
Finding out that your dog has eaten a lot of grapes can be scary, but there’s a chance that it may be fine without needing medical intervention. Even so, it’s still important that you take your pup to the vet — this is especially true if it ate a large amount of grapes. The state of your pet’s health will depend on how quickly you take it to your vet, its sensitivity to grapes, and whether or not it develops kidney failure.
When it comes to dogs and grapes, the best thing to do is to keep them away from each other to limit instances of grape poisoning. If your dog accidentally eats grapes, currants, or raisins, you must take it to the vet right away to ensure that your dog suffers minimally. By understanding what grapes can do to your dog, you’ll be able to help your pooch the right way without losing time wondering about what to do.