Can Dogs Eat Grapes? Grape Toxicosis in Dogs

No, dogs can’t eat grapes. This fruit may be a tasty treat for humans but can be bad for your canine companions. In fact, grape toxicity is one of the most common types of food poisoning in dogs.

While the exact cause is unknown, grapes contain a highly toxic substance that can cause severe reactions and may lead to kidney failure if left untreated.

A dog in grape vines

Keep reading to find out why grapes are toxic to dogs, the signs of grape poisoning, the actions you should do if your pet accidentally ate this dangerous fruit, and how you should prevent your dog from grape toxicity.

Why are Grapes Poisonous to Dogs?

Currently, it’s still not known why grapes are toxic to dogs. Researchers have investigated whether pesticides, some type of fungus and molds, or other factors may be leading to these risks, but no single cause has yet been confirmed.

In fact, your dog may suffer kidney failure from eating grapes, which can be fatal if left untreated properly in less than 72 hours.

What chemicals in grapes are toxic to dogs?

There’s no specific substance has been clearly identified as to why grapes are toxic to dogs. So it’s crucial not to feed your pet any part of a grape, be it the flesh or skin. 

Here are some theories that have been ruled out based on the research.

  • Fungus and Molds: There’s no correlation between grapes grown in various places and any particular fungus or mold.
  • Pesticides: Grapes are still toxic to dogs even though they’re grown organically.
  • Allergies: It’s uncommon for dogs to get allergies from plant-based foods.
  • Seeds: Research proved that grapes are still poisonous without seeds.
  • Salicylate: This aspirin-like compound found naturally in grapes has been ruled out as the toxic substance causing dogs to get sick.

How many dogs have died from eating grapes?

While the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) cannot give an exact number of grape-related deaths in dogs, they do show that the consequences of eating grapes can be deadly for our furry friends.

What Types of Grapes are Toxic to Dogs?

A puppy lying in a fruit bowl
Little puppy lying in a fruit bowl

Unfortunately, all types of grapes such as peeled or seedless grapes, raisins or dried grapes, grape juice, grape jelly or jam are poisonous for dogs.

1. Peeled or Seedless Grapes

As mentioned, it has been found that dogs have the same reaction to grapes that have had their seeds or peels removed.

For this reason, it’s impossible to define what in the grape is causing an adverse reaction in dogs, and as a result, it’s best not to feed your dog grapes in any form. 

Oddly enough, grape seed extract is commonly given to dogs with arthritis, and while there seem to be no adverse effects, most vets recommend avoiding all grape products just in case. 

2. Raisins or Dried Grapes

Raisins are just dried grapes so they are also toxic to dogs. Any food products that contain raisins should be avoided. Instead, try to offer other dog-safe alternatives such as pumpkin cakes or banana bread.

3. Grape Juice

As grape juice is a product made from grape flesh and skins, it too should not be given to your dog. While grape juice can lead to toxicity, it also has lots of added sugar which is not good for your dog in any case. 

4. Grape Jelly or Jam

Your dog should not eat grape jelly or jam as they are typically made from excessive amounts of sugars, sweeteners, and preservatives which can be harmful to your dog.

What are the Risks of Grape Consumption for Dogs?

A young German Shepherd with a lock on his neck
A German Shepherd puppy sitting with a lock on his neck

So you have heard that grapes in any form or amount should not be part of your dog’s diet because they can cause severe adverse reactions in dogs, including kidney damage.

Even a small amount can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Can grapes cause kidney failure in dogs?

Yes, acute kidney failure is the main risk of grape toxicity, and this can occur within 24 to 72 hours of feeding your pet grapes.

An increase in thirst and urination or a decrease in urine production could signal that your dog’s kidneys are not functioning properly. 

Can grapes kill dogs?

Unfortunately, even one small piece of grape can cause acute kidney failure which can be fatal for your dog if not given immediate treatment.

Symptoms typically present within 72 hours of grape consumption, so be sure to contact your vet as soon as possible if you know or suspect that he may have eaten a grape.

How Many Grapes Can Be Fatal to Dogs?

Grapes may be small, but they can pose a big threat to your canine. Even a few pieces of grapes can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, this can even lead to kidney failure, which can cause death. 

While the exact toxic dose of grapes is unknown, it’s important to keep grapes and raisins out of your pet’s reach at all times. Contact your vet immediately if you think your dog has ingested grapes or raisins.

How many grapes can be toxic to small and large dogs?

There’s no exact number of how many grapes will be toxic to your dog. But your pet’s body weight may matter when grapes have been consumed.

Smaller dogs, like Pomeranians or Yorkies, will likely have less tolerance to grapes than large dogs like Labrador Retrievers or Great Danes.

A grape or two may not cause problems for large breed-sized dogs, but eating just one small piece of grape could lead to acute renal failure in a smaller dog. And some large dogs will react differently to very few grapes, too. 

No matter the size of your dog, you should handle grape consumption as a serious and urgent matter. It’s best to ensure that there’s no way your pet can ever get hold of grapes or raisins in any form.

What are the Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Dogs?

French Bulldog looking sad and lonely
A French Bulldog lying looking sad and lonely

The symptoms of grape poisoning can vary depending on the severity of the toxic exposure, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Increase in thirst

In more severe cases, grape poisoning can cause kidney failure and death. If you suspect that your dog has consumed grapes or raisins, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

With prompt treatment, most dogs make a full recovery from grape poisoning.

How Soon After Eating Grapes Can a Dog Get Sick?

Some of the most common initial signs of grape poisoning are vomiting or diarrhea which usually happens within 2 to 12 hours of ingestion and abdominal pain which takes within 12 to 24 hours.

This is usually followed by a loss of appetite, weakness, and lethargy within 24 to 48 hours of consumption.

Dogs may experience an increase in thirst which could mean an increase in urination or a decrease or no urine production at all.

This is one of the critical signs of acute kidney failure which can happen 24 to 72 hours after eating grapes.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Grapes?

A veterinarian examining dog in clinic
A veterinarian examining the sick dog in the clinic

If your dog has ingested grapes, it’s important to seek professional medical help immediately. Even a small amount of grape can be poisonous to dogs, and the reaction is unpredictable.

Some dogs may show no ill effects, while others may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. 

If your dog accidentally consumed some grapes, consider following these steps.

    1. Do Not Panic: To help your dog, you must help yourself first. Hence, try your best to stay calm and focused on the situation.
    2. Know the Details: It’s important to estimate the number of grapes your dogs have consumed and how much time has passed since the act. These details will be necessary for the next step.
    3. Call Your Veterinarian or Local Animal Hospital: Be sure to get in touch with your vet as soon as possible and provide all the essential details. 
    4. Follow Your Vet’s Advice: Your vet will likely want to see your dog for a physical exam and may recommend X-rays to check for an obstruction. If possible, bring a sample of the grape with you, as this will help the veterinarian make a diagnosis and provide treatment.

Once your vet provided a treatment based on your dog’s symptoms, it will be best to follow their advice. As your dog recovers, keep an eye on your pet and watch for any signs of distress

What are the treatments for grape poisoning in dogs?

The treatments for grape poisoning will vary depending on how many grapes the dog ate and how long it has been since ingestion. While we can give you examples, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for dog grape poisoning.

Hence, contact your vet first and do not try to do any of these without their advice.

  • In some cases, the vet may induce vomiting to remove the toxins from the body before they can cause serious damage. Your dog will be given a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Once your pooch has vomited, it’s important to give them plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. 
  • Another option is to give your dog activated charcoal. This can help to absorb toxins and prevent them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  • In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide intravenous fluids, which can help support your pet’s kidneys and prevent dehydration. 

With prompt and proper treatment, most dogs fully recover from grape poisoning. However, keep in mind that prevention is always the best cure, so keep grapes out of reach of your furry friend.

What can vets do for grape poisoning?

If your dog ingests grapes, it’s important to seek professional medical help immediately as this can lead to grape poisoning.

Vets can take several steps to prevent or limit kidney damage, such as making your canine vomit to remove the grapes from the stomach and giving him activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of the grape toxins.

In severe cases, your pet may need to be hospitalized for intensive treatment, including fluid therapy and close monitoring of kidney function.

With prompt and effective treatment, most dogs make a full recovery from grape poisoning.

How do you induce vomiting in dogs after eating grapes?

Most vets don’t recommend the old methods of inducing vomiting in dogs such as, physically sticking a finger down the throat and using salt, syrup of ipecac, and mustard. 

They only recommend the use of hydrogen peroxide at approximately 0.5-1 ml per pound of your dog’s body weight.

It’s important to only do this under the guidance of your vet, as it can be more dangerous if you induce vomiting inappropriately.

What is the Pet Poison Helpline for grape poisoning?

If your dog has eaten a grape, you should immediately call your vet for support. Another option is getting in touch with pet poison experts.

Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) is available 24/7 and is staffed by certified veterinary toxicologists who provide treatment and recommendations for exposure to suspected poisons.

While a $75 consultation fee per incident applies, this is already inclusive of follow-up consultations.

An alternative is the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), which is available all day, all year, to answer your questions about possible grape poisoning.

With their help, you can ensure that your pet will receive care at a consultation fee of $95. If your pup has an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan, 90% of this fee will be covered.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Get Over Grape Poisoning?

A sick dog lying on the couch
A sick dog from an operation lying on the couch – Image source

There is no definite time of recovery for when dogs consume grapes, but we can give you some ideas. 

If your dog ate grapes, he would probably exhibit vomiting or diarrhea. As the most common early symptom of grape poisoning, these are usually observed within 24 hours after ingestion.

For this, your vet may administer intravenous fluid for a minimum of 2 days.

However, it’s best not to wait for symptoms to show themselves. Hence, if you suspect your pooch has accidentally consumed grapes, contact your vet as soon as possible.

If it has not been 6 hours since the act, the expert may induce vomiting to get rid of the fruit.

Unfortunately, if your dog experiences more severe symptoms than those mentioned above, it can take him more time to recover from grape toxicity. 

Can Dogs Survive If They Eat Grapes?

Yes, dogs can survive from grape toxicity as long as they are given proper and immediate treatment, especially if they consume only a small amount. 

On the other hand, ingesting large amounts may pose a poor prognosis. Remember, grape poisoning that is left untreated can cause sudden kidney failure within 72 hours.

In many cases, the damage is irreversible and leads to a debilitating illness.

For this reason, it’s necessary to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes. While the prognosis is often poor, early diagnosis and treatment can sometimes be lifesaving.

How to Prevent Grape Toxicity in Dogs?

As you can see, grapes are very dangerous for dogs. Hence, ensure your dog doesn’t consume grapes by keeping them out of his reach. The refrigerator is a good choice. 

Be sure that everyone at home is also aware that your dog should never get their hands on grapes. Also, you never want to feed your dog any grape-flavored products or any foods that contain raisins as an ingredient.

Are There Any Benefits of Grapes for Dogs?

While some fruits provide nutrition, grapes do not offer benefits to dogs.

Plus, the mentioned risks of grape toxicity far outweigh any potential benefits that it could offer as they do for humans and thus should never be shared with your pet as a treat or addition to their food bowl.

Is there any nutritional value in grapes for dogs?

Grapes are poisonous to dogs. Hence, it’s safe to say that they don’t offer nutrients to your pooch.

If you want to feed your pet some delicious and nutritious fruits, you’d be much better off with some great alternatives such as apples, bananas or pears.

So, Can My dog Eat Grapes?

As you have read, your dog cannot eat grapes in any form or amount as they can pose a significant health risk for your dog.

If your dog has accidentally eaten grapes from your fruit bowl, it’s best to consult with your vet, as he will be able to advise the best course of action.

Has your pet ever eaten grapes? Please share your experiences in the comments below so that we pet owners can learn from each other.

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