I love grapes! They may be purple or green, fresh or dried. Either way, I absolutely have a thing for them. That is why I always have some grapes on the fridge. Not to mention that it is also serves great as a decoration at the center table. Which reminds me, I am almost running out of it. I have been unconsciously eating the ones on display. It’s just that I can’t stop myself from coming back for more!
One time, a couple of grapes on my bowl went over the edge and rolled on the floor. My dog Peachy almost caught it with his paws. I got the tiny balls of fruit before he was able to eat one. That was a close one. I was not sure whether grapes are safe for dogs or not. This incident made me think. Can dogs eat grapes?
If you have a similar confusion as I, feel free to read on.
What You Need To Know About Dogs And Grapes?
Dogs and humans have quite a similarity in their diet. This is because both dogs and people are herbivores, meaning they both live on an animal-based and plant based diet. While this might be an upside to having a dog, generalizing the idea may not be very good.
Unlike cats who are finicky eaters, it seems that dogs are more tolerant of human food. However, this makes us, pet owners, acquire a tendency to feed our canine pets our favorite human meals without researching the good or bad it may cause to our pet. Remember, not everything edible for us is going to be safe for our pets. We may be herbivores, but we still have differences in our body systems.
For example, there is actually a list of food people eat that dogs can’t. In a short while, we are going to find out if grapes made the list. For now, let us know more about the fruit.
Grapes are berries which grow on woody vines in clusters. They come in different colors – purple, black, blue, crimson, yellow, green, orange and pink. They are used to make wine, jam, raisins, jelly, vinegar and oil.
It is rich in iron, especially when processed into raisins. Fresh grapes, on the other hand, are full of benefiting electrolytes and potassium. Not only that. They are full of Vitamin C, vitamin A, and Vitamin K. Aside from that, it contains carotenes, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin.
All these serve a function in the human body. But the real question is, do they have the same effect to dogs as they do to human beings?
The answer for this question lies in the next section.
The Answer For “Can Dogs Eat Grapes?”
The time to answer the main question is now.
Can dogs eat grapes?
The answer is no.
I wish I could tell you I’m kidding. Or maybe you want me to tell you that they could actually eat grapes but only in small amounts. Believe me. It is hard to deliver bad news.
As much as we want our dogs to get the grape experience, we are strictly advised by veterinary practitioners to keep the grape fruit, grape jams and any food with grapes away from our beloved canines. It may be the healthiest food for us people but it is completely the opposite for our dogs.
Grapes contain an unknown substance which has been reported to be poisonous to dogs. This kind of substance does not affect humans or cats, to compare. Until now, there are no clear answers as to what that substance is that makes grapes toxic to dogs. This is why we should be very careful in feeding our dogs with human food. If I have not known enough, my dog would have eaten those grapes and who knows if he’d be here to keep me company?
Grape poison does not hold any exemption towards any dog breed, gender, or age. This means that your dog can be a strong German Shepherd or a cute little Corgi, a new born Chihuahua or a Dalmatian in his old age, a lady or a guy dog – a small cluster of grapes can cause some very serious health problems.
However, not all dogs had the same reaction upon ingesting grapes. Not every single dog that has eaten grapes have experienced illness. This is why the relationship of dogs and grapes is in need of further research. There is still a lot left to discover about why grapes are bad for dogs.
For now, let us be thankful for the information that has been made available. I know experts in the veterinary field are trying their best to know more about is. At least we know that grapes are seriously BAD for our canine pets.
Can dogs eat raisins? What about other treats related to grapes?
What about other treats that contain grapes as an ingredient, you ask? Are raisins also bad for dogs?
- As I have mentioned before, anything with grapes in them is basically bad for dogs. And raisin is grape itself so that means, yeah, raisins are bad too.
- Grape juice may sound like a perfect thirst quenching drink but it’s better if we save it for ourselves. Sharing with our dogs is fun but grapes as a flavor to any food or even liquid would pose health hazards to our canine babies.
- How about grape seeds? Well, there had been no reports of grape seed poisoning among dogs but as somebody who knows that grapes are highly toxic to dogs, we should take great precaution and simply skip on anything with grape on its name.
Also, it does not matter if the grapes you are thinking of giving to your dog is store bought or grown in your very own backyard. It does not matter what color or size it is, may it be seedless or not. Grapes of all kinds are harmful to dogs and while we know this for a fact, I may not be able to tell you the exact reason for it.
But I do have an explanation which could help clear some confusion in your mind.
Why can’t dogs eat grape? How are they poisonous to dogs?
At present, there is no verified answer to why grapes are highly toxic to dogs. There have been attempts to answer this puzzling mystery but to no avail had they been able to verify it. However, there are suggestions that point to a certain substance found in grapes called tannin. Tannin has been said to be poisonous to ruminants but whether or not it has been responsible to dog poisoning incidents is not a certainty.
Other suspected substances are flavonoids, monosaccharides, polyphenolics and ochratoxin. These words sound like a foreign language we cannot understand but I hope researchers will be able to point out which one of them (if any of the mentioned above) is the perpetrator of poisoning among dogs. I hope I could get you a more reliable answer but it seems that everyone has no way of knowing for sure.
So now we know that grapes are bad for dogs. We also know the possible reasons for it. And I have already mentioned that they are poisonous and most likely have a negative impact on a dog’s entire well-being.
Now let’s go over the details.
Grapes are REALLY bad for dogs. The effects are mostly felt in the urinary system and mainly target their kidneys. Kidneys function as a very important organ in a dog’s body just like they do in a human body. They are in charge of removing toxic metabolic waste products from the blood and also help in the regulation of hormones and bodily fluids.
For reasons unknown, dogs who have consumed grapes have been experiencing serious kidney failure which is very alarming. This is why grapes are strictly prohibited. I would not dare to give my dog even a single bit of raisin. It may be a bit of overreaction for some but I seriously do not want to risk my dog’s life for a food trial. We do not want a canine emergency trip to the vet.
So how much grapes is bad for the dogs?
One research say that the dose-response relationship is estimated to be ≥3 g/kg for grapes or raisins. Others said that even a small amount of grapes will immediately take its toll on a dog’s health. A study also mentioned that 32 grams of grapes can already be fatal to our beloved canines. Since there is no one, given number to determine a safety dosage, I suggest that we completely avoid grapes as dog food.
Besides, we have nothing to lose. Dogs do not really need grapes anyway. There are other fruits and vegetables that could provide the vitamins and minerals that grapes have. It is not as if grapes are an important part of their diet. Dogs are herbivores and would like some plant tissue in their course but we have a lot of other options.
It is safer to just eliminate grape snacks as an option.
Are there any benefits?
Grapes can boast of its nutritional value, but not to dogs. The fruit can certainly be beneficial to humans but not to canines.
Dogs could actually make use of the vitamins in the fruit but the fact that it is poisonous to them cancels out all of the good they have to offer. It is just like if we try to weigh the pros and the cons in feeding our dogs grapes, the cons would surely outweigh the pros without question.
So let us focus more on the more important questions like the harmful effects of grapes and how we could save our dog’s life after grape toxicity.
Symptoms of grape toxicity
Grapes toxicity manifests itself after just a couple of hours. The first signs are:
- Upset stomach
Look for pieces of grapes in your dog’s vomit and stool. You may have to do some “dirty” work to know better about the alarming situation. If it’s positive with grapes, you better hurry to the veterinary clinic and have Blacky checked. Other symptoms include:
- muscle weakness
- loss of appetite
- thirst manifested in frequent drinking
- tummy aches
- lack of coordination
- frequent urination
- straining when urinating
In as fast as two days-time, the dog may already suffer Acute Renal Failure. Acute Renal Failure or ARF among dogs is one of those diseases which have an instant effect on a canine’s body. This is commonly caused by ingestion of substances or chemicals like antifreeze, lily plant, and in this case, grapes.
It is a very serious bacterial infection that I would not wish to happen to any dog in this world. When blood test is administered, the doctor will notice in Blood Urea Nitrogen or BUN, creatinine, phosphorus and calcium.
My dog ate a grape, will he die? What should I do?
Do not panic. Your dog will not drop dead on the floor after consuming grapes. But as what I have already told you, grapes are poisonous and have serious negative health impacts to canines.
Once you have been made aware of the incident, visit the veterinary office and seek treatment. Do not take this matter lightly and say that “It’s just a grape” or “He’s fine now. He already stopped vomiting.” Regrets only come at the end. But I do know that you are a responsible dog-parent and would do anything to save your baby’s life.
So first off, you should get a confirmation on whether or not your dog is suffering a case of grape toxicity. There are several tests to be made to figure this out.
- Urine test to check if it could simply be a urinary tract infection which is easier to treat
- Chemistry test to find out if there are changes in normal values which indicate dysfunction in the kidneys
- CBC or complete blood count should be administered to assess if they have enough RBC or red blood cells
- Electrolyte test
If, unfortunately, your pet has been diagnosed with a serious kidney infection, do not lose hope. This is some heavy stuff but your canine still holds a chance of survival. Treatment may be intensive, and I would not even lie to you or sugarcoat the reality of kidney failure.
It is life threatening and you have to be prepared of what is going to come. Most likely, your pet will be hospitalized if his illness is caught in the late stages.
The veterinarian would most likely make the dog vomit through a process called emesis. This is to get rid of the grape toxins inside his body. But this is only good if the grape consumption was no earlier than two hours ago.
If you have been made aware a little later than that, it is better to pursue a treatment with the use of the activated charcoal the toxins which remain in the gastrointestinal tract. After which, the dog should be given Intravenous fluid in the first 2 days to induce diuresis.
Sadly, most kidney failures which may have probably resulted from grape poisoning have been left undetected until it was too late. This is why dog-parents must be vigilant and take the first signs of sickness seriously.
Dogs and Grapes: The Final Verdict
So can dogs eat grapes?
Grapes are not the kind of food meant for a dog’s consumption. The fruit may taste delicious for us humans but it is actually poisonous for canines. Although the reason for this is still unknown, the reported incidents of dogs who suffered kidney failure upon ingestion of grapes are no joke.
Dogs with fatal kidney ailments have to go through a lot of treatment which would be very tough for them and of course, to us, too. So I live by the mantra, “Prevention is better than cure.” Always keep grapes away from your pet to avoid accidental ingestion. You could still buy grapes for your own consumption, of course.
Don’t give up on the fruit! If you have canines lurking around the house, store your grapes in places your dog will not reach. It’s like keeping harmful chemicals out of a baby’s reach.
It is important to be aware of the food our pet dogs are allowed to eat. Better yet, keep a list of the good and the bad food to guide us when it comes to confusing times. And do not forget to put grapes on the list of bad foods.
I hope you got a lot of information from this read. The facts may have been scary but they needed to be said. I still hope you enjoyed the article, though.
If you have anything in mind that you want to tell us and the other dog-persons who are visiting this page, feel free to leave us a note in the comment section. Also, click share to tell the others about the harm grapes could bring to our pet canines. Your post could save a life!