There are a lot of foods that dogs can eat and that you might want to try out giving to your pet as treats, but grapes and raisins are not a good choice. In fact, they might be the poorest option ever.
The problem is that they can be contained by a variety of human foods, and a pet parent who doesn’t do his or her research before getting a puppy could accidentally feed him some grapes just to see whether he likes it. After all, who hasn’t ever fed a yummy treat from the dinner table to their Fido?
Let’s look at why grapes and raisins can be dangerous and the variety of clinical symptoms they can cause in a dog.
Why can’t your dog eat grapes?
In actuality, there are a variety of reasons why this type of food should be off-limits for dogs. One of them is that most grapes are sprayed with pesticides, and while we, as humans, might do a better job at defending ourselves from these chemicals even though they are toxic to us, too, a small dog could get a very dangerous dose of pesticides just from a handful of grapes.
Besides, most grapes have been exposed to heavy metals, fertilizers, or mold. The grapes you can buy from the supermarket are among the worst you can get, especially if they are not organic.
There is no toxic dose established just yet, so we can’t say for sure whether feeding just one grape or a whole bunch to your dog might cause medical issues. However, it is universally acknowledged that this type of food is risky, and since you can never be too safe, it’s best to avoid it.
Clinical signs you might notice if your dog ate grapes or raisins
Usually, the symptoms you might notice in your dog if he or she has consumed raisins or grapes pertain to the digestive system and they become more noticeable during the first 12 to 24 hours.
You should take your dog to the vet if your canine friend is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy or you see that he doesn’t have any appetite in any food, no matter how much he would normally enjoy snacking on it. Taking your canine companion to a medical professional as soon as possible can be critical in some situations, and this one can be one of them.
There are some acute signs of raisin and grape poisoning, and they include kidney failure. Needless to say, this medical condition can be extremely hard to treat, if not impossible. Kidney failure manifests by nausea, lethargy, excessive thirst, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain and a lack of appetite, excessive urination, weakness, seizures, tremors, and a breath that smells like ammonia (since the urine contains it).
What can you do if your dog ate raisins or grapes?
If you know that someone fed your dog this type of food or if you suspect that this happened, you need to seek medical assistance for your canine friend as soon as you can. It’s true that some dogs are far more resistant than others and as such, they might not show any symptoms at all.
However, that is not a golden rule, and we can’t assume that your dog won’t manifest any clinical signs if he consumes raisins or grapes. In any case, it’s worth noting here that most dogs rarely have any reaction when consuming a fairly small amount of grapes, but you can’t know for sure whether your own isn’t sensitive to either of these foods.
You could try to induce vomiting if you know that your dog ate the grapes or raisins recently. Never try to do this without some guidance, which is why we recommend calling the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center Hotline (not free of charge). A vet will give you advice on how you can do just that, and if the food hasn’t reached the intestinal tract just yet, you might be able to remove it using this method.
How to make sure that your canine friend doesn’t eat any grapes or raisins
Preventing your dog’s access to these foods is the easiest way of ensuring that he remains in good health, at least from this point of view. Our advice to you is to instruct everyone in your household, as well as the friends that come visit you on a regular basis that they shouldn’t feed your dog grapes, raisins, but also foods that contain onion or garlic, for example.
If possible, make a list of foods that are toxic to dogs and spread it among your group of family members, friends, and even acquaintances that might end up at your place for a barbecue or some other event.
Keep in mind that you cannot use the same way of going about things for small children, as in an attempt to get as friendly with the dog as possible, they might try to feed him absolutely everything on their plate. As such, it might be a good idea to avoid leaving young kids unsupervised in the presence of your beloved canine companion.
Grapes can be found in a variety of dishes and salads, and raisins are found in several types of cakes and other desserts. This makes them extremely common ingredients, so your dog’s exposure to them can be even more possible. Try to make food as grape-free as possible, especially when you know that you have people coming over.
Finally, don’t forget that getting your dog to the vet in due time can be essential when it comes to saving his life, especially if he’s consumed a large number of raisins or grapes.
Don’t even ask yourself too many questions — if you are in an area where you can get veterinary assistance quickly, don’t hesitate to take your dog in for a checkup, even if he’s not experiencing any symptoms. If he is, getting help as soon as possible can be the key to saving his life.