It may sound strange that the grapes, raisins, and grape-based products we enjoy eating and drinking so much can be harmful and even dangerous for dogs. But it is a fact. Grape toxicity in canines is real and can be severe and, unfortunately, even deadly in some cases.
Read on to find out can dogs eat grapes, why these fruits are so poisonous for the pups, as well as the symptoms of grape toxicity, treatment, and more information to keep your pet safe.
What makes grapes so toxic for pups?
Despite all of the research being done, there is no clear-cut answer as to the exact reason why grapes are so poisonous to canines. Some claim that the mycotoxin or tartaric acid, which is contained in the grapes, is toxic for dogs. Others that it is the salicylate drug that makes grapes poisonous for them.
The fact is, though, that all types of grapes, including green, purple, and red, seedless or seeded, and all sorts of grapes are toxic for dogs.
And so are raisins, grape juice, and currants.
What should you do if your dog eats a grape?
It is improbable that a single grape can cause severe poisoning in most dogs. Still, toy-sized and very small dogs, more sensitive pups, and senior dogs with health problems may be more susceptible to grape toxicity than medium-sized or large healthy dogs.
The toxicity depends on the age, health, and weight of the dog, as well as the number of grapes eaten. Obviously, the more grapes ingested – the bigger the risk of more severe consequences.
If you are worried that your pup has gobbled up a hazardous amount of grapes, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Helpline immediately! You will receive pertinent advice on what the best course of action should be.
You may be asked to monitor the dog for potential symptoms or to take it to the nearest veterinary clinic for emergency treatment.
The symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs
If your dog ate one or more grapes, raisins, or currants or laps up a cup of grape juice, you could expect the appearance of one or more of the following common symptoms of grape toxicity in dogs:
- Excessive thirst, especially right after eating the grapes
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Bad breath
- Excessive urination (right after the eating, and then a decrease and halt of the urine production)
The symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs can appear very quickly, but typically, they occur 12-24 hours after the grapes have been ingested.
If you are certain that your dog has eaten or drank a lot of grapes or grape juice, you should contact or go to your vet immediately. The faster you begin the treatment, the better the prognosis will be for your pet.
Unfortunately, in severe cases, when left untreated, the grape poisoning in dogs can lead to kidney damage or failure and even death.
How is grape poisoning in dogs treated?
If your dog has ingested the grapes a little while ago, the veterinarian will probably induce vomiting so that any undigested grapes, raisins, or currants are expelled.
The vet may also give the dog activated charcoal, which absorbs the toxins from the body quickly and efficiently before they are absorbed by the intestines and enter the bloodstream.
In some cases, IV therapy may be required to ensure that the dog remains hydrated and to protect the kidneys from damage or failure.
If you call the vet or animal poison control hotline, then they may recommend that you induce the vomiting or administer the activated charcoal yourself at home. Remember to follow the exact instructions of the vet or other expert regarding the quantity and concentration of hydrogen peroxide solution which induces vomiting.
How to prevent grape poisoning in dogs?
The best way to prevent your pup from getting poisoned by grapes, currants or raisins, or grape juice, is to keep all of them safely away from its reach.
Keep all of these potentially dangerous fruits, sweets, beverages, and any desserts or other foods that contain them away from your dog.
Before giving your pup any human food, check the ingredients for any of these potentially poisonous components first.
If you have babies or small kids, feed them grapes or grape juice safely so that they don’t feed your pup or drop them on the floor where the dog can eat them.
My dog seems fine after eating some grapes – can pups recover from grape poisoning?
It can be terrifying to realize that your fur baby has eaten grapes, raisins, and currants or has drunk a glass of grape juice. But the chances are that your dog will be fine and will lack any symptoms, especially if it is a larger and healthy dog.
Even if the grapes ingested are in dangerous amounts, if you call your vet or take your pet to the clinic ASAP, the chances are that it will get timely treatment and will recover completely.
The recovery from grape poisoning depends on your dog’s weight, age, and health and its sensitivity to the toxins in grapes. It also depends on the quantities ingested.
The prognosis also depends on how fast you act as a pet parent. The faster you get your dog to the vet, the bigger the chances for a full recovery.
Unfortunately, if your dog has already suffered from kidney damage or kidney failure as a result of the grapes, then the prognosis is not so good.
What are some of the other human foods which are toxic for dogs?
While some human foods are safe and can even be healthy for pups, there are some foods that you should never give to your dog. Some of the most common human foods which are poisonous to canines include:
This is why you should keep any potentially dangerous foods away from your pet. Always check the ingredients in the nutrition and treats you plan on giving it.
What are some safe alternative fruits that pups can eat?
If you are determined to add fresh fruit to your pup’s diet, then some safe variants have health benefits for dogs when given in moderation.
Here are some safe fruits that you can give to your dog:
- Apples (without the core and seeds)
But while these fruits are generally safe, remember that some pups have sensitivities or allergies to any of these fruits or other foods.
So, always speak to your vet before adding new human foods to your dog’s diet. If approved, start giving the fruit in tiny quantities and watch the dog for any potential adverse effects. If there are no negative reactions, you can continue treating your dog with some fruit.
Also, remove any pits, seeds, stems, or other potentially dangerous parts of the fruits. Cut them into manageable pieces to prevent choking, blockage, and other problems.
Ensure to keep the quantities under control because fruits contain sugar and can lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other problems in dogs!
Protecting the health of your dog
By taking the necessary precautions, you can reduce the risk of grape poisoning for your dog to a minimum.
Still, even if your pup manages to get to some grape juice, currants, or raisins, remember to act quickly and contact your veterinarian or the experts from the animal poison control hotline immediately!