Can My Dog Eat Grapes?
Eating fruits is a deliciously healthy way to keep your dog nourished with the vitamins and minerals necessary for proper growth. Grapes are tiny yet nutrient-rich fruits that harbor numerous health benefits.
But before you let your pup reach into the fruit bowl for a nutritious treat, you have to think twice about whether it's safe for your dog to eat. Grapes may seem like tasty and harmless snacks to us humans, but can we say the same thing for our canine companions? Are grapes safe for dogs to consume?
Quick Answer: A Big NO
Grapes, and all its other variants, are NOT safe for canines. Although the reasons behind it are unclear, grapes are very toxic to dogs. In most extreme cases, eating grapes may result in acute kidney failure and even death.
Keep reading to find out how grapes can be bad for your dog, potential side effects, how much is fatal to your dog, and what to do if your pet accidentally consumes grapes.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
Grapes are one of the most popular fruits consumed by people around the globe. Boasting health benefits like powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it’s no surprise that grapes are present in several different products. However, what may seem like a yummy and nutritious food to us humans can be highly toxic to your beloved pup.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center includes grapes, as well as their dried counterparts like raisins and currants, on their list of food you shouldn't feed your pet. This bite-sized juicy fruit contains toxins that can potentially cause acute renal failure in dogs.
In 2016, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 3,722 calls associated with grapes and raisins. Most of these cases were resolved due to swift decontamination and treatment, while one case resulted in death.
Potential Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Grapes
Dogs are curious - even if you’ve been trying your best to avoid feeding your dog grapes or raisins, simply having this fruit in your household may still give your pup the chance to accidentally consume them.
If your pup ingests a sizable amount of grapes, it may start to exhibit the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy or weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Increased thirst or urine production, reduction in the amount of urine, or complete lack of urination
- Kidney failure
According to Dr. Ahna Butlag of the Pet Poison Helpline, if grape poisoning occurs, kidney failure can develop within eight hours of consumption. By the time a dog begins drinking and urinating more, this means that the kidneys have already been affected and damage may be irreversible.
How Can Grapes Be Bad For Dogs?
Although it’s a widely accepted fact that grapes are fatal to canines, the exact substance that makes it toxic remains a mystery despite numerous studies. Researchers have not pinpointed the specific toxin in grapes, though they ruled out several candidates such as fungi, mold, pesticides, allergies, and grape seeds.
Some speculate that a dog’s inability to metabolize monosaccharides, flavonoids, and tannins from grapes may be one of the culprits. However, no conclusive evidence verifies this.
Is Grape Seed Extract Bad For Dogs?
A study found that grape seed extract does not have the same toxic effects as whole grapes or raisins do. Pet owners even have a history of using it as supplements to combat arthritis among senior canines with no known negative effects.
However, it is still recommended that pups avoid all grape-related products since tolerance to grapes can vary among dogs.
What About Grape Juice?
Grape juice is NOT safe for canines either since it is a direct product of a grape’s skin and meat.
Grapes, whether peeled, skinless, or dried, are all toxic to dogs. The same can be said for all other grape products such as juice, jams, jellies, raisins, and wines.
Are Grapes Safe For Dogs?
No, they’re not safe. Veterinarians advise pet owners to refrain from giving canines any kind and form of grapes since they can be fatal to even the healthiest dogs.
If you wish to give your pup a healthy fruit treat, it’s wise to stick to safer options. Although grapes are toxic to dogs, there are other fruits and berries that you can safely give to your pooch without any problems.
How Many Grapes Can Hurt My Dog?
Studies haven't determined a definite answer as to how many grapes it takes to induce severe adverse reactions. One thing is for sure, though: the size of a dog can affect the number of grapes it can tolerate.
According to Small Animal Toxicology, there's a general rule of thumb on how to estimate how many grapes are toxic for your dog. For a 10-pound pooch, one to two grapes can already be fatal, while three or four grapes can be dangerous to 20-pound or larger dogs.
However, each pup is unique, and sensitivity to grapes varies from one dog to another, regardless of weight. The best course of action is to simply go the safest route, which is to keep all grapes away from your pup.
What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Grapes?
If you see that your dog has eaten a grape or is exhibiting a symptom of grape poisoning, the first thing you should do is to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
The doctor may advise you to try and make your dog vomit immediately. This can be done by giving your pup a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, which usually works within 5 or 10 minutes. However, if your dog is having trouble breathing or is unconscious, you shouldn't try to induce vomiting.
Whether your pup vomits or not, you still need to take your pet for a trip to the veterinary clinic. Time is of the essence since grape poisoning can result in severe complications within hours of ingestion.
Bensalem, J., Blanchard, G., Gaudout, D., Lepoudere, A., Leray, L., Martineau, A., Nguyen, P., & Ouguerram, K. (2016). A mixed grape and blueberry extract is safe for dogs to consume. BMC Veterinary Research, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0786-5
Brady, M. S., Eubig, P. A., Gwaltney-Brant, S. M., Khan, S. A., Mazzaferro, E. M., & Morrow, C. M. (2005). Acute renal failure in dogs after the ingestion of grapes or raisins: A retrospective evaluation of 43 dogs (1992–2002). Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 19(5), 663. https://doi.org/10.1892/0891-6640(2005)19[663:arfida]2.0.co;2
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