Every dog owner loves the idea of sharing their favorite fruit snacks (including grapes) with their best canine friend. In some cases this is okay, but regardless, you should always do a quick check to see if dogs can eat a certain type of human food. A common question that I regularly get is: can dogs eat grapes?
No, Dogs Can NOT Eat Grapes
No, dogs cannot and should not eat grapes because they are toxic to a large number of dog breeds. According to research done by the Animal Poison Control Center, roughly a third of all dogs are affected negatively by grapes. And if grapes are eaten in large quantity, it could potentially become a fatal situation for your canine.
If you did not know, raisins are essentially dried grapes and can be just as fatal as fresh grapes. This means that you should not feed your dogs raisins as well.
Grape Toxicity in Dogs
What will happen if your dog eats grapes? The reason why this fruit is so bad for them is because it has been known to cause kidney failure in dogs of many breeds. After many years of research, there is still no conclusive evidence on what exactly in grapes is causing so much damage to their kidneys.
Pesticides used to grow grapes, common grape fungi and seeds have been ruled out as possible reasons. So just because you have seedless grapes doesn’t mean they’re safe for dogs. It’s something inherent about the grapes that’s causing all the damage in your dog.
Alternatives to Dogs Eating Grapes
Although the studies show that roughly 2/3 of dogs are unaffected by grapes and raisins, it is still safer to just have your dog avoid them altogether. Never take that risk with your canine, especially since there are so many other healthier fruits and snack alternatives for them.
If you’re looking for for a close alternative with similar texture, you may want to look into cherries. However, cherries aren’t as sweet as grapes. Although, it may be better for your dog that they aren’t.
Some dog-safe fruit treats include: bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, pineapples and mangoes. But don’t just stick with fruits. There are so many great vegetables that provide a plethora of health benefits for your dog. Just to name a few, there’s cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and broccoli.
Symptoms: Grapes and Dogs
There are a number of things that may happen to your dog in the short or medium term if they accidentally eat too many grapes. Below are some symptoms that have been reported for grape consumption by dogs.
Vomiting – As bad as it is to watch your dog vomit, it is actually a good thing. Your dog’s body is naturally going to want to reject the toxins in the grapes through vomiting. Your dog has certainly been affected if vomiting occurs. Give them some time to get everything out of their systems.
If your dog isn’t vomiting, it may even be a good idea to induce vomiting by pushing down the back of their throats. Follow this up by calling your local vet and consulting with them.
Diarrhea – Whenever your dog ingests anything unusual or toxic, there is always a good chance of diarrhea. Whether your dog is negatively reacting to the grapes can usually be seen in the stool of the dog.
Loss of appetite – This symptom can be easily spotted for dogs that love food. If your food-loving dog isn’t excited over his favorite treat, something is wrong. This usually means something is going on in their stomach, thus the loss of appetite. Diarrhea may follow.
Uncontrollable body shaking – If your dog seems like he has the shivers and is uncontrollable shaking, it’s time to see the vet. This is usually not a very good sign, especially if it involves ingesting toxins.
Loss of energy – An energetic dog usually stays energetic all the time, every day. If they suddenly lost all that energy, something is wrong. There is a good chance that your dog isn’t feeling well if they show this symptom.
Reduced frequency of urination – This symptom may be harder to spot because dog owners aren’t usually aware of the frequency of their dog’s urination. And because dogs don’t usually urinate too often, it may be hard to collect enough data to make an assumption.
Note: You should never wait long enough for your dogs to show these symptoms before taking action. If your dog accidentally eats grapes, start the action steps below as soon as possible. Your dog’s life can depend on it.
My Dog Ate Grapes. What to Do?
You’re enjoying a bowl of grapes yourself and suddenly a single grape slips and falls onto the floor. As you hurry to grab that grape, your dog swiftly jumps in front of you and snatches up the grape. We have all likely been in this scenario, except maybe with something besides grapes. Dogs are quicker than they look.
Many dog owners alike have been in this situation, but do not worry. Here’s what you should do if your dog accidentally eats (one or more) grapes.
My Dog Ate One Grape
If your dog ate one grape, there is still a chance at severe negative side effects. However, the likelihood is obviously not as high. Chances are they will be just fine, depending on the size of the dog. If the dog is large, then there is a higher chance that they will be okay from one grape. However, for small dogs or medium-sized dogs, they are at a higher risk for severe side effects.
It’s still important to keep a close eye on their behaviors and look out for any symptoms. At the first sign of any negative symptoms, take them to the veterinarian. A single grape may most likely cause an upset stomach. If that is the case, it may be a good idea to get the dog some Pepcid (Famotidine/Salix).
If you want to bring your dog to your local vet just in case, we won’t try to convince you out of it. Sometimes it really pays to be safe than sorry. Even if you could get a phone call with your dedicated vet, it may be the difference maker.
My Dog Ate 3 (or More) Grapes – Here’s What to Do
If your dog has eaten grapes, do NOT assume or count on your dog being unaffected by grapes. Sure, your odds may be in your favor but this is your dog’s life that’s potentially in jeopardy. Take action with these three crucial steps if your dog has eaten a few grapes.
1. Get the Grapes Out of the Dog
If your dog has not vomited already, you need to try to force your dog to vomit. This will be an unpleasant experience but you need to press the “button” on the back of their throats and make them vomit the grapes out.
The sooner you can do this, the more grapes (and toxin) you will be able to get out. Ideally, the best time to do this is right when you see them eat grapes.
2. Absorb the Grape Toxins in Your Dog
Force your dog to eat activated charcoal. They will not enjoy eating this, but it may be necessary from stopping any potential kidney failure. The charcoal is able to inhibit your dog’s absorption of the toxins in grapes that lead to kidney failure.
If you don’t happen to have this around your house, do not worry yet. Grab some bread and toast it in the oven until it becomes charred. The blacker the toast, the better. Forcing your dog to eat this won’t be easy if your dog has been affected. Even the most food-driven dog will lose its appetite if poisoned by the grapes.
3. Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Take your dog to the nearest animal hospital to get checked out by a veterinarian. Even if it seems like your dog is getting better or unaffected, you may skip the other options but it’s a great idea to have them checked out.
If your dog is in bad shape, the vet can put your dog on intravenous fluids for a couple of days, which significantly increase their chances of survival. The quicker the dog receives this treatment, the better odds of survival. Never wait until your dog starts showing symptoms before taking action. The best way to ensure your dog’s survival from grape intoxication is with action.
4. Let Your Dog Rest
Your dog may be extremely tired after going through this whole mess of a situation. It’s important to let your dog rest and recover from ingesting toxic grapes. So, it may not be the best idea to take them out for a run afterwards. Your veterinarian will have more specific instructions and recommendations on what to do afterwards. If your dog has made it here. Don’t worry, he or she will be just fine.
Can Puppies Eat Grapes?
This question should be rather self explanatory if you’ve read the information above. No, puppies can not eat grapes at all. In fact, it may be more detrimental for a puppy to eat a grape than it is with a full grown adult dog. Puppies aren’t really recommended to eat any human foods for that matter.
The stomach of a puppy is generally much weaker and more sensitive than an adult dog’s stomach. This means that they’re more inclined to become affected by the toxins in the grapes.
In addition, a puppy can often be much smaller than their adult potential. The smaller the dog, the more toxins will enter their system relative to their size. This is also the reason why smaller dogs usually react worse to grapes than larger dogs.
My Puppy Ate Grapes
If for some reason, your puppy consumed grapes, you must react quickly. You can still follow the steps presented above for dogs. However, following up with your local veterinarian is highly recommended.
Try your best to induce vomiting in your puppy. At all cost, try to get as much grape toxin out of their systems as possible. For puppies, grapes can be even more fatal when not properly treated.
The Smart Canine is an online research meant to provide dog owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Our staff has thoroughly researched on the side effects, symptoms and potential harms of grape consumption. However, if your dog consumes grapes, we still highly recommend consulting with your vet. Each dog is different and may require additional or special care in this situation.