From salads to snacks, you can find grapes anywhere, and so can your dog! Since grapes are a common treat in every household, everyone wonders from time to time if it’s okay to simply toss their pooch a nice cold one. But are they really safe for dogs to eat? In a simple answer: no, absolutely not! While grapes are a safe food for us, they are known to be one of the most toxic foods for dogs and can even prove fatal for our furry friends. The same goes for raisins; even though they are processed grapes. So, what’s the moral of the story? No grape is safe for a dog!
Why Dogs Can’t Eat Grapes
While scientists have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is about grapes that causes potentially fatal reactions in dogs, we know for sure that eating grapes can cause kidney failure in our furry friends. A study conducted between the years of 1999 and 2001 concluded that there are five possibilities that make grapes toxic for dogs: neurotoxin, fungicide/pesticide/herbicide on the grapes, heavy metals, fungus or mold in/on the fruit, or high concentrations of vitamin D. Whatever the reason may be, though, it’s important not give your dog grapes; whether whole, seedless, peeled, or in the form of raisins, they are all toxic to dogs!
Though kidney failure and death by the lack of creation of urine is known to be the biggest risk grapes pose for dogs, there is also the potential for dogs to experience severe symptoms and be sickly as well. On average, 23 of 43 dogs will survive from eating grapes, but the toxicity will cause harm and damage to their systems. The rest of the dogs will either die naturally from the grapes or will have to be put down by euthanasia by the vet, due to the extensive amount of damage caused by the grapes.
Symptoms to Watch for If Your Dog Has Eaten Grapes
If you think your dog has eaten grapes or is exhibiting the following symptoms, it is imperative to get the proper medical attention.
- Tender abdominal area/won’t let you touch their stomach
- Dehydration (nose is not wet, skin on the back of their neck does not spring back when pulled)
- They appear weak/lethargic
- Increased or no water consumption and urination
- Lack of appetite
Upon noticing these symptoms, please contact your vet or Animal Poison Control Hotline as soon as possible, as your dog’s life depends on it. The sooner your dog receives treatment, the more likely it is that he will survive and experience the least amount of damage possible to his body. Only a vet can administer the proper medications and IVs needed and monitor kidney levels, so please don’t delay or try and “wait it out.” This is not a normal sickness, such as a virus, and has the potential to take your pet’s life.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Grapes
Whenever you prepare or serve grapes, always make sure they are completely out of reach. If your dog can reach the countertop and you have a tasty fruit salad waiting for a party, make sure the food is covered and out of reach from your dog. If your children are eating grapes or raisins as a little snack, always make sure the dog cannot reach your children, and look around the area to make sure no grapes or raisins have been dropped. Even a small serving of grapes can be toxic to a dog, so it’s crucial to make sure they are not exposed.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Grapes
If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately. The number for the Animal Poison Control Hotline is (888) 426-4435 and is available 24/7 for animal emergencies. They received 3,722 calls related to dogs being poisoned by eating grapes in 2016 alone, and they will know providers in your area who can help you, as well as what you can do in the meantime.
Vets usually recommend inducing vomiting if your dog has eaten grapes unless they appear to be struggling to breathe, as vomit could end up in the lungs and cause aspiration. Immediately bring your dog to the vet, and/or reach out to your vet or the animal poison control line, and they will assist you to save your dog’s life.