Can dogs eat grapes? It’s a timely question: with holiday baking season almost here, you and your four-pawed friend may have visions of oatmeal-raisin cookies dancing in your heads! But before you slip Bowser a bite of your famous raisin bread, it’s important to know that grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure, which is likely to send your precious pup straight to the Doggie ER.
The exact physiology behind why our dogs can’t eat grapes or raisins is still unknown, but here’s what we have come to understand:
- The toxin that harms dogs is in the flesh of grapes: peeled or seedless still aren’t safe.
- Because raisins are a more concentrated form of grape, they can be even more toxic.
- The effect on dogs varies. Some can eat grapes and be just fine, while others will begin to display symptoms instantly. Bottom line: don’t risk it!
Symptoms of kidney failure can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and urination and lethargy. If your pup is experiencing any of these symptoms, or you suspect that he’s ingested anything grape-related (yes, that includes wine and grape juice: no vino for Fido!), call your vet immediately. If caught within a few hours, your vet can induce vomiting or feed your dog activated charcoal, which binds to the toxin so that it isn’t absorbed into his bloodstream.
The best way to ensure your beloved barker’s safety is to keep grapes and raisins out of their reach. Put groceries away as soon as you get home, sweep up any baking accidents as they occur and warn your guests against slipping grape treats under the table.
Now, the holiday season can stay sweet for everyone!
Grapes aren’t the only food that’s toxic to our four-legged friends. Visit our Pet Poison Guide to find out what Fluffy should avoid (and what she’s allowed to snack on!).