Can my dog eat grapes? Dogs are known for their ability to eat anything and everything that crosses their paths, but some of those things can be quite dangerous and even have detrimental and deadly effects on them. One of these things is grapes.
The answer to the previous question would be a simple no. But why is that? According to PetMD, raisins and grapes are well known for their high toxicity for dogs. It is yet to be discovered which substance exactly is that toxic and causes such a reaction, but this information alone should be enough for you to instantly remove any chance of your dog getting his paws on a bowl of grapes.
What are the Risks?
First of all, it is very important to note that dogs of any age, breed, or gender can be affected by the toxic effect of grapes. Additionally, there is no amount of grapes that is proven to be safe for dogs, so prevention is the key when it comes to this. Raisin and grape toxicity can be fatal for dogs when they ingest them, and the effect can be acute kidney failure. Also, anuria, also known as the lack of urine production is another possible outcome, however, not all dogs will suffer from kidney failure upon the ingestion of grapes.
There is a number of symptoms and signs of grape poisoning in dogs and they may exhibit one or more of these symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea which happens within hours or ingestion. The fecal contents and the vomit may contain pieces of grapes or raisins you dog ingested.
- Dehydration (symptoms: dry nose and mouth, pale gums, panting)
- Weakness and quietness of unusual nature
- Abdominal pain. Your dog’s stomach will be tender upon touching
- Bad breath
- Oral ulcers
- Anuria or oliguria (when only a small amount of urine is passed)
- Kidney failure which can be fatal
If your dog has eaten grapes of raisins within the past two hours, it is an emergency which requires immediate attention. You will have to induce vomiting as soon as you notice that, before the toxins that the fruit contains have the chance to be absorbed. Note that if your dog is unconscious, having trouble breathing, if he is showing signs of shock, or if you are unsure what he has eaten, do not try to induce vomiting.
If the dog has already thrown up, do not induce more vomiting, and instead call your vet and ask for advice. If the vet recommends that you induce vomiting again, try giving your dog a small meal if he hasn’t eaten in the past two hours. This will make it possible for your dog to vomit again.
Get some 3% hydrogen peroxide and measure one milliliter per pound of your dog’s weight. The maximum amount you should take is 45ml even if the weight of your dog surpasses that number. Using a syringe, squirt the hydrogen peroxide into the back of your dog’s mouth, and if he does not vomit in fifteen minutes, try once more. Make sure not to do this more than twice, and if the dog does not vomit after the second time, do not use anything stronger to induce vomiting. Instead, take your dog to the vet.
Whatever the case is, vomiting or not, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. The vet may have to perform a gastric lavage or give your dog activated charcoal which will deal with the remaining toxins in your dog’s stomach. The vet will most likely have to perform an intravenous fluid therapy which will flush out the toxins out of the bloodstream of your dog.
If your dog has severe kidney failure, one which makes him unable to produce urine, he may need hemodialysis until his kidneys have time to recover. Sometimes, a kidney transplant will be required, but in most cases, euthanasia remains as the only options if the dog’s kidneys stop working altogether.
What Can Be Done?
The best and the first thing you should do is very simple. Prevention is the key in this case. Since dogs will eat almost anything, make sure to keep raisins and grapes out of the reach of your pet. Tell all your housemates and family members not to keep grapes and raisins in an easily reachable place, and tell them never to give your dog even one grape or raisin. Other than grapes, keep chocolate, garlic, onions, and other harmful foods away from pets.
Another thing you should do is to act immediately if you find that your dog has eaten raisins or grapes. This will increase the likelihood of your dog’s survival immensely.