Can dogs eat grapes? The answer (and this goes for raisins, too, which are just dried grapes) is easy: No. Grapes and raisins are known to be highly toxic to dogs, though research has yet to pinpoint exactly which substance in the fruit causes this reaction. Because of that, peeled or seedless grapes should also be avoided.
Gender, breed, or age of a dog has no influence on the risk of being affected, and since there is no proven amount that is safe, you shouldn’t be giving your pup grapes or raisins at all.
Unfortunately, grape/raisin toxicity can even be fatal. Ingesting the fruit could potentially lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs. According to ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, they received a total of 3,722 calls involving grapes and raisins in 2016.
Here are the signs and symptoms that may occur after a toxic ingestion:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy, weakness, unusual stillness
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea, often within a few hours
- Abdominal pain (tender when touched)
- Dehydration (signs include panting; dry nose and mouth; pale gums). A quick way to test for dehydration is to gently pull up on the skin at the back of your dog’s neck. It should spring back immediately.
- Increased thirst and/or urine production or diminished amount of urine or complete cessation altogether
- Kidney failure (which can be fatal)
If your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, treatment is absolutely critical. Contact your veterinarian, who may suggest you induce vomiting as soon as possible. However, you should not induce vomiting if your dog is having trouble breathing, exhibiting signs of distress, is unconscious, or if you’re not sure what he has eaten.
Here at the AKC, we field many queries from anxious dog owners about what is and isn’t safe for their canine companions to eat. Questions range from the obvious (“Can dogs eat steak bones?”) to the trendy (“Can dogs eat quinoa?”) Check out more “Can dogs eat…” articles on AKC.org to see what other foods could be harmful to your dog, including cherries, avocados, and onions.