Many of us swear by grapes for our health and wellbeing, and why wouldn’t we? They’re full of goodies that help us stay fighting fit and packed with energy.
Yet those pet owners introducing fruit to their pup’s diet may wonder – can dogs eat grapes? The answer is no – read on to find out why.
Are grapes good for dogs?
It’s a definite no when it comes to wondering if grapes are good for dogs.
They do human beings plenty of favors, and many a generous dog owner who has introduced slices of apple or the odd diced strawberry to a dog’s dessert might well consider tossing a few grapes their way.
But avoid doing this – these animals cannot eat grapes, and likewise, dogs cannot eat raisins either.
Many kinds of fruits and berries, not to mention many vegetables we as humans rely on to stay fighting fit, work wonders for dogs if dished up in the right-sized portions.
Yet anyone who has ever wondered, can dogs eat raisins or can dogs eat grapes, hopefully learns before experimenting with this idea just how dangerous it can be.
Even today, top canine experts are hard at work discerning what subject in this otherwise harmless fruit reacts so badly in a dog’s digestive system and bloodstream.
Indeed, grape toxicity in dogs is a serious business, and unfortunately, the choice of how to prepare grapes for a dog won’t change that.
While other fruity treats can be served up in a way that means their natural sugars and tough skins don’t affect your dog’s digestion, any amount of grapes for a dog can prove very harmful indeed.
Therefore, even a peeled grape or a seedless grape won’t help make these deceptively dangerous little fruits any more safe for your pup.
Even though some experts believe that many of the most dangerous elements of grape toxicity in dogs come from the skin of the grape, peeling them doesn’t make them any less of a risk.
However, the saving grace here at least is that different breeds of dog will deal with different amounts of grape ingestion in different ways.
Larger dogs are more resilient by their very nature, although ideally all grapes in your house should be kept as far from the reach of your canine companion as you can.
Dangers of grapes for dogs
No matter the age of your dog, from the most venerable pooch on the block to the most darling and inquisitive little puppy, grapes are bad news.
Unfortunately, in some cases, grape toxicity in dogs can prove fatal, so it’s absolutely vital you’re ensuring the safety of your pet, however possible.
The reason that grape toxicity in your pets is so bad in this case is because of the effect that grapes have on the kidneys of your dog.
Complications can arise to such an extent that you may find yourself dealing with sudden kidney failure in your dog – again, a potentially lethal and very scary thing to happen to your pet.
Grape toxicity can likewise affect the urinary habits and capabilities of your dog, as the complications that arise within them from grape consumption can halt the production of urine within the animal altogether in the most drastic cases.
As you can imagine, your dog’s toilet habits are a vital part of how he or she functions, as well as ejects those chemicals that no longer belong in their body.
Damaging either this system or the kidneys of your animal can be a horrendous and complicated experience for pooch and owner alike.
The one saving grace, at least, is that many of the most drastic examples discussed here won’t affect some dogs.
All grapes are toxic to all dogs, for sure, but some breeds and ages seem to cope better than others.
Again, scientists are still working out what it is that makes some dogs hardier against grape toxicity compared to others – it’s all something of a mystery.
The symptoms your dog could show from grape toxicity include abdominal pains, nasty smelling breath, or a general sense of being much too quiet.
Your dog could become very chronically tired quite fast – even falling into a coma or having seizures in the worst cases – or suffer a dreadfully upset tummy.
If you know there are grapes in the house and your dog is behaving unusually in these ways as described, make sure it isn’t because your pet has helped themselves to grapes or raisins without your knowledge. You might just save his or her life.
How many grapes can a dog eat daily?
Although it could be tempting to toss your pooch even one supposedly harmless grape if he or she is giving you the hungry eyes and you’re eating some, don’t be fooled.
No matter how big and robust your dog might be, he or she could suffer dreadfully if so much as a single grape gets swallowed.
Put simply, no dog should be eating any grapes whatsoever, under any circumstances. Do your best to be extra vigilant with this rule in the unexpected ways it could come into play, too.
For instance, if someone offers your dog a cheeky bit of cake, make sure it doesn’t have any currants or raisins in it.
Another way to help dogs avoid eating grapes is to simply make sure they aren’t around if you’re enjoying them for yourself.
Your dog looks up to you, after all, and he or she is encouraged by what he or she sees in you more than you may realize.
Sometimes they wouldn’t even think to eat a grape for themselves if they didn’t see their master doing it, so you can discourage curiosity in your dog about grapes by simply never showing them as appealing.
What to do if your dog eats a grape
No matter how careful we are as owners, dogs can be adorably crafty in trying to get their way, and devilishly fast in doing so too.
It’s often a nightmare when a dog nibbles on something he or she shouldn’t, but it’s downright scary when they’re recklessly endangering themselves while doing it and don’t even know it.
If you’re wondering what to do if your dog eats a grape, the most important detail is to remain calm.
Seeing your panic might cause your pet to panic also, and it will make it harder to remedy the situation if your dog is feeling skittish.
Maybe you momentarily left a bag of groceries unattended and came back to find your dog gobbling at your fresh bunch of grapes, or maybe someone simply dropped a grape and your pooch dashed in and snapped it up before anyone could react.
However it entered his or her system, it needs to go as quickly as possible.
The real dangers of dogs eating grapes come into play once it enters the bodily system proper, which is why you must catch onto seeing if your dog has eaten grapes or raisins as soon as possible.
It’s never easy for a dog lover to do this, but unfortunately – for your pet’s safety – you’re going to need to induce vomiting in your pet.
It’s the best and fastest way to ensure no toxic material from that grape enters and ultimately damages your dog’s systems.
Of course, it’s completely possible that your dog might be accidentally ahead of the game here.
Dogs that eat grapes often vomit as their body reacts badly to the material – but unfortunately, dogs don’t vomit grapes every time, nor reliably enough for you to guarantee they’ll take care of this on their own.
You need to handle this like an emergency, ideally inducing vomiting in your dog within two hours of them eating grapes or raisins.
You should never do this if your dog is having trouble breathing though, but in all other cases, get that fruit out of your pet immediately.
Hydrogen peroxide is the best way to get your dog to vomit, squirted into their throat with a syringe or turkey baster.
It can sound a little harsh and severe, but remember, this may well save your dog’s life. And of course, if in doubt, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible.
For such a small, harmless and even purportedly healthy little thing, grapes are far worse for dogs than they are for humans.
Dogs should ideally be kept as far from the possibility of consuming a grape as possible.
Removing the seeds and stalks from grapes, peeling them or giving your dog raisins are similarly to be avoided.
Scientists and specialized vets still can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about grapes that make them so dangerous to dogs, so there’s no guaranteed way of serving them up that will circumvent this.
Instead, if your dog eats grapes, help them to throw it back up as immediately as possible, and seek help from your vet if you’re worried about their long term health.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.