Grapes have many benefits and are enjoyed by many people. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and these nutrients may help protect against cardiovascular diseases, eye problems, and cancer. Additionally, grapes are used in making the most popular wines on the market, such as red and white wines. While some animals, such as birds and raccoons, enjoy these fruits, with some even become pests in grape vines, many domestic animals do not find grapes agreeable. However, are grapes bad for dogs? The easy answer to that is yes. If you’re a dog owner, grapes are a fruit that you don’t want your pup around, as they are very toxic to them. 

Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Grapes 

The exact reason grapes and associated snacks such as raisins and sultanas are toxic to dogs is yet to be discovered. But what is certain is that these fruits are a health threat to dogs. Although not all dogs may experience the same effects, grape toxicity causes dogs to develop acute kidney failure and lack urine production. This may lead to your dog experiencing dehydration. Further complicating matters is that since the underlying component of grapes that causes kidney failure in dogs is unknown, there is no specific antidote for this condition and supportive care is the only viable therapy. Furthermore, the effects of the toxin may take up to three days before your pooch feel the full side effects. At this point, your pet’s kidney condition is aggravated. 

Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Dogs 

The symptoms of grape poisoning are the same in animals that develop poisoning.  Generally, larger dogs need to ingest more grapes than smaller dogs, but a lot of this can depend on the individual animal. While some small dogs may eat a certain quantity and experience mild symptoms, a larger dog can eat the same amount and face graver consequences. Symptoms typically include the following: 

  • Dehydration 
  • Dribbling urine 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Bad breath 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Excessive urination 

Grape Poisoning Treatment 

If you notice your dog has ingested grapes, raisins, or snacks made with these products, but you don’t see immediate symptoms, this does not mean you should write it off as nothing. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for possible first aid measures or visit your veterinarian immediately. 

Treatment of grape poisoning typically involves your vet inducing vomiting as the first line of action. Further treatment of your dog may warrant the need for activated charcoal to absorb toxins in the intestinal tract and intravenous fluids, to help urine formation and prevent kidney failure. Subsequently, your vet may request your pet be put on a dialysis machine to help support the kidneys, while your vet may stimulate urine formation with furosemide.