What do raisins have in common with currants and sultanas? They are all different types of dried grapes. Another thing they have in common is that they all present a health threat to dogs. But why is this food that is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants not advised for dogs? 

The easy answer to the question, “are raisins safe for dogs?” is NO. But putting it so directly is not entirely accurate because not all dogs react to raisins in a bad way. Some dogs have been reported to not react adversely to raisins, but most dogs risk kidney failure and other complications if they eat them. Since the risks of giving your dog raisins far outweigh the benefits, it is best to simply keep them away from your furry friend. Learn more about the dangerous combination of raisins and dogs by reading below. 

Why are Raisins Harmful to Dogs? 

Raisins are dehydrated grapes, and grapes are very toxic to dogs. Curiously enough, the cause of raisin toxicity is not entirely known. Milder clinical symptoms of poisoning from eating raisins can perhaps be traced to the high sugar content in grapes. Some believe that symptoms may arise due to dogs’ inability to digest monosaccharides, tannins, and flavonoids in grapes. However, what causes kidney damage and other life-threatening complications still baffles scientists and researchers today. Raisin toxicity can also result if your dog ingests baked foods or snacks containing raisins as an ingredient. The poison may take effect after a short while, but it may take 24 to 72 hours for kidney failure to fully set in. This leads to a stop in urine production, a very deadly condition. 

Clinical Signs of Raisin Poisoning 

The severity of poisoning from raisins may depend on the quantity consumed and the dog’s health. After 12-24 hours of ingestion the early clinical signs include: 

  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Diarrhea 

More severe signs appear 24-48 hours after ingestion, often acute kidney failure symptoms. These symptoms include:  

  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea 
  • Bad breath 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Excessive urination 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Abdominal pain 

As this continues, the kidneys will stop functioning and can no longer produce urine. Once the kidneys have stopped functioning the chances of survival lessen significantly. 

Treatment of Raisin Toxicity  

Time is of the essence if your dog consumes raisins. Let the experts assist you; contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for medical advice and help. Taking your pup to the vet clinic or animal hospital may be necessary for proper treatment. Treatment of raisin poisoning will likely include the following: 

  • Induced vomiting to expel the raisins eaten 
  • Activated charcoal to bind the toxins still in the stomach 
  • Fluid therapy to flush the kidneys 

Your veterinarian may also collect blood and urine samples to run tests and monitor recovery. Optimally, your veterinarian may keep your pet for a day or two during recovery.