Many dogs love to munch on fruit. In many cases, this sweet treat can actually be a healthier alternative to processed dog treats. Whether you're picking blackberries from the garden or enjoying fresh watermelon, from the store, it's tempting to toss your dog a piece. But before you do, it's important to know which fruits are safe for our four-legged friends. With summer in full swing, you might be wondering: Can dogs eat grapes?
"Grapes are not safe for dogs to eat. In fact, your pet should never eat grapes," Alex Schechter, DVM, tells WideOpenPets.com. "Grapes are highly toxic to dogs. If your dog has eaten grapes accidentally, it's important to seek veterinary care immediately."
Yikes. So, no, dogs should not eat grapes under any circumstances. Grapes and raisins are known to be highly toxic to dogs, though research has yet to determine which component of the fruit causes this reaction. While specific components of tomato plants are to blame for tomato toxicity in dogs and cyanide makes cherries unsafe, experts aren't sure what it is about grapes that causes such a strong reaction. Researchers have looked into whether pesticides, fungi, or other factors are to blame for these problems, but no single culprit has been identified. As a result, peeled or seedless grapes, wine, and grape juice should be avoided as well.
Ingestion of grapes or raisins in dogs might result in renal damage and even kidney failure. Consuming the fruit could result in acute renal failure. If you notice changes in your dog's urination, this might signal a problem with your dog's kidneys, especially if they've consumed grapes recently. Because there is no known safe dosage, you should not feed grapes or raisins to your dog at all. The consequences of grape and raisin toxicity are dose-dependent, which means that larger dogs with higher body weight may not be impacted by ingesting modest amounts of the fruit, but little dog breeds suffer greatly. Still, there have been reported cases where just one grape was enough to make a big dog sick. Pet owners should be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of grape toxicity in their dogs.
Signs of Grape Toxicity in Dogs
- Pale gums, panting, dry nose/mouth
- Increased thirst and/or urine production
- Kidney damage
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy, sluggishness, and a strange stillness
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Abdominal Pain
What to Do If Your Dog Ate Grapes
If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes, consult your local veterinarian immediately. If it has been less than two hours since the fruit was consumed, the vet will likely induce vomiting right away. Once the stomach is emptied, activated charcoal will be given to bind the toxins and inhibit absorption, minimizing any further kidney injury. Urinalysis and blood testing may be ordered to check kidney function and any damage. If your dog develops acute renal failure, they will begin fluid therapy.
The prognosis might be dire if the kidneys are involved, although many dogs have recovered after eating grapes and obtaining prompt medical attention. The main thing to remember is that grapes in any form are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. If you suspect your dog ingested grapes or is exhibiting grape or raisin toxicity symptoms, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) right away.
Grape Poisoning Prevention
The best way to prevent grape poisoning in dogs is to keep grapes and raisins away from your pet at all times. This includes keeping them out of the trash and off the counters when you leave your dog home alone! Also be mindful of your surroundings when on walks; it's not uncommon for small children to drop grapes outside. And lastly, keep your dog out of the kitchen if you're cooking with or eating grapes.
What human foods do your furry friends enjoy? Share with us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
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